Saturday, December 22, 2007

Fonero Gets Fonero Updated!

$5.99 for La Fonera, $1.99 for La Fontenna (+$5 shipping) and a total of 20 invites available! not a bad deal at all, makes me wonder what Fon has planned. This is almost half the cost of the previous FGF (@ $20 with free shipping)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

NBC Report on FON

Good video on Martin's blog explaining what Fon is all about

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Re-design of Fon website & new feature

Looks like Fon finally updated their website and added a new feature. You can now message other Foneros. Also, the maps have been updated. Overall, the revamp of the site in my opinion is much better than before. The maps now show much more detail about the Fon spots, locations, and locations of registered users. The messaging feature is something that has been on the Fon boards for a while. We now have a way of contacting other users. Now only if Fon can doing something about their products.

UPDATE: Looks like Martin finally posted this in his blog LINK

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Lower price for la Fonera -> In Europe

"Starting today, people in Europe will buy the Fonera for 29.95 euros (VAT included) + shipping costs, those in the US will pay 39.95 dollars + shipping costs."

Monday, December 10, 2007

Radom thoughts and stuff...

Another thought that came to me today is how can Fon give out all of these free routers. They offered free routers back on thanksgiving (first 5000), $10 routers to aliens as a holiday gift, and some foneros got an offer for 3 free routers (another holiday/Christmas thing). And at the same time charge people $39.95 for ONE router. Fon must be making money from somewhere (from selling passes, Google, Skype, and BT).

I found an interesting blog post by Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten
and he made some good points about Fon (He also started a company similar to Fon a few years back, but later sold it). Here's a quote from a blog entry.

Having said that here is my opinion on Fon and the problems, I think, it faces;

1: It is illegal
Although Fon aims to make deals with ISPs to allow Fon on their networks right now Fon is illegal on most networks. My ISP clearly states that it isn’t allowed to share my network with other people than those that live in my house. If I open up my network to the world I’m violating the contract I have with my ISP. Wether the ISP would actually sue me is a different matter as long as Fon isn’t really successful. But you can image the ISPs opinion of Fon will drastically change if people start canceling their DSL lines because they all share one Fon router. And I’m not even talking about reselling your DSL line to other people through Fon.

2: It is dangerous
Wether or not you are allowed to share your DSL line or not either way YOU are responsible for all data that is transmitted over your connection. If your neighbor uses your DSL line to upload kiddie porn you will be held responsible. As far as the ISP is concerned YOU are uploading illegal stuff. Opening up your DSL to the world is like playing russian roulette.

3: It doesn’t work
Wi-Fi in theory is great. You switch on your Wi-Fi router and within 100 meters (according to the specifications on the box) you will be surfing the web with a 11 mb connection. In reality Wi-Fi sucks. Every electrical device in your house limits the signal of your Wi-Fi adapter. Every other Wi-Fi adapter tries to get in the same spectrum as your router and every wall limits your reach considerably. Getting your house covered is NOT easy and requires constant attention. My house in only 22 meters long but I would need 3 access points to get it covered because of all the interference from other sources. Even if every house in the world would have a Fon router installed there still wouldn’t be Wi-Fi access everywhere.

4: You won’t find it
The general idea is that you want to check your mail, open your laptop and (surprise!) there is a Fon router there. In reality 99.9% of people don’t live next to a bar, hotel lobby or restaurant or other potential place where you would open your laptop. With HubHop we went looking for individuals who lived near big squares in the larger cities. But even IF we could find someone willing to help us we often found out that they were just slightly to high in a building or far away from the square to be of any use. I think I am a prototype Fon user; always on the road and opening my laptop all the time in different places all over the world. But so far I have never accidently stumbled upon a Fon access point. My guess is I never will unless I look up an address at Fon and go search for it in some residential area.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

US approves Wi-Fi porn monitoring bill

Saw this come up on the boards, but it doesn't seem to make sense. Isn't child porn already illegal?

The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved a bill saying that anyone offering an open Wi-Fi connection to the public must report illegal images including "obscene" cartoons and drawings--or face fines of up to $300,000.

That broad definition would cover individuals, coffee shops, libraries, hotels, and even some government agencies that provide Wi-Fi. It also sweeps in social-networking sites, domain name registrars, Internet service providers, and e-mail service providers such as Hotmail and Gmail, and it may require that the complete contents of the user's account be retained for subsequent police inspection.

Securing Adolescents From Exploitation-Online Act, or SAFE Act--will "ensure better reporting, investigation, and prosecution of those who use the Internet to distribute images of illegal child pornography."

I can't quite imagine how something like this will be enforced and Fon was mentioned in the one article.

"Wi-Fi company Fon, which allows individuals to securely share Wi-Fi connections, suggested that its users may not be responsible for reporting illegal images."

Friday, December 7, 2007

Check your email for a Christmas gift from Fon

Looks like Fon is giving away La Foneras for Christmas. Well not for me at least, I only got a couple emails (from different accounts) to get a La Fonera for $10. (although on the Fon boards a couple people mentioned that they received and email to get three routers for free) At this point I don't think I need them, unless I find some friends that are interested or maybe I can get them and sell them.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

DIY City Wide WiFi - Fon Style

Is your city boring and you have trouble getting WiFi around town. Your answer is Fon. The problem is, it's up to you everyone else in the city to help contribute. In theory it sounds reasonable, it's just the fact that some how you have to convince everyone to buy a La Fonera or La Fonera + and keep them connected.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Up coming Fon videos and misc. updates

I have a few videos (3-4) planned that deal with Fon (they are how-to videos), but right now I have absolutely no time to plan, shoot, and edit them. Expect them to appear late December to early January.

I have no updates on the fontrepreneur program. After I received the kit, I emailed Fon to find out what the schedule of the program is and what do you know it, a little over a month later and a dozen emails and still no reply back. So today I sent them 8 emails, hopefully one of them gets noticed. If not it looks like I'm out 50 bucks and have 3 La Foneras to sell (and maybe flash with DD-WRT to help sell them)

I got my free La Foneras (yes two) from the Thanksgiving promotion on November 29, 2007. The one is the newer model (2200B with the 7.5V 1A power brick). As of now I don't have any plans for them, but they will eventually find a home and a new Fon spot will appear on the map.

And I conclude with a picture.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Fonero gets Fonero changing?

I recently came across a post on the english Fon boards about someone not being able to find the "fonero gets fonero" link. So I decided to check it out myself and what do know, its not there. But using google, there is still a link to were you can find it. A later message on the board by a moderator
"FGF still works if you follow the link above. We removed it from the left hand menu because we're revamping the program. Expect an announcement soon!"
Kind of interesting. Once again we will have to wait and find out what the promotion is going to be. Could be good, could be bad.

Heres the links and a screen shot (taken a while back, don't know why I have it).

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Bridge Functionality for La Fonera?

Martin was talking about the FroncoFON software for La Fonera early last month and he really seemed to like the bridge Functionality. According to one of the moderators on the english Fon boards, it was confirmed by Martin that it will be added, we just don't know when. Hopefully we will find out more later.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

"In-Store Wi-Fi Is Free, but Not Commercial-Free" and "F.C.C. Chief Forced to Scale Back Cable Plan"

The New York Times had an article in today's paper and something like this is why Fon is not making it big in the USA. People are more interested in free stuff, who would have guessed. On the other hand there are some very good points made in the article. Just some food for thought.

"AnchorFree, a company in Sunnyvale, Calif., that is two and a half years old, has introduced a service that lets merchants of any size — from a large bookstore chain to a mom-and-pop restaurant — offer free advertising-supported Wi-Fi to customers on the store premises. People who are shopping or eating in an AnchorFree location will see banner ads on their screens or short video spots or both before their browsing session."

(something Fon is trying to do, but limiting wifi session to 15 minutes)

"Mark Smith, executive vice president for marketing and strategy at AnchorFree, said that advertisers could tailor their ads to reach people at specific locations in the network."

"Businesses that traditionally offer Wi-Fi to customers — hotels, for example — can sign up with AnchorFree at no cost and collect a share of up to 50 percent of the advertising revenue. For small businesses, which might not be able to afford Wi-Fi service, AnchorFree will supply the necessary router and other technology at no cost."

