Arduino WiFi Shield Available, Costs $85 USD

Over on the Arduino blog, the release of the official Arduino WiFi shield was just announced. On the spec page for this WiFi shield. we can see this new board isn’t a slouch; it’s powered by a 32-bit ATMega 32UC3 microcontroller, has provisions for WEP and WPA2 encryption, and supports both TCP and UDP with the Arduino WiFi library. It also costs €69/$85/£55 from the Arduino store.

Now that the announcement of the Arduino WiFi shield is over with, we’ll take this opportunity to go through a few other WiFi adapters for the Arduino that don’t cost an arm and a leg.

The WiFly shield – available from Sparkfun – is a WiFi adapter with the same form factor as the ever popular XBee modules. Of course, it’s possible to make your own breakout board; the WiFly only needs a TX, RX, power and ground connection to connect your Arduino project to the Internet.

We’ve seen a few projects use the WiShield from async labs. It’s a WiFi module packaged in the familiar Arduino shield form factor, and costs $55 USD.

For the hardcore hackers out there, you could always get a bare Microchip WiFi module and get it to work with an AVR as [Quinn Dunki] attempted to. In all fairness, [Quinn] was trying to de-Arduinofy the WiFi library; if you’re cool with Arduino code swimming around in your project, this method will probably work.

There’s also the very, very cool Electric Imp. Basically, it’s an SD card with a built-in WiFi module. After configuring the Imp by holding it up to patterns flashing on your smartphone screen, this device serves as a transparent bridge to the magical ‘cloud’ we’ve been hearing about. The Electric Imp was supposed to have been released in late July/early August, and we’ll put a post up when this cool device actually launches.

Of course we’re neglecting the simplest solution to getting WiFi running on an Arduino project: just use a wireless router. Really, all you need is a pair of TX and RX pins and a copy of OpenWRT. Easy, and you probably have the necessary hardware lying around.

We’re missing a few methods of Arduinofying a WiFi connection (or WiFying an Arduino…), but we’ll let our readers finish what we started in the comments.

35 thoughts on “Arduino WiFi Shield Available, Costs $85 USD

  1. Or you know, use a Raspberry Pi w/Wifi adapter for ~ $60 including S&H and power supply.

    And you could probably get away with dropping the Arduino depending on what you are trying to accomplish.

  2. I like this new module at sparkfun for $30 bucks,
    seems to be the newer but slightly less powerful version of the wifly module found on the gsx breakout board ( which is 85 bucks and the arduino shield version which is $90 (has an spi driven uart which isn’t bad for $5 more than just the breakout board)). But you can run softserial and the whole chip at 3.3V. The Uart is slow on these anyway, they need to get the darn spi firmware working!

  3. It stinks that AsyncLabs shutdown about a year ago, bought their wifi shield v2 with flash when it came out and it worked good. Not to mention the great community/forum they had too. I’ve moved on to using the RN-XV since tho, mainly due to external atenna and all functions are built in unlike with the microchip module that takes up a nice chunk of code. CuteDigi has stated reproducing the AsyncShields under a different name, they are however exactly the same down to pcb color and price if your interested.

  4. wow, $85, that is wayyy too expensive
    They should price it at the ethernet shield price or less.
    Tbh, I think the ethernet shield is also overpriced.
    Only the actual Arduinos are priced fairly

  5. Agree with the RasPi + $5 USB WiFi comments, it’s too expensive to buy a $30 Arduino and a $85 WiFi adapter and still only have a 16MHz 8-bit microcontroller with a slow network-over-serial WiFi connection. For half what that costs you can have a 32-bit ARM with Ethernet/WiFi/USB, just as much GPIO (using a cheap I2C expander if necessary) and throw in an ATTiny or ATMega for time critical stuff. I always thought Arduinos were a bit pricey but acceptable, but now with the RasPi being the same price, I’d go with the RasPi.

  6. The shield costs a lot because all the TCP/IP stuff is abstracted away in hardware on the shield itself.

    It does lower the barrier to entry in getting wifi to ‘just work’ with an Arduino, so there is that. I don’t think people who are comfortable buying a wifi module from e.g. Mouser and rolling their own are the target market. I wonder if it will take off.

  7. I’m not sure how you get the $85. When I select NON-EU and then choose USD as currency I get the following:

    Price: $103.36 VAT not included
    1 $103.36
    1-9 $103.36
    10-99 $101.86
    100-499 $100.36
    500-999 $98.86
    1,000+ $97.37

    This is even worse than $85 :-)

  8. W703N cost around 10 euro in china on taobao right now; already ordered 2.
    arduino is the past, was good but the lack of new features and the price makes it not so cool anymore.
    just burn a 1284atmel arf

  9. So many haters! This is actually a 32-bit Arduino with integrated WiFi and MicroSD that is compatible with an I/O expander AKA the Arduino. I am impressed. Probably uses a lot less power than the shonky USB+embedded Linux suggestions.

    1. >This is actually a 32-bit Arduino with
      >integrated WiFi and MicroSD

      Why bother with the Arduino then? If more GPIO is needed just wire up some IO expanders to the AVR on this thing.. this seems like a real “arse about face” way to do it.

      >Probably uses a lot less power

      If you’re crazy worried about power you don’t use 802.11..

      >than the shonky USB+embedded Linux suggestions.

      The $86 (IIRC) beaglebone kicks it’s arse in performance, features, language/development environment support.. yeah, shonky.

    2. Saying something is overpriced, while listing a bucket load of alternatives is not hating. It is giving realistic , actionable feedback. The simple fact that we know alternatives supports the notion that every poster here has at least one arduino them selves. We like arduino. ~100$ is overpriced and we would be doing them a diss-service to be yes men and not say that is how we feel.

  10. Wifi isn’t very scalable.. we need a small-footprint baseband with 802.11/BT/CMDA/GPRS.

    Problem is licensing with carriers, and you need a TCP/IP stack and driver without Linux which is dependent on documentation and the vendor.

    ..It looks like some comments are being deleted from this entry, someone else suggested what I did and now it’s gone..

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