Saturday, October 07, 2006
Like rival firm FON, 2hotspot allows you to create a wireless hotspot quickly and share your Internet connection with others. You can create a community hotspot, share (and share the bill, 2hotspot's software automatically calculates how much each person owes) a connection, or even run a for profit hotspot. 2hotspot is at a less developed state than its competitors, but it may offer more flexibility than FON. If you are interested in charging for access, you can profit more easily from using 2hotspot's software whereas FON is a little more indirect. In addition, the sharing the connection and the bill feature is extremely useful for roommates who are sharing Internet access and want to more equitably divide the bill.
In contrast, FON has a social networking vibe going with its pitch: share your "wireless Internet access at home and, in return, enjoy free WiFi wherever [you] find another Fonero’s Access Point." FON clearly has a big advantage with its venture backing and offer of a $5 wireless router. Their extremely cheap router is called a Social Router, and their community base is currently at around 90,000 with about 20,000 hotspots. You can make money from Aliens (users who haven't decided to share their wireless Internet), taking a 50% cut of the $3 day pass that aliens are charged.
If a more slick and put together option for creating a wireless hotspot is more appealing, definitely go with FON, but if you want more flexibility, it looks like 2hotspot is a better choice. Of course, to join FON you need to buy its social router, but to use 2hotspot you only need to download its software.
A nice list of free wireless hotspots around the world is available here along with a lot of other useful WIFI-related information.