La Fonera 2.0N Wireless Router Review

lafonera-review-pic8The gateway between your home/office network and the rest of the internet is your router, and in most cases it’s  a very ‘dumb’ device. That’s started to change, with routers becoming more useful, and I started thinking about getting an upgrade. I’ve been using a Linksys WRT-54GL with DD-WRT firmware for the last couple months after my Airport Extreme got hit by lighting ( in Brooklyn! ). So I started thinking about what I’d upgrade to, and I heard about the Fonera router; It’s a community, everyone who’s part of the community gets free wifi from everyone else. Supposedly you can also make money off of people buying connection time through your Fonera, but I’ll have to wait and see what happens. But about a month ago, FON released their latest router and firmware, La Fonera 2.0N, and I decided to purchase one. Read on for my review of this very capable internet device.

lafonera-review-pic9This router is more than just a hardware device; It’s a global community of routers linked into one shared ‘cloud’ of Free WiFi. Wherever you find another Fonero ( The name for the people in the community ), you can connect to their router’s pubic signal for free and surf away. Your Fonero at home has a public and private wifi signal; The private signal is protected with up to WPA2 encryption, but you share the public signal and anyone connecting can use it for 10 minutes for free or they have to buy time. Doing this means you can possibly earn some bucks when people buy wireless time on your access point. Although I have doubts anyone is going to buy WiFi time on my router here in Brooklyn, I set it up to see what happens. However, I’m not in this for either the community sharing or the promise of dollars – I was primarily looking for a new wireless router with some cool features.

lafonera-review-pic10I was surprised when I received the package from UPS because of the ‘Tamper Evident Tape’ wrapping it tightly and the big warnings about Lithium batteries – I don’t know whats inside this Fonera, but I can safely say my La Fonera 2.0N was not tampered with before arriving. Once opened, the device is about the same size as most other routers; about the size of a paperback book, with 5 ports on the back, 2 antennas on the back, and a bunch of blinkin’ lights. It doesn’t look like anything special, except for the USB port in the front. The placement is a bit odd, the side would have been better, but it works. I plugged in my cable modem after leaving it powered off for 30 seconds ( Tip to anyone having cable modem problems; Unplug the power for a 2 minutes, then plug it back in ) & popped in a 2GB FAT32 formatted Flashcard. Connected a USB hub and a Brother HL2040 laser printer, and then started my browser on my Mac to configure the Fonera.

lafonera-review-pic3To log into the router, you just type ‘fonera’ into your browser window, and a registration process begins. One note here is that you should set the router up as soon as you power it on and get a network connection. Otherwise, if your location is hopping with other fonero’s, the first one on could sign up the router and have it added to their list of routers instead of yours. After the Fonera setup  you fill in your Flickr, YouTube, Picasa, FaceBook, Twitter, Torrents, and RapidShare downloader accounts, you get to the dashboard – and see all the neat things this router can do.

lafonera-review-pic7The services the router supports are: YouTube, Picasa, Flickr, and FaceBook automatic uploads; Torrent downloads; MegaUpload and RapidShare downloads, and the router even uses Twitter to ‘tweet’ its status. Beside all that, you get two SSID’s – This is the two seperate wireless networks mentioned above; One for your private use protected with whatever security method you choose and the other is open for public use. Like I mentioned, every Fonero who’s sharing WiFi can connect to any other Fonero’s wireless router. There are about a half dozen in my area of Brooklyn ( Dyker Heights ), and supposedly hundreds of thousands world-wide. The two networks are on different IP ranges, completely isolated from each other, and you can even limit the amount of bandwidth the public network is allowed to share to make sure your private network never gets bogged down.

So how does this work? Well, the Flickr, Youtube, Picasa, FaceBook, and Youtube services allow you to upload files just by dropping them in the appropriately named folder on the shared drive. The shared drive can be a USB Flash disk or a USB hard drive – I plugged one into the hub with a flash drive and both drives are accesdable via SMB & FTP, although the first one interact with the router software which means you’ll want you largest disk setup first.

