What is the difference between Arduino IoT Cloud and Arduino IDE?

Arduino is a microcontroller board that is programmed using available software provided by Arduino. These are Arduino Integrated Development Environment (IDE) and Arduino IoT Cloud. This article will highlight the differences between Arduino IDE and Arduino IoT Cloud.

Arduino IDE and Arduino IoT Cloud

Arduino IDE and Arduino IoT Cloud are software platforms for sketching, compiling, and uploading code in microcontroller boards. The Arduino IoT Cloud is also used to monitor IoT projects. Given below are the two snapshots of user interfaces of Arduino IDE and Arduino IoT Cloud. The distinguishing features between the two are elaborated next.

User Interface of Arduino IDE

User Interface of Arduino IoT Cloud

Differences between Arduino IDE and Arduino IoT Cloud

There are multiple differences between Arduino IDE and Arduino IoT Cloud. These include which boards can they program, their availability, and how to upload code in a device through them, libraries, debugger, serial monitor, serial plotter, and time taken by these compilers.

Programmable Boards

The Arduino IoT Cloud can only be used for programming boards manufactured by Arduino or devices that are internet compatible, such as ESP32 and ESP8266. On the other hand, Arduino IDE can program Arduino boards and boards manufactured by other brands or third parties.

Availability and Access

The Arduino IoT Cloud is an online platform. To sketch, compile, and upload code through Arduino IoT Cloud active internet connection is compulsory whereas Arduino IDE is an offline tool in which users can code, compile code, and upload code without an active internet connection. Similarly, code in Arduino IoT Cloud can be accessed at different locations in the world where the internet is available. The Arduino IDE code resides with the system in which it is generated, so there is a risk of code corruption also.

Upload Code in Device

To upload code, Arduino IoT Cloud uses a Create Agent Plugin through which it can upload code to the respective device wirelessly. The device must be connected to the internet. On the other hand, Arduino IDE does not upload code wirelessly. It uses a USB cable to connect to the Arduino Board and then uploads the code to the device.


Seven hundred-plus libraries are available in Arduino IoT Cloud that can be directly accessed anywhere in the world. However, in Arduino IDE, libraries are to be downloaded manually through the internet. The benefit of Arduino IDE is that users can create custom libraries according to the requirement. This specification is not available in Arduino IoT Cloud.


Arduino IoT Cloud does not have a debugger, so it cannot pinpoint errors in code. Arduino IDE has a debugger available in Beta version 2.0 that can detect and locate errors in the code.

Serial Monitor and Serial Plotter

Arduino IoT Cloud only has a serial monitor that can be used for serial communication directly with the board. Contrastively, Arduino IDE has both a serial monitor and a serial plotter. The serial plotter gives a visualization of data received from the board.

Time Taken by Compiler

Arduino IoT Cloud is an online compiler that takes more time to compile and upload code, whereas Arduino IDE is directly connected to the board, so it can compile and upload code quickly.


In Arduino IDE, we can burn the bootloader if the already installed bootloader in the device gets corrupted. However, the Burn Bootloader option is not available in Arduino IoT Cloud.

How to Program Arduino using Arduino IDE and Arduino IoT Cloud

As we have studied, the Arduino can be easily programmed using both IDE and IoT Cloud depending on its usage. You can learn more about Arduino IoT Cloud in the following article:

Synchronizing Sketches Between IDE 2.0 and Arduino Cloud


We have discussed multiple differences between Arduino IDE and Arduino IoT Cloud. They have their benefits and disadvantages. Therefore, it depends on the purpose of the work and which platform should be used. However, Arduino IoT Cloud is more convenient to use.

About the author


I am an Electrical Engineer. I love to write about electronics. I am passionate about writing and sharing new ideas related to emerging technologies in the field of electronics.