I am playing around with Web Serial and can't connect to any devices that use the CH340 driver. I have been able to connect to a pro mini through an ftdi232. It seems the usb interface in a clone device is the problem. How do I know whether I will be buying an authentic device without plug and play problems.
That is, I am looking for Arduino boards that can be plugged into a usb port without any need for drivers to be installed. They also need to be compatible with the web serial api.
You can get authentic Arduino products from the Arduino store:
and from the official Arduino Amazon web store: https://www.amazon.com/s?me=AA57DDZKZUZDL&marketplaceID=ATVPDKIKX0DER
When shopping on Amazon, be careful because Amazon is a marketplace with many vendors. Many of the vendors who sell products that mention the word "Arduino" in their description are selling derivative products that frequently use the CH340. So make sure that the Amazon seller you purchase from is either Arduino or one of Arduino's authorized distributors.
You can get authentic Arduino products from Arduino's authorized distributors:
Note that these distributors may also sell Arduino compatible products from other manufacturers, some of which might use the CH340. If they are advertising something as a genuine Arduino product, then you can be confident that it is so, but don't assume that all the products they sell are manufactured by Arduino just because they are Arduino distributors.
There are also Arduino compatible products manufactured and sold by reputable companies and you can trust in their claims regarding which USB interface chip is used.
I like using boards that don't have USB built in; then you're a little more modular and if you destroy the uC, you can just replace that part are reuse others, like an FTDI module, such as FTDI Basic from Sparkfun or TinyOsShop.com or a Mikroe483 from Mouser if you want an FTDI Module that you can build more solidly into a board.
Then sparkfun's red board is out of the question. If whatever you use supports CP210x USB/UART IC, you can try adafruit metro 328. For other online shops such as amazon, you may have to have a try. What you see on photos may not be what you get exactly.
This one claims to use atmega16u2, so it's maybe coming with 16u2, which is what official arduino uno comes with.