Totally free Fonera wifi router - HotUKDeals
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Totally free Fonera wifi router

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[admin] 9y, 9m agoFound 9 years, 9 months ago
2500 available. The idea is you join the free community, no fees or taxes etc as far as I can make out. Link goes to the US page, but click the UK flag to go to the UK version.

- Order a FREE La Fonera WiFi router with no taxes and FREE shipping
- Join the Community and start using FONspots for FREE around the world
- FREE membership in the FON Community
- FONspots for FREE around the world
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[admin] 9y, 9m agoFound 9 years, 9 months ago

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It says in the terms:

This Special Offer is valid until Saturday, March 31st, 2007 and limited to 2500 units and to people who register or are already registered as Foneros

La Fonera is only €/$ 29.95 because we do a nice thing and subsidise it.

Don't know if that's one off, annual, or monthly, but it's not free :-(
Well I ordered one... can't really see what their business model is going to be if they are just planning on making money from generally selling these routers. Probably planning to charge in the future.

You don't need to give any payment details when you check out, just check off the sharing promise.

Edit: jmdrizen - it is generally 29.95 for the router, but it looks like they are trying to get critical mass so they are giving a bunch away. There isn't a monthly fee or any payment details required for this promo.
Reading the small print it looks to me like you are agreeing to become a local wi-fi hotspot, correct me on this if i'm wrong! But my guess is that if you use these routers for a home network you won't be able to set up a secure one with encryption. sorry to answer my own question just taken this from the site:

La Fonera offers you two wireless network signals (SSIDs), a private and a public one. The private signal is encrypted and offers you complete privacy.

The public signal will be accessible to Foneros only. This signal is the one that turns your broadband connection into a FON Access Point.

Furthermore, all Foneros connecting to the public WiFi signal within the FON Community are registered users. They need to identify themselves by a username and password.

Running an Access Point with La Fonera is not only secure but also easy to control. You can choose the amount of bandwidth you want to share.
Yeah the idea is you set it up to be a local hotspot and then you can use anyone else's fonera hotspot free. It says you can control the sharing etc. I don't know how it actually works but can confirm I have the "payment" receipt and it is free.
cheers, voted Hot and joined up...
Why would anyone want one of these?

You are giving away some of your bandwidth, plus it can be insecure as some people have the ability to hack in!
What happens if someone uses your bandwidth to download something dodgy? I'm not sure if I would want someone using my connection as you have no control over what they are downloading.
but if you live out in the sticks? :whistling:
I think the dodgy bit is covered by everyone having to sign in with their username so activity is tracked back to the user. As for security this seems to be addressed by their dual-SSID's although I have _no_ idea how secure it is to hop from the public network to the private one? A networking guru would know more but it probably depends a lot on how the hardware actually works.
Shouldn't this be in the Freebie forum? :whistling: :giggle:
Ordered, thanks. :thumbsup:
If you don't know what FON is then don't just rush in and order one!
Definitely read up on FON ( before you sign up!
It's not a free WiFi router for nothing! You have to share your bandwidth. It's a good community to be a part of if you like to travel? I don't know much about FON, but I did read a magazine article a year or so ago.

The initial post is a bit mis-leading?
I don't think it's misleading? It's free and there's no commitment and they don't take any payment details so there's no way for them to start charging you without you giving them that info in the future.

As for the sharing bit that's up to anyone, but the cost and commitment is free.

Personally I think the whole concept is a great idea but maybe that's because I'm always scrounging around for cafes and such with free wifi. I doubt it will ever catch on that much but free is free in the meantime :)
Remember that unless you have uncapped broadband you could be running the risk of picking up the bill for anyone that decides to use your hotspot....might be worth bursting it open however to see what the guts of it are, might be able to flash the firmware with the manufacturers original stuff.
Am I correct in thinking if you do not register the router and share your connection for free on it you will be charged for the router?
and they advertise your location publically on a map?
Good point ssssstu - especiall the second ;)

Looking at their online map of other fonera AP's I've found two within a five minute walk from my flat so the community might be handier than I thought...
Am I correct in thinking if you do not register the router and share your connection for free on it you will be charged for the router?

Considering they didn't take any payment details I don't see how they would do that... the page says if you get it and don't want to share then pass it on to a friend who does which doesn't sound like a we'll break your legs thing.
well, i've ordered! :?

If I don't do it, I'll pass it to a friend :whistling:
Considering they didn't take any payment details I don't see how they would do that... the page says if you get it and don't want to share then pass it on to a friend who does which doesn't sound like a we'll break your legs thing.

Cant you just use some random name :whistling: ? Ordered & repped! good spot:thumbsup:
and they advertise your location publically on a map?

I don't think it attaches any identifiable info to that. It mentions on their site about making a "social" page so maybe you can opt to show info on the map?
No payment information doesn't mean they can't invoice you for it.
And then eventually sell the debt to someone nice and friendly like Wescot debt collection agency?
It looks like Google, Skype, Index Ventures and Sequoia Capital (the guys who first invested in YouTube along with others) are investors in this. So it's not a fly by night scam...
No payment information doesn't mean they can't invoice you for it.

I'm not defending this but it doesn't say anywhere there is an ongoing cost, in fact it says there isn't. The cost is the 29.95 wifi router which they're giving away free in this promo.
Sorry for my arrogant scepticism but I do not believe in a free lunch.

Looking at this and asking other people about it seems to make it pretty 100% certain that if you do NOT setup a FON hotspot with this and in doing so sharing your internet connection means they will charge you for the router or at the very least make you send it back, which would be the reasonable thing to do I suppose.

It would be nice if someone could prove me wrong.

