FON, the community WiFi-sharing startup, is giving away wireless routers to new members (Foneros). The routers are very small and portable — perfect for travelers. Out of the box it supports broadcasting two SSIDs: a protected one for your home and a public one for your fellow Foneros.
As I explained in my first Radar post about FON:
Most members (aka Foneros) “share their wireless Internet access at home and, in return, enjoy free WiFi wherever they find another Fonero’s Access Point”, these are known as Linuses. Aliens do not share their WiFi and are charged for using the FON network. Bills do not take advantage of the free roaming WiFi and instead get a cut of the fees that Aliens pay to use their WiFi. This could subsidize the cost of your WiFi if your business or home is in a heavily trafficked part of town.
Since you can throttle how much you share there’s not much to lose with trying it out. Plus the utility of joining seems to be growing. There were no FON members in my neighborhood this past fall, now I count five on their map. I’ve had my Fonera unplugged for while as I never saw anyone using it; I think that I’ll go change that now.