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.


It took Dell years to fix 1 problem on its best laptop. Here’s how it did it

The new Dell XPS 13 moves the webcam from the below the screen to the top, finally vanquishing the one obstacle facing thin, sleek laptop displays. We have the exclusive story on how it was done.
Home Theater

How to master your equalizer settings for the perfect sound

You may know what an EQ is, but do you know how to adjust equalizer settings for the best possible sound? We go through the basics of the modern EQ and lay out some guidelines for how to achieve tip-top sound from your system.

Having issues with your PS4? Check out our solutions to its most common problems

Just because the PlayStation 4 is a remarkable system doesn't mean that it's immune to the occasional hiccup. Thankfully, we've vetted some of the bigger PS4 problems and found solutions for whatever might ail you.

Fix those internet dead zones by turning an old router into a Wi-Fi repeater

Is there a Wi-Fi dead zone in your home or office? A Wi-Fi repeater can help. Don't buy a new one, though. Here is how to extend Wi-Fi range with another router you have lying around.

Apple banned from distributing some iPhone models in Germany

Apple is following the FTC's lead and has sued Qualcomm for a massive $1 billion in the U.S., $145 million in China, and also in the U.K., claiming the company charged onerous royalties for its patented tech.
Product Review

The Digital Storm Aventum X is an unstoppable gaming PC. Trust us, we tried

Packed with dual-Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti graphics card and a 9th-generation Intel Core i9 processor, the Aventum X is an infinitely upgradeable gaming PC that’s capable of far more performance than you’ll ever need.

‘Flexgate’ is the latest controversy plaguing some MacBook Pro owners

iFixit recently uncovered a new "Flexgate" issue with MacBook Pros after some consumers reported a "stage light" effect, where the backlighting on the device would fail and cause the bottom of the display to become slightly distorted.

Breeze through security with these checkpoint-friendly laptop bags

Getting through airport security is a drag, but your laptop bag shouldn’t be. Thankfully, these checkpoint-friendly laptop bags will get you and your gear to your destination with ease.

Ditch the backdrop from your photos with these handy tools

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

Think someone's leeching off your Wi-Fi connection? Here's how to find out

It's important to find out immediately if anyone is stealing your bandwidth. Here's how to tell if someone is stealing your Wi-Fi using a few simple tools, along with some suggestions on improving security.

Open RAR files with the greatest of ease using these awesome applications

Few things are more bothersome than not being able to open a file when you need it most. Check out our quick guide about how to open RAR files in Windows and MacOS. We will walk you through the process, step by step.

Google Chrome’s latest decision could prevent most ad-blockers from functioning

Google Chrome's newest change is cited as a step forward for speed and security, but could profoundly alter how the majority of ad-blocking extensions operate. The move potentially gives Google more control over which ads can be blocked.

Samsung permits peek at an eye-popping, 15-inch 4K OLED laptop display

Samsung is now preparing for the new OLED laptop trend and is providing a look at an eye-popping 15.6-inch 4K OLED panel that is expected to power larger premium laptops in the new year.

Here's our head-to-head comparison of Pandora and Spotify

Which music streaming platform is best for you? We pit Spotify versus Pandora, two mighty streaming services with on-demand music and massive catalogs, comparing every facet of the two services to help you decide which is best.