Makers of Wi-Fi Products are Making Misleading Claims Wrapped in Fine Print

– Speeds and Coverage Area Are Knowingly Overstated

“Amped Wireless Updates Your Old Wi-Fi Network with 12,000 sq ft of Blazing-Fast Wi-Fi” is the headline of the announcement that Amped Wireless sent about its $190 TITAN-AP AC1900 Wi-Fi Access Point, which is intended to wirelessly extend the range of existing Wi-Fi routers.

The Online Reporter has not specifically tested this product but have tried other similar ones and found that none cover the 2,400 square feet in our rather typical suburban, single-level home – not the faster 5.0Ghz band much less the slower 2.4GHz band.

read fine print

Fine print is being used to obscure the impossible performance claims by Wi-Fi gear manufacturers

 

The fine print on Amped Wireless’ Web page says it all:
“Range specifications are based on performance test results. Actual performance may vary due to differences in operating environments, building materials and wireless obstructions. Performance may increase or decrease over the stated specification. Wireless coverage claims are used only as a reference and are not guaranteed as each wireless network is uniquely different.”

It’s another example of how Wi-Fi performance, both speed and coverage, is being “over amped” by equipment makers.

Amped Wireless goes on to say:
“Maximum wireless signal rate [is] derived from IEEE 802.11 standard specifications. Actual data throughput may vary as a result of network conditions and environmental factors. Output power specifications are based on the maximum possible radio output power plus antenna gain.”

And:
“All transmission rates listed, for example 600Mbps for 2.4GHz and 1300Mbps for 5GHz, are the physical data rates. Actual data throughput will be lower and may depend on external factors as well as the combination of devices connected to the device. AC1900 wireless speeds are achieved when connecting to other AC1900 capable devices.”

There are two telltale phrases there:
“Actual data throughput will be lower,” not “may be lower” but “will be lower.” So why does Amped Wireless over-amp its products Wi-Fi capabilities?

And:
“AC1900 wireless speeds are achieved when connecting to other AC1900 capable devices,” which does not include the tablets, smartphones, smart TVs, net-top boxes and Blu-ray players that consumers are using?

Wi-Fi is a wonderful thing.

It makes wireless access to the Net easy and increasingly pervasive.

However, makers of Wi-Fi gear make impossible claims about product performance that are never going to be true – as do the makers of Wi-Fi chips.

They knowingly mislead consumers and cause dissatisfaction when their products don’t match their promises. But then they can always fall back on the almost unreadable fine print that disavows the very claims they make in big, bold print.

 

Our Fine Print

We can attest to the underperformance of Wi-Fi routers and access points from actual tests we have conducted with two 11ac Wi-Fi routers in a 2,400 square foot, single level home. One is a D-Link that serves as the main router and is connected to a DOCSIS router on an exterior wall in the office/library. The other is a brand new ASUS 11ac router that serves as a wireless access point…

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About the Author

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