Please give me the answer that you think is the most important reason, the main reason for foneros to disconnect a fonera.

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RHarmsen on April 4, 2008  · 

I guess it are two reasons actully.

it is: “they need the internet cable that goes into the fonera”
and: “they have legal or security concerns”

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Oliver Thylmann on April 4, 2008  · 

For me, I had the early ones, one buffalo and one linksys, and now I have two new foneras. They are both on but the old ones are off, well, one is still running.

The one that is still running is actually only used because I want to connect my desktop through cable and not WLan and have a network attached storage at home too, which again needs a cable.

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A.Faith on April 4, 2008  · 

bandwidth throttle ? witht he default FON firwmare?

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Marcos on April 4, 2008  · 

I don’t live in Spain. I live in Belgium. Here all ISPs have a cap on your download volume. So if I have 20 Gb allocated per month, I see no use in opening my Wifi connection to strangers.

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Bernhard Maurer on April 4, 2008  · 

People owning a Nokia N8x0 disconnect/hack it because the Fonera is not properly working with their devices. As a part of this community I would vote for roaming (didn´t disconnect though…)

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Timo on April 4, 2008  · 

Security concerns, no way that a device I don’t have full control over but others have is connected to my LAN!

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mj on April 4, 2008  · 

I don’t think it falls into any of these categories

I think often something unrelated happens , like the cables need moving, or a power socket is full. The Fonero has to do something. If he doesn’t see a reason to spend a little effort to keep the Fonera going, then he won’t. It will get disconnected for a couple of minutes, but never be connected again.

The benefits of having a Fonera connected are not yet strong enough in reality. Almost certainly, and for sure for me, I so rarely run into a Fonera that I can use when travelling, that I only keep my own Fonera going to be true to the cause. I don’t get much benefit from it.

But I am lucky, I have hundreds of square metres, masses of power and tons of cables. If I had a cramped little apartment in the town, the psychological cost/benefit analysis might not come out so well.

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Eric Vlemmix on April 4, 2008  · 

My 2 boxes are still online. 1 old linksys, and 1 Fonera (that I also use for my private WiFi use in-home). But no-one else seems to be using the signal 🙁 The location where I live is also far from perfect for broadcasting WiFi to the public, living in an appartement that is part of a ‘walled-garden’ having only windows facing the garden, not the ‘public-street’. When travelling in Europe, I didn’t have a lot of access to the Fon signal when I wanted to have a signal. In most hotels I only can get the hotel-network, often for a disturbingly high price, and at company offices there is normally no Fon available, altough I got a Fon signal at the Alcatel-Lucent premises in Paris.

Top reasons for disconnecting might be:

1. Now I have WiFi but lost my ethernet connection:
If the user does not have a gateway, but only a 1-port ADSL/Cable modem, the fonera is nice for WiFi, but you’ll lose the ethernet-cable connection. Fonera+ solves this problem, but the implication of buying a Fonera-classic and losing your ethernet-cable connection when you do not have a switch/router is not clear.

2. I already have WiFi and don’t use Fon when away-from-home:
I the user already has WiFi, or switches provider and gets a new box including WiFi, why *also* connect the Fonera?
Why Fonera?
a. When WiFi APs/router were more expensive, the Fonera was a nice cheap way of getting WiFi in your home
b. Free Fon WiFi signal everywhere!
a) Now a WiFi box for your home network is included in most/all Dutch ISP offerings. So I don’t need Fonera for that anymore.
b) There is no ‘Fon signal everywhere’. It’s a promise for the future, but not available now (depending on your region)

3. No-one is using my Fonera, so why keep it online?

So how to motivate people to keep their Fonera online?
Make sure you sell the right product (Fonera/Fonera+).
Give Foneros some, chance, on instant results, goodies lotteries: a WiFi picture frame each month, free skype-out minutes, every half year a 23andMe kit.

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dema on April 4, 2008  · 

Hi Martin , I didn’t vote the poll simply because I didn’t find the answer that fit my case.
I disconnected ( better to say reflashed with dd-wrt my own , not fon given , linksys wrt54g ) at home because in my neighbourhood I preferred to follow the Bruce Schneier’s point of view.
I have in other locations many active foneras , but I thought to give to my beloved neighbours the wifi absolutely for free.



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Paulo Silva (PJMDS) on April 4, 2008  · 

A.Faith, the fonera has basic QoS and you can choose the amount of bandwidth, you can improve that further with addons like freewlan, it’s not perfect but is good enough.

In my humble opinion most of the people that buy La Fonera just want it because is the cheapest router available, the wireless chip is very good and there are alternative and better firmware for the device.

In my case I share because I like to share, never used another FON_Spot and never gained money, until now people just used the 15 minutes ad video, I live in a small village and almost all my neighbours have ADSL connections.

Best regards to all

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CAW on April 4, 2008  · 

Neither of the two reasons I would have picked are listed in the poll options. These would be:

1) FON has had a longstanding bug that causes FONspots to show as offline when they are, in fact, online. The FONspot must be rebooted for FON to mark the FONspot online and sharing again. (In my case, my FONspot gets flagged as offline usually every two to three weeks, and must be rebooted.) The FONspot does not show any visible error condition (no amber LEDs), so unless someone logs into their FON account at, they will never know their FONspot is disconnected. There are multiple threads reporting this same phenomenon on the FON forums, albeit worded differently.

2) They are unhappy with decisions made by FON to give away their bandwidth for free. The most recent example of this is giving free access to GMail. Most people using a WiFi hotspot are doing so solely for the purposes of checking their E-mail. Giving away free access to GMail means these people no longer have any incentive to sign up. A FONspot operator has no means to opt out of these (poor) decisions made by FON, so they vote with their feet and disconnect the FONspot. (Possibly replacing it with one of the other WiFi provider kits for small busineses, such as offered by Boingo.)

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Nelson Silva on April 4, 2008  · 

Actually, none of those reasons is correct. What most foneros do need is the ability to bridge the home network with the fonera created network, the fact that we can’t makes port forwarding, among other things, a nightmare. The need to expand a network is very different from the need to create a network. Also, the fonera firmware is awful and extremely limited. I think the overall idea is that the members should have a lot more control over their foneras, which is a very capable device which is being limited at the source. The only control FON should have over a device which I pay for is the “phone home” feature along with the FON_AP side of things, all the other features should be over my control, not Fon’s..

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Evert Bopp on April 4, 2008  · 

I think quite a few of them lose interest in the whole FON concept after a while…

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Kevin on April 4, 2008  · 

Martin, none of these questions comes close to the reasons why people quit using your Fonero. Also, how are those people who have quit Fon going to see this survey? All of your responses are from people who have not actually done what you ask about, yes?

To many people, Fon sounds like a good idea for adding wifi to their existing home network. La Fonera is an all-wifi replacement, not an addition. So they have wifi Internet, but they cannot share drives or print. This is the main thing. It can be added to the firmware of the original router very simply, but you sell another router now that has a LAN jack, hmm?

Then, the router does not have MAC cloning, like every other router, ever. I cannot connect my Fonera to my modem for this reason. Luckily, I have my Linksys router to take care of that, and plug Fonera into a LAN jack there.

Finally, how am I to sell your brand of wifi, if it is free everywhere? I need to set my own price, or Fon needs to add something to make it sweeter. I am reading that VPN can be added to protect the unencrypted signal, and that this will make Fon really safe.

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thierry on April 5, 2008  · 

Because No one had connected to my router fon for almost a year so I decided to turn it off to prevent power wasting …

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crissty on April 5, 2008  · 

In my opinion many Foneros disconnect their FON router’s because they are limited by FON firmware and missing of the other LAN port!

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e8563 on April 5, 2008  · 

I liked the concept, and 5 months ago bought LaFonera+ end even LaFontenna, (though I didn’t intent making any money as Bill and certainly didn’t need LaFontenna for my small apartment). After my share of installation problems, which I probably couldn’t have solved if I were not a technical person – now the router sends both signals and only needs a re-start once a week or so.

But now I have my doubts about usefulness of the concept (for people like me, at least).

1. Even though I put LaFontenna in an optimal way against the window, the signal strength on the roadside is minimal. Had it been a typical router without external antenna, placed inside the apartment – no connection would probably be possible from outside. Which means, presumably a large part of FON spots are in reality not available, even if online.

2. Nobody has as yet used my FON spot. And I remember the guy, recently mentioned in this blog, who put his LaFontenna outside in the best possible way to provide the whole street – he also gets no guest traffic.

3. During the 5 months, only on few – if any – occasions I could really needed FON roaming – but no FON spots were available there within 10km anyway.

