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A terminal server connects devices with a serial port to a local area network (LAN). Products marketed as terminal servers can be very simple devices that do not offer any security functionality, such as data encryption and user authentication. The primary application scenario is to enable serial devices to access network server applications, or vice versa, where security of the data on the LAN is not generally an issue. There are also many terminal servers on the market that have highly advanced security functionality to ensure that only qualified personnel can access various servers and that any data that is transmitted across the LAN, or over the Internet, is encrypted. Usually, companies that need a terminal server with these advanced functions want to remotely control, monitor, diagnose and troubleshoot equipment over a telecommunications network.
A console server (also referred to as console access server, console management server, serial concentrator, or serial console server) is a device or service that provides access to the system console of a computing device via networking technologies.