IoT Hardware Guide Image

IoT Hardware Guide

Find the right IoT development hardware for your product or DIY project needs. Compare leading boards/kits and get reviews and pricing info.

The Internet of Things is developing at a rapid pace, thanks in part to an explosion in the availability of small, inexpensive computing hardware. IoT prototyping kits and development boards combine microcontrollers and processors with wireless chips and other components in a pre-built, ready-to-program package.

They come in nearly infinite configurations, from tiny battery-powered chips that chirp intermittently over Bluetooth to credit card-sized computers with USB power supplies and high-bandwidth Wi-Fi radios. Whatever the needs of your project or product, there’s sure to be a board that fits your exact requirements.

The following Channel Guide will help you:

  • Filter based on size of project – DIY to full-fledged prototyping kits for professional scale deployments.
  • Sort based on connectivity types – Choose right solution ranging from Bluetooth to 3g and 4g cellular options.
  • View boards that offer cloud based IoT platform integration.


Hardware Comparison



  • reelyActive: "Connecting sub 1GHz and soon BLE to the cloud via radio-sensor "reels". An innovative architecture that combines wireless identification, location and communication. Reels automatically connect and interact with radio devices in range, seamlessly relaying information to and from the reelyActive cloud service."
  • CoAction Hero: "A powerful proto-board with a 120Mhz processor, 1MB filesystem, and built-in OS for tinkerers and engineers alike. Two device boards (bluetooth and LCD) can be added."
  • MICA2: 868, 916 MHZ - "The MICA2 Mote is a third generation mote module used for enabling low-power, wireless, sensor networks. The MICA2 processor radio is fully supported by the MoteWorks Software Platform."

Ethernet Base:

  • TSgaTe: "Based on a powerful, low-power 32-bit microcontroller with an ARM Cortex-M3 core at 72 MHz with 64 KB RAM and 512 KB Flash memory. Via the Ethernet port or through one of the available expansion modules, the TSgaTe acts as a gateway betweenTSmoTe devices and software applications in remote servers. There are multiple expansion modules available for the TSgaTe supporting different wireless technologies: ZigBee, Wi-Fi, GPRS, RFID/NFC, GPS, RS485." $Contact directly
  • Freescale FRDM-K64F: The FRDM-K64F is an ultra-low-cost development platform for Kinetis K64, K63, and K24 MCUs. The FRDM-K64F is feature packed with a lot of peripherals to enable rapid prototyping, including a 6-axis digital accelerometer and magnetometer to create full eCompass capabilities, a tri-colored LED and 2 user push-buttons for direct interaction and feedback, expansion memory with a microSD card slot, and connectivity options using onboard Ethernet port and headers for use with Bluetooth and 2.4 GHz radio add-on modules. $35
  • MarsBoard A10 Dev Board: "The MarsBoard is a very low-cost board,with the size of credit card. Based on the popular 1.2Ghz ARM Allwinner A10, the MarsBoard is a powerful, hackable Android / Linux PC. Ethernet, 3D acceleration and hardware video decoding are available in this board." $49.95
  • Netduino Plus 2: "The Netduino Plus is an open source electronics platform using the .NET Micro Framework. The board features a 32-bit microcontroller and a rich development environment, making it a perfect solution for engineers and hobbyists alike." $59.95
  • Ethernet Web PIC Development Board: "The PIC-WEB Development Board is a very small but powerful webserver based on the PIC18F67J60." $51.95
  • APC: "APC runs a custom Android system, built for keyboard and mouse input. A basic selection of applications is preinstalled. Also included is a full set of consumer I/O ports, enabling APC to connect to your PC monitor or TV." $99
  • Xively Jumpstart Kit: ARM® mbed Edition
    "Xively and ARM have partnered to provide you the hardware, software and services you need to accelerate your ideas into connected products.' $124
  • PandaBoard ES: "The PandaBoard is a low-power, low-cost single-board computer development platform based on the Texas Instruments OMAP4430 system on a chip (SoC)." $182
  • PhidgetSBC3: "A Single Board Computer with an integrated PhidgetInterfaceKit 8/8/8. At its most basic, it can be thought of as a Phidget that you connect using a network cable instead of USB." $200


  • Thingsquare: "The Thingsquare 2.4 GHz evaluation kit contains everything needed to test and evaluate the 2.4 GHz version of the Thingsquare system in your specific scenario and under your specific requirements.'€795
  • TELOSB: "Crossbow’s TelosB mote is an open source platform designed to enable cutting-edge experimentation for the research community. The TelosB bundles all the essentials for lab studies into a single platform including: USB programming capability, an IEEE 802.15.4 radio with integrated antenna, a low-power MCU with extended memory and an optional sensor suite." 77.00
  • Zolertia Z1 module: "A general purpose development platform for wireless sensor networks (WSN) designed for researchers, developers, enthusiasts and hobbyists. It is a platform compatible with the successful Tmote™-family motes with several enhancements that offers roughly a 2x performance in several aspects. Ready-to-use 802.15.4 module, equipped with a temperature & accelerometer on-board sensors and Plug-and-play capabilities for external sensors (with Phidgets™)". €95.00
  • RadioBlock: "The RadioBlock Is an IEEE 802.15.4 wireless modem with on board mesh-networking out of the box". $22
  • XM1000: "A new generation of mote modules, based on "TelosB" technical specifications, with upgraded 116Kb-EEPROM and 8Kb-RAM and integrated Temperature, Humidity and Light sensors. 85€

With WiFi:

