Fonera + Whisher , double share , double groove


A new wifi sharing is on the wild. is a new startup owned by Ferran Moreno and Mike Puchol , former FON partners.
The aim of whisher is to create a community of wifi sharers , without any proprietary device or firmware. This trick is done by whisher application , a client software which send and receive private keys to a central database and to a local database.
Let me explain a little bit deeper the mechanism of whisher.

Downloading the software at and installing it , you will have a sort of netstumbler application . Infact , in the main panel , you will find all the wifi networks available in the area.


Once located your encrypted signal , you have to select it and enter you wpa or wep key.


Afterward , you need to subscribe as a user. Once registered , your encrypted network , will display in the client a link for register your access point a whisher node. At this point your private key is sent (encrypted) to whisher central database , and all the stuff such as localizing and tagging your access point is provided.


This is the first part of becoming a whisher sharer. The second is to have connection over whisher network. In the application , you can select a list of geographic areas , and choosing synchronize , a database of keys is downloaded on your computer. When you will roam around , and your whisher application will discover wifi networks , if one of them is listed on your database , will be flagged with a ws logo . Connecting to them will be easier as double clicking on them.


Beyond this , whisher application is also a file sharing client/server for sharing contents over users on the same node and instant message client between whisher users.
I tried whisher yesterday , with a fonera , which is known has double SSID. To make it work I had to change encryption from WPA to WEP , due to some bug in the Mac OSX whisher client. Everything has gone pretty good , except an annoying delay in all the operations. I think the code is still in early beta , so rough code stress a lot processor.
Despite all my efforts , and following all the instructions , I cannot get a list of access points downloaded to my local database , so even if the stumbler detect the crypted wlan of la fonera , it can’t recognise as whisher access point.Some random crashes also happened.
Stating that the code is still in early development , and will be refined for sure , I want to spend some words about the main thing that care to me. This new method of sharing wifi has some good and some bad parts.
The good :
1)Hardware independent
2)Secure with wireless encryption
3)Aim to build a community even if in these times , putting a IM client into an application doesn’t make a lot of sense , same as file sharing ; I would have been more impressed if the whisher client had a minimal interface with just a netstumbler and a button connect , but my approach to software in NO-eyecandy.
The bad :
1)not yet mature , at least the Mac OSx client , as I mentioned above , some random crashes , slow , and most important cannot keep the list of keys written in the local database.
2)Even if the whisher client in future will work perfectly , my humble remains over the target this product is dedicated.If somebody with no firewall skills decide to activate a whisher node , he exposes himself to security risks. Usually , a wireless router is activated to provide both WAN and LAN access and if you don’t put a firewall between LAN and WLAN all your private computers are exposed. So the conclusion might be that whisher is dedicated to advanced users , perhaps to those advanced foneros who cannot bear the hardware software closure policy that FON applies.