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XOHM WiMAX page on DSLReports
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Review by jtimleck See Profile

  • Location: Baltimore,Baltimore City,MD
  • Cost: $35 per month
Good "Value for speed, customer service, full mac support (including the install CD), easy to set up wireless router at home"
Bad "install was problematic, but tech support helped, no cheap wimax (or skype?) phones"
Overall "Best value for the money for the speed of connection."
Pre Sales Information:
Install process:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:

This is an UPDATE (Jun 10, 2009) at the start here - recently I tried to connect to the advanced aspects of the ZYXEL modem (see »Advanced Zyxel Modem Interface-Get A Mac OS Optimizer Widget ) and guess what... On Feb 28, 2009 the modem was updated. But I didn't update the modem. THEY did.. And in doing so they blocked out access to the advanced features again. Look, when I buy hardware it's MINE to change - not Sprint/Clear etc. - at least not without my permission. So that's a BIG blemish on them in my books.

Now here's my initial review:

OK, so today I bit the bullet and bought the modem and signed up for the Home plan - 25 bucks for 6 months and then 35 after that. A helluva good deal considering we were paying 25 bucks a months for Verizon DSL at 85kB/s max before.

OK, so what do I think?

First impressions matter - what mattered more were the impressions of others before *my* first impressions. I really couldn't find one person that said they hated it, or it didn't work. Comcast is *ridiculously* expansive for broadband and they rape you with their packaging of services. Verizon has gone from 14.00 a month for life to 25.00 in just 2 years. Not cool. So from there I did my homework, checked for coverage (I'm "green" in Northeast Baltimore, near Greenmount and 33rd (which, btw is good because coverage is in the "not so great" neighborhoods too I might add) and went and bought my modem from Towson. No hard sales pitch either. Nice, polite, fast.

Got the ZyXEL modem home and pulled out the setup install CD. Supports Macs the lit says.... but in most companies this NEVER means install software (are you listening comcast, verizon, etc.). Popped in the CD and there was the familiar Mac install dialogue, which they also didn't futz with or change or "skin" as so many other developers do in windows (And the reason they shouldn't - the GUI for macs is made to be the same in similar states of an app for a reason - you know what the app is doing...windows, are you listening?). Software for the install modem and activation wizard went without a hitch.

Basically you install the software which directs you step by step for the modem, cables, etc. and then you click and the modem, using the proprietary signal for xohm, brings you to the activation portion of xohm.com's site. And now things went south...

The link was flaky. 3 "bars" strong but it kept stalling after entering info (there are 5 screens you need to do, ending in confirmation basically). I'd enter, it would "spin", waiting to receive or send info - I have Little Snitch installed (monitors network traffic) and I was getting *no* traffic whatsover. I restarted the process. And got a page further. And then... same thing. I would get "You are not authorized to view this page" webpage errors - which to me suggests problems on their server end. This of course rendered the registering process moot and I had to start again. I reset the modem, and restarted the computer several times to no avail. I phone customer service and after literally 20 rings passed I hung up.

Now a caveat - this was Christmas eve at 4pm (it was a present) so *everyone* and their dog could have been a) using their cell phones, b) activating new cell phones and c) karma... So I went back and tried again. Got to "enter your credit card info" and did this and then .... spin. ARGH! OK, this time I phone and selected "I have an account" (as opposed to account activation... It was more true than I didn't, I had 80% of an account, lol) and immediately was able to speak with Carlos....

Carlos then spent the next 25+ minutes with me setting up my account. This was WAY too slow honestly, but given the holiday and what appeared to be slow servers on their end was not a big deal. He was professional and courteous. And he got it done. Which involved entering all the info again and reseting my password which I had tried to log earlier. Which brings a "caution":

CAUTION - if your registration stalls at a particular screen STOP and call. If you do not then you will "void" the option you chose for your name and email listing - because I had already entered a user name (which is also your email name) the "system" will not let you use that name in another account establishment attempt. That *sucked* - I had my full name for my email and now I couldn't use it. So anyways I settled for something else I could live with and we went ahead.

