A different type of Arduino Internet shield


The cost of an Ethernet shield for an Arduino isn’t horrible; generally between $17 and $32 depending on which one you buy. But have you seen the cost of a WiFi shield? Those are running North of $70! [Martin Melchior] has a solution that provides your choice of Ethernet or WiFi at a low-cost and it’ll work for most applications. He’s using a WiFi router as an Arduino Internet shield.

This is the TP-Link WR703N which has been very popular with hackers because of its combination of low price (easy to find at $25 or less) and many features: the USB is super hand and, well, it’s a WiFi router! The Arduino Pro Mini shown dead-bug style is talking to the router using its serial port. [Martin] wires a pin socket to the router, which makes the rest of assembly as easy as plugging the two together. The rest of his post deals with handling bi-directional communications with Arduino code.

If you really just need that direct Ethernet pipe consider building an ENC28J60 chip into your designs.


  1. nizon says:

    I just buy the $10 knockoff Ethernet shields, they work fine

  2. apachexmd says:
  3. Erik Johnson says:

    This seems to backwards… “I’m attaching this complete (relatively)supercomputer system as an attachment to my 8bit chip”

  4. dominic15 says:
  5. Sweeney says:

    Or you could buy an Arduino clone with built in WiFi (the Due compatible DigiX springs to mind)

  6. Mike says:

    The new TI CC3000 will hopefully knock Arduino WiFi shelds down to reasonable prices

  7. Patrick says:

    Why is such a relatively basic shield so expensive?

  8. Mental2k says:

    The logical extension of your notion is that the curse of microcontrollers are people don’t build their own relay computers/develop their own instruction sets/hand compile their own code. They just use libraries and copy and adapt code snippets from stackexchange.com.

  9. The WizNet W5100 from sparkfun is $25, and there is an adapter to a Teensy 2.0 (++). The Wiznet example code works – but run it thru the cpp with the defines for your interface first, and leave the comments in. After cleaning up the code, the driver works. Warning: there are some *funky* things the Wiznet driver does – just go with the code. The hardware is a bit weird, but works really well. 1..4 channels, any can be a client or server. Fixed IP or DHCP. I recommend the parallel interface.

    Used one on a professional project. The W5100 was solid once I believed the driver code example

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