Tuesday, November 10, 2009

WiFi Gadgets: Cradlepoint CTR-350 Black Cellular Travel Router


The CTR350 Mobile Broadband Travel Router is a full-featured wireless 802.11b/g router developed to be a plug ‘n’ play solution. Simply connect an activated USB modem, plug in the CTR350 and turn the unit on. Within seconds you will have a secure WiFi network for up to 16 WiFi enabled devices.


About the size of a deck of cards (the smallest router in its class), the CTR350 can go with you anywhere. Enjoy the convenience of taking WiFi with you - never search for a hotspot, pay high daily access fees, or risk a non-secure connection again.


This high-performance router platform, powered by WiPipe™ technology, supports multiple and concurrent VPN pass-through sessions, plus encryption modes including 64/128-bit WEP, WPA and WPA2. Additionally, built-in auto-failover keeps everyone online switching from wired to wireless broadband access in the event of a wired ISP failure.

MSRP $99.99
This product requires a 3rd party data modem and active data plan for full functionality.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Discounted Fonera 2.0n

I just got a discount promo code for a fonera 2.0n in my email. Fonero's check your email, I'm going to order one.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Borders Signs Agreement with Verizon to Offer Free Wi-Fi

should have seen this coming since Barnes and Noble starting offering it.

ANN ARBOR, Mich., Sept. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Borders Group (NYSE: BGP) today announced that it has signed an agreement with Verizon to provide free Wi-Fi service in virtually all of its more than 500 Borders stores nationwide. Borders and Verizon are well underway in the process of equipping stores to offer free Wi-Fi, with service expected to be available by mid-October.

"Re-engaging with customers as a serious bookseller is one of our strategic priorities," said Borders Group Chief Executive Officer Ron Marshall. "By offering free Wi-Fi, we are extending the open atmosphere of exploration that is at the core of every great bookstore experience and furthering the sense of community we have always fostered at Borders."

Verizon's platform will allow Borders to create a splash page that customers first experience when they log on to the free Wi-Fi service, giving Borders the opportunity to feature compelling content such as news of hot titles, special discounts and the opportunity to join Borders Rewards(®), the retailer's free customer loyalty program that has 34 million members. Among other benefits, Borders Rewards members earn $5 in "Borders Bucks" for every $150 of annual qualifying purchases made both in store and at Borders.com.

This agreement builds on an existing relationship between Borders and Verizon that encompasses a number of advanced communications and IT services, including wide area networking and voice-over-IP services, Internet connectivity and e-commerce operations support.


Friday, September 25, 2009

WiFi Gadgets: Verizon Mifi

Cool gadget out there (a replacement for the Fonera 2.0 and a 3G card)

"The Mifi is a tiny, battery powered EVDO modem which sits in your pocket and turns the incoming 3G radio waves into a small Wi-Fi network, enabling you to hook up your laptop, iPod Touch or anything else with a Wi-Fi radio. This last is pretty exciting on its own as it effectively turns an iPod Touch into an iPhone without a phone.

The difference with the Mifi is that it is so tiny and, according to the New York Times’ David Pogue, ridiculously easy to use. It’ll run for 40 hours in standby, much like a cellphone, and when you hit the single switch on the side it springs (or rather, stirs) into life, firing up a little 30 foot bubble of Wi-Fi around you. Once on, the battery will give five hours of surfing but can be plugged into the power as it goes to re-juice the batteries.

Of course, its a cellular modem, so you have some rather low data caps. The $40-a-month plan limits you to just 250MB (yes, megabytes) and jumping to $60 gives the industry-standard 5GB. You can share the connection with up to five devices, so if you’re generous with the neighnors on the Muni, for example, you could burn through that pretty quick.

Gripes aside, this looks to be an amazing device, freeing you from a specific connection for all of your internet-abled gadgets and just covering your personal space with a personal connection. I wonder if this will end up in Europe anytime soon — we have, apparently, excellent 3G coverage."

Via Wired - "Verizon Mifi: Personal Wi-Fi Coming this Month"

Friday, September 18, 2009

A legal Battle for Fon

I know this is a couple months old, but it shows how a company like Fon cant survive out there without partnerships with other companies like BT, Zon, and more. The legal battle in Germany shows how dangerous sharing your internet connection with the world really is. Any one who logs onto your fon spot is free to do whatever they want to, and you have no way of knowing who is doing it.

To make a long story short this is what happened (From the Fon Boards)

"The defendant makes the claim for unfair competition by focusing on their business model to the free sharing of DSL Internet access service, which the applicant their customers against a fee calculated differently recognizable available. Instead of using their own technical and organizational services at wholesale by a third party in order to develop the market, they use one of the applicant under different conditions created infrastructure "parasitic" to deal with its own offer on the commercial market. "

"We lost a lawsuit against a small operator who does not want its customers (to be) Foneros, but we are negotiating with them to (make them) realize that, like many other operators have realized, that Fon is a good business for them."

"FON lost the first trial on 11.11.2008 -> they did not communicate
FON lost the Second trial on 05.06.2009 -> they did not communicate
"The decision is provisionally enforceable"

FON has to pay € 200,000 due to the Security issues this causes,
25.000,00 € due to not giving a list of Foneros which are customer at 1&1 when the ISP asked for it;
due to the Second lost trial it seems these amounts are now set at 110% ...