Activation then onwards was a snap. Setting up the wireless router was also quick and easy. Something to keep in mind which I forgot: If you have wireless devices (I have a Roku music server, for instance) if you set them up on anything but the *default* IP address of your wireless router it won't be able to "see" the router if you reset that router for use with the XOHM router (which in most cases you will/should I would think). So this caused a "stupidity-induced" headache on my part for a bit, but no problem otherwise.

Performance:

»www.speedtest.net/result/378504798.png

Well I'm not exactly "wowed" just yet.... I'm getting 1.5 to about 2.3 and not much higher. Not sure why so "low" (I was expecting 3+ given the great coverage I have). But I've also dropped to 2 bars - but that shouldn't matter I thought. I also have experienced dropouts of services intermittently. Not sure why. Only a minute or two, but annoying. But hey *twice* as fast for only 30% more coin is still a deal - and that's at it's worst performance, which seems rare. Will try some alt setups and see how I fare.

Overall ... do it. 30 day money back guarantee on the modem. Great pricing. Very good customer service, etc. Recommended

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member for 5.9 years, 38 visits, last login: 3.4 years ago
updated 4 years ago

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Review by scottfsmith See Profile

  • Location: Baltimore,Baltimore City,MD
  • Cost: $35 per month
Good "Good quality modem"
Bad "Coverage needs to improve"
Overall "Soon this will probably be a great option; coverage has a ways to go however"

I am on the edge of coverage with the home modem. I get about 1600 down/300 up speeds on average, with the modem in a nice window location. Unfortunately it also drops the connection fairly often. I would say the main thing is your signal quality is very important. I get a constant 1-brick signal but never two bricks. With two bricks I think this thing would rock. I still have three weeks left to evaluate and I may just hang on to it until the coverage improves.

The configuration etc of the modem is easy. I wish they had not hid all the advanced options (remove the 1 in the URL from 192.168.1.100/rpSys1.html after logging in and you will get the advanced options, which support turning off the default NAT, configuring SIP for VoIP, etc). I don't have a 100% working phone to test the VoIP completely with but it did receive calls fine so it likely works already; just plug your phone into the back of the modem and enter your SIP account into the modem config.

They still need to improve on the documentation, for example there is no documentation at all of how to configure your network without NAT etc. This modem is quite a bit better than my cable modem in terms of what it can do by itself, but the docs are not there yet. The website has very little information now. They also need to start selling antennas. I did find one site selling some already -- »www.rfwel.com/shop/home.php?cat=179 .

The customer service people are clearly not Sprint people, they were actually competent. I am in shock.

Their website has some bugs still, I kept getting this "unauthorized" page when trying to buy the modem.

Oh the cost is $25 per month for the first 6 mos then $35.

UPDATE: The modem quality started to deteriorate as the leaves on the trees came out in full force, to the point of not really being usable. So I decided to get the ARC 16bD antenna from WPS Antennas. I have not yet found the optimal spot for it but I am at least back to a brick or two from no bricks. So the antenna was well worth the money. You need to order the antenna plus the special coax cable and it will cost about $150 total.

Scott

PS Speed test added - note nice download but bad upload times.

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member for 5.9 years, 13 visits, last login: 4.7 years ago
updated 5.4 years ago

Comments:

Review by wayne8888 See Profile

  • Location: Baltimore,Baltimore City,MD
  • Cost Contract price not specified.
Good "Ease of setup, friendly staff"
Bad "Slow to add coverage to many areas of Baltimore beyond downtown"
Overall "Unfortunately not even committed to covering all of Baltimore, City much less....."
Pre Sales Information:
Install process:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:

I first purchased the XOHM modem on 10 Oct. 2008. I did this after running my zip code (21212). I should have run my exact address because I would have seen that I was plus or minus a quarter mile from coverage based on modem coverage. I attempted the activation process but the signal strength (one bar out of 3) was not strong enough to activate (nor to connect to internet and get IP address). I kept the modem for almost a month (hoping for an expansion of coverage) and finally returned it (along with the mini PCI adapter which I had never opened) on Nov. 4th. to stay inside the 30 day refund window. Although there was no evidence of expansion of coverage in my area (not one iota), I decided to try again (but not with the adapter just the modem) and got another modem. This time I was able to activate and now pay $25/month for the first 6 months and $35/month thereafter. I got an inconsistent 2 bars of signal strength and download speeds of 1-4mbps down and 500kbps-1.1kbps download speeds without an external antenna attached to modem. Using a 14dbi external antenna, leaning against the window and the xohm connection widget I am able to achieve speeds like this »www.speedtest.net/result/383966709.png . I have ordered an even more powerful antenna (since I have little faith in XOHM's motivation in consolidating the coverage in Baltimore in any reasonable time-frame) to get the speeds associated with 3 bars of signal strength. We will be switching from Verizon DSL to XOHMWiMax at work shortly as we move to the Fells Point/Canton area (where I tested speeds at more than 5mbps down and 2mbps up using this modem). I would like to thank Jason at the Harbor XOHM Kiosk, Brad at the Towson XOHM Kiosk, as well XOHM user Channa and Matt Larson at WPS antennas for their advice and help.

