Best cheap IoT boards to buy under $50 [2021 Guide]

Madalina Dinita
by Madalina Dinita
Former Managing Editor
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If you’re looking for a cheap IoT board, this article may help you. Check out the list of IoT boards available below and buy the one that best suits your needs.

What are the best IoT boards with a friendly price tag?

MELIFE 2 Pack ESP32 ESP-32S Development Board

  • Low power consumption
  • Supports three modes: AP, STA, and AP+STA
  • Works perfectly with the Arduino IDE
  • It does not come with a cable

The Intel MELIFE 2 Pack ESP32 ESP-32S Development Board is perhaps the best choice for entry-level education environments.

The device is designed to build students’ technology skillsets through hands-on projects in coding.

MELIFE 2 Pack ESP32 ESP-32S Development Board features a Bluetooth Dual Cores Microcontroller Processor Integrated with ESP32s Antenna.

W5500 Ethernet

  • Based on ATmega32u4 and W5500 Ethernet chip
  • High-speed network communication
  • A professional power regulation chip for working under complex envirnoments
  • Delays in connecting at times

The W5500 Ethernet with POE IOT Board is compatible with the ATmega32u4 and W5500 Ethernet chip, which is quite useful to most IoT projects.  

It provides an easier Internet connection to embedded systems while enabling users to have Internet connectivity in their applications.

The WOL (Wake on LAN) and power-down feature mode reduces the power consumption significantly. Moreover, the W5500 Ethernet is also compatible with most of Arduino compatible shields and sensors.

Acrobotic ESP8266 ESP-12E IoT Board

  • Built-in USB to Serial UART adapter
  • Two diode-protected power inputs
  • Onboard GPIO, PWM, ADC, I2C, and 1-Wire
  • The quality could be improved

One major advantage of this board is that you can get started building your internet-connected project in seconds.

All you need to do is plug the board into a USB port, download the programming app (Arduino IDE), and you’ll be ready to start writing code.

If you’re a complete beginner, don’t worry: Acrobotic, the startup behind this IoT board has got you covered. You can find plenty of tutorials on Acrobotic’s official page.


If you’ve used other IoT boards that cost less than $50, tell us more about your experience in the comment section below.

FAQ: Learn more about IoT boards

  • Which microcontroller is best for IoT?

An MCU can deliver all the functionality and processing power is needed which makes them the best choice.

  • What are IoT boards?

IoT boards allow data collection through smart devices that keep objects connected to them.

  • What IoT boards I should buy?

Make sure to check out our best IoT board recommendations to make an informed decision.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published in June 2017 and was revamped and updated in November 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.