Some examples of what you can do: drop a whole new gallery of images for Picasa, and even a couple videos for YouTube, both at the same time and the Fonera will upload the files on it’s own without any other computers on. Transmission lets you to use BitTorrent; Drop the torrent file into a folder called ‘Torrents’, and the Fonera starts downloading on it’s own. You can customize Transmission’s options too, via a separate Transmission webpage, as well as monitor the downloads. The MegaUpload and RapidShare accounts let you download files unattended too, and it links right into those services’ accounts. And when the Fonera is done performing an operation, it will use a Twitter account you setup for it to let you know what it’s doing.

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Other neat features include Printer Sharing; Pretty basic, but it works – Although the setup instructions for adding an OS X printer uses the CUPS WebAdmin and might scare a newbie a little. Although its a bit strange, it does work brilliantly when you follow the step-by-step guide on the Wiki. Fonera also includes OpenVPN, which isn’t compatible with OS X’s built in VPN Client, but it worked with an Ubuntu client. You also have the option of using a UMTS/3G USB Internet device on the La Fonera 2.0N, enabling you to share your 3G internet connection with your network. Since I do not have a 3G USB internet device, so I couldn’t test this, but I can see how useful this would be in a hotel or on a worksite. There’s even a webcam interface for up to four USB webcams viewed in a 4 panel screen. Finally, and I find this really interesting, you can plug in a USB Audio Card and play back music with the Fonera by plugging a set of speakers into the USB Audio Card. A Fonera-Jukebox!  I haven’t tested this yet, I’m waiting for my USB Audio device I picked up for $10 at NewEgg, but I’m looking forward to playing around with this.

lafonera-review-pic4Some of the items above are added using the Application screen, like the printer sharing, the webcam, and the music ability. There is a group of about a dozen other applications, but from what I understand you need the developer version of the firmware that enabled SSH access. I initially used my Fonera with the latest final developer version, 2.3.0.0, but since have upgraded to a newer 2.3.5.0 release candidate. Either way, the shell access works great via SSH & with the developer version I add applications from the terminal which opens a much wider range of software additions for the router. From what I understand, software built for the earlier versions of the Fonera is slowly being ported to the newer 2.0n hardware.

The hardware of the 2.0N is impressive, especially coming from the Linksys WRT-54GL. The Ralink CPU runs at 300MHz, and the device has 64MB Ram / 8MB Flash. WiFi to WiFi is rated at 4MB/s, WiFi to internet is rated at 8MB/s, and WiFi to USB HardDrive is also rated at 8MB/s. I saw similar speeds, but closer to 6MB/s copying data to and from the hard drive. Torrent downloads are rated at a maximum of 800KB/s, and I definitely saw a slowdown when I had torrents downloading & uploads to YouTube, and sending a print job. All the operations would get slower, but otherwise everything kept processing. Torrent activity seems to be the biggest hit on the router’s performance, but even with the router bogged down with torrents and uploads the internet connection wasn’t badly affected.

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A big note here is that I installed a newer release candidate firmware that included a universal media server and fixed some bugs. But unfortunately it also introduced a bug in the public wireless that caused me to turn it off for now. Since the original firmware had problems with my iPhone 3GS connecting over Wifi, I didn’t downgrade and kept using the newer firmware. Since it’s not a final update, bugs are to be expected, and otherwise I’ve been pleased with the router but please note the major issues with this router. Because of bugs in the 2.3.0.0 firmware and the issues in the current release candidate, do not buy this if you are expecting a trouble-free experience.

However, I want to say many of the primary features have worked well with either firmware with the exception of wireless. The developers are aware of the issues and working on a fix. So although it’s a great router with amazing promise, I think this router is more for the tinker until they sort out the firmware issues. Basically the Fonera 2.0N has some really nice features that expand the role a router can play on your network, but be ready to muck around with it.

