Monthly Archives: February 2006

FON: Get free hotspot access if you share your hotspot

Interesting idea: http://en.fon.com/

In short, if you share your Wi-Fi router, you can log onto other members’ Wi-Fi routers for free. FON runs on your router, so you don’t have to run a server on your computer. I feel like I’ve heard this plan before, but I can’t recall where…

Comments/questions:

  • What’s the security story? Home users don’t set ACLs, so shared folders will be available to all FON users. And does everyone have their PC firewalls set properly?
  • How inconvenient is it? I assume that your home PCs/laptops on Wi-Fi will be treated like any other customer’s laptop. So you have to authenticate to FON to use your own Wi-Fi.
  • It’d be nice if you could easily share your phone or laptop’s wireless broadband connection (e.g. 3G, HSDPA, EV-DO). That would increase coverage in areas where home Wi-Fi isn’t available (e.g. buses, subways that are cell enabled).
  • Outside of densely populated areas, coverage will be pretty bad. 802.11n / MIMO will help, but only so much.