4. But imagine, I’m somewhere in a car with my laptop, and may need internet. To find a FON spot and get connected, I need an internet connection, though. I don’t have any navigation software to import the FON spot list into it. Google Earth doesn’t seem to work offline. Printing out a FON map before the jorney is a hassle.

What could be done about the last point: If it were possible to save a map of a reasonably large area (say, 10 by 10 km) as vector graphics with sufficient resolution, it would make finding a FON spot at one’s travel destination easier.

I still keep the router always on, and would probably stay with FON.

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Luis on April 5, 2008  · 

Maybe the main convern is about traffic volume caps. If your contract doesn’t entitle you ilimited traffic than you may be concerned about having ti pay excess traffic.

At least that was one of my concerns while my contract had a trafffic cap, the other one boing legal concerns. Reading through the small print isn’t an easy task, but I had to do it and it was not easy indeed.

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Mark on April 5, 2008  · 

I disconnected my fonera because:
– I do want to make money and never find a fon-spot, when I need it or the signal reach of spots is not good.
– I never saw anyone connect to it, I guess of the same reason then me never finding a functional spot.
– The fonera can not replace my existing WLAN-Router/ Fritzbox, so it doubles functionality, consumes or better wastes energy, which is from and ecological and financial standpoint not a good idea.
– If you provide a software which can be installed on the fritzbox (very, very common in Germany and elsewhere), I will be happy to provide a fon-signal
– Also it would be great if there where a co2-emission-compensation programme, which compensates for all the extra energy which is consumed by foneras (in total, this should be very much and increasing since the amount of foneras is increasing).
– the German fon blog had a very unpolite stile for quite a while, dissing a lot of members of the community. The stile has changed, but I have never seen a public apology.

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nippotam on April 5, 2008  · 

I think that the main reason for myself is that the fonera gives me nothing, that I already have.

As my answer is quite long a post something there

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Luca on April 6, 2008  · 

My personal experience is that: nobody use (only me and my family with MyPlace SSID) the hotspot so, keep online La fonera for 24h when we use only 3h-6h, it’s a waste of electricity. When somebody start to use the hotspot i turned on it for 24 hours a day (i could earn something..).

If I may ask a question, so far unanswered precise, the use of freewlan addons is compliant with Fon regulation? It would have some interesting features for me.

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Jordi - FON on April 6, 2008  · 

Mark, I agree the best option is to be able to download a firmware upgrade into the WiFi Router you already have but, as you know, there are too many routers out there and some of them not even have a small piece of memory free to add any new features, the hardware/electronic constrains are big in many cases. On the other hand we have already done some with our partners Neuf and Brithsh Telecom so their boxes, with big memory, can be reflashed with a FON-Friendly software and you do not need a second box. We are also in discussions with German ISPs so we can cooperate and add the FON-Friendly feature to the AVM Fritzbox. The Fritzbox is actually a great machine done by one of the most reputable CPE manufacturers in the world: AVM.
I also want to apologize if any of the comments in the German blog has offended you at any time, we are as close as we can to the Foneros and, believe me, we try to be very polite with all people that comment in our blog so we keep learning from all of you, we will try harder! Thanks!
Jordi – FON

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Jordi - FON on April 6, 2008  · 

Crissty, the Fonera+ is actually designed for Foneros that need a LAN port besides the WAN connection. Fonera 1.0 is just for Foneros that have at least one PC with WiFi, a WiFi USB dongle or a PCMCIA/CardBus WiFi card.
Jordi – FON

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Bait-Fish on April 6, 2008  · 

I cannot speak for those who have left FON altogether nor those that frequently switch their fonera on/off (at the obvious disdain of FON) and, like Kevin aptly noted above, this blog/poll isn’t going to reach that target audience anyway. Martin, I would suggest you E-mail the foneros and ask them directly.

