People who read my website know that I like Foneras. I have a model 2100 since 2008, the first model produced by Fon, bought for just 6€ (at the time there was a promotion ).
I particularly appreciated the ease of hackability of this little device, with its RedBoot bootloader and brick-proof serial port. I’ve tried many hacks with it, first installed dd-wrt, then openwrt, written simple C++ programs for it, experimented with the GPIO, added an heatsink… some of these hacks are described in my website, and maybe I’ll talk about the remaining ones in this blog.
Fon announced the Fonera 2.0 more than one year ago, however it was available only for developers, until recently. It is different from the original fonera, because it has an USB host port that can be used to connect an hard drive, or other USB device. In addition, the software is open source, therefore expandable. And even the default configuration has many nice features, like auto backup of the computer onto the hard drive connected to the Fonera (like Apple’s time machine+time capsule, but multi platform), automatic torrent download without the need to leave the computer powered, and automatic upload for example on Youtube.
However, the topic of this post is the Fonera 2.0n. This is a fresh news. Fon has recently released a new router, called Fonera 2.0n. It is currently not available on the Fon shop online, but there’s a “Coming soon” banner. Searching around the Net I found some images. Here’s how it looks:
It’s significantly different from the older models, and not only outside.
It has a Ralink chipset, while the other was an Atheros. The CPU now runs @ 300MHz (the Atheros ran @ 180MHz), and even the RAM is larger: 64MBytes, while the Fonera 2.0 had 32MBytes and the older ones (including mine) only 16MBytes.
Other than the usual Internet port, to be connected to an ADSL Modem, this one has 4 10/100MBit ports, so it can also act as a switch for a wired network. And the wifi was upgraded to the latests 802.11n standard, which is faster. The two antennas will probably allow a better wifi signal reception.
The only downside is that the internal FLASH memory remained 8MBytes. However, it is still better than many other routers that only have 4MBytes.
Personally, I also don’t particularly like its case. All previous models came in the distinctive white case that it could be defined “The MacBook of the routers” (even if MacBooks aren’t white anymore). Now it looks like a “standard” router.
Last note: I couldn’t find a picture of the circuit board, and there’s no info on the presence of the serial port connector. Still too early, I guess.