March 18th 2009

I am tired of waiting for XOHM/Clear to cover my neighborhood. I am going to drop XOHM and go back to Comcast High Speed Internet. XOHM/Clear has not increase their coverage even one tenth of an iota since October. Two of 3 bars (lights) on the modem seems to translate into slower and slower speeds (usually under 3mbps) and the upload speed has decreased from 1100kbps to often less than 500kbps. I am tired of waiting for expansion of coverage I'm sure that they will never cover northern Baltimore City. I tried to get to full signal strength using a 16dbi external antenna from WPS antennas mounted on the roof. That did not help at all in my case now I just have it by an upstairs window with better results than i got from the WPS external antenna. On the bright side we will keep the service at work which happens to lie on the Canton waterfront (an area of Baltimore that XOHM actually bothered to cover). But I am tired of the slowness at home which turns surfing and VOIP into a horrible experience at many times. So its back to Comcast with my tail between my legs!

Later on March 18th after moving the XOHM modem around, i am seeing a bit of improvement with download speeds of 3.3 to 4.5 mbps but the upload is still less than the 1-1.3 mbps that I had started to get used to. »www.speedtest.net/result/432492750.png

I kind of miss the 2mbps that I got with Comcast for upload. I might hang with XOHM even though there is no action on their part at coverage increase in many areas of Baltimore city and county. This is also my last month at the intro price of $25/month ......soon to be 35$ if I stay with XOHM.

It is now March 30, 2009

I have re-installed Comcast High Speed Internet and will drop XOHM today or tomorrow. The XOHM is either not committed or (more likely) does not have the fiscal resources to cover all of Baltimore City (much less all of Baltimore County or Maryland). The download speed with much tweaking could rise to 4.5 mbps (with my 2 of 3 level signal) but the upload speed just was so unstable as not support my VOIP at home. I can't tell you how many "huh.......could you repeat that......etc" that I heard while talking on the phone using ViaTAlk and now Vonage. Now with Comcast's 2.2mbps upload speeds my VOIP with Vonage is flawless. We will still try to keep ViaTalk at work (near the harbor) where we have 3 of 3 signal strength but some real flakiness like loosing WAN IP address a couple of times per week (necessitating a reset and power cycle combo). My boss is hinting at dumping them due to this (in case she is alone when problems strike and needs to send a crucial email .....she is not a techie by any means).

I wish XOHM/Clear well but it looks like they have squandered their headstart in the 4G arena!

Wayne

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member for 9.1 years, 1609 visits, last login: 1.3 years ago
updated 5.6 years ago

Comments:

Review by jorwex See Profile

  • Location: College Park,Prince Georges,MD
  • Cost Contract price not specified.
Good "Everything?"
Bad "Activation a bit vague...Modem Setup Assistant didn't appear"
Overall "Good"

Highest Speed Test Results: »www.speedtest.net/result/441147695.png
Lowest Speed Test Results: »www.speedtest.net/result/441148183.png

Nuff said?

I'm satisfied

member for 11.4 years, 75 visits, last login: 2.2 years ago
lodged 5.6 years ago

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Review by Smile__ See Profile

  • Location: Cockeysville,Baltimore,MD
  • Cost: $25 per month
  • Install: about 160 days
Good "No Contract, No paper billing, No Credit check, easy to install"
Bad "Coverage is spotty"
Overall "Speeds are not like they use to be. Below 1MB down and way below 1 MB up"
Pre Sales Information:
Install process:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:

Purchased at Towson Town Center Kiosk (Food Court) Oct 7th. I brought home and activated and took about 30 minutes with home modem. Connected and found service. Running speeds of 2mb/1mb as I show no coverage on locator map on XOHM.com. I know it will get even better soon. Will be cancelling Comcast as I pay more for less... I have my modem by patio door on floor... Aircard is next to purchase..