The poll has too few reasons listed but I voted for my most likely choice out of the bunch. From my own experience, as a fonero for over two years, here are my opinions:

1) The initial enthusiasm for the movement, gaining a quality piece of hardware (Linksys WRT-54GL) _and_ the vision of an organized, distributed sharing of WiFi, has since waned. I kept the original Linksys up for just over a year and considered leaving FON, having in that year not been able to find any other operating Fon Spot despite so very many markers on the WiFi map. At the behest of AustinTX on the forum and in support of the original FON vision, I rejoined for yet another year by buying in with a Fonera. Originally very enthusiastic about this (a Linus at heart), I have flip-flopped about whether to continue support to this day. My one year’s time is nearly up for me yet again…

2) I have (as good as never) rarely had anyone even use my Fon Spot. I log in to My Fon every once in a long while to check on things, login history, etc. Last November, IIRC, I logged in and see that the control panel says that my Fonera was not online. Surprised because it most certainly was, I power cycled it and brought it back up. Being concerned about WiFi security (encrypted or not), I rarely use my own WiFi in favor of a wired connection, so I never noticed that the Fonera was “offline” despite being powered up and no visual indication otherwise. Then I see that I now have a 27 cent balance owed me (now as a Bill).

It seems that back in July/August someone _finally_ used my Fon Spot, “purchasing” on four occasions “15 minutes promotion pass”. Now, to my horror and not making FON/Fonera/firmware look very good, the Fonera had at some point “stopped working” _just_as_it_was_FINALLY_beginning_to_be_used_by_the_target_audience! To see FON _finally_ come through and attract _some_ sort of business, only to fail and lock-up, doesn’t speak well to the quality and reliability of FON and makes me as a fonero that much less enthusiastic about FON. Now, so very many months later, those four fleeting 15 minute connections have gone elsewhere, never to return (to my Fon Spot in any case). What could have been a (nearly) paying customer is now gone, having been failed by this Fon Spot when it unknowingly stopped working. Why did I not receive a notification from FON, an E-mail, something? I had no way of knowing it was down because my home network is all cabled, rarely using the WiFi connection myself so I didn’t know anything was amiss.

3) Having done a fair amount of travel with my laptop and Netstumbling in search of FON, I have never found one to be up/online when I needed it. This goes to the original vision, share and be able to connect to those who share. I liked when the WiFi map showed whether or not a Fon Spot had been active recently but it seems that functionality has disappeared. It’s nice to see so many dots on the map but it hasn’t served me well when I tried to actually find one that worked. However, having been over a year now since I have even tried actually speaks volumes for how much faith I now hold in FON to come through.

4) My early concerns of possible bandwidth hogs or illegal activity have long since waned. It’s almost like “security by obscurity”. Nobody connects anyway. In fact, maybe “those types” go elsewhere, looking for an actual open connection. I do still think that this reason is partly why others may disconnect the Fonera. By turning it off, especially when they’re not using it themselves, they gain some sort of (if not the only) control over their Fonera’s use.

5) Support: I have only had one support issue and it remains outstanding and unaddressed now three weeks afterward. This was an issue that could not be resolved by searching the forum for asked/answered issues of similar nature. In all my time here, there always seemed to be quite a few who needed help but had to resort to the forum because the normal route of getting in line on FON’s support system got them no (timely) response. Well, to be fair, I did receive the E-mail message acknowledging my issue. Despite the stated “Customer Care Service will aim to respond to you within the next business day”, three weeks plus and counting is just another straw on the camel’s back. Since “Your ticket number will be reviewed in the order in which it was received”, there must be a LOT of unsatisfied people such as myself waiting…

Whoa, I guess I had a little bit of venting to do. My aim is to be constructive and I hope FON’s shortcomings can be ironed out. The original hope that ISP’s in general would support FON and we would all gain widespread coverage hasn’t come to fruition. I read about advances in coverage and alliances that are always promising. I was hoping to take advantage of this in Tokyo, Japan soon but my trip has been cancelled. If such an alliance was to happen here in Southern California, I would be ecstatic. I am still pro-FON and would love to see others continue to support it, but it just doesn’t have the luster it did at first.

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Jordi - FON on April 6, 2008  · 

Caw, thanks for your comment. We have improved the issue of having Foneras loosing its heartbeat but, you are right, we still need to make our heartbeat new system more robust to any type of network situations. Regarding letting visitors check Gmail for free, I don’t agree with you, most Foneros have welcomed the initiative of having Gmail service available for all, the main reason why we become Foneros is to share and this is a service that many non-Fonero visitors appreciate and, after they use it, they are more willing to become part of the community. Giving small incentives for no-Foneros visitors to become community members is in benefit of all of us Foneros because help get more members into the community and share.
Jordi – FON

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Jordi - FON on April 7, 2008  · 

