Fon unites Wireless Users

By | June 28, 2006

Fon, the self-claimed “largest WiFi community in the world”, announced that they would begin selling wireless routers to people who signed up with FON for $5.00.

Product Features

  • Linksys WRT54GL or Buffalo WHRG54S
  • Router WiFi 802.11b/g up to 54 Mbps
  • Switch with 4 ports and Internet port
  • FON Firmware in +10 languages
  • European plug

Not bad.  The switch is normally $25.  Don’t mind the European plug bit, as they appearantly don’t have seperate pages for the US at this point.  There are other catches as well, but certainly nothing that couldn’t be lived with.

Remember that you must register your router and keep it on at all times. This great low price helps us build the FON Community. Therefore, we will apply a $ 45 surcharge on all routers that have not been registered within 30 days of having made the purchase. Once you have registered your router, you must keep it running and available for all other FONEROS. We are not making any money off of the sale of these routers. So all we are asking is that you use the router as a FONERO. If you have any problem registering your router or getting it working, one of our support geeks will lend you a hand.

Again, not all that bad.  So, where’s the benefit?  Well, when you sign up as a “FONero” [Their term, not mine] you get a choice.  You can be a Bill or a Linus (guess where they got those names).  A Linus gets nothing for having the open wifi spot, but gets to use any of the FON hot spots worldwide for free.  A Bill on the other hand, does not enjoy the worldwide free usage, but does get a 50/50 split of the $2 a day connection fee for the “aliens” (non-FON users).

Security doesn’t seem to be an issue as anyone connecting to the router hits a login page before getting access to the internet.  This in effect means that only other FON users and paying customers would actually be able to get anywhere.

I’m thinking I might just give it a try!