Speedtest as of 10 14 08 Update: »www.speedtest.net/result/339010986.png That is speed with no coverage based on coverage locator on XOHM.com

Speedtest as of 10 16 08 Update: »www.speedtest.net/result/340217281.png
Yes... That is awesome speeds...

Speedtest as of 10 30 08 Updated: »www.speedtest.net/result/347695593.png

Speedtest as of 12/22/08 Updated: »www.speedtest.net/result/377462366.png w/ WPS Antenna plugged into modem..

Speedtest as of 02/06/09 Updated: »www.speedtest.net/result/405565523.png

Picked up the Nokia N810 Tablet this past week and setup my Belkin router for my two laptops.. Impressed with speeds on my tablet in home. Running it off the wireless as I haven't hooked it up yet on XOHM.. Speeds are now consistent all the time.. Seems to perform better with router..

Below is a picture of the antenna I have been using from www.WPSantennas.com. Seems to be helping with speed performance. I have been using them for about 2 weeks now.
»www.wpsantennas.com/search.aspx?···gh=50.00

Check this FORUM out : »clearusers.com/index.php

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member for 6.1 years, 412 visits, last login: 4.8 years ago
updated 5.6 years ago

Comments:

Review by drats666 See Profile

  • Location: Linthicum Heights,Anne Arundel,MD
  • Cost: $35 per month
Good "No contract"
Bad "Poor signal, not full speeds"
Overall "Highly unstable, wouldn't recommend."

just utterly, poor

member for 6 years, 2 visits, last login: 6 years ago
lodged 6 years ago

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Review by motivation64 See Profile

  • Location: Baltimore,Baltimore City,MD
  • Cost: $30 per month
Good "Fast, Inexpensive, No Contract"
Bad "USB Stick can be touchy. Coverage and penetration issues."
Overall "With no contract and such a low price. Try it."
Pre Sales Information:
Install process:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:

USB XOHM Modem. Baltimore.

I picked up the USB stick at Arundel Mills mall Kiosk. Staff was super friendly and not pushy.

Got it home, and did the install on two separate machines. I ended up swapping out the USB stick for a new one, as I couldn't seem to get a signal anywhere, and I live right near the inner harbor in Baltimore. (More or less ground zero for coverage)

I'll get into the product in a second, but since I had to deal with tech support and a return, I wanted to give some feedback as this is often the failing point with any broadband service.

Calling tech support was not annoying. Hold time wasn't extreme, tech was decent initial phone support person. Not getting a signal isn't something that will always generate an error, so I suggested that I return the unit and try another one. I didn't get a chance to do this immediately, and I actually got a followup call to see how the unit was working out. I think it's pretty obvious that they really are trying to make this launch a success. I brought it back to the kiosk and had no problems at all getting the unit swapped. Activating it was as simple as going into my account, removing the old USB unit, and then adding back the new one.

The new unit seems to be working fine, but getting a signal with the USB stick can still be a bit fussy. I find that if I unplug it and plug it back in, the connector software will find the network more readily. The connector doesn't indicate signal strength until you're actually connected, so it's kind of flying blind until it works. The USB modem only has a single LED, and this just shows red until you connect, at which point it just acts like your typical data light, flickering as it's in use. The stick also tends to run warm. I will need to try and hunt down some power specs, but I'm thinking that it pulls it's fair share, based upon the heat the thing gives off. I haven't had a chance to check how it's effected battery life on my laptop or UMPC.

Quick note, the connector software is a bit fat. When you install it, it takes a bit longer then you would expect for this type of thing and isn't the cleanest of installs. It actually installs 4 items.

XOHM Connection Manager
XOHM Connection Manager Tutorials
ZTE_WiMax_ModemV1.4.6B01
Samsung mWiMAX CommonAPI Express

Though it says "Modem" it doesn't act like one. This is more like somewhere between a LAN adapter and your typical Cell Modem. It doesn't show up as a dialup, and you have to use the connecter software to get on the network, whereas with a cell modem you can just use window's built in dialer and often get an increase in speed and ease of use. I'm sure that this will change at some point down the road if WiMax becomes more common. Microsoft will pull support into the OS much like what occurred with WiFi.