  • ESP8266: "A complete and self-contained Wi-Fi network solutions that can carry software applications, or through Another application processor uninstall all Wi-Fi networking capabilities. ESP8266 when the device is mounted and as the only application of the application processor, the flash memory can be started directly from an external Move." $6.95
  • Spark Photon: "A $19 postage stamp-sized hackable Wi-Fi module for interacting with physical things". $19
  • VoCore: "An open hardware runs OpenWrt. It has WIFI, USB, UART, 20+ GPIOs but size is only one square inch." $20
  • Particle Photon: "A tiny, reprogrammable Wi-Fi development kit for prototyping and scaling your Internet of Things product" $19
  • Electric Imp Development Boards: "Hannah is a development board for the hobbyist with many useful peripherals on board." $25.00
  • Wandboard Dual: "Wandboard Dual Freescale i.MX6 Cortex-A9 Development Board is an ultra low power complete computer. Comes with a dazzling 1Ghz processor HDMI display interface and gigabit ethernet. It also features 1GB of memory as well as onboard Wi-Fi and Bluetooth." $93.95
  • WiSmart EC32Sxx Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n Module Family: "WiSmart EC32Sxx is a family of Ultra low Power Application Ready versatile modules, which can fit into any existing or new electronic device to add Wi-Fi functionality."
  • DigiX
    "The ultimate 100% Arduino Due compatible dev board with Wifi and Mesh networking, Audio, USB OTG, and 99 i/o pins!"
  • WickedDevice Wildfire
    "Meet WildFire, the single board Arduino compatible platform for serious network and Internet connected applications." $89


  • Wimoto: "Motes are tiny, rugged, wireless sensors. They talk directly  to your Bluetooth SMART enabled devices" $39
  • Ubertooth: "An open source 2.4 GHz wireless development platform suitable for Bluetooth experimentation" $119

Base Boards: (Connectivity by shield, USB, etc)

  • Ti Stellaris Launchpad: "The Tiva C Series TM4C123G LaunchPad Evaluation Kit is a low-cost evaluation platform for ARM® Cortex™-M4-based microcontrollers from Texas Instruments". $12.99
  • Teensy 3.0: Teensy 3.0, "an affordable 32 bit ARM Cortex-M4 board, for development in Arduino or C/C++". $19
  • OLINUXINO is Open Source software and Open Source Hardware, low cost EUR 30 Linux Industrial grade single board computer with GPIOs capable of operating at -25+85C. €25 base, €55 w/Wifi
  • Maple: "As similar as it may be to the Arduino, the differences are what really make the Maple stand out. It harnesses the power of a 32-bit ARM Cortex-M3 clocked at 72 MHz to push 39 GPIOs, 16 analog pins, 12-bit ADC resolution and 15 PWM pins at 16-bit resolution". $45
  • freeSoC Development Kit: "Imagine having the power of an FPGA, the flexibility of a microcontroller, and a handful of precision analog components all integrated into a single development kit." $74.99

6LoWPAN / IPv6

  • Waspmote Mote Runner
    "By integrating the IBM Mote Runner SDK on top of Libelium Waspmote sensor platform we get a unique and powerful tool for developers and researchers interested in 6LoWPAN / IPv6 connectivity for the Internet of Things."


  • Project Sun SPOT: "A Sun SPOT device is a small, wireless, battery powered experimental platform. It is programmed in Java, allowing programmers to create projects that used to require specialized embedded system development skills. The hardware platform includes a range of built-in sensors as well as the ability to easily interface to external devices." $399Development Kit
  • Shimmer: "Shimmer is a small wireless sensor platform that can record and transmit physiological and kinematic data in real-time. Designed as a wearable sensor, Shimmer incorporates wireless ECG, EMG, GSR, Accelerometer, Gyro, Mag, GPS, Tilt and Vibration sensors." €199.00
  • Embedded Pi: "The Embedded Pi, based on STMicroelectronics Cortex-M3 STM32F103 MCU, is an accessory for Raspberry Pi, with Arduino footprint (I/O headers rev3) to give easy access to Arduino shields; it’s a triple-play platform for Raspberry Pi, Arduino, and 32-bit embedded ARM."
  • RasWIK - Raspberry Pi Wireless Inventors Kit: "An exciting and affordable way to build your own wireless devices with the Raspberry Pi. The hardware comes preloaded with software and there are applications to run on your Pi." £49.99

Alternative: Javascript focused

  • Espruino
    "Espruino is a JavaScript interpreter for microcontrollers. We've used it to create the Espruino Board, which makes it easy to get started with electronics." £19
  • Tessel
    "Tessel is an Internet-connected microcontroller for software developers."
  • See also: Javascript and the IoT

Mini-PC "Sticks"

Longer Range

  • Flutter:
    "An open source ARM-powered wireless Arduino with 1000m+ (3200 ft) range and 256-bit AES hardware encryption". $20
  • SODAQ (SOlar Data AcQuisition)
    "SODAQ: a lego-like, plug-in, rapid prototyping board. The Arduino compatible board to take your projects beyond your home and garden. Anywhere your imagination takes you."
  • BRCK: "The BRCK works much the way your cell phone does, by intelligently and seamlessly switching between Ethernet, Wifi, and 3G or 4G mobile phone networks. By plugging in a SIM card or connecting to a wired or wireless ethernet connection the BRCK will automatically get online. 8 GPIO pins" $200
  • Particle Electron: "The Electron makes it easy to connect your product to a cellular network. It's FCC/CE/IC/PTCRB certified to comply with any cellular standard." $69
  • See: Raspberry Pi Cellular
  • See: Arduino Cellular Options

Security Focused

  • CryptoCape
    The CryptoCape is the BeagleBone’s first dedicated security daughterboard. The cape adds specialized ICs that perform various cryptographic operations which will allow you to add a hardware security layer to your BeagleBone project. $59

Featured Company

Looking for some help with your IoT roll-out?



Trevor Harwood

Trevor has been following the IoT and its implications since 2009. He is most interested in how we can utilize technology and connectivity to reduce resource usage.



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