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This is tricky question to answer simply because the FCC hasn't been very specific about what constitutes a legal or illegal modification of FCC-certified wireless networking gear.

Manufacturers generally have to submit their products to the FCC to earn the "FCC-certified" bill of health prior to selling the equipment. Many consumers can now purchase wireless networking gear from stores such as Circuit City, BestBuy, CompUSA, etc. These units already have antennas built into them that obviously legally work with other accessories within the equipment line (i.e. same manufacturer APs work with their related PCMCIA cards, USB adapters, etc.)

With the recent articles being posted about how to conduct "war driving" (i.e. build a wireless radio which "sniffs" out wireless networks, etc.), extend wireless network ranges by adding more powerful antennas, etc., it's becoming apparent that the FCC will need to act soon.

Feedback received on this FAQ entry:
  • "what's legal and what's not" link at the end of the article is dead.

    2012-01-06 08:50:00 (xiarcel See Profile)

Expand got feedback?

by korym See Profile edited by seagreen See Profile
last modified: 2012-01-06 16:43:12