Sending serial commands to Arduino over internet

Hi All! I'm wondering if anyone here can help. I'm fairly new to using Arduino. I'm currently working on a home automation project and I have worked out the home automation bit. I want to be able to send serial commands to the arduino over the internet and was wondering what options there are available?

I have read about using a remote login service, or even remote desktop to control your pc and then send commands to your arduino using the serial monitor. I have also seen an example of using PHP to send serial commands to the Arduino. This requires the Arduino to be physically connected to the PHP webserver.

Is there are way of doing that using the ethernet shield? I haven't used it at all and since I'm kind of limited on budget and time I was wondering if anyone can guide me in this area. I am a little reluctant to do that using a local home server as I want the Arduino controller to be fairly self contained when it comes to using it.

I'd really appreciate any help in this regard!

Many thanks, Fahad.

Look into the concept of a ‘serial server’ device and see if that will help. It creates a network enabled serial port.

I’m currently using a QuaTech serial server to speak to my remote Arduino on my home network. It create a COM port. I paid about $15 for this on Ebay. Other people have used print servers like Lantronix EPS1, but this requires quite a bit more fiddling to get going.

You can also find software under Windows & Linux that allows a dedicated spare PC to create and maintain a internet/intranet COM port. The serial server is a dedicated device.

I had it running within 5 minutes of unpacking it, and can now see serial i/o and load my Arduino sketches remotely.

Good luck!