Friday, April 4, 2008

I Think FON is ______ (Fill in the Blank)

I was a bit surprised to read a post on Martin V's blog entitled "Why do some Foneros disconnect their Fonera WiFi router?" Then after reading some of the comments (some of them are pretty good) and reading a recent entry on El Fon Blog, I decided to give my take on it. (There are other complaints that can be found in my blog)

I'll make this short and simple:

La Fonera is a wireless ONLY router and if you want ONE lan port be prepared to fork out 50 bucks. For only $60 after rebate you can get a Linksys WRT54GL that had four lan ports and a much better deal.

Personally where I live, there are only like 5 FON Spots around and I have never tried to access them because they are too far out of the way for me to get to. Also, it doesn't help that I live in a city that if I need wifi I can just head onto the college campus or go to some other place (like Dunkin Donuts) and get free wifi access.

I have only had one or two aliens log into my FON Spot (repeatedly) just to use the 15 minutes of free access. They did this for about a month or two, and then I blocked them using the FreeWLAN addons, but later unblocked them. For the first time I had a Fonero log into my FON Spot last month after it has been up and running for about a year.

I personally don't care for the idea that anyone can use my internet access to download all kinds of who knows what and have no control over it. This makes me responsible for illegal downloading, porn, and more. I use openDNS to block certain websites, but there is not much more I can do.

Unencrypted wifi . . . need I say anymore.

The firmware on the router is ____. I really can't explain it, but the FreeWLAN addons help out a little. The original firmware works perfect for me, but from what I have read on the boards, many people have problems installing and setting up their Foneras. Sometimes (once a month or so) I have to power cycle my router just for it to show up as "online" and the FON website.

The Fontenna, kind of works. I noticed a little bit of a gain with it, but it's not worth $20. For those who got it for $2, your lucky because now the cheapest you can get it is for $10. I'm glad I got mine for free. I think it's a poorly constructed antenna to begin with and it doesn't help that the cable for it is like 10 feet long.

DD WRT. . . need I say anymore, again.

I quit now, I'm sure there is a ton more to complain about (I don't want to get into stuff that I don't know what I'm talking about), but I'm not going to bother. I have and will keep my Fonera up and running as long as FON exists. Don't get me wrong. I like the idea of FON, some things need to be changed. The next episode of FON wifi, FON will ________...

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