It’s more likely than you think!
Q: If I have La Fonera and I install Whisher, does it allow me to share with others who have Whisher, but are not Foneros
The Whisher Client is essentially an enhanced alternative to the WiFi Configuration Utility that comes with Windows. It can be used to store connection profiles and connect to any “open” hotspot, including Fon hotspots. It will not circumvent or interfere with that kind of authentication. Users will still encounter the familiar start page of “open” hotspots that require registration, payment, or legal acknowlegements.
The Whisher Client may also be used to connect to any encrypted hotspot, if the user either provides the encryption key, or that hotspot has been optionally registered as a Whisher hotspot. The Private network of a La Fonera is not special in any way as far as this is concerned. Fon is not involved in authenticating your wireless printer or household guests who are given your WPA key to get online. Therefore, Whisher can even be used as a sole method to access the Internet through that device.
Whisher is also a handy way of helping your guests join your home network by asking them to install Whisher Client instead of entrusting them with your actual encryption key. It is also an easy way to get yourself online, if you have a good encryption key like “qDD3JAMaKsdvbwdaA7W2zEYh”, and have trouble remembering (or typing) it.
While Whisher is not intended as a pay-for-access system, it has numerous advantages to Fon’s. Whishers enjoy an encrypted connection, which is something that nervous Foneros have been pleading for since the very beginning. Whisher potentially works with ANY wifi AP or router which supports encryption. No alterations are required to the router, and no dedicated “controller” PC is necessary (as with “FonSpot” software).
The Whisher Client will be updated to permit authentication by Enterprise WPA (username/password prompt), which means that valid Fonero credentials could be honored at Whisher hotspots via RADIUS relay. In such an arrangement, access using Fonero credentials would be at Fon’s discretion. Aliens who need to buy access could be redirected or blocked. 8)
A partnership with Whisher, to share their technology, means that Fon could provide superior, *encrypted* hotspot service anywhere that someone has set up *any* kind of wifi router and registered their MAC address and encryption key with Whisher. Expansion of the Fon Network would no longer require the expensive and time-consuming rollout of proprietary (and flakey) hardware, only requiring that Foneros download the Whisher Client applet, and finding a participating Whisher-Fon hotspot. This download could also include a VPN-over-Fon client, so that Fon could sell security services to Foneros who are at an open hotspot that is neither Fon nor Whisher!
One begins to understand why I have so much enthusiasm for Whisher, and how I think it makes an off-the-shelf solution for so many of Fon’s shortcomings. Whisher is not in competition with Fon. Whisher and Fon merely occupy different niches in the same ecology. As in nature, species which cooperate together enjoy a higher quality of life than those who simply compete for the same territory.