Recently I bought into the CLEAR service that was suppose to give me great 4G WiMAX speeds and be better than my home internet at 0.8Mbps. Here’s my real honest review of the CLEAR Spot Voyager and the CLEAR service. This review is going to be split into two parts, the device and the service, you cannot have one without the other and it is only fair giving my experiences.
CLEAR has a lot of different devices to choose from, there’s a home base station, USB units, and personal hotspots. I decided to go with the personal hotspot so I can stay connected with multiple devices and stay wireless. This small little puck like unit can provide wireless signal for up to eight different devices and acts like it’s own wireless router. It can easily fit in your pocket and become an easily accessible unit when wanting to connect to wifi.
You can even work further away from the device getting up to 100 feet away and still having a good signal to work off of. The device itself has an administration panel that allows you to configure a firewall, setup a password to the device and generally overall having the same administration setting as a full on home router would have.
The device lasts about 8-hours on a full charge and can be recharged via a USB cord that you can also plug into your computer and use as a wired internet device.
Overall, the CLEAR Spot Voyager is one of the best mobile options if you were to get something like it from CLEAR.
While the device was great, I can’t say the same for the service. On the first day of owning and activating the device I got the speeds that I was advertised. After the first night I was left with a download speed of 0.5Mbps and an upload of 0.2Mbps via a speedtest.
I called CLEAR and they claimed that I had a congested tower in my area, which was obviously a lie when I asked a friend who had a CLEAR device to try his, he was getting normal speeds. I was left paralyzed with my connection speed and found that I couldn’t get my work done at all.
The night before I had downloaded a 1GB video file and uploaded a 500MB file, all which are required to do my job. I was using the device for a week and never got over 0.5Mbps down again. The weird part about this is if I initiated a download for a file it would go to my normal speeds then shoot right back down to 0.5Mbps after a couple seconds.
This lead me to believe that I was being throttled, which if CLEAR admits it if I was or not, I was. My customer service experience wasn’t all that awesome either, when I called and complained I just got the run around of scripted responses. And because 0.5Mbps down wasn’t cutting it from my job I had to call and cancel, this was also a process. To cancel my CLEAR service I had to call CLEAR and be put on hold 8 times, transferred 3 times to different people before playing 100 questions and finally canceling my service.
Overall my experience with CLEAR has been a nightmare and I’m going to stick to tethering to my iPad than getting a 4G service that I thought would work.