I had heard about the fon early in December I believe. For some reason, I wasn’t smart enough to order a load of free ones to toy with. For those of you who don’t know, the la fon, or fonera as it can be called, is a wireless router designed solely to be set up giving free wireless access to anyone and everyone that happens to connect. It creates 2 wifi networks. One public and one private WEP encrypted dealy for access to all your private whatnot. The reason most people flocked to these was because they were being given out for free by the company that makes them. So you got a free wireless router, and you could sign up a bunch of times and order a dozen of them. For some reason, I overlooked the link and got one right on the deadline before they stopped the free offer. And because of this act of karma, the power supply for my fon doesn’t work so I had to splice a D-Link psu together to get something workable. By the way, their tech support is lacking. They claim one day wait and I’m on the fourth day with nothing.
Anyways, the problem that many people had with these devices is that as soon as they plug a fon into the internet, the company locks it down and you can only use it for the fon service. There is an answer to this. Disgruntled or just perhaps curious people discovered a way to run DD-WRT on the fon making it a fully accessible wifi router. If you get all the files needed to do this ahead of time, its quite a simple procedure. Because I suck at gathering necessary materials, it took me near 5 hours to complete the install. Bear in mind that if you have ever used SSH , telnet, and know your local ip, this shouldn’t take you more than half an hour. There’s the golden question of “Is this worth it?”. Depends on your situation in particular. Am I gonna use this day to day? Probably not. If I need to set up a quick wifi for my laptop at a lan party, this small box may be just what I need.
Hopefully soon, fon will offer another free giveaway. I could use some more of these to screw with, along with one to actually use with their service. Its an interesting idea all in its own that I hope will catch on. For more information and perhaps the opportunity to obtain one of these suckers, check out the main fon website.