By John Herrman
FON has done some elective surgery on their Fonera 2 router, released just a few months ago with NAS, 3G and BitTorrent support. On top of those previous upgrades, the newest version includes 802.11n connectivity, web app upload support and reduced power usage. But first: What the hell is Fonera?
A re-refresher, from last time they dropped new hardware:
All Fonera routers are open to all Fonera users, meaning that in exchange for providing Wi-Fi to the occasional Fonera-owning passerby, you get to tap into other Fonera users’ connections whenever you’re away from home. It’s a pretty cool idea, but it’s not clear that there are enough Foneras in existence for the concept to work in practice, at least in the US.
The company also has telco partners (albeit mostly overseas), who essentially subcontract hotspots to Fonera users. It’s an interesting concept even if it’s a little cultlike, and for the price—about $US70—the Fonera 2n is a solid deal in strict hardware terms.
Caters to Web 2.0 with Faster WiFi, Home Network Access, and Manages File Uploads/Downloads – Even With Your PC Off
MADRID, July 14 /PRNewswire/ — FON today introduced the Fonera 2.0n WiFi router in the US market, combining FON’s revolutionary WiFi sharing and money making features with seamless integration and management of popular Web 2.0 services such as YouTube, Facebook, Picasa, Flickr, BitTorrent, RapidShare, and other content — even while users’ PCs are off. The Fonera 2.0n is on sale now at major retailers. This announcement is significant because anyone can now upload, download and synch ALL of their web apps while away from home, without getting stuck for hours waiting for something to load.
“If there’s one annoying aspect of the otherwise great internet, it’s the time it takes to upload videos, pictures, or download movies, tv series, games, and software from the internet,” said Martin Varsavsky, FON CEO. “The Fonera 2.0n is the first WiFi router that frees up your computer from those tasks. Close your computer, continue uploading and downloading!”
Built around the faster 802.11n standard, Fonera 2.0n has a greater WiFi reach and faster throughput than 802.11g routers, and its more powerful processors and sophisticated software enable it to run parallel applications and simultaneous uploads and downloads. A built-in USB hub and Fonera 2.0 management software allows users to connect external hard drives and other USB devices. This enables users to share data wirelessly, upload videos or photos automatically to YouTube, Flickr, Picasa and Facebook, or download* torrents or files directly from BitTorrent, RapidShare, and Megaupload without a computer running at the same time. Additional features include the ability to backup files to a hard drive, print, or access a remote webcam via WiFi, and convert an HSDPA or 3G dongle to WiFi.
Fonera 2.0n can also help users save money on energy and reduce their CO2 output. A Fonera 2.0n router consumes less than four watts while downloading, instead of a PC that averages 100 watts, so users can reduce their CO2 emissions by 273Kg a year — equivalent to driving an SUV more than 1,500km per year. **
“The deep integration of online file sharing, social networks, and other Web 2.0 content into our already busy daily lives translates into more hours spent at the computer, greater energy use and more greenhouse emissions,” said Varsavsky. “By enabling users to handle basic computing tasks from the router instead of the PC, we’re taking a small step towards reducing power consumption without limiting functionality.”
Fonera 2.0 also maintains all the features of previous FON WiFi routers. Once connected, it creates two WiFi signals, one private and one public, that allow for a secure, wireless Internet connection at home and free access at FON Spots worldwide. Fonera owners can also choose to make money*** by selling FON WiFi access passes or letting guests roam at their FON Spot.
Fonera 2.0n is based on open source and developers are encouraged to create and share additional applications.
For further information about the Fonera 2.0, visit www.fon.com.
FON started the free WiFi revolution in 2006 with the first Fonera WiFi router and the goal of free, ubiquitous WiFi for everyone. Today, FON has more than 350,000 FON Spots, over 1.3 million registered foneros, and a growing list of Telco partners who add FON functionality to their ADSL modems. Google, eBay, British Telecom, Index Ventures and Sequoia Capital are investors in FON.