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FON.com WiFi Router Giveaway for $5 Ends Wednesday

FON.comFor those that have been sleeping under a rock these past few months, you may not have heard of a little company called FON Technology which has been seeding the world with low-cost WiFi hotspots by giving virtually anyone with a broadband connection a dual port WiFi router for $5 U.S. or €5 in Europe. If you were lucky enough to be in San Francisco last week, all you had to do was show up to get a free one. The router provides a private, secure WiFi network for your home or office while providing a public port for others to use at little or no cost.

Those who install the FONera WiFi router get a choice of getting half the $3 per day proceeds for each user that connects through their router or getting free WiFi access through all other FONera routers throughout the world. There currently are over 100,000 routers deployed. Over 4,000 more were ordered just last week. That’s the good news. The bad news is that, despite substantial venture capital funding recently from Google and Skype, FON has decided to discontinue the €/$5 program. Beginning November 8, the price of the Wi-Fi routers will increase to $29.95 in the USA and 29 euros in Europe. So here’s your technology hint for this week: ORDER YOUR €/$5 FON ROUTER by visiting their web site. And do it NOW! If you snooze, you lose on this one.

The router is about the size of a pack of cigarettes and has excellent range. We ordered one last week and received it in a couple days. Installation was a snap. And it works as advertised. For Mac users, you will need the latest Airport firmware to use the private network. You can even download the source code for use on other Openwrt-compatible routers if that’s your thing. For a map of currently deployed FON routers around the world, click here. For additional information, visit WiFi Net News or c|net or GigaOM.

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