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Aug 13 2013

Clear Home Internet – First Impression

I had finally had enough with my current AT&T connection, it was far too unreliable and plain old slow to even use. Plus, they didn’t offer anything better than their lowest tier in my area. A lousy 0.77kB/s just was not enough. Due to this, I though I would try getting twice the speed for just about the same price through Clear. For those that don’t already know, clear is a 4G Internet provider. They have solutions that provide online connectivity for both on the go as well as in home. I gave their in home 4G service a try.

The first thing I wanted to see was how well I would be covered by their network in my house. I went to their website and found out that there are two tower located just within a few blocks of my house. This meant that I was in an excellent location for their 4G coverage.

Next I had to choose a device, or modem, to get that 4G single into my computers. On their website they wanted to sell me a $20 refurbish ‘hub’. There were a few things that I didn’t like about this idea. First of all, you never know what the history is with a refurbished product. Next, I didn’t want a stupid hub. From the description of the hub, all it did was take the 4G signal and rebroadcast it over 802.11g. It had no Ethernet port. That was a big drawback as I wanted to plug it into my existing network.

The solution was actually quite simple, my friend use to be a Clear customer but recently switch to another provider. I’m not fully sure what his issue was but he wasn’t satisfied with the service. He did however still have his old modem, with an Ethernet port! I asked him if he would be willing to sell it to be, next thing you know it, I had a free Clear modem!

Activating this new modem was extremely easy, I just went to their website and selected the “Bring Your Own Device” option. I entered in the modems MAC address and paid for my new service. Within minutes of purchasing the service and setting up the modem to my network, I was online!

I was extremely surprised as to how quickly it was setup. Even with AT&T, we had to have a guy come out and re-configure something in the phone box down the block. Clear got me online within minutes of paying.

Another nice thing I instantly noticed was that I was getting a little more than I paid for in regards to speed. It wasn’t much extra but heck, I’ll take whatever I can get coming from my 0.77kB/s connection. Here’s a current speed test of the connection advertised at 1.5Mbps.

Clear speed test on an advertised 1.5Mbps connection.

I’ve actually even seen speeds a bit higher, closer to  2.5Mbps during non peak hours. The test above was performed in the afternoon with a 5 out of 5 signal strength. Other than the slightly high ping, it wasn’t too bad at all. Heck, the upload alone was just about as fast as the download speed on my AT&T connection.

So as you can see, I am quite happy so far. The setup was super easy and fast and I’m seeing speeds equal or greater than what I am paying for. So at about $35 a month, I’m happy!

Anyone else use Clear? Have some questions for me regarding Clear? Let me know in the comments!