Working Remotely with Zurich Instruments’ LabOne

Not only in the wake of Covid-19, but also because of the growing automation of experimental setups, remote access of instrumentation is an increasing need. Zurich Instruments’ devices are designed to provide just that. With no physical adjusting knobs, the instruments are fully controlled by our LabOne software or APIs and hence perfectly suited to be accessed remotely.

In this blog post, we will provide you with several ways to remotely control your instruments in the lab comfortably from your home.

Every instrument is connected to the LabOne Data Server that can be accessed either through an API, or through the LabOne Web Server. The Web Server can in turn connect to multiple web browser client sessions. Both the APIs and the web browser are part of the application layer.

Access to the Instruments using Remote Desktop

The easiest way to remotely access your instruments is to have a computer in the lab running LabOne, and connect to this computer from outside using a remote desktop application. This way, we run the application layer on the lab computer and do not rely on the connection bandwidth to the home computer when taking data. A solid connection to the lab network is required only for a good user experience, and you might need to connect to your lab network environment using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection. The lab computer needs to be connected to the instruments either by 1GbE or USB.

There are several options to choose as remote desktop application, such as Virtual Network Computing (VNC), TeamViewer or Microsoft’s Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP). If you use RDP, open the Remote Desktop app from the start menu and add the lab computer by its IP address or name.

Access to the Instruments using a local Data Server and/or WebServer

If you prefer not to work on a remote desktop, we recommend to run the Data and Web Server on the lab computer and access these through an application layer that runs on your home computer. This is often more comfortable and avoids the high data rate requirements of remote desktops. However, the rate with which the application layer receives data now depends on the bandwidth of your connection to the lab and slow connections may be laggy or not able to transmit all data. Also here, the lab computer needs to be connected to the instruments either by 1GbE or USB, and you might need to connect to your lab network environment using a VPN connection.

To set up a local Data Server on your lab computer for remote access, do the following:

  1. Open LabOne and access any of your instruments.
  2. Go to the Config Tab and change Connectivity to ‘From Everywhere’. Then, LabOne may be closed.

The Data and Web Server can now be accessed remotely using the IP-address <IP-ADDRESS> of the lab computer:

Access the Web Server on the lab computer from a browser on your the computer:

Type the following into your browser: http://<IP-ADDRESS>:8006/, e.g. This opens up the LabOne user interface device connection window.

Access the Data Server on the lab computer from an API that runs on the home computer:

To connect to the Data Server using an API, use <IP-ADDRESS> and port 8004. For example, the following Python code opens an API session connected to dev8138 on the lab computer with IP-address

import zhinst.ziPython as zi
daq = zi.ziDAQServer('', 8004, 6)
daq.connectDevice('dev8138', '1gbe')

We hope that this blog post helps you to keep our instruments running, even when the rest of the world seems to stop turning!

Stay healthy!

… and in case you wonder how to restart a Zurich Instruments device, check out this blog post.