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I am new to Arduino and IoT. I plan to build a product that I will connect to an app and they have to be able to communicate from a very far distance (kilometers).

Bluetooth is not a good option then (because the distance is too far). So would Wifi work? I read something about a module called esp8266 that might be what I am searching for.

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  • esp8266 can communicate 100's of metres (I've seen claims of over 1km - but that would be with ideal conditions and directional antennas) ESP8266's big brother, the ESP32, has been apparently made to communicate over 10km - again, very ideal conditions and specific equipment required May 16 '17 at 2:41
  • Plus add on in esp32 you get Bluetooth but yet it's not having any arduino support for that. May 16 '17 at 2:53
  • Alright! A esp32 could be a good solution. I might need it for a bit longer distances though. But thanks a ton for your suggestion
    – TokyoCode
    May 16 '17 at 3:24
  • I'd suggest looking into LORA.
    – Gerben
    May 16 '17 at 13:45
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Esp8266 range is about 400m. So if you have your mobile within 400m then you may be able to communicate. But for long distance communication I would not prefer but if you have any Internet connection available nearby esp then you may be able to transmit your messages via it. Well for long distance communication I would prefer you to use any GSM shield in which you need to plug in a sim card and it can be used upto when you have coverage in that area.

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  • Alright! Is is possible for iOS apps to communicate with GSM shields?
    – TokyoCode
    May 16 '17 at 3:22
  • Arduino GSM Shield works the same as a mobile does. It uses the SIM Card to communicate. So as that suggests you can use it send Texts, Call anyone, and use the Data connection to connect to internet. Please refer the Arduino Page May 16 '17 at 8:05
  • Ah alright! I have a sm5100b-d at home that might be what I am searching for
    – TokyoCode
    May 16 '17 at 15:17
  • I don't really now much but I think it might work I am not sure but it might work! May 16 '17 at 15:51
  • I don't really now much but I think it might work I am not sure but it might work! May 16 '17 at 15:51
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The simplest option is to use GSM for the communication. Range isn't an issue, since point A isn't communicating with point B, instead point A and point B are both communicating via third party communication subsystem C which has a much greater coverage than anything you could build yourself.

I use GSM modules for communication with agricultural monitoring and control systems at remote locations. It works well, and you're pretty much guaranteed to have a signal.

For those times when GSM isn't a possibility (no signal, or the customer doesn't want the subscription cost) you really need line of sight between the two locations. Then you can use a highly directional antenna (e.g., parabolic dish or Yagi array) to extend any other suitable wireless communication signal over a long range (WiFi can reach tens of kilometres with parabolic dishes) and there are companies that specialise in that kind of equipment (such as this one that claims 8 mile range - of course you need two of them, one for each end of the link). Of course, with some skill and determination it's possible to get incredibly long distances from WiFi. Not for your average user though...

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  • appreciate your answer and help a ton!!
    – TokyoCode
    May 16 '17 at 15:17
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LoRa is apparently the most popular low-speed, low-power, wide-area network at the moment.

Many people use LoRa for direct point-to-point links around a kilometer. Other people use LoRa for "last mile" wireless links as part of a LoRaWAN to some gateway hard-wired to the internet, much like a Wifi access point -- except trading off data rates in order to get longer wireless range than WiFi.

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