UPDATE: One of the commenters reminded me of the problems with the original firmware and WiFi- The Fonera did NOT work well with my iPhone when I first installed it. I flashed the router with the RC candidate when it came out, and it’s been working great *with the public wireless disabled* so I had forgotten the troubles I had initially with wireless. I edited the review to include that information.

The bottom line is ONLY buy this router knowing there are serious bugs that need to fixed before it works as well as a Linksys or Netgear router.

 

Product Information

Price:$99.99 US / €79.00 EU
Manufacturer:Fon
Pros:
  • Wide range of services, fast 300MHz CPU & 64MB Ram, well designed interface, good community
Cons:
  • Firmware bugs, configuration not for the beginner, only 2.4GHz 802.11N, not Gigabit.
Posted in: Home, Kitchen, Reviews, Wireless

{ 43 comments… add one }

  • Gandhi January 9, 2010, 11:31 pm

    Can’t wait for a firmware that makes everything work flawlessly… Awesome router, though!

    1
  • Adam Scinto January 10, 2010, 5:13 am

    Here’s a great resource for more information about this router, and Fon in general;

    http://wiki.fon.com/wiki/Fonera_2.0n

    2
  • Norman January 10, 2010, 9:50 am

    Since the router has a lot if major flaws at the moment, DON’T BUY IT!

    See http://blog.fonosfera.org/.

    People are outraged. Wireless LAN drops often, promised iTunes server isn’t integrated yet, Upnp doesn’t work 95 % of the time after a while, etc., etc., etc.

    3
  • Adam Scinto January 10, 2010, 10:33 am

    A majority of issues were fixed in the RC that was taken down, I’ve had zero issues with private WLAN since. I totally agree with you however – Anyone looking at this product needs to be aware there are problems. My review wasn’t going to be so positive if I still had major issues with the 2.3.5.0 firmware, but I’ve been quite happy with it over the past month. As I wrote, my major problem is with the guest wireless which I turned off to solve, the private wireless had worked perfectly ever since ( 3 weeks or so ).

    I don’t use UPNP, but I just tried to via an XBOX running a media dashboard ( XMPC? ) & nothing shows up. I made sure it’s enabled, restarted the Fonera. So there’s UPNP not working too to add to the list.

    But I’m ok with this – I’m happy with all the extra stuff I can do on the router, especially through SSH. But if you’re not going to hack around with the router, and you’re just looking for something that works like a Linksys, this is NOT that product right now. Maybe it will be, hopefully soon, but right now the firmware is not stable or without serious bugs.

    4
  • alex puregger January 10, 2010, 10:45 am

    Thanks Adam for testing the Fonera 2.0N and writing this objective review!

    @ Norman: Sorry, but you misunderstood something here!

    The router works great with all released firmwares and upgrades.

    The Fonosfera refers to a Beta-Firmware candidate. It was never released as a firmware upgrade, and was actually taken off from Beta-testing, because it had some bugs.

    So, you dont need to worry!
    When you buy a Fonera, all features will work fine with all Firmwares released. If you are a person who up-and downloads a lot of files, you will enjoy it.

    And, we are working on a series of new features, which we will soon make available as well (after more testing ;-) )

    Regards

    Alex Puregger
    FON VP of Business Development

    5
  • Norman January 10, 2010, 11:37 am

    the strange thing is upnp worked for one week, i didn’t change anything, after christmas it worked for another 3 days then suddenly gone from all machines in the house. They don’t find anything, i rebootet, cut electricity etc. Nothing worked. And to see the music in iTunes was the original promise, if im not wrong (i could be, i only read “streaming music to itunes”) maybe someone mistook upnp for that.

    Another thing is the app-structure i was so happy about, but there are 0 REAL apps at the moment, only freak-shit like using a usb-to-audio-converter to add soundsystems to your wifi-router to let it stream internet-radio without having your computer turned on.

    WHO NEEDS THAT? Only nerds, cause if youre at home listening to internet-radio (cause you’re cooking or something) you have your computer on anyway, or you use your iphone/cellphone anything.

