The electronic industry finally has recognised the demand and started to deliver easy to use solutions.
To send some data to a server I am not interested to study osi layers and literally thousands of pages from different rfc papers. I simply want to connect open a socket and send the data somewhere.
Available and affordable solutions:
TI CC3000 module
A great pitfall today is to connection to the wifi. Until now you needed a pretty serious gui interface just for that one time operation. Texas Instruments created a very nice solution, they added to their CC3000 wifi interface a program where you can set up your wifi client with your handy.
Their api called Simple Link is easy to understand and helps you to get everything up and running in a second.
You can buy the CC3000 directly from Ti for 35$ including s&h
The Wiznet devices are around for some time now. The WizFi220 low power "Serial to WiFi” module with additional power amplifier is also easy to use. You even don't need an api to run it, you simply send serial commands from your application to the module and the module does all the magic.
There is also a big user community and many examples are available on the internet.
You can buy the WizFi220 for about 25$ but unfortunately s&h to Europe from Wiznet or their resellers is pretty expensive.
The hackers choice. The WR703N is a small router whit an available open wrt port.
Unfortunately this device was until recently only available in China and therefore has a chinese user interface. To find the correct firmware update page is not an easy task.
Once you have taken this hurdle you have a nice little wifi enabled Linux computer.
The unit also provides a serial interface on the pcb, you just have to solder some wires to the pcb and a connector. Then you can talk to the device with an micro controller and run some python scripts on the router side to send your data over wifi.
You can buy this device from Ebay for under 20$
I like all three modules and will soon post about my experiences using them.
Ti CC3000 wiki
TP Link TL-WR703N Open Wrt page
|From left to right: CC300 Booster Pack, Wizfi220 and Antenna, TP Link TL-W703N|
|TP Link router inside case|