FON (defendant) is convicted for the 2nd time, for each breach it has to pay upto 250,000 € - or imprisonment for up to six months"

Read more at:
Fon Boards - "German court decision: FON as "parasitic" WLAN sharing?"
El Fon Blog - "Foneros Panic as Major Legal Loss for Fon Surfaces"

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Fonera 2.0n available in USA on 9-23

Looks like the fonera 2.0n will be coming soon for us in the USA (even though we never saw the 2.0g, but thats ok, the 2.0n is practically a normal wireless router. This is the way it should have been from the beginning. Plan on emptying out your wallet for one of these. It will set you back $100. (Available for Preorder at fon.com)From Martins Blog:

"With the “share a little WiFi at home and roam the world for free” formula, FON got to be the largest WiFi network in the world – currently at over 650K FON Spots. Now, with the new Fonera 2.0n (802.11n) WiFi router that gives Foneros (FON members) an auto uploader/downloader built-in, FON should reach well over 1 million FON Spots.

The Fonera 2.0n is described in the video below. In addition to making you a free, lifetime member in the largest WiFi sharing community on the planet, this is what the Fonera 2.0n does when connected to your favorite hard drive:

- downloads torrents on its own so you can arrive home and watch your favorite content (do not download illegal content, there are plenty of legal torrents available, for example www.legaltorrents.com). You can tell the Fonera 2.0n what you want to download from work or school, from your computer or even from your iPhone or Android.

-downloads from Rapidshare.

-downloads from Megaupload.

-downloads from any site with a file to download, like the latest Ubuntu version.

-uploads videos to YouTube. Send them over WiFi to the Fonera and the Fonera sends those HD monsters to YouTube, freeing up your laptop for the next hours.

-uploads those high quality pictures that take forever to Flickr, or Picasa or even Facebook.

-offers large files for your friends to download.

-prints via WiFi. It sends music to your amplifier via WiFi. It connects to a webcam so you can know what is going on at home. It works with DynDNS.

-converts 3G to WiFi like the MiFi.

-twitters! The fonera is the first gadget to tweet itself. You open an account for your Fonera and the Fonera tells you what it is doing, like “Your video is in YouYube,” or “Somebody connected to your WiFi signal.”

And of course, the Fonera 2.0n is N (802.11n), which means faster WiFi at greater distances. Lastly, if you don’t like to share WiFi and just want to have the Fonera 2.0n all for yourself, or you don’t believe you will make money offering WiFi to others, you can disconnect the FON function altogether…and we will still like you :) . But before doing that, you should know that Foneros who share their FON Spot earn on average 6 Euros in revenue (over 8 US Dollars a year), which means your Fonera 2.0n just might end up paying for itself and then some."

Friday, August 21, 2009

Why Fon isn't safe

no encryption = not very safe. This is a funny comic that was posted on the Fon boards. Very true...

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Free WiFi and not from Fon

Forget about Fon this weekend and head to Barnes and Noble to get free wifi. Cheaper and more more reliable service, sounds like a deal to me.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

WiFi Gadgets: D-Link Wireless Pocket Router/AP

D-Link, an industry leader in networking, introduces another performance breakthrough in wireless connectivity - the AirPlus G DWL-G730AP Wireless Pocket Router/AP™. The DWL-G730AP is a portable and convenient wireless solution for the traveling business person delivering 802.11g wireless connectivity with a maximum wireless signal rate of up to 54Mbps*. Use it in conference rooms, hotel rooms, or even at hotspots.

The Wireless Pocket Router/AP might be small in size, but is huge in functionality. The DWL-G730AP supports multiple operation modes including: Access Point (AP) mode to create a wireless connection; Router mode to share an Internet connection; and Wireless Client mode to connect an existing wireless network. Easily switch between these modes by using the 3-way configuration switch located at the bottom.

In AP mode, the DWL-G730AP can be used to create a wireless network in a room where a single Ethernet port is provided. Now multiple wireless clients can connect to the network at the same time to share resources and files.

In Router mode, the DWL-G730AP can be used to share a single broadband Internet connection, such as in a hotel room. The internal DHCP server automatically assigns IP addresses to ensure everyone in the room can connect to the Internet. In addition, the DWL-G730AP supports VPN Pass-through and firewall features including Network Address Translation (NAT) and MAC filtering to protect your wireless network from malicious attacks.

When set in Wireless Client mode, the DWL-G730AP allows connection to an existing wireless network, without having to install complicated drivers or additional software. For added mobility, the DWL-G730AP can be powered over USB if power outlets are not available.

The Pocket Router/AP supports WPA-PSK to secure your wireless data communications. In AP mode, the DWL-G730AP adds support for 802.1x user authentication with an external RADIUS server. For setup and configuration the DWL-G730AP can be accessed via D-Link's user-friendly Web-based utility.

Easy to pack and convenient for traveling, the DWL-G730AP comes with an attractive traveling case which also provides accessories including cables and a power adapter. Increase productivity and enjoy the benefits of wireless connectivity while on the road with D-Link's Pocket Router/AP.

* Maximum wireless signal rate derived from IEEE Standard 802.11g specifications. Actual data throughput will vary. Network conditions and environmental factors, including volume of network traffic, building materials and construction, and network overhead, lower actual data throughput rate. Environmental factors will adversely affect wireless signal range.

Featured in PCMag.com


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Fonera 2.0n

How about this Fon manages to put out a release date of the Fonera 2.0n and yet the Fonera 2.0 isnt even available to all countries. Wheres the logic in that! (not to mention Martin was talking about this router like forever ago, I wish I could find that post...)

