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Re: RAX40 wifi wrong country code causes problems with Macbook

grl4
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RAX40 wifi wrong country code causes problems with Macbook

My work laptop Macbook Air complains that my new home wifi router RAX40 with lastest firmware V1.0.3.80_1.0.1 is advertising wrong country code DE, when it should be FI in Finland.

 

Google search finds years old similar problems with Netgear wifi devices using wrong country code. IEEE 802.11d-2001 wikipedia page says:

 

As of January 1, 2015, US FCC ruled that new devices are not allowed to rely solely on 802.11d for setting country-specific radio parameters

 

Seems like five years later Netgear is still selling wifi gear which does not comply with FCC regulations.

 

 

 

 

Model: RAX40|Nighthawk AX4 4-Stream WiFi Router
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schumaku
Guru

Re: RAX40 wifi wrong country code causes problems with Macbook


@grl4 wrote:

Seems like five years later Netgear is still selling wifi gear which does not comply with FCC regulations.


If you suspect a violation of FCC regulations - file a complaint with the FCC. But better continue reading...

 

Well, the 802.1d information sent from an access point (to the wireless client's attention) is including items like: Country Code, Maximum Output Power supported by Channel Range, among other information. This is based on the regulatory area the wireless device is configured for. This created a "trust" between the wireless access point and the mobile/transportable devices when travelling around the world into other regulatory domains.

However, it's exactly the MacOS wireless checker (probably designed and implemented decades go) is still checking for the 802.1d country code - and put up very scaring information. Luckily, almost anything it does complain about is wrong and does not cause any issues.

 


@grl4 wrote:

Google search finds years old similar problems with Netgear wifi devices using wrong country code.


And here again, almost everything you read (except that you can't change the MacOS side county code without touching the local settings) is wrong and just adding wrong references and spreading silly ideas.

Now I explain why Apple is wrong: If you are travelling to the US (FCC) or to other countries with different regulatory domains, you will not change your Mac to US or to Thai, Japanese, or whatever. You will keep in on your Suomi settings. 802.1d-2001 does allow your Mac wireless to use the exact right settings as required locally - that became possible thanks to some smart people made up defining the IEEE 802.1d-2001 standard.

 


@grl4 wrote:

My work laptop Macbook Air complains that my new home wifi router RAX40 with lastest firmware V1.0.3.80_1.0.1 is advertising wrong country code DE, when it should be FI in Finland.


This is perfectly legal and correct (just confusing people where everything coming from the holy Apple grail is perfectly right).Vendors deploy the so-called single SKU method (for Europe these are RAX40-100PES [comes wth an Euro plug power supply] and RAX40-100UKS [wiht the British power plug]. Both the PES and UKS come with the single SKU config. In this method, the product does have a single country-code (aka. pseudo country code) only, applicable to all target ship-to countries.  And Netgear has choosen DE. This country code would be configured to have regulatory power limits and channel selection be equal to the union of requirements for all target countries where the product is sold. 

While talking: The FCC has even more restrictions and reguations. This is why many vendors (including Netgear) choose to fix the country/region settings for products sold into FCC markets to "US" only. This is what makes it impossible (without cracking or hacking at least) to operate the US SKU (e.g. RAX40-NAS) under any other regulatory domain - e.g. you are not allowed to operate a US SKU e.g. in Europe.

 


@grl4 wrote:

IEEE 802.11d-2001 wikipedia page says:

As of January 1, 2015, US FCC ruled that new devices are not allowed to rely solely on 802.11d for setting country-specific radio parameters


802.1d-2001 is a beautiful standard - it's just the FCC having concerns against it.

Now this is not related to the "problem" the Apple WiFi checker does make noise about. What this says is that - in regions covered by the FCC legislation - a wireless client connecting to a AP needs an additional information source for the "right" regulatory area (being GPS, being whatever localisation methods, ...) _before_ it does start sending on a channel at a certain power level. 

 

Not aware ETSI has introduced a similar additional requirement towards 802.11d-2001 aware wireless clients.

 

Said that: FCC should care about the Trump administration issues with Huawei and ZTE national security issues. Luckily, for operating radios like WiFi, Finland and Germany are in Europe and don't have to bother about the FCC.

Smart a** mode off.

Regards,
-Kurt.

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