"The retailer can then promote its free wireless service, which could prove to be a competitive advantage. Some hotels, for instance, charge guests $10 to $15 a night for Wi-Fi access."

(Fon is a lot cheaper, $3 for an entire day)



heres a couple interesting articles in the NY Times. It just fascinates me how much cable companies are screwing people over and cashing in big time.

"F.C.C. Planning Rules to Open Cable Market"

"F.C.C. Chief Forced to Scale Back Cable Plan"

Friday, November 23, 2007

Free Routers from Fon for Thanksgiving

Looks like Fon has done it again, but this time with a set of conditions (your not allowed to get a free one if you have already received a subsidized router before) and making you agree to the Fon Promise (keep it connected, or pass it on to someone else).

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Fon taking over the world...just for kicks

Martin's dream of free WiFi all over the world

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Fon Affiliate Partner Marketing Program

Once again Fon has come up with another scheme to "help you earn money" by promoting Fon on your website or blog.

Promote FON yourself and earn referral commissions!

If you have your own web site or would like to promote FON through your blog or even using Pay-per-Click ads, then we invite you to join our Affiliate Partner Marketing Program. We will pay you from 15% to 18% commission on all your FON sales.

First it was the Beta testers program (lets pass out some free La Fonera +'s and Fontenna's and have people who don't know what they are doing [not always the case] and let them figure out whats wrong with the products and report back to Fon.) LINK

Next, the Fontrepreneur program (lets sell people a couple of cheap routers and have them market the products for us.)

And finally a marketing program partner (We will ''pay'' you money to advertise Fon on your website or blog.) We all know how this is going to turn out. It sounds good on paper, but in the end Fon: 1, Foneros: 0 (Lets see how it turns out)

heres the linkage:

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

La Fonera 2.0 update

For those wondering about La Fonera 2.0. It looks like we have to wait some time before we will ever see it. I tried to contact Martin from his blog a week ago and I finally got an email back. looks like it's going to be a while before we see anything, and by then who knows what Fon will be up to. (For those who don't know what the La Fonera 2.0 is heres the link. It's basically the La Fonera + but with a USB port)

Tue, Nov 6, 2007 at 9:35 AM
Hi ****

Probably we will realease La Fonera 2.0 by mid 2008. Thing is that we
have the whole Fon team working in the integration with BT.


>> *From:
>> *Date: *3 de noviembre de 2007 05:34:41 GMT+08:00
>> *To:
>> *Subject: **Contact Form Results*
>> Website:
>> Message of ******* ******:
>> Hey Martin,
>> It has been a while since we last heard about La Fonera 2.0 and other
>> things as well. Can you update us?
>> -**** ********-

Saturday, November 3, 2007

La Fonera + hacked

I guess this is old news, but on 10/28/2007 La Fonera + was set free. This is great news for all La Fonera + owners, although at this moment I have no plans on buying one. Who would want to buy a wireless router with only 1 LAN port for $50? Not me.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Finally got my Fon kit for Fontrepreneur program

Finally got my Fon kit today and once again I was disappointed. Originally we were told that the Fon kit would include:

* 3 La Foneras
* 1 La Fontenna
* Extra promo stickers
* Fliers or brochures
* 50 Printed Day Pass Promo Cards
* 1 FON T-shirt

But the only thing I got was 3 La Foneras and 1 La Fontenna. The T-shirt is not big deal, I can live without it. The stickers and fliers/brochures, how am I supposed to advertise for Fon and let people know what it is. Luckily I already made my own, just need to make copies at UPS thanks to a '25 free copy coupon.' 50 Printed Day Pass Promo Cards, sorry folks you can only take advantage of a 15 minute free trial.

Now I am left with another problem. I have the kit, now what? I don't know when the program officially starts and a bunch of other stuff. Go figure, once again I am left in the dark, due to lack of communication. I, once again, have to email Fon again to find out whats going on.

heres a few pictures of the Fon kit, I hope to do a full review on the program (after completion) and the Fontenna (when I have time and a large open area to test).