Speed has been good. Even with only a single "circle" of signal strength on the connectors indicator, my speeds are around 4000kb down, 1000kb up.

»www.speedtest.net/result/354082062.png

I have a friend who picked up the home modem at my recommendation, and has it hooked to his PS3 with no problems.

I'm inclined to recommend the home modem without reservation, based upon his experiences. The speed for the price is a good deal. It's reliable, fast, less expensive, and doesn't require a contract. A big plus is that you CAN pick the thing up and take it to a friends house or a new location without waiting for an install from a provider.

The Mobile modems are still something that I would not recommend to a typical laptop user. The product is just a bit too new and isn't completely idiot proof. Combine this with coverage issues, and your typical cell modem is probably a better fit for most mobile users, even considering that the speed is less, it costs more, and you have a download cap. Techies and folks who love to play with new toys will enjoy it. It's cheap enough to give it a run and see if you will return it in 30 days. The rest of the universe should probably wait for increased coverage and better builtin support from windows.

I

member for 6 years, 1 visits, last login: 6 years ago
updated 6 years ago

Comments:

Review by AlexE4 See Profile

  • Location: Park Ridge,Cook,IL
  • Cost: $30 per month (month by month)
  • Install: about 5 days
Good "Take it with you anywhere in the area, fast, and cheap"
Bad "Coverage is badd"
Overall "Fast, cheap broadband"
Pre Sales Information:
Install process:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:

My Other Reviews

·WOW Internet and..
I'll start off by saying I'm in an unlauched coverage area, which is Chicago. I reside in Park Ridge, one of the suburbs outside of the city, and I barely get any signal. If I open and sit in a window on the south side of my house, I can get one ring of signal, but the speeds aren't anything terrific. I can get about 350 kbps down and 50-100 up depending on the day. I'm REALLY hoping they activate or put up a tower near Park Ridge soon, otherwise the service just isn't going to work out for me. I purchased the USB modem, and everything I read said it worked on vista... and I have 64 bit. None of the equipment except the home modem is compatible with 64 bit at this time.. so that really put a damper on things. Overall I'm dissappointed in the coverage and the speeds. I'm assuming if I had stronger signal, I'd have stronger speeds, but I've yet to find a better signal around here. I'm going to stick with comcast, even though the price is double what xohm is... ugh.

member for 7.9 years, 357 visits, last login: 144 days ago
lodged 6 years ago

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Review by applezz13 See Profile

  • Location: Essex,Baltimore,MD
  • Cost: $25 per month
  • Install: about 1 days
Good "No hassel...No contract...self install"
Bad "spotty coverage"
Overall "Great value if it will work in your location"
Pre Sales Information:
Install process:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:

I currently use comcast, but am not an intensive internet user. We mostly read email/web pages and the wife plays some flash game and we sometimes watch video on line. I am sick of paying comcast $60 per month, and as I am lucky enough to live in the Baltimore area thought I would give Xohm a try. On their coverage maps my house is about 75-100 yards outside one of their "green" coverage areas. I stopped by one of the mall kiosks and talked to the salesmen. They showed me the map of the coverage near the mall and it was worse than the coverage at my home. I figured I would give them a try, as they have a 30 money back policy. They even said the monthly fee is prorated and refunded if you do a return. I purchased the MAX-206M2 ZyXEL modem as I want to run my wireless in the house off it if possible. Initially I had trouble finding a location in my house with signal, but finally discovered that in the kitchen window I could get a steady 2 lights out of 3 for signal strength. With the third light sometimes appearing. That was around 4PM. Now it is almost 7PM and I have a steady 3 lights in the same location. The setup was simple, just turned off my wireless card, connected the ethernet cable from the modem to my computer and opened a browser. The Xohm paged opened and walked me through the account setup. One nice thing, as they are new almost any email address is available. I then was online and surfing. I am getting 1.5-2.5 download and .8-1.5 upload speeds. Now on par with my comcast connection, but I think they might be fast enough for our use. I plan on using both together for a month or two and then deciding which to get rid of. One thing I did notice, as I have the unit in our kitchen whenever the microwave is on the connection is gone.

