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Mac users get your FON on

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FON, the share-your-Wi-Fi service company that announced a deal with Time Warner Cable earlier this week has released a new software (in beta of course!) that turns a Mac (Intel-based machines) or a Linux computer (preferably Ubuntu-based) into a FON spot.

In order to make the service work, you need to be connected to the Internet via the wired or 3G wireless connection. If its the later, it is almost guaranteed that Sprint and Verizon Wireless are going to come down on you hard.

You cannot share your Wi-Fi connections, however. Whisher, which launched at DEMO earlier, also offers a similar software download and allows you to share your wireless network. Of course, if you don’t want to be part of the FON network, then you can achieve the very same ends with the built-in network sharing features on a Mac. (Since I have little experience with Ubuntu-based computers, I digress.)

The company has also released a connection manager for Nokia E-Series phones that allows them to connect to FONspots. There were some bugs related to the bandwidth sharing management, and it seems like the company has fixed those.

4 Responses to “Mac users get your FON on”

  1. Share your Wi-Fi? Share 3G? Concerns about security, bandwidth & violating SP contracts?

    Do not worry. What’s the point when someone has TW cable on 24th floor and coffee shop at the ground level is already offering free Wi-Fi (without FON).

    Ads (if TV & Google is not enough) on your 24th floor Wi-Fi? Privacy? You can worry now. :-)

  2. Joe Hopkins

    Seems like another hype-generating marketing gimmick, due to the limited 802.11x range and power of a Mac, or PC for that matter. How many places can you think of where you’d be close enough to another person’s Mac to connect via them? Remember the Mac needs to have a wireline or 3G broadband connection. If wireline, chances are you are at your friend’s place, and they let you on their WiFi signal for sure. If 3G, say at a coffeeshop or airport, how many folks will be excited about sharing already limited, narrow 3G bandwidth? And finally, more and more coffeeshops offer free WiFi. So I think it’s a cool idea but don’t see too many use cases.

  3. I am not so sure that Sprint will view negatively such sharing of EV-DO connectivity. After all, they themselves sell or co-market EV-DO routers and what FON has done is convert a Mac/Linux computer into one.