Bait-Fish, thanks for your constructive criticism, indeed making sure no Fonero needs to restart their Fonera is of most importance for all of us, it has improved in the last two months but still we need our system to be 100% effective on this. Let me give you some positive news in case you finally manage to get to Tokyo! If you go there you will be amazed by the huge coverage that Foneros from all over he world can get right now in Tokyo city area. We have partnered up with Livedoor, the largest WiFi city network in Tokyo, and now all Foneros can log into any Livedoor access point for free. Check the Tokyo FON maps and you will be amazed, Livedoor spots show up with a Livedoor icon.
Jordi – FON

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Simon Leinen on April 7, 2008  · 

Like others, I have an old (Linksys) FON router and a Fonera. The Fonera is always on, but the Linksys is off because of power and cabling considerations. The Fonera would be even more fun if my Nokia E70 worked reliably through it and if the DNS server inside the Fonera could deal with SRV requests (which the E70 needs to locate its SIP proxy, incidentally). Since the Fonera has a separate private SSID, my wife and I depend on it for connectivity inside the house.
It took more than a year until the first time that another Fonero used my hotspot, but since a few months ago it happens regularily. So be patient, fellow foneros!
When our family leaves for a vacation, it is sometimes hard to resist the temptation to turn off the Fonera, cable modem, Ethernet switch, VoIP gateway, DECT phone, etc., using the Big Switch to save energy. But since I know that other people sometimes use my Fonera, I guess I’ll find a way to leave it and the broadband router and Fonera running. This would be easier if the Fonera had an Ethernet port, because then I wouldn’t need the Ethernet switch between my cable modem and the Fonera (so that I can still connect the children’s desktop PC, which diesn’t have Wifi).

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Eric Vlemmix on April 7, 2008  · 

Simon, if you need a Fonera with an Ethernet port you should get the Fonera+. I ordered a Fonera for my dad two weeks ago, only to find out last week that he doesn’t have a router/switch, only a normal cablemodem. An extra warning for this situation (“No router/switch? Buy an Fonera+!”) during the ordering process would be welcome.

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Andrew Jorgensen on April 7, 2008  · 

There must be a certain number of people (though I’d have no idea how many, the guy with the radius hack can give you an idea) who bought a Fonera with the intent of hacking it eventually. It’s a really nice bit of hardware but it’s closed up so that it can’t do some of the things it’s capable of doing. Maybe, at least for these people, the approach is wrong.

Could FON provide a package (or set of packages) for a vanilla OpenWRT that would provide the Fonera functionality on top of whatever else the user wanted to do with their router?

Or could FON provide a more open system that allowed users to add functionality as long as the service wasn’t interrupted? Or a repository of approved add-on packages?

I try to keep mine active one way or another. I’ve given several away to family and friends in the hopes they would provide a good home for them. Most are active, only one has ever earned any money. It seems that in sub-urban and rural USA at least so many people already have access of some kind that there’s no need for FON. The one that did get some visits was in an apartment building with mostly young students and the Fontenna was pointed at another similar apartment building.

My guess is that marketing these things to individuals is not going to be profitable in the US generally but marketing them as a solution for small / medium business may prove to be much more effective. Say, for instance, if a local cafe had a Fonera and gave out a daily guest password on receipts. Then legitimate guests could use their WiFi free and others in range could buy a FON pass. A contract with a major restaurant or department store chain could also be effective. Or a contract with a mall.

Or better yet a contract with an ISP. Make a Fonera with a DSL or Cable modem built in and win a contract or two.

Dramatically increasing range somehow would also help. 802.11n may be the only way.

When I was in Madrid for the Mono Summit I couldn’t find a single FON access point. We were in the city center (between Gran Via and Lavapies) but expected we’d see at least one usable access point. Sorry for not stopping by HQ, it was a little out of the way. Probably next time, if there is one.

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Medienkompetenter on April 7, 2008  · 

I work at a callcenter supporting dsl router and modems. There are customers who shut down their internet router after ending their pc internet session, because e.g. they want to have control about being online or e.g. because they are used to modems.

A lot of customers even don’t know what the signs on the router mean. They control their internet connectivity by the success of loading a web page. These customers _if_ they should have a fon box don’t understand the internet technique at all.

In the end I am convinced that there are a lot of people who don’t understand their fon box because they don’t understand how internet and being online works.