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Movie of my Temporary Setup

made a quick movie of my current Fon setup a while ago (10/8/07) using a CVS one-time use multiple use camcorder

Monday, October 29, 2007

F.C.C. Set to End Sole Cable Deals for Apartments

A new article in The New York Times. "F.C.C. Set to End Sole Cable Deals for Apartments"

Hopefully something like this will help FON out, because some apartment buildings, like mine, are trapped by one service provider that is not FON Friendly.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Finally received promo code for FONtrepreneurs program and misc thoughts on Fon

Finally FON has emailed out the promo codes for the 3 La Foneras and 1 Fontenna. Not to bad considering they were aiming for an official launch data of September 23, 2007. Even though in the month and a half I have been left hanging there with a lack of communication between me and FON, I am still going to go through the program. I look at it like this, worse comes to worse the fon marketing program (FONtrepreneurs program) will be a complete bust and waste of my time. This is what I have a good feeling it is going to be like. In theory, it could work given you lived in a location that could benefit from cheap wifi, like a maybe small, family owned bed and breakfast and thats about it. The FON passes are a little on the expensive side if you plan to use the WiFi for just an hour or so, but are very reasonable if you need it for a day or even a week. The problem isn't FON, it's America that it the problem. We are the richest country in the world, and yet at the same time cheap. That is why all of these hotels, motels, restaurants, bars, and etc give free WiFi for the customer. Here it is from my point of view. If I was going out to a restaurant to meet up with friend and needed the internet. I would be more likely to go to a restaurant where I can get it for free. Adding this extra service at a restaurant will help the owners get more money, by eliminating the middle man (FON). Fon is just doing this to make money. This all does not mean I don't Fon, its a great idea, can benifit many people, and I am all for it. Fon has a ton of potential. It's poor business managment and communication with the foneros is the thing that is hurting Fon. All Fon has to do is provide the foneros with what they want/need (better products, such as a regular wireless router similar to a linksys WRT54GL) and a more secure wireless connnection. Heres what I would like to seen Fon do: go back to the Linksys WRT54GL's and only one SSID and add some type of VPN service or something similar. Fon right now provide an insecure wireless access to everyone, even though they say it is secure. toms hardware just did a very interesting article/video on this (LINK) and Fon is a good example to show the insecurity of there network. Hopefully they will understand this and fix it. All of the foneros are at risk of identity theft. [Side Note: I don't have to worry about this because my school provides us with a VPN service in order to connect to the WiFi on campus, but we can also use it to connect from our ISP at home to the campus server, but in the future I plan to set something up at my apartment (granted Fon does nothing about this issue)] Well moving on. Its just a matter of waiting until my Fon kit arrives and going from there. In the past couple of months I have been making my own brochures, flyers, handouts, website, and a survey and plan to make a one page info sheet, a couple more surveys maybe, stickers, letters to potential customers (for the program), and a t-shirt design. This is another thing that Fon lacks, advertising. I'm not doing this Fon, but for myself. More Fon access points in the area, means more spot were I can connect to. Like I said before, Fon has a lot of potential to go places, unfourtunatly they are stuck in a hole and digging themselves deeper into the earth. We will just have to wait and see what the future holds, and I'll will post an update.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The FrancoFon Firmware and Serial Cable port for La Fonera

The features of FrancoFON firmware are the following:

  • Better firewall
  • Port forwarding wizzard
  • Reserve addresse on private network
  • Blacklist some sites for public network
  • DNS modifications
  • Antenna power tuning
  • Remote reboot
  • Dyndns management.
  • hosts file management
  • Real time display for private and public connections.
  • Display last version availlable. (in red if your are not up to date)
  • Hidden SSID on private network
  • Language management (English, French and Roman for the moment)
  • Can be upgraded from an alternative server
  • Allow @ and / caracters for some pppoe ISP, up to 64 characters
  • open/close SSH
  • open/close admin by ethernet port.
  • Possibility to ban MAC addresses on public and private network with scheduler.
  • Possibility to connect LaFonera to an existing AP to use his network instead of having an ethernet wire.


Serial Cable Port For La Fonera

I have received my first part in the mail to build it (even though I already have ssh enabled on one of my routers, I figured I would try this anyway) Budget for this project: $0, thats right, zip, zero, nothing.


