Fon, the European company that specializes in sharing Internet connections between its users is set to release its new router soon. The Fonera 2 will still have the same basic functions of the Fonera 1 that makes it a Fon router. The routers create two networks, one private and one public. The idea being that you can use your own private network at home, and access any other user’s public network when you’re not at home. The Fonera 2 has so much more, though.
One huge draw of the Fonera 2 is the ability to connect Network Attached Storage to the router through the USB port. The NAS drive can be shared across the network as storage or backup (which may actually support Time Machine for OS X), whichever you prefer. Or, the drive can be used to store BitTorrent, RapidShare or MegaUpload downloaded files that the router handles on its own, so it’ll no longer be necessary to have a computer on all night, or over a vacation to download your (obviously legal) files. Or, the USB port can be used to attach a 3G dongle, and the Fonera 2 can share the 3G connection over the network, which should prove fairly useful for some.
The Fonera 2 seems like a bit of a breakthrough in routers. It’s almost surprising nobody ever thought of packing all these features into a router, which can even read your NAS for a “YouTube” folder and upload all of the videos to the website. The downloading feature can potentially save a lot of electricity rather than having a computer or laptop plugged in all night downloading files. The previous Fonera never seemed to be too popular in the US, but with the May release of Fonera 2, it might prove a bit more popular, or maybe gain some traction beyond those who obtained a free Fonera a few years ago and hacked it to do what they wanted it too.