Martins Blog:

"Last night at the Village Pub in Silicon Valley (Woodside, CA), we launched the Fonera 2.0n WiFi router - available for sale in Europe (€79) on September 15th and in the US ($99) on October 15th. The Fonera 2.0n is similar to the Fonera 2.0g but has a much more powerful processor and is built around the 802.11n standard which means that it has greater range, bandwidth and speed than its predecessor. The launch was attended by 30 of the most important bloggers, Twitterers and news organizations in the world, including The New York Times and The Economist.

Thanks to Loic Le Meur and Geraldine who organised a great event.

Here is the full press release."

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Help Wanted: FON Looking for a "Junior Technician"

I would seriously like to know what their intent is, but other than that I was looking for a good laugh. Hey Martin, pick me, I got great ideas...

FON is seeking a junior technician to reinforce is technical and logistic support team in Madrid.

- Technical and logistic support for French / English speaking countries.
- Translate and collaborate for the documentation of FON products and services.
- Help improving FON services, reporting problems faced by users, with the ability to prioritize and propose solutions.
- Follow IT news in French / English speaking countries.

- Must: French or English as mother tongue. Knowledge of Spanish is an asset.
- Experience in technical support is an asset.
- Good knowledge internet, computers and network technologies (Wireless).
- Good writing skills
- Proven interest in IT and technology in general.
- Proactive approach, will to learn and to be part of the FON project.

If you are interested in this position, please send your cv to hr@fon.com

Martin V's Blog: "Junior technician at FON"

Monday, July 6, 2009

Fifty Tech Startups You Should Know

I guess this is an accomplishment for Fon, and my favorite, OpenDNS also made the list. (Featured on BusinessWeek)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Look out Fon here comes French ISP Free

More competition (and probably a future partnership) Via Martins Blog:

"This week, the French ISP Free launched a community WiFi service similar to ours at FON. Owners of a Freebox v5 who share with FreeWiFi will be able to surf off the WiFi router of other Free customers. As with FON, Free customers must share to get access to the FreeWiFi signal, which is a second SSID broadcasted by their Freebox."

"Still there is a big difference between the new community launched by French ISP Free and Fon and that is that it is a closed community available only to Free customers and only in France as Free only operates in France. Moreover since this community has no aliens neither Free nor its customers can make money offering their WiFi to non donors as is the case with Fon."

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Fon partners with E-Plus

Another Fon partnership (on the side note these partnerships really seem to help the Fon community grow and that's what it is all about. I would really like to see something happen in the US, there is a ton of potential here that nobody has taken advantage of. It would very beneficial for Fon. Hope you read this Martin), article via Martin Varsavsky's Blog:

Germany is Europe’s largest economy and a key market for FON. People in Germany love FON and the Fonero community there is very active. However, FON’s WiFi footprint in Germany is smaller than in other European countries like the UK and France where our Telco partners have helped us grow. Fon´s partnership with E-Plus, is about to change that. Today FON is announcing a partnership with the E-Plus group in Germany. With more than 18 million subscribers and annual revenues of 3.2 billion Euros, the E-Plus group is Germany’s third largest mobile operator. E-Plus is part of KPN group and is considered an innovator in the German mobile Telco market. E-Plus will help the FON community grow in Germany with a planned series of joint activities starting this year. For example, E-Plus will install Foneras in more than 300 E-Plus stores in prime locations throughout Germany. Together, FON and E-plus will target cafes and other public places where we will install FON Spots as part of the “City FON” initiative - similar to the “Chueca WiFi” and “Shoreditch” density projects in Spain and England. E-Plus will promote FON to their 18 Million subscribers and will help us to encourage them to become Foneros. E-Plus customers who register for the collaboration will be eligible for discounts on Foneras and will get free trial access to the FON WiFi network and once they installed their Fon routers they will be able to roam the world for free connecting to other Foneros.

The FON E-Plus partnership is great for two reasons. E-Plus has great marketing power that will increase FON awareness and help the German FON community grow faster. E-Plus is the first pure mobile operator to partner with FON. Initially journalists and bloggers had argued that Fon would be stopped by fixed and mobile operators. Some of these experts confused Fon with a P2P telco network. But the difference here is that while P2P networks destroy value for the music labels, Fon increases value to telcos. How? Well as our partnership with BT, known as BTfon, and others have shown, Fon generates value both for consumers and telcos. For consumers the proposition is clear, you share some extra, limited, bandwidth at home in a secure way with a second SSID or WiFi signal, and in return you roam the world for free. For fixed telcos, Fon increases customer loyalty, reduces churn, reduces customer acquisition costs. Fon enabled fixed operators can also resist price decreases as their customers have WiFi at home and everywhere else. Now for mobile operators the one big benefit of Fon is reduced capex (investment in the network). 3G is a phenomenal service because of its coverage and frankly no matter how many hotspots we put, Fon will never compete with 3G in terms of coverage. So customers who want to have Internet in a car or to find it no matter where they are will always have to use 3G. But when there is WiFi, there are now tons of mobile phones that have a WiFi option, including the iPhone, Nokias, Samsungs, HTCs and others. And use of WiFi is advantageous to operators because: customers are happy with the speeds, they pay their monthly service anyway and they don´t use the much costlier 3G infrastructure. 3G is great for operators for voice and light data. But when people start downloading 300MB movies and TV series to watch in their mobile devices, operators either have to charge for that bandwidth making movies expensive, or prefer that people use WiFi. Moreover some of the most popular gadgets in the world, such as the Nintendo DS, the PSP and so on, only come with WiFi. In this way, E-Plus can now service its customers on all of their connected devices.

