Avoid Hard-Coding WiFi Credentials on Your ESP8266 Using the WiFiManager Library

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Introduction: Avoid Hard-Coding WiFi Credentials on Your ESP8266 Using the WiFiManager Library

About: Hey everyone! My name is Brian and thanks for checking my Instructables. I'm a software developer by trade but I've recently gotten into Arduino development after discovering the esp8266 chip, a WiFi enab...

Hello everyone!

In this instructable I'm going to talk about how you can avoid hard-coding your WiFi credentials into your Arduino sketches using a really awesome library called WiFiManager. It will only take a couple of minutes to go through these steps.

Check out the video or continue reading here to find out how to add it and how it works.

Step 1: Why Is This Important?

If you have hard-coded values in your sketch, if you change your WiFi router or want to bring your device to somewhere else, you are going to need to re-program your esp8266, which isn't ideal!

It also makes your sketches less sharable, as you probably will want to replace your SSID and Password with placeholders before uploading to somewhere public like GitHub and anyone who is using your code is going to have to update the code before they can use it on their network.

Step 2: How WifiManager Works

WiFiManager is pretty configurable but a basic example of how a sketch that has the WiFiManager library installed works like this.

When the ESP8266 starts up, it will try connect to the last known WiFi network, but if it fails to connect WiFiManager will create its own network, with a name you can configure in your sketch.

You can connect either a phone or a computer to the new network that the ESP8266 creates. Once connected any requests you make on the browser will be redirected to the WiFiManager config page.

From here you can scan for WiFi networks and type in their password. When you hit save the ESP8266 will restart and connect to the entered credentials.

Step 3: Adding It to Your Sketch

Install the WiFiManager Library from the Arduino Library Manager or get it from Github (Which is worth checking out anyways as the Readme documentation is really good)

The library comes with a good few examples, the basic one being AutoConnect.ino, which is a good place to start, but basically you need to do the following

1) Once installed, you can add the following headers to your sketch:

#include
#include

#include <
WiFiManager.h>

2) Replace the WiFi connection code in your setup with the following two lines:

WiFiManager wifiManager;
wifiManager.autoConnect("AutoConnectAP");

And that's it! As I mentioned it is really simple to add this to your sketches, but it makes them much more flexible.

Hopefully you find this useful and as always if you have any questions please ask!

Thanks,

Brian

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    53 Discussions

    Hi

    This was a nice article.Could you tell me how you used DNS server to point a domain to the IP.

    instructables butchers the include commands. can you list the code on pastebin and link to it?

    Yeah...this is fricken COOL! Relatives want me to start building WiFi connected gizmos for them so customizing for their individual environments has the potential to get a little CRAZY. This solves that problem!! Thanx Man!

    Hi witnessmenow,

    I am using wifi manger for one of my project. Thinks work well for normal cases. After saving all credentials, on esp8266 boot up if device not able to connect to router. it will start wifimanager once network comes back i will comes out of wifimanager look but webserver runs. now i need to stop wifimanager webserver. any way????

    1 reply

    Hello colleagues, I have done some tests with wifimanager adding some things

    saludos

    0
    user
    Deonis

    1 year ago

    This is great! But when I connect the esp to my wifi router I can't connect to it from my computer which is on the same network. I can see IP address of the esp, I can ping it but that is it. How do I connect to it from a PC?

    thanks ...

    Denis

    3 replies

    Thank you Brian. I was expecting that wifimanager would be running HTTP server on esp once I connect it to my router, but it does not. I was thinking to use ESP8266 as a standalone controller for a wifi enabled light. I was thinking to control it through Python serial library similar to arduino. I am just starting with this board. I most likely doing something wrong.

    This is the example I am using now

    https://github.com/tzapu/WiFiManager/blob/master/examples/AutoConnect/AutoConnect.ino

    thanks again,

    Denis

    Hey Denis,

    Yeah WiFiManager does host a Web server, but it turns it off once it's finished, but so you would need to add a Web server inside your sketch.

    If you combine the first sketch I sent on with the example from WiFiManager you linked to you should have what you are looking for. After it connects your router you will be able to go to the ip address of the esp, get a webpage and there will be a button to toggle pin 2 (I think, but change it to whatever pin you want)

    This is extremely useful. Thanks a lot @witnessmenow! Keep hacking!

    Any plans to port this to micropython?

    https://docs.micropython.org/en/latest/esp8266/esp8266/tutorial/intro.html

    1 reply

    It's not my library! I just really like it and wanted to share

    Does it work with AT command firmware ??

    1 reply

    Hi Brian,

    It sin't working in my case.
    I downloaded and included the WiFiManager.h library as you advised.
    .
    The browser gives the message "Cannot access this page" .......
    .
    Please help ...... Thanks.

    Hi witnessmenow,

    thanks for instrutions, but I will need little bit more help if you can give. Would like to use wifi manager with fix IP for my project but it is not stable. I wonder if you test it for longer period or just problem lay at my unit. I have 2 pwm output and 3 digital output connected to ESP8266 and at the moment there are 5 LED's. I have sketch project without wifi manager I test for few days within several client and all was OK, but now with wifi manager it stop after about 40 minutes of working. I have installed wifi manager library 0.12.0, ESp8266 1.0.0., web server 1.0.0.. Can I send you sketch? Thanks Damir. Just to introduce myself. I am just drop to ARDUINO and found this ESP8266 intresting for some home automation projects, so far I have few hundreds projects with PIC, mostly industrial data aquisition, and safety devices.

    Your welcome! Yeah its a super useful library! I've added a new instructable on how you can use it for other configurations as well.

    https://www.instructables.com/id/Managing-Configurations-on-Your-ESP8266-Using-WiFi/

    This is useful info on a library I certainly didn't know about. Thanks for sharing. I've got a bunch of 8266s running around, all hard coded. Can't wait to try it out.

    Much appreciated.