Have a good lought about this women: She phones me and says, wlan connection does not work anymore. She had just arrived home from holidays and at her motel she happily used wlan connetion to the internet. Surprisingly not at home. I asked which router she owns. She couldn’t say. Later on I found out, she had a router without wlan – she bought the laptop because the sales man told her she could have internet connection via wlan everywhere. She was not told or she had not understood that she must be in the range of a wlan access point, nor she knew, what a wlan access point is.
She really thought wlan was a service like radio broadcasting available everywhere.

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A. Costa on April 8, 2008  · 

I recently started a local wireless community network and wasn’t able “adapt” the LaFonera to it, not even with freewlan, freifunk or francofon addons (maybe too technical for me). Since I only use a desktop PC at home, I won’t give up my AP’s only RJ45 port, and am definitely not buying a switch just for that purpose.
I did propose a possible “evolution” for Fon’s firmware and even business model (, but apparently FON has moved away from this possibility earlier on. No options left for me, except the too expensive ones.
BTW, I have no laptop or portable wi-fi device, I’m no Bill and will lose nothing but the money spent on the fonera (around €8) and the ability to provide internet access to those neighbours who can’t/won’t install DSL.

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crissty on April 8, 2008  · 

Jordi – FON ,La Fonera+ is too expensive for a router with only 1 LAN port(+ 1 WAN port).With that money you can buy a Linksys WRT54G,and the linksys has 4 Lan ports,and is linux based!

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Martin Varsavsky on April 8, 2008  · 


Your style sounds hypercritical to me as well. In any case many r both connecting others for free or making money and roaming. And the fritzbox consumes much more energy.

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Martin Varsavsky on April 8, 2008  · 


As you know we launched the Fonera + with another LAN port because of this, but what do you mean by limited by Fon firmware? in what way exactly?

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Martin Varsavsky on April 8, 2008  · 

Thierry, and wasn´t the Fonera useful to give WiFi to you?

The Fonera is above all a WiFi router that gives WiFi to the Fonero, and then it also gives WiFi to others as well.

Also you could try with a Fontenna, Fon has thousands of connections every day.

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Martin Varsavsky on April 8, 2008  · 


Yes, we are about to launch an encrypted Fonera with BT, but we are doing this to comply with British law that allows the government to spy in what all citizens are doing on the internet. This is achieved through tunneling. Personally I am not happy with this system but it´s the law.

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crissty on April 8, 2008  · 

When i say that users are limited by FON firmware,i mean at the fact that the user haven’t full access to his FON router,telnet,ssh are closed by default,so the user must apply some triks to have access to many funtions in his box!
I hope that in the future you will leave the “doors” open to the routers,so the users can personalize their routers by them needs!

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Mark on April 8, 2008  · 

Hi Martin,
I have measured the energy consumption of the Fonera and the fritz box. With the actual firmware and the energy-management turned on the fritz box consumes about the same amount of energy but provides much more functionality. Functionality I need (telefone, lan-ports, printer and other hardware sharing, faxbox functionality, mailboxes), so I have to run it anyway. So the Fonera has to run (and consume Energy) additionaly just for no one connecting. Even though I placed it at a high point near the window the signal does not seem strong enough to really reach far enough through the neighbourhood. Reading the comments and the German Community forums I get the impression that this is a problem many people have. Hardly anyone using the hotspot and not finding one when needed. Don’t get me wrong, I think the Fon-idea is great and I also realise you try to improve. But at the moment I am skeptical. I really like to see firmware additions for the Fritz Box and other popular routers. At the moment a lot of other routers provide more functionality than the fonera and therefore can not be replaced by the Fonera. Then it would be great if Fon would just distribute signal-boosting equipment for the fonera-firmware enhanced routers.

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Jordi - FON on April 8, 2008  · 

Eric, with just a cable/modem and no router/switch you can still install your Fonera 1.0 straight to your cable/modem either using Fix IP provided by your ISP or PPPoE with your ISP credentials. The La Fonera+ is only suggested if you need, besides WiFi, an Ethernet connected device.
Jordi – FON

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Martin Varsavsky on April 9, 2008  · 


Indeed, this is the case. Especially, when you try to reach the general public.

Martin Varsavsky on April 9, 2008  · 

We will crissty, but we won´t give them away for free. Sorry.

Jordi - FON on April 9, 2008  · 

Caw, thanks for your comment. We have improved the issue of having Foneras loosing its heartbeat but, you are right, we still need to make our heartbeat new system more robust to any type of network situations. Regarding letting visitors check Gmail for free, I don’t agree with you, most Foneros have welcomed the initiative of having Gmail service available for all, the main reason why we become Foneros is to share and this is a service that many non-Fonero visitors appreciate and, after they use it, they are more willing to become part of the community. Giving small incentives for no-Foneros visitors to become community members is in benefit of all of us Foneros because help get more members into the community and share.

