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Thread: Fon WiFi network

  1. #11
    Airecraft Guest


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    Quote Originally Posted by Pollik View Post
    From 200 yards away? I am impressed.

    I have a Fonera connected to my router, which gives me free fon connections globally, at least while my node is still active.

    In the UK, Fon is quite common, but I am finding that the signal is usually weak and unreliable. I am not using an external antenna at present having broken my last one twice on low hanging branches and I haven't been able to find a set up I want, which is a dongle in the laptop and connected to an external antenna mounted on a spring base.

    On the other hand, I hope that most of my time will be spent in Europe where Fon is much, much rarer. On my last trip, 3 months, I didn't find a single Fon connection.

    Fon is one of those ideas that shows great promise, but doesn't really work for all that well, yet.

    Polly
    200 yds is with Long range USB antenna NET-WL-USB-CPE2512bg which I got today and am well impressed with.
    Looking at the Fon map of one town I plan to visit at Xmas, Valladolid, shows loads of access points:
    fon.JPG
    Do these need to be taken with a pinch of salt?
    Last edited by Airecraft; 02-11-2011 at 22:19.

  2. #12

    Member Number
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    Motorhome
    Winnebago Vectra RV (stealth model!!)
    Quote Originally Posted by Pollik View Post
    From 200 yards away? I am impressed.

    I have a Fonera connected to my router, which gives me free fon connections globally, at least while my node is still active.

    In the UK, Fon is quite common, but I am finding that the signal is usually weak and unreliable. I am not using an external antenna at present having broken my last one twice on low hanging branches and I haven't been able to find a set up I want, which is a dongle in the laptop and connected to an external antenna mounted on a spring base.

    On the other hand, I hope that most of my time will be spent in Europe where Fon is much, much rarer. On my last trip, 3 months, I didn't find a single Fon connection.

    Fon is one of those ideas that shows great promise, but doesn't really work for all that well, yet.




    Polly
    The external antennas are not meant to be left connected, that's why the ones I sell have suction cups. Motorhome Comms

    I use a directional antenna for best range, best I've done was 4.5 miles but Geonomad got in excess of 18 miles last spring!!

    World record of 250+Km!!! (But did use massive dish antennas on mountain tops)

    I often get 400 metres with an external whip antenna
    Pete,

    Bigpeetee

  3. #13
    Pollik Guest
    Looking at the Fon map of one town I plan to visit at Xmas, Valladolid, shows loads of access points:

    Do these need to be taken with a pinch of salt?
    Hugely so, yes, for a number of reasons. They have no control over whether a node is switched on or off, so a map is only as accurate as the last update...and if you don't have internet, you can't access the map, and if you do have internet, you don't need Fon. The POI files are totally useless and, I believe, no longer supported by Fon.

    Having said that, Fon is not difficult to find in towns in the UK.

    It is worth knowing that long range antenna is worth having...I am guessing it is directional and mounted inside the van?

  4. #14

    Member Number
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    I use a ling range antenna, usually inside the van (if it's GRP), but you have to know where to point it!

    Obviously to point at a group of houses is a good start, if you use the inssider software see: Motorhome Commsthen you get a bargraph on all the channels and the relative signal strength so you can sweep the area with your antenna.

    In more remote areas I put it outside on top of the MH, even the windows give an attenuation to the signal so if it's poor to start with just moving outside helps a lot Just have to remember to take it in before you move off!
    Pete,

    Bigpeetee

  5. #15

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    I had a go with the inSSIDer software (from the link on Pete's site) had problems trying to install it but managed eventually with help from their forum. Think that www.vistumbler.net/ (also free software) works better when trying to get the best signal as you can get it to speak the signal strength, when trying to get onto wifi when travelling you can see the ones that are unsecured (authentication - open & encryption - open)
    Ed

