RS-232C is a long-established standard ("C" is the current version) that describes the physical interface and protocol for relatively low-speed serial data communication Networks between computers and related devices.
RS-232C is the interface that your computer uses to talk to and exchange data with your modem and other serial devices. RS-232C is the interface between your Communication networks and other communication networks.
Somewhere in your PC, typically on a Universal Asynchronous Receiver/Transmitter (UART) chip on your motherboard, the data from your computer is transmitted to an internal or external modem (or other serial device) from its Data Terminal Equipment (DTE) interface. Since data in your computer flows along parallel circuits and serial devices can handle only one bit at a time, the UART chip converts the groups of bits in parallel to a serial stream of bits.
As your PC's DTE agent, it also communicates with the modem or other serial device, which, in accordance with the RS-232C standard, has a complementary interface called the Data Communications Equipment (DCE) interface. RTS/CTS is the way the DTE indicates that it is ready to transmit data and the way the DCW indicates that it is ready to accept data
RS232C, a standard interface approved by the Electronic Industries Alliance (EIA) for connecting serial devices. In 1987, the EIA released a new version of the standard and changed the name to EIA-232-D. And in 1991, the EIA teamed up with Telecommunications Industry association (TIA) and issued a new version of the standard called EIA/TIA-232-E. Many people, however, still refer to the standard as RS-232C, or just RS-232.
Almost all modems conform to the EIA-232 standard and most personal computers have an EIA-232 port for connecting a modem or other device. In addition to modems, many display screens, mice, and serial printers are designed to connect to a EIA-232 port. In EIA-232 parlance, the device that connects to the interface is called a Data Communications Equipment (DCE) and the device to which it connects (e.g., the computer) is called a Data Terminal Equipment (DTE).
The EIA-232 standard supports two types of connectors -- a 25-pin D-type connector (DB-25) and a 9-pin D-type connector (DB-9). The type of serial communications used by PCs requires only 9 pins so either type of connector will work equally well.
Although EIA-232 is still the most common standard for serial communication, the EIA has recently defined successors to EIA-232 called RS-422 and RS-423. The new standards are backward compatible so that RS-232 devices can connect to an RS-422 port.