Introduction: Introduction to ESP8266 - Getting Started & Arduino IDE Setup

About: I am a techie DIYer who loves tinkering with electronics. Twitter @MrDIYca. For more info and my full contacts, please visit

The ESP8266 has become the centrepoint of many devices. If you are looking to build a DIY smart device in your home (check out my Instructables for ideas), then I am sure you heard the ESP8266.

This video provides you with a quick overivew of the ESP8266 echosystem. It also clarifies some terms that you may have heard associated with this device.

Step 1: Watch the Video

The video explains the difference between the ESP8266 microchip, module and board. It goes over the details of the microchip and shows you how to configure your Arduino IDE . Feel free to add your questions in the comment section of the YouTube video.

Step 2: Order the Components

-- LINKS -- (When available, I use affiliate links and may earn a commission)

Wemos D1 mini -
NodeMCU -
ESP01 -
ESP12 -
Programmer USB to Serial (3.3V/5V) -
Programmer for ESP01 (with programing switch) -

Wemos D1 mini -
NodeMCU -
ESP01 -
ESP12 -
Programmer USB to Serial -
Programmer for ESP01 -

Step 3: Software

The most popular way to load your code to ESP8266 is to use the Arduino IDE. You will first need to set up and the following step-by-step instructions are shown in the video above:

1) Update your boards' URL

2) Install the ESP8266 boards

3) Pick your board

4) Upload your code

Step 4: Hardware

ESP8266 modules and some boards don't have a built-in USB-to-Serial converter. So you will need to get that converter in order to upload your code to these ESP8266 modules. The wiring is shown in the diagram above. Rx to Tx, Tx, to Rx, Power to Power (3.3v) and Ground to Ground.

Some modules, like the ESP01, have a special programmer to simplify things.

The links above detail which one to get and where to get it.

Step 5: Done

You should now be armed with the basic understandings to get you started with ESP8266. To help get you started, I recommend checking out my projects on my other instructables and on my YouTube channel.

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