Fon Opens NYC Office, And U.S. Finally Gets Its Wi-Fi-Sharing Router

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Spanish Wi-Fi aggregator Fon is making its relatively new presence known here in New York City. It has a new Soho office, and, starting this week, U.S. customers can get their hands on the trademark Fon Wi-Fi network-sharing routers.

The routers, called Foneras, work like normal Wi-Fi hot spots except that Fon’s networks are free and easily accessible for anyone who’s a Fon member. And to be a Fon member, called a Fonero, the cost is relatively low—you pay $59 for the router and agree to share it with other Foneros. In exchange, you’ll get access to Fon hot spots all over the globe.

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fonBecause Fon routers have been around since 2007 in Europe and 2011 in Japan, they’re already popular there. So becoming a member might be particularly appealing for those who travel abroad often.

But Fon isn’t the only company trying out the group Wi-Fi model. With Karma, for instance, users also earn incentives in the form of free bandwidth every time they allow someone else on their network.