So far I got the MAX3232 (Free Samples :) ), still need a male to female DB9 serial cable, 4 - 0.1uF capacitors, and a USB cable (I'm not cutting one of my good ones) DD-WRT LINK

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

FON Marketing update and FreeWLAN

Finally, almost a month later I received an email from FON stating that I will get my promotion code to purchase the FON Kit this week. They told me they where behind due to the whole deal with BT and Neuf (BT , Neuf). I will post more once I receive the kit.

Also, two days ago I installed the FreeWLAN addons for my one La Fonera (the other one still has the stock firmware). This addon doesn't replace the Fon firmware, it enhances it. The stock firmware is very limited, so a group from Germany decided to do something about it. The FreeWLAN addons feature:
FreeWLAN Addons v.0.9.0

Please note that this release is for the La Fonera (not for the La Fonera+) and that this is no official FON Firmware so the usage is on your own at one's own risk.
Summary of the new features:

  • Help system
  • Speed information
  • MAC-Blocking of connected clients
  • Fonero-Status of connected guests
  • Bandwidth limiting
  • Family- & Friends-Accounts
  • Private WiFi's SSID hideable
  • Bridging Ethernetport to private WiFi
  • Hostname editable
  • Connection to the web via WLAN (Pseudo-WDS) --> QRM (Quasi Repeater Mode) with detailed settings
  • MyPlace works in QRM => three (!) WiFis
  • Static DHCP (binding IP to MAC)
  • MAC-Cloning
  • MAC-Blocking list
  • DynDNS-Client
  • Mail service
  • UAM-Allowed editable
The installation from a standard Fonera's firmware is very easy (but a detailled hack is not allowed to be published here iin this board):
  1. change DNS
  2. change public SSID
  3. connect the La Fonera to the Web and let it reboot -> now the
FreeWlan Addons 0.9.0 will be installed - it takes a little time.

heres the links for it

I haven't had time to try out all of these cool features on it, but I'll get around to it later and give updates on it. There is also something similar to FreeWLAN. It's the FrancoFon firmware. It was developed by a French group, but I unfortunately don't know to much about it. (The site is in French, and Google only translates so much of the site) LINK , ENGLISH TRANSLATION

Friday, October 5, 2007

The Fontrepreneur Program

What is the FONtrepreneurs program?

When you join FON you get WiFi anywhere and a share of the revenues generated through your FON Spot. You also become a member of the largest WiFi community in the world, joining with hundreds of thousands of other Foneros in the spirit of WiFi everywhere, for everyone.

The idea behind FONtrepreneurs is to encourage Foneros to help develop the Community in new ways, by targeting high traffic areas or businesses and establishing FON Spots there. In return, FON will give a share of the revenues the Fonero who set up the FON Spot as a “thank you” for the time and effort. Everyone wins, businesses get a simple, low cost WiFi solution, the Fonero gets a bit of extra dinero and new FON Spots light up, allowing Foneros to user their WiFi in more places.

Detailed Program Description

The FONtrepreneurs program is a test project, aiming to refine a set of tools and incentives to help people who are interested in promoting the FON Community and WiFi everywhere. We hope to build this into a flexible enough program to serve anyone from FON enthusiasts to students looking to make a little cash on the side to the community organizations that want to develop neighborhood WiFi projects.

The FONtrepreneurs program is a test to determine the viability of incentives based expansion of the FON Community. What we are trying to determine is what marketing support, incentives and other support from FON will encourage people to promote FON directly in their community to owners of high value locations. This program is intended as a trail and if successful, will serve as the model for a general roll out program.

Our goal is to increase the number of FON Spots in cafes, restaurants, areas frequented by students, and any other public places where people might want Internet access; thus increasing the over all WiFi coverage of the Community. Our hope is to tap into local Fonero’s insights into the best locations for FON Spots in their neck of the woods. Be creative! It doesn’t have to be the neighborhood bar, it can be anywhere people would want WiFi. We would also like to develop a FON Kit that would make muni-WiFi and neighborhood WiFi projects like FON’s ChuecaWiFi and Malaga projects easier for local implementation.