  6. #16
    lebesset Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Aire_on_a_shoestring View Post
    200 yds is with Long range USB antenna NET-WL-USB-CPE2512bg which I got today and am well impressed with.
    Looking at the Fon map of one town I plan to visit at Xmas, Valladolid, shows loads of access points:
    fon.JPG
    Do these need to be taken with a pinch of salt?
    I joined FON a long time ago , was number less than 2 thousand and I think it is over 2 million now

    do you need to take these points with a pinch of salt ? not at all , but the problem is in valladolid for example that most people live in apartments and often you can't park anywhere near where the signal is not blocked out ! couple this with the fact that the point only works if the router is switched on and it is sometimes difficult to access from the vehicle

    with regard to the BT position in the UK , it's not that people have switched off in my experience , but that they were never switched on!!!
    in reality , only a tiny proportion of people ever touch their BT supplied router , don't know how ,don't want to , just expect it to work ; when BT joined the FON network you had to make a firmware download to enable the FON connection , in other words you had to take steps and opt in ; for the previously stated reason few did and the vast majority remained inaccessible ; however , seeing the advantages , BT made a big investment in FON , and are now a major shareholder ; from this point all routers provided by BT were delivered enabled , but with the option to opt out as stated ; since that , the number of points available has increased dramatically ...I notice the difference each time I come to UK which is now brilliant for finding a point

    incidentally , in france NEUF/SFR have joined FON ; however , here again , the user has to opt in , and on the same basis as UK , few have done so
    in portugal the biggest cable operator ZON [ a copy ?] has joined and it appears that their equipment is delivered already enabled

    final point ....I am away half the year [ no point having a motorhome if you don't use it , is there :) ] ; FON keep a constant check to ensure you are keeping your end of the bargain and if you are switched off for more than 3 weeks or so your privileges are cut off until you start it up again ; so as well as the FON router at my home [ for the convenience of fellow members ] I installed one at my daughters house in the UK as that runs 365/365

    personally I have a securit [?]wifi range extender permanently attached to the terrestrial TV aerial tube , 5metre usb cable goes down the tube
    this model is no longer made [ too expensive ] but there is a smaller , cheaper one now and I am sure there are other makes now ; anyway , very convenient , just plug into the laptop and rotate to find a signal
    Attached Images Attached Images

  7. #17

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    Hi lebesset.
    I found that when I was in France I did see the SFR Wi Fi, can't remember if it was Fon but although I am a bT customer with Fon, I could not log on to SFR as it wanted a password.
    I think that I tried my BT Fon password? or maybe not, can't remember.
    So are you saying that the SDR Fon is the same as BT with reciprocal arrangements.
    I thought that SFR had a tie up with Vodafone although Vod sold their part back.
    I gave up in the end and just used bars and hotels.

    ps
    I also have the same Repeatit and also the cheaper model. Both work about the same.

    As I said before, they work well in the UK with Fon.
    Kontiki, Conway Marina is a good example.
    Last edited by grath; 03-11-2011 at 11:24.
    Tramping the Dream, Enjoying the Pot of Sunshine at the Rainbow end!

  8. #18
    lebesset Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by grath View Post
    Hi lebesset.
    I found that when I was in France I did see the SFR Wi Fi, can't remember if it was Fon but although I am a bT customer with Fon, I could not log on to SFR as it wanted a password.
    I think that I tried my BT Fon password? or maybe not, can't remember.
    So are you saying that the SDR Fon is the same as BT with reciprocal arrangements.
    I thought that SFR had a tie up with Vodafone although Vod sold their part back.
    I gave up in the end and just used bars and hotels.

    ps
    I also have the same Repeatit and also the cheaper model. Both work about the same.

    As I said before, they work well in the UK with Fon.
    Kontiki, Conway Marina is a good example.
    well SFR the mobile phone company HAVE now bought out vodafone and they also now own NEUF the internet provider
    probably you tried to log in to the SFR /NEUF routers belonging to customers that have not opted in to FON ....however they are available to SFR/NEUF's other customers ...their router [ called a NEUFBOX ] is adjustable

    so briefly , if you see a hotspot SFR wifi this is a private wifi network for their customers only , but if it is called SFR wifi FON it is someone who has opted in to FON
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  9. #19

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    Hi
    On our hints and tips page Campervan Tips Index we have some FAQs which may help, including:-
    - FON FAQs
    - Wifi booster FAQs
    - Other ways to get free internet abroad

    And a GPS database (Autoroute) for FON spots in Europe that you can download to your laptop offline.
    Full details of our 1000+ nights away in the van in Europe, Morocco as well as backpacking in Asia, with hints/tips/costs and GPS POIs see our blog at Do Your Dream!

  10. #20
    sagart Guest
    Alternative is Wefi WeFi - Find Free Wi-Fi anywhere and Friends everywhere! which does give information on previously discovered hotspots

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