I have a PC with no WiFi adapter. Is there a way to achieve such a setup where the ESP8266 is connected to the PC with a serial connection and the PC can connect to the internet using the WiFI of the ESP8266? In other words, using the ESP8266 as a WiFi proxy of the PC?

I know I how to have the ESP8266 access the net and do whatever, like open TCP connections, issue HTTP requests and everything, but I don't know how to tell it to just pass raw data to the serial connection. Is there a way to do that?


I know that it is a common setup to connect the ESP to a Arduino in order to provide the Arduino with network connectivity. How does it work there?


2 Answers 2


You need some kind of protocol on the serial line that can encapsulate IP packets. The most common ones are SLIP and PPP. And indeed if you look you can find implementations of both for the ESP; this one looks promising to me. If you go digging in your OS's dial-up networking support, you should be able to find a SLIP driver there (the ESP might have to pretend to be a modem, accepting some dialing commands and spitting out a CONNECT string to get the PC to initiate SLIP). Don't expect good performance or ease of use, though. It won't be comparable to using a WiFi adapter connected directly to the PC.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Why do I need to encapsulate the IP packets and not just forward them between the PC and the ESP? This can be considered a general question about SLIP for example - what is the added value of it? \$\endgroup\$
    – YoavKlein
    Sep 9, 2021 at 6:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ @YoavKlein mostly, the ability for the device to know where a packet starts and ends :) \$\endgroup\$
    – hobbs
    Sep 9, 2021 at 15:19

Just make sure that your PC has a network driver able to read and write data from the UART.

That's a feature that Windows 2000 Server had.

I doubt that Home or Professional editions of Windows come with such a driver.

Windows Server might have that driver.

Linux might have it.


  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Doesn't this still require dedicated software on both the esp8266 and the pc? \$\endgroup\$
    – Sim Son
    Apr 5, 2021 at 21:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ The PC should have a driver as @Enrico Migliore said. But still, what about the ESP? What program should it run? \$\endgroup\$
    – YoavKlein
    Apr 6, 2021 at 6:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't know. Sorry. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 6, 2021 at 8:03

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