Need professional Guidance! Mostly hardware - WiFi +++

Hello, I'm Kyle Mayne. I'm a new Arduino enthusiast and need a little bit of direction. My idea is to create a WiFi controlled device. I'm having issues finding the right WiFi shield and WiFi module. I have a family and I don't exactly have a lot of money to throw towards my device so I'm trying to find some good cheap alternatives. I'm not going to throw a price range at you because I need it as cheap as possible. I've heard of other services Electric Imp and a couple others but I don't exactly see how I could use a product like that. Know that I have done a lot of research and I haven't found any good hardware. If anyone has an ideas please let me know.

Secondly, does anyone know of a WiFI/GSM module that is combined?

Thank you for all your help, Kyle Mayne.

Well, Kyle, unfortunately there are too many unknowns in your situation to even begin to answer your question. We could spend the next hour talking about all the different radio frequency alternatives but none of them are substitutes for Wifi because Wifi is very specific in that it must meet all the criteria outlined in the Wifi Standards document. There is nothing that is a substitute for Wifi that is not current called Wifi because in order to be a substitute, it must meet all the Wifi Standards criteria which , if you think about it , makes it therefore Wifi. In short , it is either Wifi , and called Wifi or it is not Wifi and cannot substitute for Wifi. If you ask the question "are there radio frequency alternatives that allow you to do SOME of the things you might do with Wifi, that are NOT Wifi (such as something that could send a string message like " The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog ?", then the answer might be yes,but if you then ask "does that mean it is a substitute for Wifi ?" , then the answer would be no. So to make a long story short Kyle, either you tell us the whole story , and nothing but the whole story , and leave nothing out, or we can't help you. What am I talking about ? I am talking about every single detail that pertains to the use of the RF device in the application you speak of. If you cannot tell us that, then don't post because there is nothing we can do to help you without all that information. Is that clear ?

Needless to say, I have no idea of what you want to do - or even if WiFi is the best way to do it, but I guess your "lot of research" has confirmed that it is.

In that event, to address two areas where you might save money:

All Arduino WiFi gear is expensive, and not famous for its ease of use either. An Ethernet shield coupled to a WiFi repeater can be a cheaper and more versatile solution. I did this because I already had an Ethernet shield, and no extra programmming was required, but I think it is cheaper even if you have to get an Ethernet shield as well. http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/New-300Mbps-Wireless-N-WIFI-Repeater-Router-Range-Extender-Booster-802-11n-g-b-/161313988204?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_15&hash=item258f101e6c

If you want a phone in the game, an avenue worthy of exploring is to use an old phone you might have in the bottom drawer and run it it through an Arduino USB host shield. Host shields are about half the price of a GSM shield, and ( I believe) offer other facilities.

I bet there are no combined WiFi/GSM modules around, and you wouldn't want to know how much they cost if there were.

Thank you guys for your posts. I know I didn't fill you in with very much information but I didn't think you would need it. For my project I'm creating an automatic plant watering system. I wanted to add WiFi to this project, I know its an overkill but I think it would be really neat. My idea is to be at work and have the ability to water my plants via SmartPhone. I realize I can easily make a sensor for this and program my pump but I want to have absolute control over this.

I have read about using MIT App Inventor for programming the WiFi side of my project. I'm currently looking more into that.

I have a family and I don't exactly have a lot of money to throw towards my device so I'm trying to find some good cheap alternatives

If it is an application that requires Wifi, then there really are no alternatives . It has to be Wifi , even if it is cheap Wifi.

raschemmel:

I have a family and I don't exactly have a lot of money to throw towards my device so I'm trying to find some good cheap alternatives

If it is an application that requires Wifi, then there really are no alternatives . It has to be Wifi , even if it is cheap Wifi.

It seems your still stuck on the whole "WiFi alternatives." I'm sorry if I wasn't more clear. This refers to the hardware created by Arduino.cc Hardware through this website, actually from even any of their distributors are expensive. For example, some companies make Arduino clones, I'm looking for something very similar for a WiFI shield/WiFi Module. By all means I didn't mean to over complicate things but let me know if you have any further questions. Also, thank you for taking the time to help me out.

Kyle Mayne

This refers to the hardware created by Arduino.cc Hardware through this website, actually from even any of their distributors are expensive. For example, some companies make Arduino clones, I'm looking for something very similar for a WiFI shield/WiFi Module.

@kyle,

I'm not confused. I am simply telling you that what you mean you say "something similar" is not as crystal clear as you think. We don't care where you get your hardware from, be it China or wherever. I am telling you that when you ask for "something similar" you have to make clear that you mean "something similar, BUT STILL WIFI" because nothing else is going to work for your application (at least nothing YOU can think of). That's all I am saying. I thought I made it clear that there are no Wifi alternatives for a Wifi application.

Thanks raschemmel.