Interfaceing MBED to WiFi?

15 Jan 2011

The "Cookbok" suggests using a WiFi modem to interface mbed to WiFi.  However there are no low cost WiFi modems.  Most cost US$75.00 or more and include a router.  Whereas there are available USB to WiFi adapters, also called WiFi dongles, for less than US$25.00. However, They come with drivers for Windows, Linux and OS X.  Hence I am looking for information on to use a WiFi dongle with mbed or how to write a driver so a WiFi dongle may be used with mbed.

Or a better approach would be using a WIFi transceier if one was available in the same price range as a Zigbee tranasceiver.  Please post a link if you know of a source for a low cost WiFi transceiver.



17 Jan 2011

I'd take a look at this one:

WiFly GSX 802.11b/g Serial Module -


17 Jan 2011

The simplest way that wouldn't require too many changes is just to use an Ethernet game adapter for Xbox 360 / Playstation 3 etc.  They act like a wireless/wired bridge between Ethernet and wireless.

For example:


All you would have to do is configure the bridge.  I have used this with my development boards.

Some pocket routers have this ability too such as the D-link DWL-G730AP


17 Jan 2011

How about using this WiShield board from Asynclabs? You will have to convert the libs.

17 Jan 2011

Why not using a simple access point? I bought one last week for 25 EUR... Maybe you can find even a cheaper wireless router which can be made to run with DD-WRT or OpenWRT or the like - these firmwares support also access point client modes.

17 Jan 2011

I dont think Howard is looking for a router. By the sound of his post, he is looking for something small like a USB Wifi dongle. I wouldn't recommend using a USB wifi device because it would be very difficult to code a sufficient USB stack and driver for the dongle. Using the WiFly module that I suggested is a great small device that uses little power and is serial controlled, which makes it very easy to get working with a microcontroller.

17 Jan 2011

What I meant was using a cheap router and converting it into an access point via a modified firmware. Then you can use it as simple Ethernet-to-WLAN-converter. I'm doing this by myself - it is larger than a simple USB dongle, but way easier.

22 Jun 2011

Is there any publishes program?

22 Jun 2011

Connecting via a wireless access point or a router is always possible, just use the existing TCP or HTTP libraries. It is however not a very compact solution. The WiFly is probably easy to use but only establishes a point to point serial connection, not a true LAN connection. I have bought a cheap (10 Euro) wifi dongle with Ralink chip. It turns out that Ralink provides open source drivers, unfortunately they are specifically for Linux. I guess porting will be possible but it will probably be quite a job.

22 Jun 2011

Connecting the WiShield from Asynclabs is also no problem. Wire up an Arduino interface (I used the mbeduino schematic) download the software from Donatien Garnier (ZG200NetIfExample) and voila it works perfect.

22 Jun 2011

Try this board. It appears to work for me but with different firmware. Its also not too expensive and the company is developing the firmware. Im not associated with the company just thought it might intrest somebody. I may also do a write up on how to get it going if needed, but its easy I think!


23 Jun 2011

In a second project with a Arduino Bus i also could connect the WiFi PROTO Board from MikroE . The software i used for the AsynLab WiShiel was slightly modified.

23 Jun 2011

@voy ager I can't find the ZG200NetIfExample, can you provide a link? You use more or less the same software for the WiShield and the wifi-proto-board, are these boards compatible?

23 Jun 2011


Sorry was a typo, i mean ZG2100NetIfExample.

here are the links:,

Regarding the hardware, i am using the SPI pins on both boards.

Have a look at these links:

I am using the WiShield 1.0

23 Jun 2011

As i had enough of soldering and software hacking for my WiFi connections i also bought some WiFI WLAN Bridges. For fast hardware tests and reliable performance i use this system:

It works like a charm and is cheap. You can already get this for about 30€.

23 May 2012

Apparently is going out of business.

21 Oct 2012

voy ager wrote:

Connecting the WiShield from Asynclabs is also no problem. Wire up an Arduino interface (I used the mbeduino schematic) download the software from Donatien Garnier (ZG200NetIfExample) and voila it works perfect.


I know this is a very old thread but I have not found yet a library to use MBED with WIFI breakout boards. I already have a WiShield which works pretty well so I'm trying to use the ZG200NetIfExample but I have compiling issues. Do you remember if you have used any other library to have the WiShield working and the code compiled? Any help will be really appreciated. Thank you.


25 Oct 2012

I'd like to replace the wired USB interface to my lab PC with an 802.11 link. The PC is already on a wireless network. Why not just use a 802.11 dongle (($25) attached to the USB TX/RX pins?

Wouldnt this "just work"?

one question: where do I connect up the "+5V" (vbus) signal wire from this dongle?

- Jim

10 Jan 2016

Nowadays, there is wifi usb flash disk,but there is no API to programming. If we want to sell our product all over the world. Mass production legally is a problem The wireless regulation is very complicated. The only way is to use wifi sd card. Toshiba flashair open API for programming. There is arduino example for testing. The only way for MCU to wireless communication is wifi sd card. Otherwise, I think you can use a low end processor to run linux. Low end processor board may not cost high. And use USB wifi dongle is possible because wifi dongle has linux driver. Only when we use certified usb wifi dongle,we can sell our product massively.

14 Jan 2016

wow.. talk about thread necromancy!

in the years since this was originally posted there's a lot more options out there.

how about a Ti CC3000 module? It is a very nice WiFi solution... and someone did an mbed library already

If you want to go ESP8266, boards with them on it can be had for just a few dollars.... but... I'm not so sure I'd trust those boards for worldwide rf compliance, or operational reliability... they just seem too cheap to me.