All in all, this proves a point I have been making for a long time. FON and Mobile Telcos make great partners. WiFi is a complement to 3G. Moreover we are very excited that this announcement coincides with the launch of the Fonera 2.0. The Fonera 2.0 has just been introduced in Germany (not yet in the UK) and it is a router that not only gives you free roaming but also manages your transfers to the Internet. Fonera 2.0 on its own sends your videos to Youtube, your pictures to Flickr, downloads your files from Rapidshare or Megaupload, or Bittorrent (disclosure this app is working poorly at the moment) and it is especially good for converting 3G signal from HSDPA modules to WiFi.

If you would like to interview me about this announcement please use the contact form of this blog and I will be happy to answer questions.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Give your Fonera some style with a custom skin

I started this project a little over a year ago and never had a chance to blog about it. So here it is: custom skins for your fonera.

It took me a while to get the dimensions right, but with a little trial and error, I have a final product.

Here's how to make one.
1. download the templates I made.
2. Figure out what design you want to make. I would recommend taking a picture that maybe you took with your camera, downloaded from the internet, or created on your computer.
3. Print out that design from step 2 and print out a blank template. [size should be 276 pixels wide and 432 pixels high (or 2.88 in wide and 4.5 in high]
4. Trace the template over design and cut out.
5. Use double sided tape to stick to your fonera. (You can use sticker paper also but I wouldn't do that just in case you ever want to remove your fonskin)
6. and its that simple...

I would recommend using a good quality paper to print your designs on for best results. Now you can decorate for fonera 1.0 how ever you want. Put pictures of your family, hobbies, or decorate for the holidays, the possibilities are endless.

Template Links:
Template 1
Template 2

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Let there be Fonera 2.0

Its official. Fonera 2.0 is up for grabs in Europe. Bust out your 49 Euros (about 63 good ol' American dollars)

From the Fonosfera Blog:

"As you can see it’s a Dolphin (yeah, I know you guessed by the name, smartass!) and is here to help you and play with you. Flipper does already include all the features we want in the Fonera 2.0 (for now :D ). Here is the list of the new features compared to old good Platero:
  • Facebook Uploader: wanna share the pics of the weekend with all your mates? Put them in a pendrive, “facebook” folder and plug it in the Fonera 2.0. Everybody will see you drunk! (No, no, calm down. All the pics and videos are always uploaded in PRIVATE mode :D )
  • Flickr Uploader and Picasa Uploader were already added in the Release Candidates.
  • Install new versions from the Applications menu! From now on, a single click will separate your Fonera 2.0 from the next firmware… no need to visit blog.fonosfera.org anymore :( But please, come back or we will be sad!
  • Nintendo DS works.
  • Freed space for more plugins! We now have 1,5MB instead of 1,19MB :)
  • Samba and FONBackup have a separated firewall option.
  • Fixed IE visualization of the Wizard (yes, IE users, now it works… dunno why we fixed it though, lol).
  • Fixed Torrent crashing problem with files that have many seeds.
  • Torrent downloader now lets you chose the port and will be automatically opened on the firewall.
  • The partitions on multi-partition disks can be now labeled as well.
  • Polish has been added (thanks Łukasz!).
  • You can now assign static DHCP leases and domain names inside your local network.
  • 3G connectivity reworked: a long list of providers is preloaded so you need not to configure any value.
  • And many more things… if you’re interested, check previous posts. I’m not writing all we did again :D

Bugs: yeah… as always. We will fix them, please report them!

Once again, and after having released the HW to the public, thanks to all involved! Martin, Jordi, John, Pablo, Javi, Steven, Alex etc etc etc etc etc etc etc (yeah, lots of people :D )"

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Wifi.com acquires Whisher

For all of you Whisher users and for those who have never heard of either. This is a great service that is FREE, doesn't require you to buy proprietary hardware, and offers a public encrypted hotspot.

"The news are out! We can finally disclose what we have been working on during the last few months - Wifi.com completed the acquistion of Whisher in mid-January.

Wifi.com is the logical progression for Whisher, as it combines the best domain possible for a WiFi-related service, our mature client and backend technology, and their experienced team which brings on board business development and marketing experience, as well as US-based operations which can help us grow considerably. We already have exciting deals in the pipeline which will soon be announced.

We would like to thank our fans, our users, our investors, and even our critics, for all their help, feedback, input and support during these three years. With your continued help we can now make wifi.com grow way further!

Below is a short FAQ on the deal.

Q. What does this mean for Whisher users?

A. Whisher users don’t need to worry about service continuity. Simply download the new Wifi.com plugin, available at http://www.wifi.com/download.html. Uninstall your current plugin (Mac users, remember to reboot after you remove the Preferences Pane), and install the new one, entering your current Whisher login & password. Wifi.com uses the Whisher technology for its backend, website and client plugins.

Q. What happened to our shared hotspots, and the maps?

A. The reason the maps have been offline for the last few weeks is that at one point we had to switch our database over to the wifi.com servers, and thus the maps started working at http://www.wifi.com/find.php. We also have a WiFi directory at http://www.wifi.com/location/. The hotspots you have shared are all safe, and available under your account at http://www.wifi.com/ - nothing has been lost.

Q. Will you be offering premium WiFi access?

A. Right now wifi.com will concentrate on the social aspects of sharing. Control who you share with, add as much free WiFi hostpots to the community, and promote interaction between users. Eventually, we will start offering access to commercial and premium hotspots through per-minute and subscription models.

Q. Why hasn’t there been much activity around Whisher during the past few weeks?

A. We have been asked this many times, and we even read comments on other blogs that we were about to shut down - nothing further from the truth! What we have been doing is working extremely hard with wifi.com in order to bring the new service online as quickly as possible. We are a small team, and thus we could not dedicate enough resources to developing Whisher at the same time.

