Below is a comparison table listing features and prices of the Fonera 2.0 and its closest competitors. Companies like ASUS, Planex, D-Link, Belkin and Linksys all sell wireless routers with USB ports and storage features, but none of these provides the same functionality  as the Fonera 2.0 and none can match its 49€ price. This makes the Fonera 2.0 the best deal on the market if you are looking for a smart router that not only gives you wifi, but also allows you to share hard drives, printers and webcams in your network and delegate your downloading and uploading activities to an inexpensive tiny router, letting you keep your PC off while downloading at night, helping you save money and reduce carbon emissions.

The closest competitors for the Fonera 2.0 are WiFi routers from Planex and ASUS that let you download files from BitTorrent to a USB hard drive and share a printer on your network. Both lack most of the Fonera 2.0’s features, like Youtube, Flickr and Picasa uploaders, out-of-the-box support for 3G modems and the Megaupload and Rapidshare downloaders. Both ASUS and Planex products let you stream your files to iTunes equipped PCs or media devices and we’ll soon release the same iTunes server functionality for the Fonera 2.0. On top of that, the Fonera 2.0, like a normal Fonera, lets you  share some of your bandwidth at home, make some money with your WiFi connection and roam the world for free. This unique feature is not available in any other router. The Fonera continues to be the only social router in the world.

Planex BitTorrent routers are hard to find in Europe or the US (or at least I couldn’t find recent pricing information for them), while the ASUS WL-500g Premium and its bigger brother, the WL-700 (equipped with a 250GB drive), cost respectively around 100€ and 220€. The other routers in the table provide only basic file sharing features and nonetheless all cost more then our Fonera 2.0. The Belkin N+ router and D-Link DIR-855 offer greater coverage thanks to the 802.11n standard, that the Fonera 2.0 (which is 802.11g) can beat using our Fontennas. We decided to keep the price of the Fonera low by not including a hard drive as there are 1 tera HDD now for only 99 euros. The Fonera works best with a USB 2.0 hub so you can combine pen drives, hard drives, web cams, 3G dongles, or whatever USB device you fancy.


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Sergi on March 30, 2009  · 

I would like to point out that the link to the “Fontennas” doesn’t show any antenna… and that the 802.11n standard doesn’t give you just “more coverage”, it also give you more speed in the wireless connection (in comparison with the 802.11g standard).
A part of that, I like the Fonera 2.0 and I hope you include the “N” standard soon…

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steven on March 30, 2009  · 

You are right;
but competition :
* Linksys NSLU2 :

also I notice most people are currently looking at Mediatanks and NAS systems to do the above and more…

eg a Popcorn Hour is very popular…it can stream al kinds of movies to your hdmi lcd screen; but in the background you can attach internal harddrive or external usb drive; it connects to the internet with a wifi-n dongle or network cable; it has torrent and hulu support

also synology, qnap, thecus and others are becoming popular…although they can become as expensive as you want as well 🙂

currently the Fonera 2 only supports an Huawei 3G stick; also couldn’t get any webcam (I have 5 different brands… logitech, creative, hercules, …) to work on it as well

But the music server & fileserver & printerserver work 🙂

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Avery on March 31, 2009  · 

nice stuff:)

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Andreas on March 31, 2009  · 

So you do not need an additonal router anymore with the Fonera 2.0? Did I get this right? I have a Fonera for 2 years now and I am still happy. I did not really get your points why somebody would by a Fonera 2.0, Martin. Di people really use it in the end to upload their videos?

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Andreas on March 31, 2009  · 

So you do not need an additonal router anymore with the Fonera 2.0? Did I get this right? I have a Fonera for 2 years now and I am still happy. I did not really get your points why somebody would buy a Fonera 2.0, Martin. Do people really use it in the end to upload their videos?

