Apr 11, 2012

Clearwire 4g vs. Netzero 4g Comparison [WIMAX]

Netzero Apollo 4g Hotspot

Netzero brings back some good memories. Remember the free 56K dialup? As long as you had their ads displayed on your computer, you'd get free net. Well, Netzero is still alive, and they're rolling out 4g Wimax based on Clearwire's network. They offer a 200MB a month plan for free for 1 year, as long as you purchase a $120 Netzero Apollo 4g device (shipping included). However, keep in mind, Netzero will charge you after that 1 year period is over.

How much data will you use?
Now if you only use text messaging, light browsing, and you rarely use Youtube, Pandora, then Netzero could be the right choice for you. On the other hand, if you're a heavy data user like me, Clearwire will be a better choice. Reason being, for $50/month, you get truly unlimited data from Clearwire, whereas with Netzero, 4 Gigabytes will cost you $50/month. None of that unlimited-until-you-hit-5GB crap from Verizon/ATT. Either way you go, the great thing with Netzero/Clearwire is there's NO CONTRACT, and you can cancel any time.

Speed & Coverage
Maximum download was hit at 8 Megabits/sec, and Max upload capped at 1.5 Megabits/sec. This is in the San Jose/San Francisco, California region. There are some dead zones where I travel, so do check the service coverage maps before you purchase.

$99 Apollo 4g - Capable of external antenna, LCD, 6 hours battery, bigger, heavier
$99 Voyager - No external antenna, no LCD, 5 hours battery, very small profile, very light

My Usage
So I purchased a Netzero 4g Apollo Hotspot with the idea of staying within the free 200 megabyte a month allowance, but I quickly reached that limit within a few hours. I then figured I could cancel Netzero and switch over to Clearwire, since Netzero's network is based on Clearwire. But that road led to a deadend because Netzero devices will not work on Clearwire's network. There's something built into the firmware preventing users from switching to another network. I called into Netzero's customer support, and to reactivate my account, I would have to pay $10 for 500 MB, $50 for unlimited--this is what happens after your free 1 year 200 MB a month service is over. Long story short, don't be like me, know what your needs are and get Clearwire devices for Clearwire, and Netzero for Netzero.

In the end, I purchased another hotspot, a Clear Voyager 4g device. The Apollo 4g hotspot is going up for sale. For one month, I've used 9GB of data. The Voyager provides internet access to my VOIP phone and laptop, so I am able to get work done on the go as well as enjoy a rich media experience. Speed has been excellent for my usage. Service coverage is okay when I'm on the move, and excellent when I'm in the city. 

Clearwire Voyager  Hotspot $99 at Best Buy

1 comment:

  1. Thankyou so much I vote clear wire clear devices