Q. What happens with the Whisher team?

A. Mike Puchol joins wifi.com as CTO, while Ferran Moreno and David Douek both go onto other exciting enterprises, about which we will soon hear great things about. You can find out more about the new team at wifi.com com at http://www.wifi.com/aboutus.html"

via blog.whisher.com

What are the main benefits of wifi.com for users?

Wifi.com enables users to easily share their secure networks with their friends and colleagues. Wifi.com enables users to connect to commercial wifi networks (at hotels or airports) on a per minute basis, which can be significantly less expensive than per day or month service providers. Wifi.com will enable users to more securely browse the Internet when in public by encrypting users' wireless Internet connections.
visit WiFi.com for more info

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Fonera 2.0 Development

Taking a look at the development of La Fonera 2.0 over the past month.

The Jamendo Team demonstrates using a the fonera 2.0 along with a usb sound card and playing the radio through it.

It looks like the fonosfera group has really been at the firmware for the new router. I'm quite surprised actually. I really wish Fon would have put this much work in their previous products. A lot has happened over the past couple of months. Currently they are on the RC2 version of the firmware.


Platero is a donkey. It has taken long time to come, but it finally arrived and his side-bags are full of new features. First of all, and before anyone starts asking about it: TORRENT DOWNLOAD IS HERE. Yes, yes! and this is not all… This is the nice list:

  • Installation wizard. Some questions will be asked the first time you connect to the fonera 2.0 and type “fonera” on your browser.
  • Youtube Uploader. Take a pen drive, put all your videos in a folder named “youtube” and plug it to the fonera. Your videos will be automatically uploaded to your YouTube account! This is a real 2.0 router.
  • Torrent downloader. Get some torrent files, upload them to the fonera and this will download them for you. You can turn your computer off and go to bed. Platero will do the work :)
  • MegaUpload and RapidShare downloads. Yes, we never announced this. How does it sound? Configure your RS or MU account, copy a big lot of MU or RS links from the Internet and paste them on the fonera interface. The fonera will download the. But wait… you don’t want to download stuff while you surf? no worries, tell Platero to download things at a certain time frame, while you sleep for instance!
  • 3G provider list. Have a 3G USB dongle and don’t know your configuration settings? No worries, tell the fonera your country and your 3G provider… Platero knows the rest (except for your PIN, of course :P )
  • Need help? check our videos. Every page in the fonera GUI now has a help button. It will take you to a video where our lovely colleague Martina will tell you how to use that page. Ain’t it sweet? More videos and improvements are coming!
  • More to come… we’re already developing new features (improved interface), new applications (VPN, advanced networking, Picasa uploader, iStremer for iTunes…), fixing bugs, etc.
  • Added flickr functionality: works as the youtube one. Put pictures on the pendrive on a “flickr” folder and they’re uploaded when plugged!
  • Added picasa functionality: exactly the same way but on a “picasa” folder.
  • Nintendo DS now works fine with this firmware!!! (more than one will be happy in Japan…).
  • Freed space for more plugins! We now have 1,5MB instead of 1,19MB :)
  • Samba and FONBackup have a separated firewall option.
  • Fixed IE visualization of the Wizard (yes, IE users, now it works… dunno why we fixed it though, lol).
  • Fixed Torrent crashing problem with files that have many seeds.
  • Torrent downloader now lets you chose the port and will be automatically opened on the firewall.
  • The partitions on multi-partition disks can be now labeled as well.
  • Facebook uploader is here! You can now add as many pictures as you want to facebook. I used it 2 and I’m already the biggest image uploader of all my friends!
  • Picasa uploader fixed! it used to crash with many pictures to upload. Not any more!
  • Static DHCP leases…
  • All icons are now alligned and look better :P We also like design ;)
  • 3G connectivity has been reworked and has more options now.
  • Picasa and Youtube applications now check your password and let you know if it’s wrong
  • The FONBackup page has been redesigned. Now you can browse the content of your backup to make sure it’s all in there!
  • The password bug has been fixed, yes.
  • Added nice icons on the File browser to directly upload pictures and videos to picasa, flickr, facebook and youtube. Nice hack
  • WiFi-WAN now works better. It didn’t work with some routers before…

We finally have a release date for Fonera 2.0. (at least we hope) Its set for April 21 (2009 in case you forgot) and will only be for sale in Europe. What will the price be? Well they claim it will be about 49 euros or about 66 good ol' american dollars. We'll see it in the usa about sometime in May.

Martin claims that the fonera 2.0 is green. (environmentally speaking). Hahahaha. He doesnt justify his claims very well. No surprise here. His arguments are always weak and vague. Read it for yourself.

"Besides being an exciting gadget, the Fonera 2.0 helps you reduce some of the CO2 you generate in your digital life. The Fonera 2.0 is Green because you can save energy moving your long time consuming tasks from your notebook or desktop to your Fonera 2.0 router, allowing you to shut down your computer while Fonera 2.0 does the uploading and downloading.

When we leave our computers on at night, doing long uploads of our videos to YouTube, or downloading huge files with BitTorrent, our notebook or desktop cannot go to standby mode and wastes from 10 to 100W of electricity - 10W is what we would consume with a very energy efficient notebook with its screen off, and 100W is with a not-so-efficient Core Duo desktop PC using a screen saver with the monitor on. And multiply all this for an entire night, for as many nights as we leave it on!

