The FON router has arrived and is up and running

Posted by Chris Green on Tuesday July 11 @ 11:33 pm

FON Router Pic 1

UPS delivered my FON social router today, and it is already up and running here in leafy Ruislip.

The router in question is in fact a Linksys WRT54GL wireless router (which uses a Linux-based open source firmware), running a custom firmware that handles the registration and payment processing for anyone paying to use the hotspot. The FON firmware also handles the provision of free access to anyone you have pre-approved. It also splits the wired and wireless parts of the router into two separate environments, thus ensuring security and (hopefully) preventing anyone connecting via the wireless FON service from accessing your own home Lan.

FON Router Pic 2

Setting up the router was extremely simple. I just connected it mo my existing Lan so it could access my broadband connection, connected to it via a WiFi-enabled laptop and registered it with the FON network. It was immediately up and running, though I have since gone and done some fine-tuning. Options I have tweaked include personalising the splash screen that hotspot users will see when they access the hotspot for the first time, and changing the broadcast channel from the default channel 11 to a less congested channel 7 (doing this also distances the broadcast range of the router from my existing wireless network on channel 10).

For now it is in a temporary location in my study (on the shelf where my new Brother DCP-340CW printer will be going – once I find time to actually take it out of the box). However, I will be repositioning it later this week, once I have tidied up, to a better location in the study where I can maximise the signal range of the router.

8 responses to “The FON router has arrived and is up and running”

  1. Simon Bisson says:

    Looks like a good idea…

    I wonder if it’s worth us getting one for here…

  2. my, that’s a particularily ‘blue’ router!
    sorry to hear about the break in, were probably attracted to the bright blue glow coming off said router.

    all the best


  3. Chris Green says:

    It certainly explains why Linksys has changed the design and colour scheme of its next generation of wireless Lan kit.

    Mind you – I’ve always liked computer hardware encased in thick, blue Fisher Price plastic, take the original Iomega Zip drive for example.


  4. very useful for cracking open small nuts I seem to remember, or acting as ballast.



  5. Ben Tudor says:

    How’s the router getting along? They’re selling them for a fiver now, by the way.

  6. Chris Green says:

    Hi Ben

    The FON router continues to perform well. It has been far more reliable than my AirLink101 MIMO router.

    Had a look at the FON site, they are still doing them for the same price I paid, 5 Euros.


  7. Sven says:


    I read your posting about the fon router with interest.

    In the article you say that you connected the fon router to your existing LAN and that it was easy to install.

    Did you manage to install the FON Linksys router behind another router?
    I have a 3Com router which gives all my computers a 192.1.168.x address.

    But I’m not sure how to conigure the linksys router in order for it to recieve the internet LAN.

    Should I connect the LAN cable from the 3Com router to the WAN port on the Linksys router or to one of the four others LAN ports.

  8. […] recently received a comment on an old post I made about the FON WiFi hotspot service and my FON Router, asking for installation advice. I thought the following might be a useful post in its own […]

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