    The main reason i bought this was music-everywhere and big downloads at night, so half of what i wanted works, but a lot of promises are broken.

    6
  • Norman January 10, 2010, 1:15 pm

    @ alex puregger.

    I only installed the Release Candidate because the normal firmware made my internet connection (not wifi itself) drop about 50-100 times a day.

    A lot of people on the fon developer blog said the same, so many installed the RC.

    So even if i wished it is so, what you say is not true.

    And the promised features (i say iTunes only because UPNP also doesn’t work but it wasn’t promised, to be fair) are not there.

    Those are facts that everyone can read into when reading the fon developer blog user comments.

    7
  • Norman January 10, 2010, 1:17 pm

    PS: If you say you have a “normal” firmware where everything (plz specify “everything”) works, plz send me a link. I didn’t get the “normal” firmware i installed from the developer blog, i only searched there cause the internet connection dropped so often.

    And plz tell me what functionality i will lose when going back to that stable firmware. If it is the one i used before there are some torrentbugs, upnp isn’t integrated yet etc.

    Thnx for your time

    Norman

    8
  • Flint Einstein January 10, 2010, 2:08 pm

    quite dashing products and also cost effective. i really cannot wait.

    9
  • Des January 10, 2010, 2:32 pm

    I’ve had a few devices from Fon – heck I even had the beta tester t-shirt but the whole thing became unreliable – the routers were poor, the service was poor, FON started to get extremely defensive in respect of criticism and more importantly they sold out on the community by making agreements to allow customers of other companies FREE access to our WiFi but without any reciprocity (of course FON themselves got money).

    10
  • alex puregger January 11, 2010, 8:22 am

    @ Norman
    What you experienced with the internet dropping is indeed very strange and we would like to understand better. It is something we have not heard from other users.

    We recommend that you use firmware 2.3.0.0.

    In case you use an earlier version, follow these steps to upgrade directly from your Fonera’s management console.
    http://wiki.fon.com/wiki/Fonera_2.0n_Get_Started#Update_to_the_latest_firmware

    In case you upgraded to the previous Release Candidate (which I understand you did), the best to get to version 2.3.0.0 is by restoring your Fonera 2.0n following this procedure.

    http://wiki.fon.com/wiki/Firmware_Restore

    Please let us know if this works for you. If you still experience problems, we would like to analyze your specific “internet dropping” issue in more detail. Please dont hesitate to contact us at: support@fon.com. We will get back to you immediately.

    Regards
    Alex

    11
  • alex puregger January 11, 2010, 8:32 am

    @ Des
    Sorry if that is your feeling. FON is working very hard to make the routers fit different needs and environments.

    If you have experienced specific issues or feel that there are critical improvements we need to implement, we would like very much to gain you back as a Beta-Tester and let you participate in the improvement process.

    Alex

    12
  • Des January 11, 2010, 8:43 am

    @ alex

    I don’t think so. Boingo users can use Foneros WiFi for free, BT Openzone users can use Foneros WiFi for free. Other commercial companies users can use Foneros Wifi for free but all Foneros can do is use other Foneros Wifi – they can’t logon to Boingo or use BT Openzone etc.

    The dream is over really and ultimately it’s the Foneros who got taken for a ride.
    http://boards.fon.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=4361

    13
  • alex puregger January 11, 2010, 11:02 am

    @ Des
    If that was your concern, it was easy to gain you back as a Fonero :-)

    I am glad that you dont need to worry anymore because your info is absolutely incorrect.

    Neither Boingo users nor BT Openzone users (nor users of any other commercial hotspot operator) can access FON for free like sharing Foneros can. They have to pay like any other Alien accessing a FON router. And if you are a Bill, then you keep 50% of all revenues!

    I’d be interested to find out where your info comes from?

    But, what is true, is that FON enters into partnerships with Telcos to GROW the FON network.