With the new Fonera 2.0 executing all these uploading/downloading tasks, and with a USB HDD attached to it, you will only consume from 2.95W to 3.85W (depending on HDD model).

This means that, in the worst case scenario, you will reduce to 1/3rd the CO2 emissions that our uploading/downloading generates and if you are replacing an average desktop PC, CO2 emissions using the Fonera 2.0 will be reduced up to 30 times.

So, all of us at FON that have been developing this piece of equipment for quite a while, feel happy that this social router that manages your relationship with the web 2.0 is also greener than any alternative to upload and download."

Not to mention he claims it will pay for itself in less than a year with all of the money you'll be saving. Read on.

"But how much money can you save? Say you keep a desktop PC, consuming around 100 W, powered up day and night to download content from the Net. If the average price in Europe for a kilowatt hour is €0,18, your PC will cost you around €157 per year. Using a Fonera 2.0 you could keep your PC on for only 10 hours a day, and the Fonera will do the downloading/uploading for you during the night, using only around 3 watts. You’ll save €89 in one year and pay back the €49 investment to buy your Fonera 2.0 in less then 7 months. Furthermore, every year you’ll avoid producing 355 kilograms of CO2. Your PC left on day and night would otherwise emit 629 kg of CO2 in one year, equivalent to driving a BMW X3 SUV for 3600km. Turning your PC off at night and using your Fonera 2.0 for downloading will bring your CO2 emissions down to 273kg per year."

and to top it off Martin tries to show the competitive analysis of the fonera 2.0.

Well Fon, you guys put a lot of food on your plate this time. Hopefully your eyes arent bigger than your stomach. Many claims and promises have been made, and for once you guys better stich to it. In the mean time, for the rest of us. We just have to wait...again. So while your waiting, sit back and relax, drinking a fresh Fonapple!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Get Free WiFi by tunneling through DNS - Hak5

Interesting video on Hak5. Looks like your in trouble Fon!

"DNS Tunneling

The basic premise comes down to this: If you can connect to a wireless access point that has a captive portal running, constantly forwarding your web requests to a payment page, you can most likely bypass those restrictions if you can get name resolution.

Simply open a shell and ping your favorite website. It doesn’t matter if you get ICMP packets back, what you’re looking for is name resolution. If ping says “Pinging www.l.google.com []” or similar you should be all set to tunnel your traffic over DNS

In order to get going you’ll need a domain, or sub-domain, a set of Perl scripts called Ozyman, a server to run the ozyman and ssh daemons on, and a little luck

Full step by step instructions can be found at Mubix’s wonderful blog o goodness at Room362.com."

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Newsletter: January/February 2009


FON chops down the price on the La Fonera 1.0!

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To celebrate the Chinese New Year, we are offering our FON router, the La Fonera, at a discount for a very limited time. The La Fonera 1.0 will be available for just €15/$15*. Kung Hei Fat Choi!

Offer valid until March 31, 2009. Limit one per user registered with FON. Promotion code required.


Click here to enter the FON store.

*Price includes VAT/Tax. Shipping not included.


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Big city blogger offers thanks to unknown Fonero in small town

Richard Allan, Head of Government Affairs for UK and Ireland, and political blogger, offered thanks on his blog to a Fonero in the small town of Bejar, Spain whose FON WiFi signal allowed Richard to finish some urgent business and get back to enjoying his holiday. According to Richard, “the blog underestimates my desperation at needing to access my work email for an urgent task. This was casting a cloud over my whole holiday. I spent hours trying to find some connectivity and FON really did save the day. Once I saw the FON access point in Bejar I thought I should be OK, but the service was even better than expected - cheap and very easy to use.”


Designed to fit your Web 2.0 lifestyle

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Here is what to expect from the next generation of FON routers. Thanks to a USB port, and a growing selection of free open-source applications, the La Fonera 2.0 will let you control data streaming without even having to turn on your computer. While the La Fonera 2.0 manages uploads and downloads at home, you and your laptop will be free to do anything and go anywhere else. The La Fonera 2.0 will also allow you to share printers, scanners, webcams and other USB devices. And, as with all FON routers, the La Fonera 2.0 will allow you to make money and roam the world for free at FON Spots.

We’ve kept the La Fonera 2.0 as beta while our techies perfect its features. But, full functionality for everyone is coming soon. So, get ready!

Learn more about the Fonera 2.0.

Can´t wait? For a chance to win the La Fonera 2.0 (beta version) today, click here.

Friday, February 6, 2009

3 years of Fon

Well its been three years for Fon and today we will take a look at the current development of the La Fonera 2.0

From the fonosfera blog:

"OktoPussy represents the extendability of our firmware. It’s many arms resemble the plugins you will be able to install in it. It can use many arms at the same time, doing different tasks! It’s multimedia (remember when this word was being use for the very first times for PCs? Now it’s come to the routers!)

The new features and fixes are the following:

  • Improved look and feel: added a few new buttons and icons
  • New status page. We still want to integrate more information and format it in a nicer way… but now you can see some traffic stats on the different interfaces. Tell us if you love the graphics like we do!
  • Added and fixed access to some services from the WAN interface: ftp now works and the webcam can also be accessed from the outside. Samba is the pending issue though, sorry windows lovers…
  • New languages! Hungarian is there (thanks bmpeter) and well… any others would also be there but we need you guys to translate! Here you can find what to translate…
  • We fixed the whitelisting system. Sorry, some of you reported you couldn’t sell passes from your devices. Too bad… but over!
  • There’s a button to reboot the device and one to reset it to factory defaults
  • Added the option to enable/disable replying to pings on the WAN side.
  • Some internal working as I said… if you’re interested on what, check the svn logs.

