RS232 to RS485 converters are mostly used in industrial and commercial environments. The reason is that the RS485 converter can be used for multi-drop networks, meaning that you for example can connect multiple RS485 devices to one computer. Up to 32 devices can be connected in one network to communicate on a single pair of wires (plus a ground wire). This type of communication is called half-duplex communication. Most quality RS485 converters can communicate in this manner of up to 4000 feet (1200 meters). The RS485 converter is also fairly resistant to noise which is one more reason why it is favored in industrial environments.
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