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Getting Started with ESP8266 WiFi Transceiver (Review)


This is a getting started guide for the ESP8266 WiFi Transceiver module. Make sure you watch the video below.

Watch the video below to see how it works!

Where to buy?

The best and cheapest place to buy this module is on ebay. Click here to get this module on ebay for less than $4.


Click the image above, to see on ebay.

The ESP8266 is a $4 (up to $10) Wi-Fi module with an ARM processor. Comparing the ESP with other Wi-Fi solutions on the market, it is a great option for most “Internet of Things” projects! It’s easy to see why it’s so popular: it only costs a few dollars and can be integrated in advanced projects. We’ve published dozens of free ESP8266 projects and tutorials.

So, what can you do with this low-cost module? You can:

If you want to create a web server with the ESP8266, we highly recommend following our tutorial: Build an ESP8266 Web Server

ESP8266 Versions

The ESP8266 comes in a wide variety of versions (as shown in the figure below). The ESP-12E or often called ESP-12E NodeMCU Kit is currently the most practical version, in my opinion.

I highly recommend using the ESP8266-12E NodeMCU Kit, the one that has built-in programmer. The built-in programmer makes it easy to prototype and upload your programs.

Recommended: Best ESP8266 Wi-Fi Development Boards

ESP-12E NodeMCU Kit Pinout

Here’s a quick overview of the ESP-12E NodeMCU Kit pinout:

ESP8266 – ESP-01 – V090

In this tutorial, I’m using the ESP8266 (ESP-01) V090, which has two LEDs next to the antenna. You can use the image below as a reference for the pinout.


Arduino Code

If you’re using your Arduino to send AT commands to your ESP8266 module, make sure you upload the code below, which is just a blank sketch.

 ESP8266 with Arduino
void setup() {
void loop() {

Schematics (Arduino)

IMPORTANT: The following circuit works fine for me and I’ve been playing with the same ESP8266 module for a long time without any problem. But as a final project you shouldn’t power your ESP8266 module with the 3.3V from your Arduino, because it might not supply enough current. So I advise you to use an external power supply to ensure that it works fine for you.  I also encourage you to add a 3.3v level shifter or a voltage divider to your ESP8266 RX pin.

Flashing Firmware - Arduino

Schematics (3.3V FTDI Programmers)

Flashing Firmware - FTDI Programmer (1)

How to Update the firmware to the latest version

The best way to update the firmware of the ESP8266 module is using a Windows PC.

IMPORTANT: In order to update your ESP8266-01 to the latest firmware version available, you need to change your circuit! GPIO 0 must be connected to GND pin.

With your ESP8266 module connected to your computer, follow these instructions:

  1. Click here to download the firmware flasher.
  2. Unzip that folder
  3. Open your application
  4. Select your COM port
  5. Pres start button
  6. Wait a few seconds and you should see that green check icon appearing (as shown in the figure below).


AT Commands

Here are some AT commands that you can send to your module to change its configurations. You can find more information on these commands in the resources below.

commandsRecommended Projects

If you like the ESP8266, you may want to take a look at some of our most popular and beginner-friendly projects:

Do you have any questions? Leave a comment down below!

Thanks for reading. If you like this post probably you might like my next ones, so please support me by subscribing my blog and my Facebook Page.

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