And well, the first to arms of OktoPussy (official ones) are DDNS (DynDNS support) and, surprise, a FONBackup tool!"

"OktoPussy is making making good use of it’s name. Here it comes as OktoPussy-2 ‘reloaded’

In no time it has changed to adapt to the environment. This is the new stuff it brings for you:

  • Samba works on WAN! Oh yes… You can finally connect the hard drive of your Fonera 2.0 from your home network! Some people were dying to have this
  • More and more languages! Can you speak Traditional Chinese, Dutch? Then the OktoPussy-2 is for you!
  • Hey! How about this? we like Windows too! (well, we don’t, but need to pretend). NTFS issues have been fixed so far. If you still experience trouble, go buy a new hard drive!
  • We have added a nice timer for when you reflash the fonera and get rid of OktoPussy-2 to get the next animal. OktoPussy-2 will say goodbye like a real gentleman. No need to wonder if the flashing is over or not, it will let you know!"
"The Fonera 2.0 keeps growing and showing new abilities: now it’s a jukebox!

What do you need?

  • Fonera 2.0
  • USB 2.0 HUB
  • Cheap USB audio card - or any similar model (the cheaper the better: they don’t lack quality)
  • USB hard drive or Pendrive
  • Speakers
  • mp3 music

What do you get? A device able to play your music. either single songs, full directories or m3u playlists (yes, we used a standard) from your hard drive. You can let it playing and turn off your laptop."

and a video from Martins Blog:

Saturday, January 31, 2009

America's Most Wired Cities

A good article on msn.com. Doesn't have much to do with Fon. LINK

America's Most Wired Cities

By Elizabeth Woyke, Forbes.com

Seattle takes the lead in our annual list of the most broadband-connected U.S. cities.

Move over, Atlanta. Seattle, home base of Microsoft and Amazon, is now the country's most wired city.

While these marquee names have long lent the Emerald City techy cachet, it was Seattle's increased use of broadband that powered it up Forbes' annual list of the 30 most broadband-connected cities in the U.S. High marks in two other wired city categories -- broadband access and Wi-Fi hot spots -- helped Seattle clinch the top spot.

Since 2007, Forbes has measured cities' wired quotient by computing the percentage of Internet users with high-speed connections and the number of companies providing high-speed Internet. Since many urban residents access the Internet by Wi-Fi, we also measure the number of public wireless Internet hotspots in a particular city.

Our formula remains the same as previous years with one exception: the addition of broadband penetration data from Scarborough Research. The change was made to complement similar data from Nielsen Online.

Though Atlanta, Forbes' top wired city in 2007 and 2008, has been dethroned, the Big Peach continues to ride high at No. 2. The Southeast telecommunications hub boasts plenty of broadband users and lots of broadband service providers.

Washington, D.C., rocketed from No. 11 last year to a solid No. 3. Like Seattle, it made dramatic progress in its broadband adoption rate. It also improved its Wi-Fi hotspot showing to rank second only to Seattle.

D.C. scoops up another honor this year, as the wired city to watch, thanks to technophile President Barack Obama. Obama's support for universal broadband and fluency with mobile devices is expected to boost Internet and Wi-Fi access nationwide.

Rounding out the top five wired cities are Orlando, Fla., and Boston. As the location of Walt Disney World, the destination of millions of tourists a year, Orlando is packed with broadband providers and Wi-Fi access points. Boston's strengths include a plethora of universities and an urbane population that help keep its broadband and Wi-Fi usage high.

The surprise of the list is Minneapolis, which improved its standing from No. 11 to No. 7, beating New York and Portland, Ore., among others. Minneapolis' secret? A particularly broad range of service providers, including a number of neighborhoods with 20 different access options for high-speed Internet.

North Carolina suffered the biggest drop, with Raleigh declining to No. 15 from No. 3 and Charlotte dropping to No. 20 from No. 7.

Three California powerhouse cities -- Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco -- shifted places this year to occupy the middle of the list. Los Angeles and San Diego improved their standings while San Francisco dropped seven places due to a relatively low number of broadband providers and Wi-Fi hotspots. However, its No. 1 rating in broadband adoption means that San Francisco can take pride in having the most tech-savvy residents of any U.S. city.

After California, Florida and Ohio placed the most cities on the list. Under Gov. Ted Strickland, Ohio has invested several millions of dollars in promoting Internet technology across the state. The ultimate goal is "100% broadband access in Ohio and greater awareness of the personal and economic growth potential" broadband can bring, says Keith Dailey, a spokesman for the Ohio governor's office.

Each year, a few cities slide off the list and a handful make their debut. Dallas and Houston fell just short of the top 30 this year while New Orleans (No. 18), Honolulu (No. 25), Cleveland (No. 26) and Austin, Texas, (No. 30) were added.

While this ranking aims to be as current as possible, advances in broadband technology sometimes outstrip the data available. Take No. 10 Baltimore and No. 14 Portland. The two cities are the first U.S. markets to be outfitted with Clearwire's new brand of superfast wireless broadband, WiMax. But the time lag inherent in collecting broadband data and the difficulty in measuring wireless broadband coverage by city means that neither city's standing takes WiMax into account.

That could change as soon as next year. A Federal Communications Commission spokesman says the agency plans to collect "considerably more detailed" information on broadband access in coming months. Mobile data usage is flourishing, which in turn is affecting the number of Wi-Fi hotspots that restaurants, cafés and retailers offer.

