TP-Link will block router frequency customization in June

tp link frequency limit wifi shutterstock 81988132
TP-Link, one of the major manufacturers of routers in the global market, will cease to support frequency customization this summer. The move is intended to comply with a recent FCC ruling. Anyone looking to customize their wireless router with third-party software and optimize their router’s frequency range is up for a hard blow. Following a recent posting on the manufacturer’s website, the company explains that effective June 2, 2016 routers coming out of the factory won’t support the use of current-day software modifications.

Enthusiasts previously raised concerns that the FCC ruling, which was first thought to block open source software completely, would have manufacturers block support as the easy way out instead. And following the announcement there seems to be some confusion as to how this affects TP-Link routers’ compatibility with the open source market. Some are even criticizing the company for something that’s being misconstrued. Finding the right information on the Internet can be messy, so let’s get some of this confusion out of the way.

The FCC ruling is legally binding, meaning that any hardware manufacturer that doesn’t comply with the new standards will be conducting illegal business. Perhaps not the best idea if you want to run a sustainable operation. But the ruling itself doesn’t make it illegal to use open source software on your router; it simply limits how far you can take your wireless customization fantasies. But as written above, all of this is only true for routers produced after June 2, 2016. Routers manufactured before then are not required to follow the new regulations.

But technically this might be a minor issue. The number of consumers who actively take part in modifying their routers to extend their frequency range is likely a small minority. Those who worry that the manufacturers won’t support open source modifications at all can rest easy, as the TP-Link posting states that the firm is “…excited to see the creative ways members of the open-source community update the new firmware to meet their needs.”

So while you most likely won’t be able to modify the frequency range of your router, user interface modifications and other functionality should still be possible. And who knows, maybe this legal change comes just in time for the company’s  first short-range transfer speed monster.

Computing

Save big on the Alienware M15 laptop, other gaming accessories in Amazon sale

Fancy yourself a new gaming laptop or accessories for your PC? As part of its Deal of the Day event, Amazon is discounting the Alienware M15 laptop, as well as mice, portable hard drives, routers, and more. 
Cars

Keep your driving record squeaky clean with these top-flight radar detectors

Nobody likes getting a speeding ticket, but these gadgets can help. Check out our picks for the best radar detectors on the market, from the likes of Valentine One, Escort, and Beltronics.
Mobile

5G's arrival is transforming tech. Here's everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.
Mobile

Rooting your Android device is risky. Do it right with our handy guide

Wondering whether to root your Android smartphone or stick with stock Android? Perhaps you’ve decided to do it and you just need to know how? Here, you'll find an explanation and a quick guide on how to root Android devices.
Computing

From hot rods to budget sleepers, our favorite desktops can handle anything

Are laptops overrated? Experience the power offered by the best desktop computers on the market today, whether you're in need of a budget solution or a fire-breathing, $4,000 premium gaming rig.
Mobile

Want to watch Netflix in bed or browse the web? We have a tablet for everyone

There’s so much choice when shopping for a new tablet that it can be hard to pick the right one. From iPads to Android, these are our picks for the best tablets you can buy right now whatever your budget.
Product Review

HP’s gem-cut Spectre x360 15 is the most powerful 2-in-1 you can buy

HP’s 2019 Spectre x360 15 brings this massive 2-in-1 up to speed, literally. It now equips the same six-core Intel CPU as the rest of the 15-inch field, along with a real GPU for some 1080p gaming.
Computing

Man pleads guilty to scamming Facebook and Google out of more than $100M

One of the men behind an elaborate fraud that saw Facebook and Google each hand over tens of millions of dollars has admitted to his part in the scheme. Lithuanian Evaldas Rimasauskas faces up to 30 years in a U.S. jail.
Computing

Ditch the background from your photos with these handy editing tools

Need to know how to remove the background from an image? Whether you prefer to use a premium program like Photoshop or one of the many web-based alternatives currently in existence, we'll show you how.
Computing

Yes, you can use Android apps on your Chromebook. Here's how

You can now get Android apps on your Chromebook! Google has enabled the Google Play Store app support on its Chrome OS and Chromebook hardware, so to get you started, here's our guide on how to get Android apps on a Chromebook.
Computing

Zipping files on a Chromebook? Follow these four easy steps

Chromebooks support file compression, though they work a little differently than on Windows or Mac. Here's the step-by-step process to zipping files on a Chromebook, and then unzipping them again for extraction.
Computing

Tired of all that white? Here's how to change the Google background image

Did you know that you can change how your Google search home page looks? It's a simple process to pick a new theme: We'll show you how to change your Google background, what to look for in themes, and how to download your own pictures for a…
Deals

These big, beautiful BenQ gaming monitors are on sale on Amazon right now

All gamers know that a good monitor is just as important as PC hardware to fully enjoy what today's games have to offer. BenQ makes some of the best (including some of our favorites), and three top-rated BenQ gaming monitors are on sale on…
Deals

The best Raspberry Pi 3 kits for coders, gamers, and DIY projects

The Raspberry Pi 3 is a low-budget computing platform capable of doing just about anything. We rounded up a handful of the best Raspberry Pi 3 bundles to get you started on a variety of DIY projects.