Review by espaeth
Good "Great signal at home, available most places I travel, faster than 3G"
- Location: Minneapolis,Hennepin,MN
- Cost: $60 per month
- Install: about 1 days
Bad "Limited device selection"
Overall "Solid solution for mobile / alternate access"
|Pre Sales Information:|
Value for money:
I think I'm one of the few folks who signed up for Clear even after having read all of the posts complaining about throttling. I actually really like the service, but I'm not using it as my primary Internet connection so "unlimited" usage wasn't really a selling point for me. My requirements were simple:
- I take scheduled weeks of on-call duty where I need to have connectivity 24x7, so I needed alternate access in case my cable connection went down. Previously I was using a 3mbps DSL line, but has since been replaced with Clear.
- I wanted fast network access around town so when I travel to various company sites so that I'm not restricted by their wireless guest networks.
- I want to use data services at local sporting venues (Xcel Energy Center / Target Field mostly) and 3G coverage becomes saturated. At least as of right now, 4G still works incredibly well for things like Slingbox streaming to my phone.
- I wanted something faster than 3G tethering when I travel without having to spend a ridiculous amount of cash on frequently disappointing hotel wifi access.
I started out with the Sprint Overdrive which provides both 3G and 4G functionality and costs $59.99/mo. I was a little disappointed with the unit itself -- it was great when it worked, but it was prone to getting hot and locking up. The battery life also left quite a bit to be desired.
Clear provided a better solution with their "take 2" offering which gives me both a home network device and a mobile hotspot for $60/mo. This unique combination allowed me to really meet all of my requirements while keeping the monthly cost the same as DSL alone or the Sprint Overdrive alone.
I'm using a Linux box as my NAT / gateway router, so the Clear modem is attached and configured to be used as a failover to my cable connection. This was incredibly useful last month when Comcast was doing maintenance in my neighborhood resulting in a couple hours of outage while they replaced feeder lines. I'm seeing speeds of 12mbps down and about 1mbps up, which is significantly faster than the 3/512k DSL line it replaced.
For the mobile service I got the 4G only "Clear Spot" and I've been incredibly happy with that device. It goes from power on to usable much faster than the Overdrive, the battery lasts significantly longer, and the mini-USB charging port seems less fragile than the micro-USB connector on the Overdrive. While it doesn't give me the 3G coverage, I have wifi tethering to my mobile phone that I can use if I'm not in a 4G city, and in dire situations I can use the hotel phone to work around my mobile phone being tied up. Speeds on the road have consistently been great, and I've had coverage in places that Clear hasn't officially launched yet. In particular, in a recent trip I had coverage at the MSP airport, ATL airport, downtown Atlanta, FLL airport, my hotel in Sunrise, and the entire Tampa area.
I *did* experience the throttling when watching TV via my Slingbox in Tampa, but at the airport the next day I was seeing the regular full speeds I had been seeing elsewhere. I suspect they could probably be less aggressive with their throttling policy, but so far based on my uses for the service it hasn't been a major issue.
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updated 4.1 years ago