Obama's technology policies may have the biggest impact. In October, the Senate approved the Broadband Data Improvement Act, which calls for better federal and state data on the availability and quality of broadband service in the U.S.

Obama's broadband policy came into focus last month with a proposal for $6 billion in grants for broadband infrastructure as part of a proposed economic stimulus package. The funds are intended to "provide business and job opportunities ... with benefits to e-commerce, education and health care" in underserved areas, according to the bill.

Technology policy groups are hoping for even greater government support. "It's a step in the right direction, but not as effective as what we need," says Robert Atkinson, president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank. ITIF would like to see tax credit provisions for broadband as well as grants, which Atkinson calls "cumbersome" for companies.

"Investing in broadband will have an impact on jobs, education, health care and carbon emissions," says John Davies, vice president of Intel's World Ahead Program, which promotes technology access and education. So expect the next year or two to bring vast changes to all American cities, whatever their "wired" rank.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Lower Prices for Fon Passes

Looks like once again Martin decide to change the price of Fon passes. Although at this point we don't know what kind of change, but hopefully it will be a little better. The price of passes previously almost doubled in price. First $3 and $10 for a day pass and a pack of 5 day passes respectively. Currently, $4.90 and $14.90 for a day pass and a pack of 5 day passes respectively. Next step, probably somewhere in the middle.

From martins blog:

"We also have some things that we are playing against. As I warned my readers, we spend with the increase of fares for the aliens. We will lose again in two weeks. This was a mistake, but he showed the benefits for a CEO to have a blog. Bills criticized me when I realized I had made a mistake."

Express your opinion on the Fon Boards: "Lower passes prices in 2 weeks"

Looks like we will have to wait and see. I always thought that the prices were pretty good to begin with, but on the other hand almost all of the passes sold on my Fon Spot were sold when the prices were at the highest. So from what I get out of this is if you really have the need to WiFi (occasionally, not everyday), Fon is a viable option. At the current price of passes it would cost you almost $90 for an entire most of wifi passes (one pass a day). Seems like you might be better off paying for an internet connection and buying a Fonera to get the roaming that you may need. So if your an alien, think twice about your internet usage, think about Fon's poor coverage and reliability of their services before purchasing large amounts of day passes.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Fon 2008

Today I'm going to take a look at what Fon has accomplished (or lack of for that matter) during 2008 and what we could potentially see this year.

1) We saw the failure of the fontrepreneur program. It was a good idea, but it showed that foneros don't want to put out money and buy routers to help expand the community.

2) Fon started to offer unlimited access to GMAIL and other Google services at all Fonspots. Makes sense since Google provided funding for Fon, but to bad you don't have to authenticate to use these services. So in return, you have no idea who is using your connection.

3) La Fonera 2.0 was first mentioned last April and now is currently selling as a beta model. Firmware being developed by the fonosfera community started off slow, but now things are starting to pick up.

4) Fon raised an additional $9.5 million in funding.

5) Fon and BT started The World’s Biggest Mexican Wave.

6) Martin's Blog: "Why do some Foneros disconnect their Fonera WiFi router?" As if he already didn't know why people do it.

7) Martin releases Fon's economic figures back in May. Too bold of a move, it seemed to cause quite a stir amoungst the community. LINK

8) Change of FON_AP to FON_FREE_INTERNET. Somewhere I missed out on the free part.

9) Fon Russia and Comstar Partnership

10) The ZON@FON WiFi Community in Portugal

11) In July Fon Started a wiki. http://wiki.fon.com

12) FON’s partnership with Sony PSP

13) Joikusoft and FON unveil Wi-Fi HotSpot software for Mobile Phones. LINK

14) "One million Foneros!" hahaha...

15) Fon Raised the price of day passes, lowered the price of La Fonera, and limits the number of 15 minute free trials aliens can use.

16) Meraki comes out with their solar powered nodes and shortly afterwards Fon hints at their version of an outdoor fonera model.

17) I'm sure there is more, feel free to comment below.

Now onto 2009.

1) Fon should release a final version of La Fonera 2.0. Hopefully, as long as Fon doesn't screw anything up. The ideas are pretty good for it. As Long as its affordable, I'll buy one.

2) Maybe we'll see an outdoor fonera. More than likely it will be expensive and a piece a crap. It doesn't need to be a fancy router, it just needs to withstand the elements. Something like this will help Fon out a lot. Coverage is a huge issue that Fon has yet to deal with. Most people have their routers deep within their house, where the signal is lucky to reach outside. This doesn't benefit anyone, but the owner of the hotspot. An outdoor fonera will get that precious FON_FREE_INTERNET signal to cover more area and would help Fon and foneros.

3) I know Martin has hinted at this is the past, but maybe we could see a Wireless-N Fonera. Hopefully we won't see this.

4) Fon needs to develop better firmware for La Fonera and La Fonera+, along with new firmware for non-fon routers (linksys, etc...)

5) or Fon could just FAIL.... (always a possibility, really don't want this to happen)

Anyway, 2008 was a fun year for me and My Fon Blog. I saw Fon do some stupid stuff and some good stuff. Personally I'm looking forward to 2009, this could be a big year for Fon. On a side note, I finally got paid from selling passes on my Fon Spot, almost $30. So it is possible to make money from Fon (It took me two years to get there and most of it was made in the last 2 months). So Fon can do good, it just depends on location. If they can continue to expand the community, we might just be getting somewhere. Who knows, we'll just have to wait and see.

I'm pretty sure I missed stuff, so if you have any ideas, comments, or thoughts, feel free to comment below or drop me an email. Have Fon everybody!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year From My Fon Blog!