We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Wireless routers Reviews
15,670 Reviews

La Fonera+ Wi-Fi access point

£35 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Fon

Our Rating: We rate this 3 out of 5

Originally pitched as a firmware hack for Linksys Wi-Fi access points the FON concept now has its very own hardware in the shape of La Fonera+, a common or garden 54G wireless access point with a difference.

Originally pitched as a firmware hack for Linksys Wi-Fi access points the FON concept now has its very own hardware in the shape of La Fonera+, a common or garden 54G wireless access point with a difference. It allows you to share your broadband connection with other FON users, thus creating an informal global ‘mesh’ Wi-Fi network.

You can either provide this novel wireless access for money (£2 per day, split between you and FON), and be called a ‘Bill’ in FON parlance. Or you can do it for the love of humanity and be dubbed a ‘Linus’ instead. To cater for this, two Wi-Fi SSIDs reside inside the La Fonera+ - a private one, strictly for your own use, and a public one for use by fellow ‘Foneros’. A Google Maps-based web page makes it easy to locate FON hotspots in advance.

The La Fonera+ is a diminutive white device, with four status LEDs for Power, LAN, WAN and Wireless. This is the ‘+’ version and so as well as an Ethernet port for the broadband connection, there’s a second network connection for hooking up to a PC or switch. For the moment UK customers get the continental version plus a UK mains adapter.

As is usual, the access point is configured via a web-page. The configuration options are somewhat restricted but you can, for example, perform port forwarding. One niggle: the web-based UI is rather sluggish. By default, La Fonera+ is a DHCP server, which is probably a mistake, as other devices, such as your existing broadband connection (e.g. ADSL router) are most likely a DHCP server and on networks, ‘two’s a crowd. So it needs to be turned off.

The pint-sized 1.5dBi antenna on the La Fonera+ isn’t really enough to broadcast to the world passing your door. A booster antenna, dubbed La Fontenna, is available for just £2 extra when you order the access point and is probably a must-have in any case.

FON and La Fonera make an interesting not to say worthy project, but they’re not for everyone. FON hotspots are likely to be found in residential streets. We checked out our local area and found only two hotspots we could use. And these were in side-streets about half a mile from our house and, therefore, of no practical use.

La Fonera+ Expert Verdict »

802.11b/g
2 10/100Mbps Ethernet ports
2 SSIDs (one private, one non-encrypted)
Automatic Channel support
128/64bit WEP encryption
WPA/WPA2 encryption
DHCP server
External detachable antenna (1.5dBi) with SMA connector
  • Build Quality: We give this item 7 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 6 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 6 of 10 for value for money
  • Overall: We give this item 6 of 10 overall

The La Fonera+ isn’t expensive but more capable access points are available for less these days. If you buy in to the FON concept then it’s for you. Otherwise, your wireless needs are better served elsewhere.

  • AVM Fritz!box Fon Wireless Lan 7390 review

    AVM Fritz!box Fon Wireless Lan 7390

    High on performance and features, with additional support for internet telephony, the AVM Fritz!box Fon Wireless Lan 7390 is a great router.

  • AVM FritzBox Fon 7270 review

    AVM FritzBox Fon 7270

    The AVM FritzBox Fon 7270 is much more than just a featured-packed wireless router.

  • BT Total Broadband with BT ToGo review

    BT Total Broadband with BT ToGo

    People are more likely to change spouse (okay, bank) than ISP, so ISPs need their existing customers to cough up for more services - enter BT's Total Broadband Anywhere, with BT ToGo and HTC mobile phone handset.

  • AVM Fritz!box Fon WLAN 7270 review

    AVM Fritz!box Fon WLAN 7270

    Like many high-end routers the AVM Fritz!box Fon WLAN 7270 supports ADSL and ADSL2+ to match the fastest ADSL broadband services available, combined with the latest (draft 2.0) 802.11n technology - offering you the best speed and coverage from your wireless network.

  • Wi-Fi Finder Android app review

    Wi-Fi Finder Android app

    Download Wi-Fi Finder and know exactly where your nearest Wi-Fi hotspots are.


IDG UK Sites

Best Black Friday 2014 tech deals UK: Latest bargains on phones, tablets, laptops and more this...

IDG UK Sites

Tech trends 2015: 3D printing grows up

IDG UK Sites

25 iOS apps turn (Red) for World AIDS Day campaign

IDG UK Sites

Black Friday 2014 UK: Apple deals, Amazon deals & other Black Friday tech offers