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Review Details

ENC28J60 Ethernet Network Module

ENC28J60 Ethernet Network Module

Product Review (submitted on August 13, 2012):
I was under the impression that an ethernet module was just an ethernet module.
However, I have discovered that this is not the case.

I bought this to use primarily with Arduino, although the functionality seems rather limited.

DHCP refuses to work. Have tried it with 3 different routers, it simply isn't happening. If it is plugged into the router when it is reset, the lights come on for half a second and then go off. Serial monitor prints the name of the sketch (using examples from latest ethercard library) but then nothing.
If I reset it and then plug it into the router, then it tries and fails to set up DHCP. (This is only on one of my routers. If I plug it into the other two, then the lights don't come on at all.)
Static IP works 100% with all of the routers every time, so I strongly doubt that it's a problem with my set up.
DHCP isn't strictly necessary, unless I wanted to use it outside of my home and wanted it to find the internet connection automatically.

The only other gripe is that this seems to be a web-only configuration. From the examples, as well as what I've read, it isn't possible to implement a protocol like telnet. (Wanted to use this with bitlash)

As far as hardware is concerned, the main problem is the one listed above. The chip cannot support protocols like telnet. It runs at 10base, but that shouldn't be much of a limitation since you'll probably only be pushing web pages through it. The last thing, which might just be a personal issue, is that it runs at 3.3V only. I accidentally gave it 5V and it lived, but I got some funny behaviour and drop-outs.
It pulls about 148mA when doing nothing, so using the 3.3V supplied by an Arduino board is not a good idea (On the Uno R3, and R2 I think, there is a 150mA dedicated regulator, while on most FTDI based boards the 3.3V comes from the FTDI chip and only supplies around 50mA.)

What it is good for, is simple web-based control and feedback. You can get a lot done with this if you get creative. For example printing to an LCD screen using params.
I do believe I'll get good use out of this, it just wasn't what I expected.

Personally, I'd spend the extra few $ and get the Wiznet based shield as it has native support in Arduino, and therefore plays nicely with other sketches (like bitlash) which rely on protocols such as telnet.
Due to the minor price difference, I can't recommend this to Arduino users. Yes, you might only want simple web-based stuff for now, but if you ever want to experiment with anything else, you'll be stuck.
Perhaps that will be my next purchase.

Any comments welcome. I don't claim to be an expert :)