2005-09-23

ClearWire: First Impressions

I just received my ClearWire (or, as they would prefer I spell it, ClearW┬░re) modem in mail yesterday. The setup was brain-dead simple. There are just two jacks on the unit, one for the power supply and the other for ethernet. After some boot-up initialization, the five LEDs along the top of the unit display signal strength. I can get a 5 lights from most parts in my living room. A cheesy online bandwidth test showed 753kbps, pretty close to the "up to" value advertised (768 kilobits). All in all I'm pretty happy with it, especially since it's going to be something like $30 a month cheaper than what I'm paying now for naked DSL (admittedly at twice the speed and with a static IP). I'm looking into some options for firewalls or even simple NAT routers, as I'm a little anxious about exposing a bare XP box to the open waters of the internets. But then I'm tempted by the AirPort Express, what with it's printer sharing and AirTunes capabilities. But if I go that route I'd probably have to buy either another (non-wireless) router or more likely a wireless card/dongle for my PC. I've been assured that I can cancel without penalty if I move out of their coverage area. So I'm just hoping they don't give me some other reason to want to cancel before a year is up.

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