Fantastic info, thanks chaos and dakota! I'll be digesting this over the next few days to be sure.
I'll be connecting using USB cable, although serial cable to com port is an option if the USB is problematic. The system is Win 10, 32 bit however I do have a couple older laptops I can setup with earlier versions if I need to. The technical side of the computer isn't a problem for me.
You've answered and confirmed a number of my questions already which I definitely appreciate, and I have no doubt there will be more to come.