Connecting Distributed Hardware to a Wi-Fi Network

Updated May 24, 2019

Reported In


  • CompactRIO Controller
  • cDAQ-9181
  • cDAQ-9184
  • Industrial Controller
  • CVS-1458
  • CVS-1459

Issue Details

I have hardware designed to connect to a network via Ethernet. Is there any way for me to connect my hardware to a wireless (Wi-Fi) network?


You can choose to purchase a Wireless Access Point to connect your distributed hardware to a Wi-Fi Network, or you can purchase hardware with built-in Wi-Fi support. 

Distributed Hardware Connection with Wi-Fi

There are several form factors of distributed hardware available, which are listed below:
  • CompactRIO (cRIO)
  • CompactDAQ (cDAQ)
  • Industrial Controllers (IC)
  • Compact Vision Systems (CVS)
  • Wireless Sensor Nodes (WSN)

Each of these connect to a host network via an Ethernet cable. However,  none of them have built-in Wi-Fi support. In order to connect any of these systems to a Wi-Fi network, you need to tether them via Ethernet cable to a wireless access point, such as the Moxa AWK-3131A Series. This product functions in three modes: access point, client, and bridge. When in access point mode, it acts as a Wi-Fi link to an Ethernet access point, which can provide connectivity from a host PC or host distributed hardware to several client systems. The Moxa AWK-3131A also functions as a bridge between remote devices to an access point, allowing the distributed hardware to establish connection to the Wi-Fi network. 

Hardware with built-in Wi-Fi Support

If you want hardware that interacts with Wi-Fi directly (without requiring a Wireless Access Point), you should consider implementing the NI CompactDAQ Wi-Fi Chassis. This allows you to choose from over 50 C-series I/O modules, and communicate with your Wi-Fi network directly via the chassis.