How to spot a counterfeit Arduino

Common indicators of a counterfeit product

How do we look for a counterfeit? For a regular Arduino user, the differences may look apparent, but what about a naive first time user?

Like every fake thing that ever existed, we need to look for one or more than one marking. I take the example of Arduino Uno, the entry board into the world of arduino to display all the qualities that we have observed as common.

Colour

Hold the board in a white light. The regular Arduino's colour is generally a mix of green and blue, the counterfeits usually have blue to deep blue colour.

Original board (Front) Counterfeit (Front)

Original board (SMD) Counterfeit (SMD)

Original board (Back) Counterfeit (Back)

Font/silk

When you carefully observe the font in which the word 'Uno' or 'Arduino' is written we can find a difference. Arduino font is custom designed and cloners tend to overlook or not be able to reproduce the same.

Observe the 'O'!

Original board Counterfeit

Logo

There is only one Arduino logo, which looks like this.

Original board

Look for the sharp edges and the hole inside the 'A' as compared to the following fakes:

Counterfeit

The fake, has 'rounded' edges and the print is not sharp.

Made in Italy

Turn your Arduino board around to see the map of Italy, saluting the place of its birth.

Original board Counterfeit Counterfeit Counterfeit

Connections and connectors

In every original Arduino the connections between components look 'woven' and beautiful, not 'pasted' and ugly.

Here's what we mean:

Original board Counterfeit

Keywords

Please look for keywords like 'Arduino compatible' or 'Uno for Arduino' while buying online, because if the boards look like original Arduino, they are mostly fake.

Components

Here's a major fake-alert! The component 501 K located next to the voltage regulator is generally green on fake boards. The green one has similar properties as the original Arduino golden-black component and is available off the shelf.

We get it specially made for Arduino to make it look different:

Original board Counterfeit

Pricing

If an Arduino is being sold online for less than the stated price in the market, it may indicate a counterfeit.

The current price of Arduino, even if a few euros more than clones, help us fund and create

  • developing new open source hardware
  • the documentation
  • CE/FCC certification
  • carbon offsetting
  • quality control
  • community management
  • publishing tutorials
  • make donations to other open source projects
  • hosting/maintanance website and forum (millions of users!)

In case you catch any of your sellers selling such counterfeit boards, do report them to us at: trademark [at] arduino.cc.

Official distributors

For information on our official distributors around the world, check this page. If you want to become a distributor of Arduino boards contact us: distribution [at] arduino.cc

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