    We have agreements with British Telecom, ZON Portugal, SFR Neuf France, Comstar Russia and other leading Telcos around the world.
    These Telcos support FON and make it easier for their subscribers to join the FON movement. They put the FON software into their routers and convert their own WiFi routers into FON Spots. This way their subscribers can join FON without having to purchase a Fonera WiFi router. They just need to activate FON on their router, share some of their WiFi and then get access to the entire FON network.

    So, FON enters into agreements with Telcos and grows the network of FON access points.

    More Telco partners means more FON Spots all over the world. Just a week ago we passed the 1 Million FON Spots mark worldwide.

    Hope you get a chance to enjoy it!

    14
  • Adam Scinto January 11, 2010, 8:38 pm

    @Alex; I too experienced those wireless issues with the initial firmware, which is one of the reasons why I upgraded to the 2.3.5.0 release. Please email me so we can discuss this issue.

    15
  • HeavyG January 11, 2010, 11:05 pm

    “…you can connect to their router’s pubic signal for free…”

    So this router has a PUBIC signal that I can hit? Giggedy-giggedy.

    16
  • Des January 12, 2010, 10:09 am

    @Alex – As a fonero I would still not be able to use Boingo or Openzone without charge. If you read the link I posted from Fon’s own board you’ll see that the BT/FOn linkup caused many issues and non-bills who were in just for the sharing found that their WiFi was being shared but without reciprocity.

    My main point is that Fon has lost the community feel and is (for econmic reasons) becoming more commercial.

    17
  • Des January 12, 2010, 10:09 am

    @alex – thanks for engaging in this discssion by the way. However for me it has run its course.

    18
  • Ryan January 12, 2010, 11:59 am

    I’ve got quite a silly question.
    Does this mean that after you buy this router, I assume you get a username and password. But does this mean that if you were somewhere away from your home (eg. the park) where there is a FON wifi network, you can use your mobile phone (equipped with wifi) to connect to the FON network, or do you need the router present.
    Because whenever I activate my Wifi on my mobile phone to all the places i have been, I have never seen a FON network. Or do people name the SSID differently? If so, how do you know if a wifi network is a FON network able to be used for free? Thanks.

    Regards,
    Ryan

    19
  • Adam Scinto January 12, 2010, 12:25 pm

    @Ryan – Yes, it means if you find a FON network you can connect with your phone over wifi using a FON username and password.

    Usually the network is named something like FON_Public, but you can change the name if you want although it will always be like FON_something

    20
  • Ace731 January 25, 2010, 1:00 pm

    yes, i have iphone connectivity issues too. my phone on the wifi is practically worthless. using internet for an app takes 9 years or not at all. also i had a printer error. it didnt give me a specific error message it started printing a page then stopped all together.

    21
  • sunni January 25, 2010, 1:44 pm

    Funni funni,

    I’m a fonnero user since years till 2.0n has come and the fon team has no longer respect to the customer.
    This 2.0n is absolutliy bullshit and and they to do not care, that customer has payed for theyer router!

    If someone from the fon team don’t understand my comment, how long is asap – fonosfera site …..

    Sorry but fon is dead after that unprofessional information politique, sorry to say that

    22
  • jahlive2 February 3, 2010, 6:05 pm

    i haven’t read all the comments here, but i have this router for like 3 months now, with firmware 2.3.0.0
    and i just really hate the fact that its just f*cking slow.
    youtube uploading is failing more thn it is working.
    megaupload/rapidshare feature is useless unless u have premium accounts.
    the torrent client is working, but when it’s downloading at like 800~KB/s or even less the whole gui is just retardedly slow and i can’t even enter the torrentpage anymore that i have to wait until some downloads have finished so that i can add/pause downloads or change preferences when i have alrdy closed the pages.
    i haven’t used picasa/facebook with this and the twitter thing ..yeah if i use it u get direct messages with stuff like: Uploaded new files to YouTube (1)

    23
  • jahlive2 February 3, 2010, 6:11 pm

    Lafonera 2.0n speed:

    Lacie bus powered 60GB usb disk.

