I have seen it happen so many times that I will just write a quick summary here so I don’t have to keep explaining it.
If you are shopping for a Blu-Ray player or other consumer device, you must know that if you purchase a model that is labeled as “Wi-Fi Ready” this does NOT mean that you can bring it home and connect it to your wireless network out of the box. If you want to connect it to your wireless network you must purchase a separate adapter. This adapter is different for each brand, and it will cost you an additional $60 or so. THEN you can connect it to your wireless Wi-Fi.
I am not making this up.
This is actually the way it works. Really.
I can’t tell you how many people have looked me in the eye and said “Why does it say that it is ready for Wi-Fi, if it is not? How can they say that????”.
Hey, beats me. I don’t make and sell this stuff. Is it unnecessarily confusing and misleading? I don’t know. You tell me. All I know is that I have observed many suffering souls go through this, and rarely are they happy. I have explained it to many, and some even refuse to believe it is true. You can certainly confirm this easily enough elsewhere with a quick Google search.
Here is the situation:
“Wi-Fi Ready” means that it is CAPABLE of connecting to your wireless network, BUT you must purchase an extra adapter to make it work.
“Wi-Fi Built-in” means that it is equipped with everything you need to connect to your wireless network. You won’t need to buy an adapter.
Why, why, why you ask? I suppose it is a market positioning thing. In theory, some people might not need the wireless at all, therefore they can spend less money and get the “Wi-Fi Ready” model. For example, I rarely use wireless for things like Blu-Ray players. I have a hard-wired network and I prefer to plug everything in by wire rather than using wireless. But the fact is, MOST consumers nowadays don’t have their home wired for networking, but do have a wireless router set up. In this case, one way or the other, you need a device that has the ability to connect to your wireless network.
Most of the time for items such as Blu-Ray players there will be a tier of models. There will be a “Wi-Fi Ready” model and it will be less money than the “Wi-Fi Built-In” model. If you purchase the “Wi-Fi Ready” version and you want to connect it to your wireless network. YOU MUST GO AND GET THE EXTRA OPTIONAL WI-FI ADAPTER WHICH COSTS $60 TO MAKE IT WORK. The ironic thing is that the price difference between the “Wi-Fi Ready” version and the “Built-in Wi-Fi” version is usually much less than $60!
So the simple solution is this: Make sure you buy a device that is labeled as having “Built-In Wi-Fi” if you have a wireless network and avoid everything labeled as “Wi-Fi Ready”.
Whether the consumer electronics industry has their own explanation based on logic as to why it is done this way or not, I believe it is unnecessarily confusing and misleading. Why must such a simple thing be so obtuse? They should change the label to say:
“Wi-Fi Ready – requires the purchase of optional adapter”