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Build Your Own Liberator Router

Fon has plans for a new hardware version of their router. Originally called “The Fon Downloader”, then the “Fon Liberator“, they’ve cleverly changed the name to “La Fonera v2.” No, it doesn’t have a LAN jack so your wired computers are stil s.o.l., but it will have a USB port that can mount a USB storage device (nothing else). On board the router will be a bittorrent (or other file-sharing) application, and the interface will be web-based (possibly in the onboard config pages, else remotely, in your User Zone on Fon’s server). Fon seems to be working on how to restrict downloads to only those which come from an approved “legal” file-sharing site. Whether this means public-domain material only, or will be some kind of pay-for-content site is not disclosed. The release date is planned for sometime in January 2007, and cost around $85(!)

Diego Parrilla has allready built a router capable of running a file sharing application, and using an attached USB hard drive for storage. While he does not explicitly state that he operates a Fon-compatible (Chilispot) hotspot, it does run on a Linux distribution and would have that capability. I’m skeptical about his belief that using wifi routers for downloading files will be a “killer app” that will revitalize the Fon Revolution Movement. I doubt that an activity which he feels “breaks computers” through “abnormal stress” is appropriate for a 100-400 mhz router processor that is allready very busy moving data and performing en/decryption. It’s very interesting to read, and has a video presentation.

Thanks to Dema for blogging about this first.

I lost track of where I got this link, but someone else has gone all-out with his modification of an WRT54G. He’s added speakers, a flashcard reader, and an LCD display, as well as support for a VGA screen! Madness! You can check out his pictures and download the software sourcecode he’s provided.

Click the pictures to see the full-sized originals:

There are even more pictures on his website. :)

A final treat is brought by a chap whose name possibly means something other than what it sounds like in English. This is a Fotonovella called “El Fogonazo” which compares the rise of Martin Varsavsky and Fon to an immortal Stanley Kubrick movie. No not that one, the other one. No, not that one either; the *other* one. I’m sure it’s a marvelous story, but I don’t understand a word of Spanish. ;)

0 Responses to Build Your Own Liberator Router

  1. Chillispot can run on Soekris boards, there are a lot of references all around the web. But I’m not interested in building a FON-clone router (not very difficult, by the way…), I already have a FON Linksys WRT54GL.
    Stress on materials usually is higher on ‘moving’ parts: electric stuff like fans. Soekris board is fanless. The funny thing is that the board is not stressed with the ushare (UPnP server) application. But file sharing applications like MLDonkey can put the CPU to 100% usage!

  2. Dan says:

    why would anyone build a Liberator (or whatever the name) when any Asus (ie wl500g, wl500ge, wl500prem, deluxe etc) have one or two USB ports, 4x LAN, extended range, LPT ports even, run Linux and Chillispot? And at the same $85 or less.

    I have a wl500g Premium now with a external USB 250GB HDD, an iPod Shuffle, a USB EvDo modem and printer connected to it. I even charge stuff on those ports when I don’t have a spare one on my iBook.