Wi-Fi timeshare

Wi-Fi timeshare

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Sounds like a bit of a Wi-Fi timeshare to me, but there it is. It’s FON, a Web-based global community of broadband users who can get free Wi-Fi access from others who are “shedding” their extra.

You as the user sign up and either download some software or buy a compatible router. Then, when you’re not looking, FON takes your extra bandwidth and gives it to other people.

The company says it won’t harm your streaming, downloading, or other bandwidth requirements. When you’re sleeping, you have a lot of extra bandwidth anyway, unless you unplug your router when you go to bed. Then, when you’re on the road, you can “plug in” to the FON network and take back some of that bandwidth that you gave away.

Not sure about you at this point, but we’re wondering about security. FON insists that it has two password checkpoints that users have to pass successfully before they can log on. Still, it’s your router that others will be accessing; and conceivably, it’s your data that they could be hacking into. The company is up front about the need for users to have a strong security setup of their own. In one sense, FON is more secure than other Wi-Fi networks in the sense that you have to enter two passwords, not just one. We just keep coming back to the idea of placing your router on a worldwide network. Unless you’re traveling more than you’re home, you will be on the upload end much more than on the download end.

Still, it is an exciting and novel idea, one that might be worth pursuing, especially if you have nothing to hide and certainly if you want what is essentially free Wi-Fi. It works with Linux, Mac, and Windows operating systems, and is available in many places in the world right now.

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