Archive for the ‘Wireless Technology’ category

Fon router running

24th 2006f March 2006

Ok, the installation went smoothly apart from the 5 min window the firmware gives you to register. I was setting it up on the back of my Apple AirPort Extreme working as a LAN modem. I did it this way for various reasons (not least of which is the proxy server on my satellite broadband connection). After the 3rd attempt at powering up the router, getting an IP address on my iBook and then contacting the Fon registration server within the 5 minute time limit I completed the registration successfully.

I have now moved the router to my ‘in-laws, who have a standard, always on ADSL connection which is much better suited to a Fon hotspot. Of course I entered the new location details into my account in the Fon database. Unfortunately the location appears at maps.fon.com in the middle of the countryside about 5Km from my parents-in-laws house! It seems to be sitting right on top of another Fon hotspot which, according to it’s address is supposed to be situated about 4Km south in a nearby town. I can only assume that Fon’s systems are having a little trouble resolving our addresses and resorting to placing markers in the middle of the postcode area.

To help Foneros out with finding hotspots I’ve started a Frappr map where we can position our markers more precisely. It’s also become popular with Foneros outside Spain and the US who are not yet catered for on maps.fon.com. So far we number 99 members 🙂

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My Fon router has arrived!

2nd 2006f March 2006

I’m happy today. There’s a nice, boxy UPS parcel sitting on my Wife’s desk with my name on it. It contains a Linksys WRT54GS Wireless Router. No not your typical wireless router, I already have an Apple AirPort Extreme and I’m very happy with it; I’m blogging this right now via its built-in V90 modem. This particular wireless router was bought, direct from Linksys, for 50€, by a fledgling company called Fon. The small but hardworking team at FON’s corporate office in Madrid then wiped it’s firmware (it’s brain) and installed their own firmware which has some very cool features: Fon’s firmware will allow me to share my internet connection with anyone in range of the router’s WiFi signal, granted I could do this with my AirPort by deactivating WPA encription and making it an open access point. But the Fon router also allows me to limit the speed of shared connections so that I always have a reasonable connection to the Intenet even when the users sharing my connection are downloading big files. Also the Fon router allows me to see logs of who has connected, and lets me block users who I consider have abused my offer of shared Internet access.
But the greatest feature of all of the FON service: I can go on-line using anyone elses FON router for free! Gratis! There are about 5 members of FON (Foneros) within a 30 minute drive of my home, and I’m sure they’ll all be recieving their brand new FON routers shortly. If they haven’t already bought Linksys routers and flashed them with the FON firmware themselves.
Oh yes, and this faboulous router and Fon’s connectivity costs me only 25€, half the wholesale price of the router itself!
I have to go into Gibraltar for a job this afternoon but I will blog on the Fon router setup as soon as it’s up and running.

For more info and news from Fon read their company blog.

FON gets backing from Google, Skype and VCs

6th 2006f February 2006

This Madrid based start-up that I’ve been keeping my eye on has just announced a $18m Venture Capital deal with Google, the founders of Skype, Index and Sequoia (2 ‘Valley VC firms).
FON is a great way to share your broadband connection without leaving your home network open to attack and do some social networking at the same time. I’ve signed up already
Congratulations Martin!Join the FON movement!