Clearwire Complaint - Clearwire Internet Service Sucks
CLYDE, TEXAS -- Most people by now have heard of Clearwire and their "simple, affordable, portable alternative
to cable or DSL". As a past AT&T DSL and Suddenlink Cable user, in my personal experience and opinion Clearwire does not constitute as an "alternative".
The Clearwire Internet Service concept is based on the ability to place a modem that receives a wireless signal anywhere in your home and allow you to connect to the internet at High Speeds (upto 1.5mbps).
The first problem that I ever encountered with clearwire was that the modem realistically couldn't be just "anywhere" in my home. It had to be turned a certian way, tweaked within a window pointing towards their tower. All this has to be done in order to acquire even a mediocre signal if you aren't within extremely close range of their towers (assume a 3 mile radius).
If you can house your modem within a window relatively close-by to your computer, you're alright and won't have any problems with this. However, the "mobility" factor goes right out the window.
The second and EXTREMELY frustrating problem I encountered with Clearwire was the reliability of its service. Clearwire works well-enough at 3:00am so long as it isn't, cloudy, raining, snowing, foggy or anything other than quite clear weather conditions. The service seems to constantly be interrupted, if only for mere seconds... but completely severing your connection to the internet here and there consistently.
I assume this could be due to the "wireless" technology, maybe sometimes packets just get dropped completely and cause the service to timeout during that one trip. Whatever the case may be, it causes infuriating headaches if it doesn't reestablish connection while trying to download something.
The third problem I encountered with Clearwire was that I never touched even CLOSE to 1.5mbps in download speeds. Just now at 7:20pm CST on a Wednesday night I did a speed test (at speedtest.net) and my download was 179 kb/s. 5 minutes later at 7:25pm the download was 1108 kb/s. Finally another 5 minutes later at 7:30pm it was 306 kb/s.
Download speed fluctuation is normal with all ISPs but 200kb and 300kb is far short from 1500 (1.5mbps). And its a regular thing to notice such vast differences in speed.
The final and probably most ANNOYING thing about Clearwire service is the unbelievably long and regularly fluctuating Latency. The latency can go from 78ms to 2000ms and higher and timeout completely. Effectively rendering online gaming and video streaming nearly impossible.
For those of you that don't know, latency is the time it takes for data to go from your computer to the next hop. An example would be, my speedtest, FT. Worth, TX is the closest to me at about 135 miles. My first and SLOWEST speedtest had a 56ms ping. Meaning it took a fraction of a second (1/19th roughly) for data to go from my computer to ft worth. The second and highest download speed had a 376ms ping (roughly the same ping time of Dial-Up). And the last time the ping was 94ms.
As you might've guessed, because the data transfers at different speeds at so many differing intervals so many times... something that requires a consistent connection like online gaming or streaming is nearly impossible without serious spikes of lag if not complete temporary disconnections from the server.
Thats merely the technical problems I encountered with Clearwire. The incompetence of their Customer and Technical Service staff is beyong comparison. Never, in all my life have I dealt with people that didn't care less or didn't know less than these people.
I composed a log within a months time of the times I experienced elongated downtime and required me to restart my modem and / or wait for service to come back up. In a 30 day period the service was down at least 15 minutes 11 times. When I brought this to the attention of their Customer Service department, after numerous complains and new contacts, I received a $5.00 credit for the month.
The HIGHEST speed Clearwire offers is 1.5mbps at $45.00 per month. Cable Internet at roughly 5mbps is around $35.00 per month (in my area). If ANY other internet service provider is available in your area... I STRONGLY suggest, no I implore you to go with a different provider than Clearwire.
Sadly, I live in a Rural area and other than Dial-up there is only Clearwire. But I will rejoice the day DSL finally inches its way to my house because I'll rip up the contract and cancel my credit card and tell Clearwire to send me a Bill.
For those of you wondering, I have cancelled service with Clearwire 2 different times already because of their incomparbly dismal service. But because I have had no alternative at all, I was forced to sign back up to use the internet. Make note that I am MOST disatisfied with their service on EVERY level and hope every day that another provider becomes available.