La Fonera and MacOS
While I was in California last week, my LaFonera, the little WiFi router from FON, that I had gotten for free thru GigaOm arrived. I finally unpacked it this morning and had a gander at it. Very small. White with the splat FON logo on it. Previously, I had gotten a Linksys WRT54G from FON, but, well, it has a number of issues. The new unit has nicer firmware than whatever they hacked together for the Linksys units.
In the limited testing I did in my house, LaFonera has fairly good range. It seems to do better than the Linksys WRT54G with FON firmware did. It’s also, as I said, very small. Might make a nice travel router. But there is an issue with it: out of the box, it doesn’t work on the Mac, at least on the private side.
On the FON forums, there is a workaround posted. Instead of doing what they suggested, I simply configured the router with a different computer. The trick is basically fix it to either WPA or WPA2. If you choose WPA, make sure you select TKIP for the Cipher as AES is only supported in WPA2. WPA + TKIP is the most recommended in terms of compatibility and will still have adequate security.
The one downside to this router is the lack of a LAN port. I suppose if everything in your house is WiFi, this isn’t a big deal. Given the number of wired things I have in this house, I would have a hard time replacing my regular router with this one. However, it makes a great “isolated” access point router. Nothing of conseqence uses it, and I certainly can’t beat the price.