Available working Wireless/Wifi/WLAN options for Arduino (general question)?!

Hey All,

I try to find a working and also "Longer supported" Wireless/Wifi/WLAN module/shield for my Arduino (Mega2560, but I think its a more general question).

I found the following:

1.) CC3000 ... after trying it it's unstable. I had crashes after some time and so on ... and when reading the forum I'm not the only one. In the end the chip itself is "retired" by TI and there are no real modules available with the new chips (I think CC3100/3200 ...)

2.) ESP8266 ... very cheap and working in general but the serial connection makes it not easy to use in a "Parallel connections" and "server" use-case, because data will come in as they are received, but all libraries I have found try to handle one thing at a time - so the problem is: When you handle one connection (e.g. answering a call for server connection #1) it may be that data for connection #2 comes in which may be lost then. So a completely new way to handle the data (e.g. "event driven") would be needed to have it really working in my opinion. And in the end the missing hardware flow control for serial data makes it hard to handle all data before the internal buffer flows over when not checking the serial data all the time because the buffer in ESP8266 is larger then on Arduino ...
Yes an option would be to use ESP8266 as Board and program directly (which may solve the problems?!) but then I need to enhance the IO-pins because I need some more for my usecase :slight_smile:

3.) The Arduino.cc WifiShield (https://www.arduino.cc/en/Main/ArduinoWiFiShield) is retired ... and was with >80 USD/EUR more high price ... but seems to work ... Or ?! Still the way to go and to use?? How stable is it ?!

4.) The new Arduino Wifi Shield 101 is very new and at the moment only available in US ... does someone has experience?! Is it stable? ... but it has no external antenna slot :frowning:

5.) RedFly from Watterott with a Redpine Signals chip, but also the UART version with AT commands ... in theory incoming data shpuld have comparable problems like with Nr 1. There is a library for it in alpha state unchanged in the last months

6.) WiFly from Sparkfun with an UART Wifi module and uses an SC16IS750 SPI-to-UART bridge chip which adds hardware flow control to it ... but in the end it's also UART protocol with AT command set parsing and also works like Nr 1

7.) There are first boards with CC3200 from TI ... but not as realy Arduino compatible shields ...

Do I forgot someting? :wink:

What are your experiences and recommended shields?!


You might consider using an ethernet shield with a WiFi repeater.

Ethernet shield and a wireless router.


My Arduino home automation system at www.2wg.co.nz has a very stable internet connection. I use a Freetronics Ethermega. It has the W5100 chip which has four tcp/ip sockets so it can buffer additional incoming connections while my application is processing another.

The Freetronics Ethermega is basically an Arduino Mega with an Arduino Ethernet shield. It includes an SD card adaptor and I believe a few additional features not found on the Arduino Mega and Arduino Ethernet combination.

My system is not WIFI but I could use it anywhere with a WIFI extender.

My system is also integrated with a couple of Belkin Wemo switches that are on my home network. My system switches the Wemo switches on and off according to application requirements (using http/soap functionality across my network).


Catweazle NZ


yes I also thought of that and had is as "last option" in my mind, but I wanted to see if there is an Arduino-style way ... :slight_smile: Because I heared that many are using Wifi with Arduino, but wondered if they have the same problems and questions then I ...

I already have Arduino-mega with Ethernet shield W5100 in use for two other projects and finally made it working stable (only had one Ethernet-crash as the target-server was not available), so yes this would be the "fast/easy way" ...

so yes this would be the “fast/easy way” …

Since you have read of all the angst and grief, not to mention expense, and seeing you already have an Ethernet shield, I guess you might find the last option looking very like a first option.

... I hoped that I maybe missed options ... but it seems that I'm not :wink:

.. but it seems that I'm not :wink:

I think you are right about that. The one I use is ebay 400880550037. It works fine but the plug adapter is rather crude and makes it excessively bulky. It would be OK if you use parallel pins as in US or Japan etc..

I currently think about TP-Link TL-WA5210G or TP-Link CPE210 because they can be used in a more "outdoor" area which my garden house would be ... because of the allowed working-temperatures and the possibility to add an external antenna if the integrated one does not work good because of distance or such :slight_smile:
... and it can be configured as "client router" which gives a better network-sepmentation options (because garden-house vs. internal network .. I'm a bit paranoid on that :wink:

Well, I guess they kill off any ideas about economic benefits but, if the premium to pander to your paranoia is worth it, they are probably still a better bet than an Arduino WiFi shield. The weatherproofing may be noteworthy, so long as the Arduino is up to it too. The device I alluded to has four functions but I just use it for remote Arduino and as a general range extender.