    from lacie -> pc over lan: peakspeed 3MB/s when lucky
    from pc over lan -> lacie: peakspeed 6MB/s
    from lacie -> laptop wifi(G): peakspeed 3MB/s

    while some torrents run with hardly anything happening to them (few KB/s upload, and few KB/s download)

    24
  • jahlive2 February 3, 2010, 6:14 pm

    last line had to be like this:
    from pc over lan -> laptop wifi(G): peakspeed 3MB/s

    25
  • jahlive2 February 3, 2010, 6:16 pm

    and laptop (G wifi) downloading from the lacie usb disk..terrible peaks of about 2MB/s but is failing so much

    26
  • cotinet February 8, 2010, 5:42 pm

    I am also experiencing very slow wifi download speeds from the fonera2.0n (the problem occurs both with 11n and 11g devices). Wired connections work fine, though. Running Firmware Version 2.3.0.0 here.

    27
  • Alon Weinstein February 10, 2010, 11:47 am

    Hello alex puregger — I saw your post here. I purchased the Fonera 2.0n, and am running the latest official build — I can tell you, from first-hand experience, that right now I’ve completely stopped using it. The bugs in this release are horrible. Wifi stability is non-existent, the whole router would reboot a few times a day. I could not use it AT ALL. It is, by far, the worst product I purchased this year, and I only wish I didn’t buy it online so I could step into a store and return it.

    If Fon ever releases a new official build, and not a dev build which I hear works, but I can’t find where to download it and how to install it, I’d be happy to try again. Until now — I’m 100% disappointed, and will not recommend this router to anyone.

    Alon

    28
  • eddie303 February 12, 2010, 5:08 pm

    How much did fon pay you for this review?

    29
  • Okrok February 13, 2010, 6:18 am

    I have a Fonera 2.0N and it only kinda works. The Wifi connection drops often. The torrent client can only handle up to two torrents without slowing down the router. Moving files from and to an USB harddrive leads to a dropping Wifi connection if moving several big files at once.

    The only thing that worked for me is printer sharing.

    The release candidate from December http://blog.fonosfera.org/2350-rc2-for-fonera-20n/ contains a long list of supposedly fixed bugs. It was pulled after a few days.

    30
  • Norman February 18, 2010, 12:40 pm

    Hey everyone, Martin Varsawsky, Boss of FON answered the many bad feedback he got in a blogpost and wants your feedback here:

    http://english.martinvarsavsky.net/general/fonera-2-0n-quality-survey.html

    He thinks that so many people are happy with the router, something has to be wrong. Plz try to give him feedback without “emoragequit” feelings, we all want FON to do their job ASAP, so try to stay friendly ;)

    31
  • Adam Scinto February 18, 2010, 7:01 pm

    I’m extremely excited to see an update for the 2.0n being planned for a march release –
    http://blog.fonosfera.org/long-time-without-updates/

    The Fonera 2.0N with 2350RC2 is still working for me. Occasionally I see a slowdown and restart it but otherwise the condition is the same; Public Wifi doesn’t work, UPnP server doesn’t work, and it requires restarts every couple days.

    But otherwise I really like this router – It kills me that fixing this firmware doesn’t seem to be a priority for FON. I love the downloading features, the fact it tweets me, and the printer sharing is great. If FON can get their firmware in order this would be one of the best routers in it’s class. But until then, I repeat what I said; this is not a replacement for a linksys, it’s still buggy as hell.

    32
  • rodbcn March 13, 2010, 7:11 pm

    i an having a lot of trouble with public wifi, wifi for my iphones 3gS. sometimes the signal is there and sometimes not, and it is beyond slow… WAY WAY faster for me to us my 3G connection that i have to pay for. i had no idea when i bought the router, months ago, that it was not even tested and all that was promised on the box, is actually what it will have, i really want my money back. i have been a fon fan for a long time, a good idea, but really it is rubbish, i travel the world, and NEVER find a active connection. i wish i would not have sold my N+belkin, utter toss. tho the usb 3g wifi broadcasting works great… everything else is soooo confusing, and wifi instructions are not any easier…

