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FCC locks down router firmware

Discussion in 'General Wireless Discussion' started by pege63, Mar 4, 2016.

  1. pege63

    pege63 Very Senior Member

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  2. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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    I will contact TP-LINK for comment.
     
  3. RMerlin

    RMerlin Super Moderator

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  4. sfx2000

    sfx2000 Part of the Furniture

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    This goes back a ways, but this was my concern with the proposed rule and order, that some vendors would just lock the boot loader and be done with it - seems like, based on reports, this is what happened with the vendor named...

    Funny that this happened right around the time that the Raspberry PI 3 is being released with on-board WiFi/BT-LE.

    What a mess... FCC gives and takes - more 5GHz spectrum, but...
     
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  5. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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    Statement from TP-LINK:
     
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  6. evh909

    evh909 Regular Contributor

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    Seems like the concern is mainly over 5ghz band, and rather than work to meet the FCC requirements it is more cost effective to simply lock down the firmware. Following the pipermail thread to the end and reading the user comments in the original post was interesting. In the end, there will be ways around this, seems like there is already a way to bypass the tp-link already. Just more background below if anyone is interested.

    Here is a link to the revised FCC document:
    https://apps.fcc.gov/kdb/GetAttachm... Device Security v01r03&tracking_number=39498

    Here are a couple of ARS links about the story from last year:
    https://www.google.com/url?q=http:/...ds-cse&usg=AFQjCNEJlFTVZQeI0F3Nzq4Ccq4VuE3AMw

    https://www.google.com/url?q=http:/...ds-cse&usg=AFQjCNHRghPkzGIZUPbq2wtuv-8g-X9vxQ

    https://www.google.com/url?q=http:/...ds-cse&usg=AFQjCNFCtF9nYv-OrwcHd_PWSNo4ZcQb4A
     
  7. RMerlin

    RMerlin Super Moderator

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    These two sentences don't even make any sense when put together... Marketing speech at its best :(
     
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  8. L&LD

    L&LD Part of the Furniture

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    And yet another reason for me to never recommend TP-Link to anyone.
     
  9. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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    TP-LINK, and I'm sure other manufacturers, will make a business decision about this. It comes down to how much product sales will be affected by not having the ability to load alternative firmware.

    TP-LINK, at least for now, is saying it's not worth the effort to only prevent messing with 5 GHz band router RF parameters, which is the only thing FCC is mandating.
     
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  10. charlie2alpha

    charlie2alpha Senior Member

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    It's up to the buyers to make an educated decision. I made mine when I bought my ASUS router. My experiences with TP-Link products are negative in general, so I decided long ago to stay away from them. Their decision to lock down their routers just adds another nail in their coffin as far I'm concerned.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2016
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  11. MikeF

    MikeF New Around Here

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    I saw this coming last year and went with a Ubiquiti Edgerouter X wired only router and used my old Linksys router for an WAP only.
    It is unlikely that many consumer router vendors will go to the trouble to lock down only the RF related firmware in order to permit alternative firmware for the other functions. IMO the FCC went a little overboard with their requirements.
    The other downside is that there are very few alternatives for inexpensive consumer grade dual band WAPs at this time; you may have to buy a wireless router, disable the unused functions if possible and connect to the LAN port (see SNB tutorial). Likewise, decent performing wired only routers are scarce and overprice features like VPN support.
    I've had bad luck with ASUS routers. but they will be interesting to watch due to the recent FTC settlement. They have swung back and forth on 'open source' firmware support, hopefully they will continue to 'work with' the Merlin developer.
     
  12. sfx2000

    sfx2000 Part of the Furniture

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    Going back to earlier discussions - locked boot loader - which is the path that TP-Link seems to be taking vs. signed wireless drivers...

    Neither of which is a good outcome... I understand TP-Link's perspective in reaction to recent FCC/EU rules...
     
  13. charlie2alpha

    charlie2alpha Senior Member

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    Neither is good, but we will choose the less of the two evils. I'll take a locked wireless driver any day over a locked bootloader.
     
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  14. Kal-EL

    Kal-EL Very Senior Member

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  15. TheManFromUncle

    TheManFromUncle Regular Contributor

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    Question is... did the alternate firmwares do any greater good to their newer routers?
     
  16. RMerlin

    RMerlin Super Moderator

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  17. evh909

    evh909 Regular Contributor

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  18. pete y testing

    pete y testing Very Senior Member

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    thankfully the rulings of the fellas from the FCC dont effect us non north American humans

    check out this for a laugh

     
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