Philip Hands phil at hands.com
Sun Feb 28 19:30:19 UTC 2016

Mike Brodbelt <mike at coruscant.org.uk> writes:
> TP Link is generally decent, ...

I agree, but be aware that may be about to change.

New FCC/EU rules are coming in about wireless equipment being locked
down enough to stop people doing naughty things with their
transmissions, and as you can see from the posts with FCC in their
subjects here:


TP-Link have reacted to that by making their US firmware
un-downgradeable -- which stops one from installing third party firmware.

This is not going to just be TP-Link, so is not a specific criticism of
them.  I imagine that any manufacturers that sell cheap WiFi kit into
the US will go a similar route.  The FCC apparently claim that they
didn't want this result, which just goes to show how limited their
imagination was when they set the rules.

I'd imagine that it will be quite a while before kit comes pre-loaded
with such firmware, but it's probably worth checking (for all
manufacturers) before you buy, and also worth being wary about
installing firmware upgrades from the manufacturer if you have any plans
to use third party firmware.

Of course, until they start trying to do a proper job, and lock the
firmware into the chip by blowing an efuse, you should still be able to
get your soldering iron out, and get access to the JTAG pads, but that's
a rather higher hurdle than installing OpenWRT via the web interface.

Cheers, Phil.
|)|  Philip Hands  [+44 (0)20 8530 9560]  HANDS.COM Ltd.
|-|  http://www.hands.com/    http://ftp.uk.debian.org/
|(|  Hugo-Klemm-Strasse 34,   21075 Hamburg,    GERMANY
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