If this was truly free and didn;tcharge customers I;d consider it, there could be a business model for paying for it via advertisements.

But they charge customers and have strict rules if you view here:
If you got this router and became part of the community. How would you stand legally if your local branch of Al Qaeda or the local paedophile started using it to plan something unspeakable?

Even if there were logs to prove it wasn't actually me - I'd rather not have the hassle of the boys in blue popping round to see me at 4 in the morning with stun grenades.
I'm totally with you schizoboy however I can't find anything that says that. My guess is that with the default firmware you can't turn off the hotspot thus it is not an issue for them. I don't know I'll tell you when I get it.

In the meantime I can only go off the info on their site and no where that I can find does it say anything other than "if you don't make the Fon hotspot give this to a friend". If you can find anything that says they will charge you for it or anything like that by all means tell me/us so we all know what we're getting into.

In the meantime it seems kosher to me.

The other reason it makes sense is that they will only make a go of this if they have critical mass so that you actually want to be a fonero user. If they don't have enough wifi hotspots no one will go for it. So it makes sense they would be giving some away to get people putting them up.
Not turn off? you can bloody unplug lol but then it's useless..

So there is no need to charge you as using it forces you to become a hotspot and you can't change the key it uses which it'll share with customers who pay and want to use your bandwidth?

You could firewall and QOS the router though I imagine, severely throttling it, to below dial up speeds to anyone but your IP, but that would be quite cumbersome and require a seperate adsl modem and router setup anyways.

Makes sense I suppose certainly explains how they can do this offer.

I saw mention on the fon board of being paid for users using your connection.

creamola makes a good point too, but if people pay to use it they can be tracked financially I imagine.

Thanks for clearing that up admin.
Not working for me. Keep getting an error page after click the uk flag, or when trying to checkout.
Its not totally free you have to share some of your bandwidth and your location will be shown on the fon website as a hotspot and you will be registered to it....

Don't know what would happen if you never broadcast your Wifi signal and just kept the router for yourself though, surely they have no way of checking up on you...

Perhaps they would send the boys round to sort you out and grab the router back...:giggle:
According to their site you can either be a Linus (share it and get other spots free), Alien (pay to access the spots and don't share) or Bill (make 50% off Alien's who access your spot).

Here's a thread in their forum about the security/porn issues:
I would join for the free access and not share my connection but I do not want my location on their site tbh.
schizoboy - about the whether they charge you later issue read this:

or this

So definitely seems like they don't charge anything later as they are requesting people not to sell the ones they get for free and to give them on instead.
I'm getting a shop error...
From the board
I ordered one of the free la foneras when they were available, but I am not able to set it up for another couple weeks until I am back at my permanent residence. I am wondering if there is a time frame before I am going to be charged for the router if I don't hook it up immediately. It says on the site you have to have the router on 24/7, so I wasn't sure how that worked. Does that mean that I have to have it set up soon and then keep it on forever and if it disconnects they charge me? I think I had my CC# in my account before, so that's possible.

there used to be easy-to-find documentation that one must register their router within 30 days of recieving it. I can no longer find it. You may have clicked "I agree" to register the router when you ordered it. Also, Fon may have quietly removed this requirement in the same way that they removed their "keep the router running for one year" thing.
Yeah hope I've not missed this; I'm getting the error too.

I registered with FON about a year ago when they were using Linksys routers flashed with their own firmware to offer this service. It is legit and a great idea but please don't abuse it just because you want a router. It's quite a basic one anyway and not much substitute for even a £30 wireless access point. The idea is that if everyone actually uses this to open up their broadband connection then we can limit our usage of 3g/gprs or whatever when we need to access the internet on the move, saving a small fortune and benefiting from more bandwidth. Also casual users can get broadband without the outlay for line rental and ISP charges.

Maybe this one is more for the techies who are confident they can control (perhaps via QoS) of the service they provide to others. Please read the rest of the website before diving straight in. I personally think the idea is great and this isn't one of these deals we should all jump on just because it's free.
Yer i realise how their business model works now if the firmware on the router forces you to become a hotspot whether you like it or not, I wonder if it auto updates fon of your location, which would be interesting to see how it works that out.

A little googling can show you can to hack the fireware to restore proper software so that you can make it a private router for your own personal use only allowing whom you want to use it.
Thanks for the post willdashwood. good to hear from someone who's familiar with the service. You must have been one of the first sign-ups then?

What about security issues? Is it a pretty secure set-up straight out of the box?
1 Like #37
Actually I'm user #16783 apparently :)

I ordered the hardware when they had a special offer on last time (have to admit it was mostly because they were sending out a subsidised Linksys WRT54G, the early versions which you could run Linux on). But they ran out of stock and for one reason or another I never got one and didn't chase it up. So I have no experience of the hardware but I did look quite a lot in to the system. AFAIK, access is logged by FON for billing purposes so if someone does use your connection for illegal purposes you can prove you operate an open access point.

The only area I would be concerned about is going against your ISP's T&C.
As for it being easy to set up, that depends if you're happy to just plug it in to your ADSL modem and give other users fair use of your connection. Personally I'd be looking in to making sure if I really needed the bandwidth then I could prioritise my traffic and that is not beginners stuff.
And what about your network security? It sounds like having personal hardware firewall is a very good idea when letting strangers to roam your network.
Which kinda defies the idea really.
And what about your network security? It sounds like having personal hardware firewall is a very good idea when letting strangers to roam your network.
Which kinda defies the idea really.

Remember home users (yourself, family, etc) connect to the secured private SSID and that's is segregated from the public side which is accessible by other FON users.

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