    33
  • Adam Scinto March 13, 2010, 8:22 pm

    There’s a new firmware coming out in about a week or so;

    http://blog.fonosfera.org/one-more-short-update-about-the-fonera-20n/

    I’ve been testing the developer version – which you can use if you have SSH access, see the Fon Wiki for more info. Bottom line; The new firmware rocks, I have a 3gs working perfectly, SMB transfers are a bit faster; 5-6MB/sec, and I’m really happy with it now. I have stuck with the Fon as my primary router, only because I’ve been using the Rudolph firmware that works great but had a major bug with the public access point – I just disabled it and lived without free Fon access since I too rarely find a hotspot running Fon. I did not test Public WiFi with the new firmware, but everything except the media app is working for me right now.

    I was looking at a graph of the number of Fon’s out there vs. the number of active units. it’s about a 15-20:1 ration. The number of units jumped after the 2.0N units, but the active Fon hotspots peaked back in November and dropped off a cliff since them. My theory is most other Fon users gave up on it after having problems with the 2.0N after release. Hopefully the new firmware will rekindle interest in Fon but I’m of the opinion Fon burned too many bridges by it’s lack of communication, lackluster attitude towards working on a stable firmware, and for releasing alpha quality firmware to begin with.

    I still really like the features of the device and it serves my needs perfectly. I just wish Fon would work harder to get the software working correctly and give the developers the resources and time they need to do it right. I’m not blaming the developers, I’m blaming Fon for spreading their attention too wide and not deep enough to fully develop products before they ship.

    34
  • Adam Scinto March 13, 2010, 8:33 pm

    For folks wanting to try out the new firmware;

    The SSH method to upload it;
    http://trac.fonosfera.org/fon-ng/wiki/sshflash

    The location of the firmware;
    http://chez.tinico.free.fr/fonera2n/

    Grab the “openwrt-fonera2n-1650.img” file and follow the SSH instructions. I’m pretty sure you need to already be running a developer version of the Firmware to upload the images through SSH. See here for more info on doing that first;
    http://wiki.fon.com/wiki/Fon-ng:_Get_Involved

    And more info about what you can do with Developer Mode;
    http://wiki.fon.com/wiki/Fonera_Development

    35
  • jahlive2 July 30, 2010, 1:13 pm

    It’s been months now.
    So what is the best firmware to run now? the 2.3.6.0 has again major issues so what is better compared to 2.3.0?
    The only thing i need from the router

    Stable wifi, and the torrent client.
    That’s all i’m asking, i don’t care that much about facebook and youtube. just wifi and the torrent client that WORKS.
    It’s a shame i cant ask my money back.
    Been holding my breath for months about this router, and i expected the issues would have been fixed by now.
    I learned my lesson, never buy something before reading reviews.
    i trusted Fon cuz of their good reputation, the reputation that is gone.

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  • Anonymouse August 4, 2010, 12:18 am