This specific test case involves distributing a FON Kit with three La Foneras, a La Fontenna, stickers, fliers and other marketing materials available to interested Foneros at a subsidized cost. The Fonero then promotes FON to owners of high value locations and establishes the FON Spot. As an incentive to seek out high traffic locations, the Fonero will be given FON’s share of the revenue generated on the FON Spot for the duration of the three month trial.

In addition, at the end of the trial, FON will reimburse the cost of the FON Kit if the three La Foneras have been active for at least 80% of the time during the last eight weeks of the trial. The purpose of this is to determine if this sort of revenue based incentive will actually generate revenue in enough cases to become a useful tool for growing the FON Community.

Participants in this program will be encouraged to give FON as much feedback as possible and will be asked to fill in a short survey at the beginning and end of the project.

Incentives Description and Expected Incentives Payouts


  • Re-imbursement of the cost of the FON Kit if all three La Foneras are connected and remain active for the duration of the trial. (To give you time to set them up, we’ll only count the last 8 weeks of the 12 week trial period.)


  • 50% of the revenues generated through the FON Spot.

The financial incentives work as follows. Normally, the owner of a FON Spot – the Bill – gets 50% of the net revenue generated on their FON Spot, and FON gets the remaining 50%. For the duration of this trial, the participant will get FON’s portion of the revenue. This breaks down as follows:

Paid Connection Type

Revenue Generated (in $ or € as appropriate)

One Day Pass


Five Day Pass


SMS Pass

Varies by country – 0.25 to 0.60



One and five day passes are the most common, and a successful FON Spot in a high traffic area can generate between 5 and 30 paid connections in a month or more.

For the three month duration of the promotion, the participant will be given a weekly report of connections to their FON Spot and will be paid at the end of every month as long as they have accumulated more than €/$ 30. At the end of the promotion, they will be paid the balance of their revenue, regardless of how much they have generated. Someone who sets up three successful FON Spots can realistically expect to make between €/$ 30 and 60 or more from their FON Spots.

In addition, if all the La Foneras in a specific marketing pack are active at least 80% of the time for the last 8 weeks of the project, the participant will be refunded their initial investment in the FON Kit.

More Detail on the FON Kit

Contents include:

  • 3 La Foneras
  • 1 La Fontenna
  • Extra promo stickers
  • Fliers or brochures
  • 50 Printed Day Pass Promo Cards
  • 1 FON T-shirt

To obtain your FON Kit, FON will send you a promo code that will allow you to access the Kit in the FON Shop. The cost in the Shop will be €50 / $50, although this money will be refunded at the end of the trial if you meet the Pay Back Incentive conditions noted above.

When you order your FONtrepreneurs FON Kit, you can begin promoting FON and distributing your La Foneras immediately and you will receive all the applicable incentives. However, the formal trial period will not begin for a couple of weeks to give us time to get this started.


As part of this trial, FON will send you two types of reports for your La Foneras. You will receive a weekly email confirming that we have detected that your La Fonera has been activated, and giving you a breakdown of passes and connections. This report will help you make sure your La Fonera is online and will be useful if you are experimenting with antenna placement.

The second report will be a monthly summary report that will have more detail on the types of paid connections you’ve generated during the month and other information. This will also include a breakdown of the money to date generated through your FON Spot.

In addition to these reports, if you need to contact FON for any additional information, tech support or other issues, a special email address has been created for the participants in this trial: A representative from FON Operations will be answering these emails during normal Spanish business hours.


You must be registered as a Bill to participate in this project, and we’ll be using the payment system in place for Bills to pay incentives to participants. If you are currently registered as a Linus, please change your status to Bill. Remember that Bills now have full roaming rights, so you will lose no privileges when becoming a Bill.

When you have opted in by contacting us via email, FON will request your address details and send you a contract to sign. We will also include an addressed stamped envelope for your convenience to send the contract back to us. We have included a copy of the contact for you to review below. If you prefer to print and send us a copy yourself, please indicate this in the email and we will not send you a contract.

When we receive your signed documents, we will send you an email with the access code you will need for ordering your FON Kit and to begin participating in this trial.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

My Fon Blog

Today's the first day of my Fon blog. It will contain anything and everything Fon!!!