FON, a wireless services company that raised over $21.7 million from Google, Skype and Sequoia Capital earlier this year is putting its money to use now – by offering a tiny wireless router that lets you become a Fonero instantly and costs $5. I guess they are heavily subsidizing the device they call, La Fonera. The company designed the router which emits two SSIDs and allows you to create two wireless channels – one private and one social. Martin Varsavsky, founder of FON demos it on this video.
FON’s new tiny wireless router, and the easiest way to join the FON Community and make your connection wireless. It provides great security with two wireless networks: a FON social channel and your own private channel.
7 thoughts on “FON selling $5 Wireless Router”
FON is a very interesting idea, although I really dont think it will ever catch on. The idea of opening up your network and your connection to complete strangers is a tough nut to crack. The other thing is that most ISP’s in the US specifically prohibit resale or redistribution of their service, so you are looking a a violation of their TOS here. The one and only time I encountered a FON hotspot was in Rome near the Vatican, and I did not use it.
This sounds interesting. I bought a Fon router back when they were based on Linksys hardware. The problem then was that every wireless user (either public or private) had the same access to the internal network, making the router virtually useless. See my last post on the probelms I had here: http://www.grantgibson.co.uk/blog/index.php/2006/09/17/fon-router-problems/
If this version has true separation of public and private wireless networks then it could be a success. I’m not sure how popular the system is in the US, but here in the UK there seems to be hotspots in every major town and city.
LongRange makes a good point though – virtually every ISP bans the sharing of your connection in their Terms and Conditions. Most are tolerant for now, but if Fon reaches the critical mass to make it a viable mesh network it’s likely the ISPs would crack down on it.
I bought a linksys FON router a month or so ago and could never figure out how to set it up. I tried manual configurations, etc and nothing worked. It kept telling me that my network wasn’t configured correctly. The “manual” was 1 piece of paper with very poor directions.
If these things don’t work right out of the box, people will just call it a $5 experiment and never use it again.
That said, I really like the concept, but the implementation leaves a lot of room for improvement, especially given the amount of funding they’ve received.
$5 for a wireless router! Wow! I wonder if such things will work in developing countries… or will such a biz model work only in places where there is high speed Internet access? If so, can the cost be kept low still?
I’ve got two Fon routers (the $5 Linksys model) running and have set up several for others. Easy to install, quite secure if you know how to set up your primary router (the Fon unit acts as a client to your primary router, not as a replacement) and highly reliable. It is specifically NOT like running a standard wireless router with no security — connections made via the Fon router are isolated from the rest of your network.
I like this idea however I don’t like the idea of being tied down to one hardware type.
Does anyone know of any software based solutions only.
So I can have a so called public element and private element to my internet connection. That way I can just continue with my own setup privately and the public element is effectively sandboxed off…kinda like a QOS value to it…where i say anyone can connect to me and the internet wirelessly if they are within range and i’ve allocated say a 10% quota of my total bandwidth to this share. It will never go over the 10% and its separate from the rest of my traffic. A number of users could connect to this 10% on a similar P2P type scenario all sharing that 10%…if there is another in the region also sharing it can use both and handle traffic between say 10 other wireless local quotas effectively building into a larger bandwidth connection albeit possibly using 10 local wireless hotspots…piggy banking off all?
it needs to be open and platform independant so you’d just install it as an extension to an interface setting…couple of clicks say on tcp/ip settings page…thats it.