The rants of a constantly ticking mind, combined with a mess of reviews and obscure titling methods.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Today, I became a Fonero...

Well, if you remember a few weeks ago Skippy told everyone about how to get a free Wireless Router/AP via a company called FON - and have a combined private network and public network!

Well, mine just magically appeared in the corridor this afternoon. I do say magically as I was expecting someone to ring the doorbell or something, but it just 'turned up' in the hall. *shrug*

Anyway, after about 20 minutes or so of 'configuring' - that is, 2 minutes plugging it in and 18 minutes trying to figure out a new name and password - I now have a wireless connection. Hurrah!

And... shockingly enough... it's quite good.

In the package (which was nicely boxed up) you get:
* A nice 54b/g combined router in white, running OpenWrt (apparently) and with support for a multitude of encryption methods, built in DHCP etc. etc.
* Plug (obviously)
* uberthin white network cable
* Full-colour Quick Installation Guide (in 4 languages)
* Documentation CD (annoyingly, only works properly in Windows - but it's mostly PDFs)
* A couple of FON stickers

Set-up was quite easy, just a case of plugging it in and turning it on - it was set up correctly by default. Also, as I found out, you can set how much bandwidth other FON users can suck. Another slight annoyance is that they tell you in the QIG that you have to use the remote web site for all the setting up, when in fact the case is that you can alter settings locally too - and it took a little digging to find out the username and password for it. But hey, it didn't take too much effort. And it basically has all the features you'd expect from a wireless router of the day: port forwarding, privacy settings, b/g controls, etc. etc. And it's small, white, shiny and natty too!

One thing that did baffle me was the user classification system. By default, you are classed as an Alien on the FON website. This means you can get onto the internet via any FON router you encounter, but you have to pay a set figure per day for that. This applies to anyone who doesn't have a FON router and thus isn't really helping out the community.

When you get a router you have two options: you can be a Linus (who gives away internet for free and gets free internet wherever they roam - any money earned goes back into giving away more routers), or a Bill (who doesn't get free roaming, but does get to snag 50% of the money that any Aliens spend using their router). Simple, eh?

I very much like the way the 'stub' aerial can be switched for something with a bit more 'oomph' as it has a generic fitting.

Anyway, I'm off to enjoy being wireless. Bye for now.

Oh, I almost forgot! If Fon are still celebrating their first birthday, you can get your free router from: - else if anyone's interested I have a free invitation for a free one! If you can't be bothered with asking, FON routers are available for £20ish. And, if you can't be bothered to get a router (and you have a Linksys or Buffalo router already) you might be able to install the FON firmware and enjoy the benefits of being a Fonero!

And, finally, the reason why I haven't blogged recently is that 'New' Blogger is still a little buggy, and the Dashboard Widget I usually use is up the spout (sigh).

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Blogger John said...

Hi there, I'm looking into FON, seems just what I need,which is where I got your blog. Maybe I'll get a SKYPE wifi mobile, it comes with a FON router.
I saw your reference to JOOST, do you have an invitation to spare for the Beta?
Regards, Sotira

2:16 pm


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