3.0 rating

Pablo on April 10, 2008  · 

It would be helpful to see if the people connected to your router have their routers on or if they are paying for a day of wifi or the 15 minutes free.

By the way, I have somebody changing the MAC address of his wifi card to connect for that 15 minutes so many times in a day.

I don’t know how this works but I don’t want people having internet for free and then not sharing theirs. How long do you wait if this people turn off their fonera?

Another feature I would like to see in the fonera is a limitation for uploading because if they try to download with p2p and they use 1mb for uploading, I might not have a good Internet connection for myself.

3.0 rating

firefighters on April 10, 2008  · 

I live on the 6th storey, and nobody (except myself for testing purposes) ever connects to my FON_AP since there’re linksys SSIDs around. Your only distributor here, skydio, no longer sells your routers and its own FONspot is turned off as well.

3.0 rating

Martin Varsavsky on April 11, 2008  · 

Thank you Simon,

We will look into the N70 issue!

fon amigo on April 12, 2008  · 

I’m french, I try to reply in english for your blog.

FONéra (FON Box) is OK to use.
But I have two cables : power and ethernet and it’s a problem while I let the FON box out of my bedroom: the door of my balcony is hard to be closed with two cords.
More, I am, in the same time, “FON Amigo” (customer of Neuf Cegetel ADSL witch have a deal with FON and latest modem adsl box); my adsl box modem is profiled to share my wifi for all customers of “Neuf Wifi + FON”, but I can’t experimente login FON network with my Neuf ID.
OK to share, but I want my share back 🙂
Another real probeml is nearness betwin FONera and the place I sleep.My ADSL box also use wifi in intern WLAN, and share wifi fur un-used band.
That’s a lot of wifi frequency near my head in a little bedroom as mine:
– “Neuf Wifi” private WLAN
– “FON private WLAN”
– “Neuf Wifi FON” also sharing my not-used connexion.
OK, the channel is the same with FON and NeufBox4 Wifi, but there is two access point in the sa

3.0 rating

fon amigo on April 12, 2008  · 

OK, the channel is the same with FON and NeufBox4 Wifi, but there is two access point in the same bedroom.
Maybe share Wifi for FON-box from another room (cordless) should be better than “all shared in a single room”.

3.0 rating

FathomsDown on April 14, 2008  · 

Hi Martin,

I think you are missing the biggest point here, people stop feeling that they are part of a community.

One of the biggest challenges that I see with Fon is that people joning believing there to be a great community spirit but, with poorly maintained boards, closed firmware, poor customer support and no real way to “get involved” beyond plugging in and running your Fonera, no wonder people wonder off. Its a bit like gathering a crowd together to do something great and then not telling them what to do!

Also, I think another issue may be that WiFi enabled routers are so cheap and easily available, the Fonera doesn’t meet the need of being a WiFi spot its self (how many wireless spots do you need in your home?). If a waterproof housing, PoE and suitable antennas were available then the Foneras would be more welcome as a specific spot device to share the signal and make some money. At the moment the idea of “wifi spot first, sharing second” seems a little misguided.

I think Fon is a great idea (I run three spots myself) but the Internet changes rapidly and Fon’s message seems to be getting a little left behind.

3.0 rating

Luís de Lisboa on April 14, 2008  · 


I feel that FathomsDown got exactly to the point! I asked myself why I wasn’t compelled as much as before to care for my public FON signal. The feelings were diffuse – but since I read it in the above comment, I instantly recognized what it was…

“People stop feeling that they are part of a community.”
FON is lagging behind in terms of people’s involvment.

I know this comment doesn’t provide much clue as to which actions must be undertaken, but at least part of FON’s challenge is now in equation.

3.0 rating

Martin Varsavsky on April 14, 2008  · 


The neuf box and the fonera normally does not send wifi over the same channel.