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Kyros on March 31, 2009  · 

You could add a “white case with yellow print” and a “nice white antenna” line to the table and so add more green check-hooks for la fonera2. 😉

In such comparison lines you shall only have general attributes to compare.
For instance this list misses lines of features Fonera2 doesn’t offer.
E.g. some (or most) of the competitors offer:
– Simple web page hosting from USB attached file space…
– Simple client list with IPs
– MAC blocking (blacklist)
– MAC client whitelist
– Full repeater mode
– 802.11n
And you see that FON adds lines for very special features which are clear that the others hardly can have it. To say it with an analogy: If you compare a BMW car with others it’s clear that it’s the only one which features a BMW logo on it.
Same here:
– Make money with your WiFi
– Free roaming
–> These are specific FON attributes
Where are the competitor’s specific attributes (which FON probably doesn’t meet)?
Further it makes no sense to only add only the uploader types FON supports.
To be fair you would have to add all uploader file service types existing to see if the other routers perhaps support others (which perhaps FON does not support).

Hmm… so for me it’s a quite blue-eyed table – would be nice to have it more objective.
Then perhaps such a benchmark wouldn’t only say how great FON is but additionally really show which features would have to be added in the next firmware releases to be more competitive.

Regards, Kyros

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Barry on April 1, 2009  · 

You kind of forget the whole purpose of FON’s value proposition in the first: share a little WiFi, get free WiFi everywhere. Doesn’t the Fonera 2.0, unlike the other routers mentioned, do precisely that? Wasn’t the idea that if you give someone a router that they actually want to keep on all day long that it will be easier to build the network? Or has the WiFi sharing business plan failed and been replaced with that of a hardware company of very limited product variety?

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Barry on April 1, 2009  · 

Sorry, I know these are listed. But they should be the first ones.

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PabloS on April 2, 2009  · 

Martin, does the Fonera supports any type of VPN or SSL tunnel implementation? I mean, as if it were a firewall with a VPN endpoint for lets say, 8 users.

if not, have you or your team test something like that with the new hw?


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Luis FON on April 3, 2009  · 

Hi PabloS

The VPN and/or a way to “connect to home” is a great idea and I’m pretty much sure some tests are being done in any case why don’t you add it to the “whishlist” 🙂

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PabloS on April 4, 2009  · 

@LuisFON, thanks for the reply mate. Yes, I’ll definitely add it to the wish list. (update: I cannot edit that wiki page [permission error] )

Do you know hackable the Fonera is? I mean, do you think It might be worth the effort for the memory/CPU allocated at the moment with that HW?

I might give it a try.. perhaps an openswan could be ported here.


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Jordi - FON on April 4, 2009  · 

@PabloS, Fonera 2.0 is the first 100% hackable Fonera, and not just that, we encourage those who have experience on embedded devices to do their hacking and play with it so other Foneros can use their improvements. Please feel free to come around to and share your hacks!

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Luis FON on April 6, 2009  · 

@ PabloS, to edit the wiki all you need is a wiki account you will find this option (“log in / create account”) on the top right 😉

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Adam on April 24, 2009  · 

I like the sound of this – only thing I’d like to see added is 802.11n. Antenna is nice but extra speed for home network is even better. As is, for home network media use I will still need a separate N-compliant device, and I’m not sure how to include the Fonera2 in such a network. Perhaps it can act as a bridge on a b/g/n network yet still perform its upload/download/media server functions?

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Tarkin on April 29, 2009  · 

Any Linksys or Buffalo router hacked with DD-WRT/Open-WRT/Tomato will beat the Fonera single handed (Features); you can even choose to purchase a gigabit Ethernet and/or N-draft enabled router if you wish. Or just stick with a basic cheap model.

There’s even a FON Hotspot setup for DD-WRT (FON Hotspot).

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Jordi - FON on April 30, 2009  · 

@Tarkin, we are talking here about Fonera 2.0 with USB support for external USB devices managed by the device and accessible by the applications running on the device, “any Linksys or Buffalo” do not have this by default, can you specify a model? The only ones with USB and enough flash and RAM memory to do this type of task are MUCH more expensive. Thanks!

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