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Arduino Wifi Module: A Comprehensive Guide

Accessing an open WIFI network using a microcontroller is possible if you have an Arduino Wi-Fi module. Thus, our article will delve deeper into using the Arduino wifi module development board and its programming capabilities. Also, it'll elaborate on the types of Arduino Wi-Fi modules and how to use them in joining a Wi-Fi network.  

What is a WIFI Module?

 

Macro detail of wireless wifi programmable microcontroller module

Macro detail of wireless wifi programmable microcontroller module

 

It is an electronic component on a host device that facilitates access to the internet via a wireless connection. Also, you may refer to them as WLAN modules. In our case, we're interested in the Arduino Wi-Fi Modules.

Hence, an Arduino Wi-Fi module is a WLAN module compatible with Arduino Uno. Thus, they run on Arduino software.  

Best Arduino Wi-Fi Modules: Which One to Use?

 

The following are some common Arduino-compatible modules you can use in Wi-Fi applications:  

ESP8266

 

Esp8266, esp-01 wifi module for DIY devices development

Esp8266, esp-01 wifi module for DIY devices development

 

Thanks to its key features, it is the most popular WiFi module solution. Primarily, it grants the users the ability to either host the application. Still, it enables the user to access WiFi networking functions from a different application processor.

Also, it's popular for its on-board processing and storage capabilities, which facilitate sensor integration.  

Features of the Module

 

The following are some of the outstanding features of this module:

  1. Low power use- It features a standby power consumption of below 1.0mW
  2. Secondly, it has a built-in temperature sensor and a built-in low-power 32-bit CPU.
  3. Also, it features a Wi-Fi Direct (Peer to Peer) and built-in features such as power amplifiers, LNA, balun, matching network & voltage regulator.
  4. Fourthly, it has a leakage current of below 10uA and 2ms transfer and connects data packets.
  5. Besides, the module supports Bluetooth co-existence interfaces and Automatic Power-Save Delivery in VoIP applications.
  6. Lastly, it's an 802.11 b/g/n module with supports for antenna diversity.

 

Applications of the Module

 

The ESP 8266 is useful in Baby Monitor devices.

The ESP 8266 is useful in Baby Monitor devices.

 

This module is useful in the following applications:

  • Baby monitor devices and home automation systems
  • Sensor network systems and wireless location-aware devices
  • Wireless control systems in industries and position systems
  • Smart power plug devices and network cameras
  • ID tags for security purposes
  • Mesh network systems and common wearable electronics.

 

Pros and Cons

 

Among the key advantages of this module in WiFi applications include the following:

  • Firstly, it is lowly priced and easy to program in the Arduino IDE programming environment.
  • Also, since it's relatively highly popular, there is a wide range of guides on its use.
  • Lastly, it's power efficient.

However, this module has a limitation on GPIO pins. Hence, when conducting GPIO mapping, one may be restricted by the few GPIO pins.  

ESP32 WiFi & Bluetooth Dual-Core MCU Module

 

Wifi Board module

Wifi Board module

 

This is the latest Espressif products module featuring a dual-core 32-bit MCU. Also, as its name suggests, it is an amalgam of Bluetooth/BLE 4.2 technology and the WiFi HT40. Besides, this module is a significant improvement of the aforementioned ESP 8266, which is the former version.  

Standout features

 

  1. It has a dual-core Tensilica LX6 MCU, which delivers high performance over the ESP 8266. One core facilitates standalone application development while the other facilitates high-speed connection.
  2. Also, it features 600 DMIPS computing power and a frequency of 240 MHz.
  3. Thirdly, it guarantees support for GPIO resources,  Bluetooth/BLE 4.2, and Wi-Fi HT40.
  4. Also, it enables automatic beacon scanning and monitoring.
  5. In addition, it can achieve ultra-low power use via key features such as dynamic power scaling and power modes.
  6. Lastly, it's an 802.11 b/g/n/e/i module that also features quality of service in wireless multimedia technology.

 

Applications

 

The module is useful in the Internet of Things (IoT) applications and mobile devices. It is also popular in wearable electronics, healthcare applications, and home automation projects.  Besides, you'll also find it in creating applications and smart building technologies.  

Pros and Cons

 

The key pros of this module are that it is Bluetooth v4.2 BR/EDR compliant and uses low power. Nonetheless, its primary disadvantage is that it's only suitable for developers. Also, it is prone to bugs.  

Grove: UART WiFi V2 (ESP8285)

 

Hand holding smartphone with wi-fi connection

Hand holding smartphone with wi-fi connection

 

This serial transceiver module is an improved version of the aforementioned ESP8266. The primary difference is that this module has a built-in 1MB flash feature.  

Properties of the Module

 

  • It can support the STA, AP, and AP-STA modes simultaneously.
  • Secondly, it has a lightweight IP and features a serial UART Interface.
  • Also, it has a 115200 baud rate and an integrated temperature sensor.
  • The module has a reset switch and an integrated TCP/IP protocol stack.
  • Also, like the ESP8266, it is a 2.4GHz 802.11 b/g/n protocol.
  • Lastly, it requires an input voltage of 3V to 5V and features a metal shielding property.

 

Applications 

 

Useful in baby monitors, network cameras, wearable electronics, and industrial wireless control systems.  

Pros and Cons

 

Pro: It is a low power consumption module.

Con: Like the ESP8266 module, it has a few GPIO pins.  

ESP8266 VS ESP32 VS ESP8285

 

A technician controls the quality of a mini wireless Bluetooth module

A technician controls the quality of a mini wireless Bluetooth module.

 

ESP8266 VS ESP32 VS ESP8285

 

From the above table, the ESP32 is the best suited for IoT and large-scale projects and analytical purposes. On the other hand, the Grove UART wifi v2 is the best for simpler projects.  

Add WiFi to Arduino

 

The ESP8266 Wifi module is open-source hardware that you can connect to Arduino Uno. Therefore, by following the following procedure, you can connect to a WiFi network or even do other similar projects.

First, you need to set up the circuit by making the connections shown below. First, you need to set up the circuit by making the connections shown below.

Ensure that you do not exceed a voltage of 3.3V.

Next, the following commands will be handy in operating the module.

Setting the board interface.

First, you'll need to load this sketch code to the Arduino Uno to set it in programming mode.

Next, add Telnet Client for Android and link to the ESP8266 module.

After you've made the connection, contain the IP address.

Next, click on Telnet Client on Android and make a connection by clicking connect.

Also, input IP and port 80 and type the following command to send a request.

 

Summary

 

The above WiFi modules are some of the best you can use to access the internet. As we have just seen, the ESP8266 and Grove UART wifi v2 are the best for simple projects. On the other hand, the ESP 32 is the best module for sophisticated projects. We hope you have all the information you need about this WIFI module. In case of any query, talk to us for further elaboration.