    I used to think the Fonera project was a great idea. It is clever, it gives you a web2.0 experience when it comes to your router. But today my room mate convinced me of it’s flaws. Frustrated with it’s poor performance and our slow Speakeasy speeds he ordered Comcast. Now I have been on the fence regarding ISPs in the Seattle area for some time, as FTTP (fiber) has not been available for the last six years (I am 15 minutes away from downtown) and the other options are slim. If I pay for quest I feel like I am adding to the problem of poor networking choices for the city and I have been reluctant to pay for anything buy fiber. Politics aside, I got the FONera a while back and have loved it’s nifty little features. That is, until I plugged in his Docsis 3.0 router today. The speed tests shows a wapping 26Mbps and a less-impressive 2Mbps for the upload. Not the best of speeds, but never-the-less I was impressed compared to my 1.5Mbps I get with Speakeasy. Seeing as I wanted to keep my ftp server and other perks, like the IP table and firewall settings I quickly set my Fon2.0n to DHCP and was off to do some sweet sweet wireless gaming, or so I thought. Until I opened a new tab and tested my connection speed this time. I was still plugged in via the Ethernet cable mind you. To my dismay the new speed (Cable Modem>>Fonera>>Macbook Pro) had now slowed to a snail speed of 5Mbps. Somewhere between the cable modem and the laptop, I had lost 4/5ths of my network speed. This wasn’t me running Bit-Torrent or god knows what, that was a simple ping to google. Cheap money-grabbing scheme was my feeling towards the whole ordeal. Maybe it’s the hard feelings I had from un-bricking my fon2100 for 12 hours just a week ago that already had me on edge — but my conclusion if final. Good bye Fon, hello something better. Something that maybe has 1GB ports and wifi that doesn’t ask me for it’s WPAII key every day. Oh, and how about that DHCP that expires after 12 hours. You come home, pull up a couple of articles, and bam – your WiFi network is taking a little break of it’s own. I would think inputting my IP and Hostname in to your nifty list would solve that, but alas that’s not what it’s there for. It’s just a decorative way to fill up your pea sized rom chip with information you aren’t even implemented to utilize properly. I mean I love having you as a Domain host for me, but you just can’t seam to match dd-wrt/ or openWRT. So I ask, what gives Fon? I mean for the price of the Fonera2.0N I could get a top of the line router. (I was excited enough to get them just as they came out…) Some 160$ later, I am stuck with a router that can’t do the basic things a router should, not to mention the constant Fon-homing it’s doing. I have used the account once however to get internet at the Trakor in Ballard and made 10 dollars off selling my internet. So it’s not all bad, right? Right?

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  • jos September 1, 2010, 4:27 pm

    I have used the 2.0n for about a year now. I use 2.3.6.1 and I am fairly happy since the -solved- issue of the wifi drops. Now wifi private works perfect; no drops. I stream to my ASUS OPlayer (which plays about anything brilliantly) and that works perfectly as well.
    My MacBook has a speedy and constant wifi connection to the fonera ; although a higher speed would be nice; at the moment my wifi tops at 4MB/sec which is kind of slow right ?

    All in all I like it but I just wished Fon would be more modest; the Fonera 2.0n is a nice router but certainly no top notch router. Do not start 20 torrents and expect fast performance in streaming and downloading. Also the apps are very few.

    But the basic functions work fine after some updates so I am happy with this shiny thing. Now add high speed wifi (external ??) and I am very happy !

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  • jos September 1, 2010, 4:48 pm

    Oh and please fix the slider for download for guests; add more options please !!!

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  • Nigel June 4, 2011, 2:54 am

    I purchased a FON through BT router on the promise of wifi access in return for some of my bandwidth. It was a complete waste of money as FON login requires a BT email address (which I don’t have – I’m not a BT customer). I shouldn’t have wasted my £30!

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  • Adam Mar October 23, 2011, 8:18 am

    While riding a bus from Narita to Kanagawa I found several FON Hot Spots on my MAC and iPhone. The log-in page did appear. I guess if I had had an account I could have connected.
    In the FAQ I read while out my FON would have to be activated and on in order to use another FONERO’s connection. So just having an account isn’t enough?
    October 23rd, 2011 what’s the status of FON? Can I connect?
    Thnx,
    AM

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  • John Madisson December 7, 2011, 11:13 am

    We bought a Fon and installed it at our parents house so that we could use free wifi while waiting for the internet to be installed in our apartment.

    Our experience of the Fon service provided by one of our neighbours is that our internet connection through Fon drops regularly, approx every 1 or 2 hours, despite having good signal strength (60%-80%). In fact it dropped out just while typing this message! Also the connection is generally very slow and unresponsive.

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  • jahlive2 February 24, 2012, 11:31 am

    It’s been over 2 years..using firmware 2.3.6.1 for over year.
    Only using it for wifi, and 2 pc’s now, working pretty good.
    But I will never just believe lafonera or any other company without doing my own research. http://blog.fonosfera.org/ hasn’t been active since sep 2011 so..

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