The unassuming little router pictured here is your key to free Wi-Fi all across the planet. I’m surprised by how few people seem to know about Fon, but it is gaining in popularity all the time.
The premise is simple enough. All you have to do is buy this router for $53, and it works as a normal Wi-Fi router at your house or work. The difference is it has two separate channels: A private, secured channel, and one for the public to access.
Private access is handled by entering the router’s serial number, so it will be fairly difficult for anyone to use it. The public channel is done by entering your Fon ID and password to log in.
Now, that’s actually where the fun part comes in. If you have your own Fon router, and you’ve registered it with the company, you now have the right to use any Fon router in the world that you come across by just using your Fon ID. The only caveat is you do have to keep your router up and going, you can’t just buy it and then not run it.
So, for a one time fee of $53, you get worldwide Wi-Fi access no matter what country you are in. You can look up where spots are located around the world with this handy Google Maps mashup.
The question I always asked my self was “Well, if only 10 people do this, it’s not worth it.” However, there are now over 100,000 users around the world. They also recently struck a deal with British Telecom to blanket all of England in Fon routers. There’s been no word yet on where else they may strike similar deals, but it is definitely a step in the right direction.
Course, my next question was how do you locate the other Fon routers in the world? Easily enough you can go to the Fon maps page and enter your desired location to look up and you’ll see the green dots pop up all over the place in most major cities.
I am sure afew of you are thinking, “But, Sean, you live in a small town, why do this?” Because my company now has free Wi-Fi access all over the planet. It was worth the money to me just for that!