An essential part of the Internet of Things is having objects speak to each other wirelessly. Raspberry Pi's are a great way to do this because of the low cost of available Wifi dongles and the ease of setting them up.

In a previous tutorial we covered how to setup your Raspberry Pi WiFi by manipulating the /etc/network/interfaces file directly. While this approach is pretty straightforward, it has some disadvantages:

  • It doesn’t handle all types of encryptions (WPA, WPK, etc.)

  • If the connection drops, it won't be re-established automatically

  • It doesn’t provide a simple interface to manage the connection, making it hard to troubleshoot

Hardware Needed

In this tutorial we’ll setup wifi on Raspberry Pi using the TP-Link TL-WN725N usb wifi adapter. 

Step 1

First of all, make sure the WiFi dongle is plugged in before booting up your Raspberry Pi. Once you’re prompted with the command line, install the wicd-curses:

sudo aptitude install wicd-curses

Step 2

Wicd is a well known package to manage wifi networks from any Linux computer. Once installed, you can execute it:

sudo wicd-curses

You will be welcomed with a screen showing the available wifi networks. If your network is not showing up, you can try hitting Shift+P and then in the “Wireless interfaces” section type wlan0.

Step 3

Press F10 and then Shift+R to refresh the connections and then select your network:

Check the box “Automatically connect to this network” and then select the encryption type. Type your WiFi password and press F10 and then Shift+C to connect. Once you’re connected, type Shift+Q to exit wicd-curses.

You should be all set! You can check your Internet connection by pinging any website:

What to do next?

What can you do with a wifi-enabled Raspberry Pi? actually a lot. In the Internet of Things (IoT) space, you could create projects like:

We hope you enjoyed this as much as we do! Let us know your comments or inquiries. If you already have a project in mind, click below to get started!

Content originally published in Ubidots Blog on May 6, 2014.

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