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Nov. 29th, 2011 @ 08:28 pm Goodbye FON
Current Mood: nerdynerdy
I have been operating a Fon hotspot for some years. I didn't have a wireless router, and the Fonera was cheap, easy to configure and to keep updated ('just add internet', basically) and I liked the idea of consumers sharing their resources with others. However, in all those years, nobody logged in to my FonSpot (I don't live in a tourist hotspot, to put it mildly) and in reverse, I never logged in any other FonSpot while I was on the road.

A few weeks ago, I bought a USB wifi module with an external antenna. I had a cable running to the computer below the TV, but the network speed is atrocious -- so I thought I'd go wireless there too. After all, the Wii and PS3, which are placed next to the computer, connect to wifi as well and they don't seem to suffer any adverse effects.
However, I found out that this USB module crashed my Fonera! The SSID broadcast simply ceased, and the phones (which connect to the wifi as well) lost their connection. I've tried a few different things, but in the end the conclusion must be that the USB wifi module and the Fonera just don't go together.

Yesterday, I unplugged the Fonera and configured the Linksys ADSL modem (which has a built-in wifi router) to use the exact same SSID and network password, and re-enabled the wifi router. Sure enough: the phones and everything connected to the wifi network without a hitch. And then I enabled the USB wifi module in the PC, and it connected too. And everything stayed connected.

So I feel a little pang of guilt for dismantling my Fonera, but I don't think anyone will miss it. And now we can play Spotify in the living room too, and that's worth more to me than the hypothetical possibility of a random passerby needing wifi in front of my house.
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Date:November 29th, 2011 07:38 pm (UTC)
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Huh, I never even heard of Fon. Was it ever a big thing? Sounds like you made a good choice in switching anyway.
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Date:November 29th, 2011 07:43 pm (UTC)
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It is a pretty big thing in some parts of the world, where ISP's distribute Fonera routers with their subscriptions, like in the UK, Spain, Belgium and Japan, amongst others.
But to really make use of it, you have to have a need for wifi within range of a FonSpot -- and that just never happened to me. (Also, nowadays most stores and cafes should put an open wifi router in their store, and not something semi-closed like Fon. Bandwidth isn't expensive anymore.)
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