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Simple ESP8266 SD with an adapter from your junk box
(D-pins: NodeMCU V1.0+ devkit)

(click thumbnail)
 
Only a few wires and one resistor
Example with a NodeMCU V2.0 devkit (ESP8266-12E)

How to:
Use the Arduino SD examples and set the correct Chip Select pin and Serial speed.
 const int chipSelect = D4;  // D-pin or GPIO-pin of your choise
 ....
 .... SD.begin(chipSelect) ....

Depending on the used ESP8266 model: Set D-pins or GPIO-pins in your code and/or SPI-library.
Standard settings: See the first image. (do NOT use the ESP8266 Hardware SPI pins)

Watch out, misinformation:
The pin information in the SD examples is wrong, it is the old Arduino information!!
Configuration in the ESP8266 SPI library:

  • SCK = GPIO14
  • MISO = GPIO12
  • MOSI = GPIO13
  • SS = GPIO15 (can set by user in SD.begin(pin)

Alternative to SD card:
Reserved ESP8266 SPIFFS flash memory can be used as File System. Upload files with the Arduino IDE (Tools->ESP8288 Sketch Data Upload), download is not implemented :-(
How to: see Arduino ESP8266 Staging documentation.