Fon free WiFi – Including Android APK download for the Fon app

 


Some years ago BT teamed up with Fon to provide free wireless hotspots in the UK for BT customers and people who run Fon routers.

Fon routers provide a private WiFi hotspot for their users plus a Fon public hotspot which in the UK tunnels through to the BT network. By default BT wireless routers also provide a Fon public hotspot. The result is that there are several million Fon wireless hotspots around the UK and although the range of each can be quite limited as it is located inside a house you can usually find usable connections in most urban areas within a few hundred meters of each other. There are Fon hotspots across Europe to of course.

As I don’t use BT for my ISP I bought a Fonera+ router and connected it up to my network to provide a Fon hotspot which in turn gives me a userid I can use to access any Fon hotspot anywhere in Europe.

Fonera+ wireless hotspot

Fonera+ wireless hotpot.



Note that I connected it to an external antenna to make it a useful hotspot for others but it still gets few users.

When I first set all this up I was able to download a Fon application which could automatically connect my phone to any Fon hotspot within range.  Recently when I tried to find this app and install it on a new Android tablet I’d bought I found it was no longer available in the UK. I tried to get around the availability restriction by using a free VPN but couldn’t get it to download, nor could I find any valid download either. An application that promised to extract apks didn’t work. Fortunately I’d put the app on a routed Nexus 7 and was able to copy it from the Android apk storage area (/data/app), change ownership from root using Root Browser, and then copy it out to my PC using the USB interface.

I have since found an application called Airdroid which makes apk downloading very easy – it’s a way of accessing your Nexus over your home WiFi network from a PC connected to the network. I haven’t investigated all the features of this app but what I’ve seen looks very good. There is a premium option which amongst other things gives remote access although that should be possible anyway if you open up the remote port in your firewall and use a dynamic DNS service.

If anybody else feels the need for the Fon wifi autoconnect app in the UK you can now download it from Digitalham – To install it you’ll need to alter the Android settings to allow installs from “Unknown sources” and double click on the notification after downloading it or locate it with an Android file browser and install it from that – I can recommend Androzip.

APK Downloads

Time has moved on so here are the various versions. Note I have done some renames leaving the most current which works well for me with the name it was on my phone com.oakley.fon-1.apk I used an app called Appsender to extract it.

Original version Fon APK Renamed to com.oakley.fon-0.apk

Update on original   Fon APK Renamed to com.oakley.fon-2.apk

Current Oct 2017 version  Fon APK Name is com.oakley.fon-1.apk

Update
In November 2014 my Fonera+ stopped providing internet access through the private AP. Further checking showed it wasn’t working as a Fon hotspot either. I did a reset to factory settings (a PITA in itself as it was very picky on when you released the reset button) and that fixed the private hotspot but not the Fon hotspot. On trying to log in to my Fon account I found that I just got diverted to a BT page showing 404 in the text.

After contacting Fon support I found that the Fonera+ was no longer supported and the only way forward was to buy a new Fon router. Thanks for nothing Fon. Some people on the Money Saving Expert forum got a promotion code but I bought mine before I found that out (grrr!).

The new Fonera router arrived after a couple of weeks. It is tiny with a small fixed antenna, isn’t wall mountable and the wall wart comes with a Euro connector. The supplied adaptor which was taped to the box and took a bit of cleaning up to remove tape residue is almost as big as the router itself. As an AP, despite now supporting 802.11n, it’s pretty useless for me as apart from very near to it my main router gives a stronger signal. I haven’t checked yet to see if the Fon hotspot works outside the house but it does inside and I’m shown as sharing so will continue to get Fon access.

From the above you may get the impression I’m not overly pleased with Fon and you wouldn’t be wrong.

I have just blue-tacked the new Fonera over the spot where the Fonera+ was. It doesn’t quite cover the old screw holes or dirty mark that seems to form around anything wall mounted – especially anything electronic. As it’s behind my monitor that’s a job that can wait a while.

Fonera router

Update 2
I spotted something rather more troubling. With the old router guest users were given their own BT pulic IP traceable to them from their login. With the new setup the Fon router users on both private and public networks get your public IP. I saw this as a big problem but only got my ID banned from the Fon forum for my troubles when trying to get this resolved. Fon simply didn’t see it as a problem. Now the chances of kiddie fiddlers and Jihadis accessing stuff which would throw up flags with the authorities through my hotspot are probably slight but they are not zero. Not wishing to get my door kicked in at 4:00am, all my computer gear bagged up, and me issued a free orange jump suit I do now know whether my Fon public signal is visible outside my property. I’ll leave it to the reader to guess on the answer to that one.



  3 Responses to “Fon free WiFi – Including Android APK download for the Fon app”

  1. Thank you Mark,

    I have been periodically looking for this App for a couple of years. I have it on my old Orange San Francisco running Android 2.2 Since then I’ve acquired several Android devices and have always looked for the FON App but told by Play “not available in your country” – UK. I’ve had a Fonera 2.0n for quite a few years and permanently share it, though like you, it is rarely used by others.

    My current mobile is a Cubot GT99 running Android 4.2.1 rooted. Your first APK installed but didn’t work. The second one threw up a “segmentation fault” error while installing but seems to be working. I will try it out and about. I can choose to connect to my Fon spot instead of my normal Wifi, so it does seem to work.

    Again, thank you for sharing. This has been driving me nuts for a couple of years and I look at the Fonera and think “should I just unplug it as the old FON forums seem to not be available to make requests anymore” … I still have it plugged in!

    Best regards,

    Johnnie

  2. There seem to be a couple of different Fon hotspots from BT routers now. One type seems to work OK with the app and by manually logging in but the other type has no mechanism for using a non-BT user/pass. My current phone – a rooted Nexus 4 but with sotck firmware has the updated app running on it and I do hear it connect sometimes – I’ll have to check to see if my connection is through the Fon AP a few times. At home it normally connects to my home WiFi but does work through the Fonera+ Fon hot spot.

  3. I found that both APK links were bad today. I’m not 100% sure they were ever good although I do usually test any downloads I post work.

    Anyhow I’ve corrected the links and they will now download should you have tried before and they didn’t.