Jean-Baptiste Lévêque on April 15, 2008  · 

Why not use it?
– the device doesn’t work : since I have it here, I can’t see any wireless network, I can’t access the configuration page either
– poor support
– proprietary software prevents from faster bugfixes and upgrades

3.0 rating

fon amigo on April 20, 2008  · 

@ Martin Varsavsky: in my home, the fonera and “Neuf Wifi FON” are on the same channel…
Maybe i’m in wrong configuration, i’ll look about that on sunday (in fact, i’m ok, it is’nt a good thing to have several hotspot on the same channel).
@ FathomsDown: ok with you. FON is a superb idea but, after monthes, people forget they are members of a pervasive network and very good idea. Maybe the FON newsletter isn’t good support (i dont’t care about the home page of Simpson customer…)
Maybe FON should tell more about friendship like Neuf Cegetel or other partners… and I suggest, as made by Neuf Cegetel in France, a mobile phone available on wifi ( “Neuf Mobile Twin” : it’s a marvelous GSM/Wifi phone FON compliant for free calls).
Maybe if FON customers have a wifi-phone for around 30 €, allowed on all fonera in the world for free calls by SIP (only if their fonera is powered on), they will let their fonera plugged 🙂
I’m sorry for my approxymative english, i’m a french man with scolar level in english language.

3.0 rating

fon amigo on April 20, 2008  · 

@ Jean-Baptiste Lévêque :
You should look about your firewall or allowed MAC adress in your routeur / adsl modem (“box” as named in France).
In my home, Fonera is plugged on Neuf Box and immediatly it’s OK to use. Don’t forget after several days or weeks with FONera unplugged, your ID are suspended. Plugging on your fonera, you’ll be able to use it after some days.
@Jean-Baptiste Lévêque, regarde peut-être la config de ta box. Chez moi je suis en NB4, ça a marché de suite (après quelques minutes).
Peut-être as-tu activé un filtrage MAC ?
J’avais laissé ma FONéra débranchée plusieurs semaines (pour ne pas dire des mois) et mes droits ont été coupés; en la remettant en service, 3-4 jours après tout a re-fonctionné.
Je te l’accorde, le support ne répond guère…
According to you, customer support seems not available a lot :-/

3.0 rating

Paul RODTS on April 23, 2008  · 

In Belgium we are limited in download and upload bytes / month. In my case only 2GB a month. From the moment I use up 80 % of my capacity, my provider Telenet, will ask regularly if I want more MB’s. Of course I will have to pay extra for it…This question is asked by Telenet on a normal unsecured page…So anybody who is at that moment connected to my Fon-router, can order extra MB’s on my account. If I complain at Telenet, they tell me I can’t share for legal reasons…But I keep the Fon-router open,…I am a romantic person… Maybe FON can convince Telenet to more flexibility ? Because this is the main reason in Flanders why people disconnect their Fon-router…

3.0 rating

Martin Varsavsky on April 24, 2008  · 

I am surprised that customers put up with that system in Belgium Paul, I guess they have no choice.

3.0 rating

Wong Chi Chung on May 6, 2008  · 

None of the choices provided are what Foneros want.

Two real reasons are
1. The Fonera generates great heat and it is not stable.
2. The “official” Fonera firmware does not provide sufficent basic management functions such as MAC cloning. The official firmware update is not aggressive enough towards it and people think that the R&D department are abandoning the product/service.

3.0 rating

Chinarut on September 1, 2008  · 

I’m speaking as someone who considers myself tech-saavy, someone who has been following the FON community for quite some time, globetrotted to get a sense of what’s out there and someone who is making a choice to join the FON community and help expand the network. Thanks for the comments, not being able to configure the FON router for advanced networking was something I wasn’t aware of in particular.

I was just ready to buy a FON and put items in my cart and thought I’d do some research on a Fontena and stumbled across the My FON blog – which attempts to present pros and cons.

I got a link to this blog entry and concerned about my personal experience walking around Tokyo – I was using my ole skool iPhone WiFi to sniff FON hotspots and found a few but it never really worked in the end.

I am concerned about one the comments above in regards to Livedoor – I could never get a livedoor hotspot to work.

I did this over the course of 3 months – I was really excited before I got there and now it’s tapered off a bit.

Did I miss something?

I also wasn’t getting a response in regards to how to get the Panasonic Skype WiFi FON combo.

I’m sure you’re busy Martin, but not getting responses when more than one person is asking is well…seems a bit insulting but I’m not holding you personally to it at the moment and giving you the benefit of the doubt!

I’m going to let this simmer for at least another day. I didn’t expect to be surprised by additional shipping costs and suppose I didn’t read the fine print!

3.0 rating

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