Back to top

Fon Social Router Arrives and is Installed!

This past Thursday (as in, the 27th of July) I got a delivery of a decent sized box. I wasn't expecting a delivery. I was curious, put the box away, and didn't think about it. On Sunday I found the box again and decided it was probably not a bomb and opened it. To my surprise it was the FON Social Router I had ordered which arrived about 2 weeks before I expected it to arrive. I was pretty excited.

The installation turned out to be simple enough. Plug in the ethernet cable. Plug in the power. Done.

My major problem now is that I want to do port forwarding so that when I'm outside of my home network I can use ssh to connect to my computers inside of the network. I had that working fine with my old router, but can't get it to work with the FON router. I followed the instructions in the FON Faq and available on the FON Discussion board but neither is really helpful.

One interesting thing, in my opinion, is that FON is using the OpenWRT software as the basis for their routers. OpenWRT was recently profiled in a LifeHacker story about running your WiFi router with higher power to get better range. And, indeed, I'm noticing better reception with this model than my previous very similar router.

The box is a WRT54GS that FON purchased, takes apart, changes around, replaces the operating system, and then sends out to people. It appears from df -h:

Filesystem Size Used Available Use% Mounted on
/dev/root 1.4M 1.4M 0 100% /rom
/dev/mtdblock/4 1.8M 396.0k 1.4M 21% /
none 7.0M 44.0k 7.0M 1% /tmp

that it's got about 8MB of flash memory.

In terms of RAM:

[email protected]:/# cat /proc/meminfo
total: used: free: shared: buffers: cached:
Mem: 14692352 13619200 1073152 0 385024 1921024
Swap: 0 0 0
MemTotal: 14348 kB
MemFree: 1048 kB
MemShared: 0 kB
Buffers: 376 kB
Cached: 1876 kB
SwapCached: 0 kB
Active: 1540 kB
Inactive: 736 kB
HighTotal: 0 kB
HighFree: 0 kB
LowTotal: 14348 kB
LowFree: 1048 kB
SwapTotal: 0 kB
SwapFree: 0 kB

So, ~8MB of Flash and ~14MB of RAM. I think that's the standard configuration of these boxes.

While I'm on the FON Map of Denver there aren't many more people on that map and my location is frankly quite useless. The relatively easy to use management console that is available on the FON website has let me know that in the less than 24 hours that the router has been online nobody has used it except for me. Not surprising.

Now I want to run over to this FON hotspot because it's near a park and try out how well the system is working!

People Involved: