30dbm Vs 23dbm tx power on region specific hardware

A question I can't seem to find an answer for anywhere:

Generally, comparing US to EU spec routers, will they have identical hardware? Will US routers transmit at 23dbm to keep manufacturing costs down, and units uniform across geographies, or do US routers routers have 30dbm tx?

Conversely are EU versions generally same hardware and capable of 30dbm but limited by software?

Asking the question as some EU countries do allow 30dbm, but only have access to EU versions, so I'm trying to figure out which router I should buy that can take advantage of the maximum allowed by local regs.


If you look at the actual FCC lab test results, rather few devices exceed 14-16 dBm at all (even if they'd be allowed to do 30 dBm). If the hardware could exceed this in the first place, the ceiling is set in the kernel/ drivers or (in some/ many cases) the firmware blobs running on the wlan chipsets.

FCC regulations do mandate that users are not able to circumvent this by freely selecting a target country (and similar provisions exist elsewhere), so at least the OEM firmware will not (no longer) offer that option. How the vendor opts to enforce that is up to them, many will have different models for North America (FCC), Europe (ETSI), Japan and other markets anyways (different voltages/ power plugs).

Thanks. That is quite annoying. Why do manufactures simply state "TX Power <30dbm". It's useless information, clearly we know this since the devices are FCC certified. Why even show TX power under specs if you aren't going to give an actual value?

Are there any blogs or sites that routinely test actual TX and RX values to help consumers decide what to buy?

Along possibly infringing your federal or local regulations, with huge financial and criminal penalties, you'll be probable better served with more radios distributed where you need coverage. Instead of getting one screaming into to its amp-step and SoC fast death.

Take your time, pen and paper and achieve a solid wifi coverage plan.

Thanks, just to be clear I am not suggesting I go higher than what is allowed. But when many are considerably lower than the allowed regulatory limits, it is helpful to know exactly what the power output is.

I've read simplistigeneralities around the internet that it does no good for an AP to shout at a client it cannot hear back. The idea seems to be that AP and client need some two way management communication even when the client is downloading.

However, I've concluded from testing in my own environment that AP txpower up to ~4 dBm higher than clients is beneficial - particularly for throughput from AP to client. The minimal two way management communication seems to proceed sufficiently fast at a slower upload rate to keep up with supporting higher downstream throughput to the client, which is aided by the higher AP txpower.

All this to is to say I find more than 23 dBm helpful, and I have run AP's up to 27-30 dBm in the U.S. for years and I have not burned out hardware yet.

It is possible to get a good estimate of power emitted, using the own tools available, such as the router itself and its clients, using iw or iwinfo. Changing the output power of the radio and measuring the signal received on the clients, for each single channel and band allowed.

Tedious but reasonably effective.

Yes, but I am trying to decide what to buy to best fit my needs, and manufacturers publishing "Tx power: <30dBM" instead of the actual figure is useless.

Instead of focusing at the start on the equipment specs, lay/draw a map/plan from the facility that you're searching to cover with wifi. Then gather information about the walls build materials to estimate the combined propagation losses over the air and the building materials.

Then focus in positioning on the map the best suited spots for better coverage, reduced interference and facilitate client roaming.

On paper or with dedicated software, this is perfectly achievable for anyone that wants solutions for their problems.

Only after all those steps, you would be prepared to determine the minimum radio specs to procure and buy.

My best 2 cents.

Good luck.

that's true, the only devices that can go over that limit is mikrotik, maybe other too. not sure maybe ubiquiti, but I'm talking about outdoor devices.