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WiMAX - initial review: killer, if you get a signal

December 28th, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

I waited in extreme anticipation for my WiMAX adapter to be delivered. It wound up being a day late due to the weather. I unpacked it and installed the software and plugged it in and ... nothing. No network found. What? WiMAX has no line of sight issues, it's supposed to "just work" - I tried using Clear's 24/7 online chat support. Guy was just a random first level support. Not much help. I decided I would give it a try when I was out in a zone that should definately have a signal.

Right now I'm using it, and I was using it the other day. Both times I've been looking at ~5mbit down and 400kbit up according to speedtest.net. Very nice. Currently it feels like I am at a home wifi connection. So at the moment if this was consistent, I would be sold. However, I am still not able to claim this is the best thing since velcro until I can figure out why I get not a single bar of signal at home.

I tried calling Clear the first time I was out and of course it was working - I thought it was going to fail like it did at home. Doh. Anyway, I need to do some more testing and diagnosis, but right now I have to say if the coverage improves (or someone explains why I get nothing inside of my house when it sounds like I should) WiMAX is pretty awesome. It's going to make me wish my laptop had it built-in so I didn't need a separate USB dongle for it ­čÖé

Categories: Toys
  1. Kevin Pirkl
    December 28th, 2008 at 23:13 | #1

    Heh, try a Intel® Centrino® 2 laptop Lenovo ThinkPad SL500 2746 (P8400) - http://www.intel.com/consumer/Shop/product.htm?cnetId=S5774000&category=AB) they are priced well and work well..

  2. Cliff Wells
    June 22nd, 2009 at 12:02 | #2

    Here's an Intel 5350 on eBay for $38.50 w/free shipping:


    I've never installed one of these, so YMMV, but I've had no issues upgrading laptops from 802.11g to 802.11n, and even replace an old dial up PCI card to an 802.11g card - I had to run my own antennae inside ­čśŤ

  3. Cliff Wells
    June 22nd, 2009 at 11:57 | #3

    You can buy a mini-pcie adapter for your laptop. Intel has a model that has both 802.11n and WiMAX. Can be had for under $60.

  4. mike
    June 22nd, 2009 at 21:12 | #4

    One thing I'd like to add is WiMAX is not a mesh-like network. So when you move from tower to tower, you do get disconnected. That was disappointing. Although single towers do have a pretty far range.

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