Last year we reported that the FCC (US Federal Communications Commission) may be moving to outlaw the practice of adding custom software to routers. The misunderstanding was cleared up with the FCC saying that they wouldn’t ban the practice, enabling people to customise their routers with their own software and tweaks in safety. It would now seem though that one manufacturer has done just that in response to the FCC’s new rules.
TP-Link is one of the largest routers manufacturers, offering hardware choices to people all over the world. Libre Planet, however, found that they may also be the first to start locking down their firmware, their evidence being the support conversation that shows TP-Link are starting to lock down the installation of open source and custom firmware on their devices.
TP-Link state that they are doing this in order to comply with FCC regulations regarding customizations on wireless routers, the very thing we were told wouldn’t happen! The result could be that third-party software, many of which are open-source, would become illegal if you attempted to place them on your router, something many do due to the support, features and quick security updates often found in open source software.
Do you customise your router’s software? Do you think it’s a good idea for people to be able to do this or is it a better idea to ensure everyone uses the same software?