I will update the review with more info as I continue to use this service.

Update to my review....The morning after I hooked up the unit I had a solid 3 lights for signal strength and have had three lights every time I checked. I am getting a constant 1.5-3 down and 1-2 up for speeds. I connected Xohm to the wireless router without telling the wife and she didn't even notice! When playing Call of Duty my pings range from 80-120, not the 40-90 I was getting with comcast but still playable.

One issue I am having is downloading large files(1-2 gigs). It seems the Xohm device will sometimes dissconect and reconnect to the network. I think this may be because I am between two towers and "officially" not covered by any tower and they are fighting over my connection. When this "switchover" happes my download gets corrupted. I just downloaded a download manager program and am testing to see if that will solve my problem.

Another thing I don't like is the only receive signal strength meter is the lights on the device. The web interface tells you the transmit strength, but not the receive.(If I am wrong could someone tell me where to look!).

Updating with current info. My download speeds had dropped to a crawl, so I power cycled the modem(it has been powered on since my first review). It would not reconnect to the Wimax signal when it powered back up. I logged into the modem via the webpage and it appeared to be stuck in the INIT phase, the word "INIT" was in bold caps up near the signal meter "lights". I also noted that the power light on the unit was orange instead of the green it had been before. I rebooted the modem several times and it still did not work. I called tech support and they were pretty useless, they had me push the reset button and power cycle the unit a few times, things I had already done. After the 5th or 6th power cycle, it did finally start working. He said to call if it happened again and that I would probally be given a new modem. He has no clue about the orange power light, he thought the light should be green if ok and red if bad.

I am reducing the tech support rating 1 point for this, but I am also increasing the connection reliabiliy 1 point as this has been my only issue and it appears it was the modem not the signal.

Overall the service more than meets or needs so far, I have 3 computers, my VOIP adapter (Teleblend), a Wii, my directv dvr, a wifi internet radio, and sometimes use my MDA phone to check out info online. With all these items using the connection basic web use is unimpaired, however I am unable to play Call of Duty if there is heavy use of the unit(no big deal, I play once or twice a week).

member for 8.7 years, 256 visits, last login: 5.7 years ago
updated 6 years ago

Comments:

Review by Raven595 See Profile

  • Location: Baltimore,Baltimore City,MD
  • Cost: $25 per month
Good "Fast, cheap"
Bad "Brand new, so coverage isn't everywhere yet"
Overall "Awesome alternative to Comcast and Verizon"
Pre Sales Information:
Install process:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:

I've been following the development of Xohm for a while, and was very excited to hear that Baltimore was part of the initial deployment. They sent out an email asking for beta testers, and though I didn't make it into the group (sniff), I got some great advice from Xohmguy, who posts on this site. Even though I'm outside the Xohm modem coverage area by about 1/2 a mile, Xohmguy suggested I pick up a modem and give it a shot. If it didn't work, I could return the modem for a refund.

Sure enough, not only do I get a signal, but I get a great one. 2 out of 3 bars with the modem on the first floor, 3 bars on the second. My Speakeasy speed tests are averaging about 7Mbps down and 2Mbps up, though I've hit 8Mbps down a couple of times. That's over twice as fast as Verizon DSL and $15 cheaper per month. If we had a laptop (I'm looking at you, lucky beta testers), I'd get the mobile service as well.

We'll see how consistent the signal is over the next few weeks, but so far so good!

Here's a speed test result from tonight, 10.16.2008: »www.speedtest.net/result/340223803.png

UPDATE: Moved the antenna to the second floor where it sat on top of an ironing board for a day or two. 3 bars solid. Moved the ironing board to another room, antenna went on the floor and got 2 bars, occasionally dropping to 1 bar. I have another network drop near the window that I haven't finished wiring yet, so I'll move it there to see what happens. I may want to investigate the ironing board antenna further, though I doubt Xohm would pick it up as a viable option for an accessory. A Xohm branded ironing board antenna would probably be low on the WAF and would be hard to find room for at the mall kiosks.

member for 12.7 years, 8 visits, last login: 6 years ago
updated 6 years ago

Comments: