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Clear Wireless page on DSLReports
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Reviews:
bullet 139 reviews (53 good) (65 bad)
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Review by BellSouthBS See Profile

  • Location: Fort Lauderdale,Broward,FL
  • Cost: $49 per month
  • Install: about 3 days
Good "Good Speed, Latency, No RF interference from other 4Gs, allows VPN, **supports NETFLIX SUPER HD & NETFLIX 3D**"
Bad "Required outdoor antenna for top speeds. CRITICAL ANTENNA PLACEMENT"
Overall "If you find an unobstructed path to the tower, this service is great"
Pre Sales Information:
Install process:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:

My Other Reviews

·Comcast
·AT&T Southeast
I never thought I would ever be writing a review that was favorable to CLEAR, because the towers were quite far away, and because of so many bad reviews.

I had just received a call from OMGFAST, saying that they were not doing any new installs, and they were taking me off their list. I still needed a backup internet provider, so I reluctantly called the number on one of the CLEAR advertisements I received. The girl at the other end was not that familiar with the tech end of the product, but since I am a consultant for microwave communications systems, and fully licensed by the Federal Communications Commission, this is my forte.

I received the equipment on Monday, a day early. It came in a green box that said Plug Me In. I did, and finally found a spot that gave me 1 bar of signal strength. I expected this, and my heart sank. Throughput varied from 2 to 3 megabits down. I called tech support, and asked to be transferred to tier 3, and wasted quite a bit of time having to explain to people why I needed exact tower locations. Finally I was transferred to tier 3. I got the latitude and longitude of a few towers near me, then used "Google Earth" to plot these paths from the towers to my home. I used "properties" to elevate each path about 20 feet in the air to see what NEARBY trees and houses might be in the way. On the second tower, I WON THE LOTTERY. I had virtually no obstructions between my house and the Flamingo Road tower, but the antenna pattern for my sector from that tower was not aimed directly in my direction, which was like trying to see the side of a road at midnight, with the car headlights pointed in a slightly different direction.

Google Earth showed I had a virtually unobstructed path to a tower that was 1.69 miles away. The next day I took an extension cord and the CLEAR modem up on the roof, and started looking for a "sweet spot." This turned out to be in the back of the house, with 3 bars, compared to the peak in the center of the house, which only gave me 2 bars. I looked on the internet, and found the modem IP to be 192.168.15.1 and put that IP address in my browser. I did not need the password, as the modem displayed both signal level (RSSI) and Signal to Noise (CINR a.k.a. the Ratio of the Carrier divided by the level of Interference *plus* the Noise caused by man-made and electrical noise plus what was generated in the receiver itself.),

Basically stated, the incoming signal should be 20 times greater than all the noise and interference that the receiver sees, or generates internally, and the CINR is the formula that provides a number (db) corresponding to how good the signal is. This number is given in a logarithm of base 10, so going from a CINR measurement of 10 db to 30 db is actually an improvement of 100 times! A 20 db or better signal to noise ratio is quite good for digital microwave reception.

Dish antennas concentrate the incoming power to a small area, and the feedpoint is located at that point. A 20 db gain antenna concentrates 100 times the power and sends it to the receiver (modem). That is why an outside antenna is helpful or sometimes necessary if you can't see the tower out of your back window.

The most helpful thing is height. Since radio signals at 2.5 GHz have characteristics similar to light, they lose around 10% or more of their strength passing through a small tree, and up to 50% passing through dense Maple, Bischofia, or pine trees. Concrete walls and reinforced glass (contains metal) also reduce signal strength, along with wooden roofs with certain types of shingles. If you can get a clear path to the tower, between or above the trees and surrounding houses, you will be rewarded with the highest possible speeds, assuming the tower has the capacity to handle the bandwidth. Unfortunately, I already noticed signs that the tower I am pointed at needs more bandwidth, and the one that is closer to me bogs down during rush hour and early evening.

I just happened to have a clear path, starting at the very edge of the back of my house, so I mounted a 20 db gain grid dish antenna (one that my company makes). The CLEAR modem requires an "RP-SMA MALE" (not female) connector to connect to an outside antenna. Without the antenna and with the modem on the roof, I had a signal level of -75 dbm, with an unacceptable CINR of 8. This typically happens when you are receiving two or more towers operating on the same frequency, or if you are receiving multiple signals from the same tower's transmitter, which bounce off reflective surfaces and buildings. This is called multipath, and a highly directional antenna will get rid of all these reflected signals, and only let the main signal through. With a large grid dish antenna connected to the modem on the roof, I manually rotated the dish antenna, and the signal peaked at -55 dbm, with a CINR of 30. I brought the modem inside the house, connected low-loss cable between the outside antenna and the modem, and the CLEAR signal level dropped about 3 db to an RSSI of -58 db. The CINR was still a respectable 28, so I started running some tests.

What I was most concerned about was packet jitter. CLEAR packet jitter ranged from 6.5 to 7.5 milliseconds, which is very good for VOIP (internet telephone). An NDT server reported C2S packet queuing, so no packets were received out of order, although this did seem to negatively affect both "REGISTER" and "INVITE" timing. Latency to the tower could not be read because of either a firewall, or the first hop was not pingable, but the next hop could be read, and that hop averaged 80 ms LATENCY. AT&T's 4G latency averaged about 120 ms. It should be noted that best "Round Trip" ping latency has been around 60 milliseconds, which is very good for a wireless network.

I ran my speed tests using a server in Indianapolis Indiana from my home in Fort Lauderdale Florida, which is a little over 1000 miles distant. Speeds ranged from a low of about 8 Mb on the downlink and 995 k up, to a high of about 15 mb down, with most tests falling around 10 mb down. There were a few hiccups, and only once in 4 days did the modem disconnect and reconnect automatically. Although the service is relatively expensive, costing considerably more than AT&T's DSL but slightly less than AT&T's 4G Wireless service (although it can't compete with a properly working LTE system), I have to give it high technical marks. From the standpoint of a total home internet service for me and my family, CLEAR is clearly the winner, if it can provide more capacity.

"Rain Fade/Scatter" and attenuation from the signal passing through wet foliage in a heavy rainstorm is virtually non existent at my location because of path clearance, and amounted to a signal strength loss of about 3 dbm (RSSI dropped to -61 dbm), and reduced the signal to noise ratio a mere 1 db, from 28 db to 27 db. There are many television stations that would envy a Studio-Transmitter Link (STL) this solid, and with such a good fade margin.

I recently found out that Sprint now owns 100% of CLEAR/Clearwire, thanks to Billion$ of dollars of cash from a Japanese lender. Sprint is shutting down their Nextel/iDen 800 MHz service, and replacing it with the super-fast 800 MHz LTE Service. In the meantime, it will be using CLEARWIRE frequencies in the 2.5 MHz band to beef up their 4G service. Hopefully they will reserve the 2.5 GHz Band for data only, instead of trying to multiplex it and use both voice and data over the same channel, a move that would make the 2.5 GHz service useless for VOIP and Video, not to mention lost packets and high data overhead.

CLEAR (Clearwire) is a member of the NETFLIX Content Delivery Network (CDN) and is the only way I can watch *NETFLIX SUPER HD* or *NETFLIX 3D* programming in my area. COMCAST, AT&T, and FIOS cannot deliver NETFLIX advanced Super HD or 3D services.

>>> UPDATE: Friday, the 13th day of September, 2013. Service is great with no disconnects. I use VOIP for my home phones, and call quality has been the best I've ever had. There really are no caps, and Netflix 3D (12 mb/s stream) is great, even while the kids are playing games on their computers.

>>> UPDATE: Saturday, Sept 14th, 2013. Had Comcast 50 mb/s installed on 30 day trial. COMCAST BLOCKS NETFLIX SUPER HD & NETFLIX 3D !! I will be cancelling Comcrap and keeping CLEAR for as long as I can. I cannot receive NETFLIX in SUPER HD or 3D with Comcrap.

This is the best speed I was able to get with CLEAR Wireless at my location using an outside gain antenna:



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member for 12.6 years, 190 visits, last login: 31 days ago
updated 31 days ago

Comments:

OldAxe

@50.10.235.x

Clear

I got my clear unit sat it on top of the monitor and I always get 3 or 4 lights. Fastest broad band I know of. I don't know where the towers are located and don't care. $50.00 + a month ain't bad.

Review by Skipdawg See Profile

  • Location: Mount Vernon,Skagit,WA
  • Cost Contract price not specified. (24 month contract)
  • Install: about 3 days
Good "Much faster most of the time than former DSL service."
Bad "Speeds inconsistent and get to DSL speeds at peak hours."
Overall "WiMax 4G is new service and so far out the gate not bad. Expect improvement over the next year."
Pre Sales Information:
Install process:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:

I had looked into faster DSL or FIOS was not available, looked into Cable the price for what was received and friends reviews did not impress me so looked at this new thing Wireless 4G WiMax and Clear the former Clearwire had it to offer.

I first just ordered Home with the fastest plan and a week later added mobile to get the pick 2 for $55 for life. In a year or 2 that will be a killer price and not to bad for right now.

I ordered on-line quick and easy on a Friday and had my home modem the following Monday when I ordered the mobile modem I had it the next day. WOW! I like fast.

I'm a fan Of Texas Instruments and Motorola and got both with this deal in modems. Very cool.

So far I've had no problems with Clear. Talked to them on the phone once for information and there was no diddle daddle as my grandfather would say. The fella got right to the point and made sure my on-line order for pick 2 was done eight. I thought I had messed up on-line.

This is a new thing so I expect issues from the start but so far connectivity is good. I have the slow speeds friends told me about in peak hours but I have had some very good off peak speeds with test at Speakeasy and Speednet. I had one 3 days ago about 5 AM of 10.3/1.1 Mbps my mid day norm is about 3.1/0.9 Mbps.

Looks like I have 3 towers within 4 miles of me so that is good. Home modem so far stays at 5 bars and all is lit on the mobile also.

Hopefully this ride just gets better. 4G WiMax seems to have allot of potential.

Will add more down the road as I feel is needed. So far happy. I blows my DSL out of the water.

As of March 2014 Clear broke their promise that they would never raise the price of my service. Was told that for the life of my account it would never go up well they raised the price. So I dropped half of the service. Will drop them fully when I find a suitable replacement. I hate liars.

member for 13.5 years, 4063 visits, last login: 2 days ago
updated 210 days ago

Comments:

Review by chris92 See Profile

  • Location: Rock Island,Rock Island,IL
  • Cost: $45 per month
  • Install: about 1 days
Good "Decent Speeds"
Bad "Latency, Poor Speeds when you have less than perfect signal"
Overall "It's been a good run....Solid Speeds, Very useful for when you are traveling"
Pre Sales Information:
Install process:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:

My Other Reviews

·Sprint Mobile Br..
·Mediacom
I originally ordered Clear to use it as a backup/additional internet for my stay at College (Augustana College). Since the internet wasn't great, and I had an interest in WiMax, and decided to buy the PXU1900 modem off of eBay. As soon as I got it, I was surprised at the signal I had. Now, I am in an area where Clear does not sell service - there is only one tower that covers the area (This is in Davenport IA). This Clear tower is a "Protection Site" that only serves the purpose of maintaining the spectrum license. Off of this tower, I was getting about 9.5MBit Down, and 1.5MBit up. I decided to sign up for the Unlimited Plan at $45 a month.

Setup was a little difficult. Since I didn't live in an area that was "serviceable" by Clear, I had to make up an address in Chicago as my "Service Address". My Home address and Billing address were my local address. Once I was able to get the account, all I had to do was give them the MAC address of my modem that I bought off of eBay, and I was in business.

The signal that I got at Augustana College was about 75%. This is pretty good, considering it's a good 5 miles away from the tower. On average, I was getting about 6Mbit down, and 0.4Mbit up. Pings were about 120ms, and the traffic was routed through Denver, CO. Latency at times would spike up, but only when someone else is using the connection. Gaming was doable, but only if that was the only thing you were doing. When the signal drops to below 25%, speeds are non-existent. Especially upload speeds, for example, I was getting about 3Mbit down, but only 0.10Mbit up, so web browsing was pretty awful at times. Overall the service was not too bad considering the area.

After about a year of usage, I moved to a different part of the campus, where I didn't get a signal at all. So I decided I wanted to cancel the service. Tech support is outsourced, and extremely foreign. When I called, I was prompted to keep the service, but at a lower rate - only $20 a month for the same unlimited service. I went with that option, since I wasn't going to be using it as much.

Since then, I have been using it here and there, when traveling to Chicago, and other places where Clearwire service is available. It has been pretty solid, and a good choice for those who are able to get service.

After having Clear for over 2 years now, I've decided to pull the plug after an e-mail I just got. When I first signed up, I was paying $40/month for unlimited 4G, which was pretty good as a backup at college, using about 50GB a month. A year later, I found that I wasn't going to be using it very much (because I couldn't get a signal), and tried to cancel the service. They offered me to stay with them for $20/month, so I was paying for it for using it once or twice a month. A couple months ago I started using it more frequently, but not as a necessity. Today I received an e-mail stating that my rate would go up to $45/month, so I have decided to pull the plug.

UPDATE:

I'm too wishy washy and still have the service. Since the technology department at College don't know the difference between ethernet and internet, their internet still sucks. (they upgraded to 800MBit for the entire college, still have 80% packet loss, and peak usage is still around 250MBit -- this should be an alarm that their equipment sucks).

The colder months with no leaves on the trees help improve the service:



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member for 6.1 years, 509 visits, last login: a few hours ago
updated 290 days ago

Comments:

Review by skeechan See Profile

  • Location: Huntington Beach,Orange,CA
  • Cost: $100 per month
  • Install: about 2 days
Good "Very fast, available, $100 for 4G UNLIMITED! fixed + mobile Internet"
Bad "Needed outdoor antenna to get decent speed"
Overall "Only alternative is dialup or T1, CLEAR is a good deal"
Pre Sales Information:
Install process:
Connection reliability:
Services:
Value for money:

My Other Reviews

·Cox HSI
·Verizon FiOS
Overall I would recommend CLEAR if you have no real alternatives. I would never consider ditching regular wireline service like cable HSI for it, but it is definitely better than satellite or dialup.

member for 2.7 years, 931 visits, last login: 364 days ago
updated 363 days ago

Comments:
ernliz

join:2001-11-25
Albemarle, NC

Thanks

An EXCELLENT review! Lots of fine info.

AuraReturn
Premium
join:2003-08-18
USA

Re: Thanks

said by ernliz:

An EXCELLENT review! Lots of fine info.

Agreed. Nice long review.

I'm debating whether to go with Clear or not at the moment. I'm so sick of Comcast and AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint. Their services are unreliable and they always mess up my bills.

AuraReturn
Premium
join:2003-08-18
USA

Re: Thanks

said by AuraReturn:

said by ernliz:

An EXCELLENT review! Lots of fine info.

Agreed. Nice long review.

I'm debating whether to go with Clear or not at the moment. I'm so sick of Comcast and AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint. Their services are unreliable and they always mess up my bills.

Edit: I've decided to go with Clear. Why not...
--
Ask me about my sites:
bay area jobs Dogs for adoption coupons NBA: »nbaintelligence.com
Cooljosh

join:2012-05-22
Orange, CA
Great post!
I would like to try the outdoor antenna if I can find someone to install that for me someday.
Cooljosh

join:2012-05-22
Orange, CA

1 edit
I did similar without the outdoor work. After reading this, I move the antenna to our highest spot at our second floor by the windows targeting the tower. I got 13 mbps most of time also. During busy hour, I still got 7 mbps in Los Angeles metro industrial area. we are about 1.5 miles away from tower where we can't see it.

Before, we only got from 3 to 6 mbps download when we put it at first floor by the windows. Since we catch similar to the outdoor antenna concept, our noise number reduce from -81 to -60 sometimes -56 range. At this point, out ping time to LA severs is like 76 ms compared to your 50s ms. I wished someone can go up to roof and set the outdoor antenna for me what can improve the ping as well as VoIP quality.

We use most of our phony business phone lines on Skype, Skype-In and Skype-Out with US numbers. For this setups, skype is fine; not fine with Good Voice though. We are experience iffy results with Good Voice due to internet line of quality on the SIP. I just can't work this out without landline based internet.

Again, great thought and review.
madmom1217

join:2012-08-31
Beaverton, OR
I have clear and am very unhappy with it. We get kicked when ever we have 2 people using email or normal internet. If anyone wants to play a game they either can't get on or it's so laggy it wont work properly.
Also I have found out recently that Clear is run by the government and that they cap it so you can't really get the speed they promise. They are and have had lawsuits filed against them. Just search online for Clear Lawsuits and you'll see more than most people want to go through.

skeechan
Ai Otsukaholic
Premium
join:2012-01-26
AA169|170
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Clear Wireless
·Cox HSI
·Verizon FiOS

Re: Clear

LOL...couple of extra folds in that tinfoil hat. Perhaps that is the source of your modem's connectivity problems.

Clear isn't owned or run by the government. They are a publicly traded corporation owned mostly by venture capitalists and Intel.

»www.nasdaq.com/symbol/clwr/insti···holdings

Meanwhile just search for lawsuits for any ISP, Cox, Comcast, Verizon, AT&T, Cablevision, etc and you will find no shortage of them. There are no black helicopters flying over Clear.






Review by cmarslett See Profile

  • Location: Pflugerville,Travis,TX
  • Cost: $52 per month (month by month)
  • Install: about 1 days
Good "As fast as AT&T DSL, portable, real customer service (real people, helpful)"
Bad "Slightly more expensive, sensitive to thunderstorms."
Overall "No service technicians needed, so I'm very satisfied."
Pre Sales Information:
Install process:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:

I had AT&T DSL until they decided to discard me as a customer (cut me off with about 2 weeks notice), tried to connect with their replacement (U-verse) - and it never connected once. Technician came out at a time/date that we explicitly told them we were not going to be home. Overall, experience was bad enough I just told them to take the modem back and cancel our U-verse service as well! I'm happy to be done with them (they also lost my land line, I switched to netTALK and never looked back).

I upped their rating for reliability: the first year I have had only four outages (one for about a day, the others for well under an hour), and no outages since the - not bad for something that depends on signals transmitted over the air. Pre-sales info is pretty sloppy, but this is an ISP after all, and they all hide everything they can. I doubt any install can compete, though. Unless you bought it as a DSL or cable replacement and have 6 inch concrete walls.... Service and value still beat any other alternative I have....

I have to say that occasionally I get 300 kbit down/300 kbit up (probably just short of losing the connection). And most days I now get only 1-3 Mbit down, 700-1200 Kbit up. That's not as good as it started out, but still quite acceptable.

Only slightly more expensive that the $40 AT&T charged for the 6000/768 that I never got, so I'm very satisfied!

AND I'VE NEVER HAD TO HAVE A TECHNICIAN OUT....

member for 7.9 years, 165 visits, last login: 7 days ago
updated 1 year ago

Comments:

Review by ocjosh See Profile

  • Location: Santa Fe Springs,Los Angeles,CA
  • Cost: $60 per month (24 month contract)
  • Install: about 2 days
Good "Good price for 2 lines, no cap, no speed limit till you work it out your own"
Bad "Require outdoor antenna to make it usable, new customer need to pay a lot more now"
Overall "I am lucky"
Pre Sales Information:
Install process:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:

My Other Reviews

·Verizon FiOS
It's definitely not good for mobile use, because it can't continuous connect to different towers right away like 3G when you are on the go. Only if you are moving within that single tower covered area, you may move as fast as you want. The coverage is great outdoors only. Indoors are more pathetic on most of cases, only by the opened windows. The WiMax signal can't go through low e windows well, not to mention insulated walls (from full bars to nothing easily).

Both home modem and hotspot mobile modem, I have to use external outdoor antenna which are hard to install and expensive, to make it stable and good speed. I use the service in high condense populated Los Angeles area. Speed varies like any ISPs, but decent 4.5 Mbps to 16 Mbps from peak to normal hours. I watch Netflix through smart TV, IPTV box for live international channels, and a lot of online radio streaming. It's wonderful service till I have outdoor antennas installed, which the rooftop installer cost is about $50 after calling around and the antennas for $31 for my mobile hotspot (now it went up to $100s range) and $89 for my home modem external outdoor antenna.

I should have signed up the 3 lines for $80 back in October 2011, it's so precious now for the plan and affordable price. But again, outdoor coverage is a lot better than their indoor poor speeds.

update: 8/8/2013

Both home and mobile hotspot at 2 locations in Los Angeles county, the speeds still at least 6 mbps but peak is like 9 mbps for past 2-3 months now. I think Clear might have more customer or something.

I am seeing 3D and Super HD on NetFlix for 3 weeks now, they are great. But Youtube is buffering often with higher resolution options during weekends somehow.

member for 1.6 years, 231 visits, last login: 43 days ago
updated 1.2 years ago

Comments:

Review by richyque See Profile

  • Location: Chicago,Cook,IL
  • Cost: $38 per month
Good "Always on"
Bad "none so far."
Overall "The 34.99 1.5 down 0.5 up is great here in chicago"
Pre Sales Information:
Install process:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:

I dumped comcast here in chicago and replaced them with clear, to my suprise clear has held up great the 40 plus days i have had them.

I have the 1.5 down .05 up here in the 60617 area, i have a tower .06 miles from my house. the signal is solid 5 bars all day.

Update 12/16/2012 my speedtest is »www.speedtest.net/result/2377286837.png

Update 12/18/2012 my test [URL=http://www.speedtest.net][IMG]»www.speedtest.net/result/2380942843.png

Update, 4/1/2013 Speed is still great [URL=http://www.speedtest.net][IMG]»www.speedtest.net/result/2615714···G][/URL]

member for 1.9 years, 220 visits, last login: 32 days ago
updated 1.5 years ago

Comments:
Rob_
Premium
join:2008-07-16
Mary Esther, FL
kudos:1

Be careful

Unlimited doesn't mean unlimited (read the stories on here..)

-Rob
patt2k

join:2009-01-16
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

Re: Be careful

I have a friend who cant get nothing they live in condo in Brooklyn only thing they cant get is verizon dsl up to 1.5 mbps so I suggested Clear the higher plan for 50$ the speeds go from 4 to sometimes 12 mbps they stream online TV just like netflix last month they used 40+ gigs and no throttling or nothing.

Review by turkman143 See Profile

  • Location: Maple Shade,Burlington,NJ
  • Cost: $45 per month
  • Install: about 2 days
Good "no bottlenecks in IP traffic or crazy redirects like Comcast that causes packets to arrive out of order."
Bad "India Technical Support"
Overall "good value for a 10MB ISP"
Pre Sales Information:
Install process:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:

I can add a horror story whereas an outage occurred on a Friday evening and was not resolved until the following Thursday - Something happened to the Philadelphia tower (N/W of Maple Shade NJ) that blocked the binding to the tower. Found that the tower to the (N/E of Maple Shade) broadcast a stronger signal but also had connection issues with the replacement modem (WIXFBR-117) they sent. The third modem (WIXFBR-131) solved the issue. Tech support cannot explain why at 8:23 PM (20:23) the tower suddenly reduced it's broadcast power.

member for 12.6 years, 1768 visits, last login: 2 days ago
updated 1.6 years ago

Comments:

Review by TejasToolMan See Profile

  • Location: Roanoke,Denton,TX
  • Business customer Business customer
  • Cost: $25 per month
  • Install: about 1 days
Good "works right when you close to the svc towers or taking it to friends houses that don't have net in town dallas ft worth"
Bad "if you're on the out skirts bandwidth drops significantly even with external antenna added an aimed properly."
Overall "for the price 25.00 a month nothing compares on the market"
Pre Sales Information:
Install process:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:

Fios not in my area, charter cable, 29.95 1st year then they price gouge after, limited to 50 gigs then 10.00 if you go over.... that's not much these days, att dsl too slow, 6 month plans 768k & 1.5 but as all dsl does slows during high traffic all across the networks. & Satellite internet is a joke in Tx

1.5mb plans were my choice, have all my own equipment so there was no bargain there.

only experiences is fee's that change and download caps. Fee's increase but caps & speed doesn't??? what a crock

I chose clear because I can take it all over town and to work + home, built in wifi beats any of the hot spots or pucks that get hot, run down in 6 hours

member for 1.7 years, 2 visits, last login: 1.7 years ago
lodged 1.7 years ago

Comments:

Review by Reverse2 See Profile

  • Location: Alpharetta,Fulton,GA
  • Cost: $25 per month
  • Install: about 1 days
Good "Cost of service and hardware"
Bad "Limited coverage, tech support"
Overall "Good option for unlimited data in metro areas"
Pre Sales Information:
Install process:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:

I have been a customer since they first started operations with their 4G service in the Atlanta area a few years ago. I bought the usb stick to use while on the road, not for home use (we have Comcast at home). Good thing, because our home is in a wireless black hole (not just for Clear, also for cell service).

Service:

On the road, in the greater ATL metro area, and also in other metro areas (Nashville, Chicago, Dallas) connection speeds would vary, but generally would be between 4 to 10 Mbit down and 1.5Mbit up. Fast enough to work over VPN during the day while streaming music, and watch Netflix at night. While the service may not be truly unlimited, I have used well over 30GB per month without a peep from Clear, or any kind of throttling. Reliability when connected is generally very good. It does pay to look up coverage before travelling somewhere, since there can be white, non-coverage areas even in cities otherwise blanketed by WiMax.

Price:

I actually cancelled the service last November, and switched to unlimited 4G on my phone. Unfortunately, that didn't work as well as Clear, and (because I wasn't really supposed to tether) resulted in complaints from my provider. Back to my original Clear plan, which they let me reinstate at the original price: $25/month, a screaming deal compared to 4G data plans (that allow tethering) with the 'big four'. Coverage is more limited with Clear, but for my purpose that doesn't matter.

While current rates are higher, they still are a good value IMO.

Equipment

I use the USB sticks, and also bought a wireless mobile router (rebranded Cradlepoint) from Clear a few years back. Equipment is reasonably priced, and now also readily available on Craigslist etc. No contract, since I buy my equipment. One faulty stick was quickly replaced under warranty.

Support

Tech support has gone from unbelievably awful, outsourced Indian support to much better, but still sub-par support today. It isn't until you are moved up a few tiers that you will actually find a knowledgeable tech. Still, they do their best. I even received a free signal-boosting external antenna once for my usb stick, in an attempt to improve reception at home.

Customer service

Non-tech service is usually pretty good (billing etc,)

So...

If my house wasn't in a wireless signal black hole, I'd consider using Clear for my home internet as well, and ditch Comcast altogether. As it is, it's cheap enough to keep around for my mobile internet access. It is important to verify coverage before you sign up, and to realize it doesn't really work outisde metro areas. If you need non-metro coverage, it's better to get a 4G data plan from one of the major cell providers. Expect to shell out much more for that though.

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