Ask the Guy

by Eric Laberis
Once again I am a walking hotspot. I have internet access just about everywhere I go thanks to the Clear Spot Voyager ($100) from wireless internet provider Clear (www.clear.com). I have reviewed mobile Wi-Fi hotspots in the past, but the Voyager is the first hotspot you could use to replace your home internet service without going broke. Simply stated, the Clear Spot Voyager is a cellular-based access point for the internet. There is nothing special about this. Many companies offer cellular internet access through mobile hotspots and even your cellphone. The magic occurs when you pair the Voyager with Clear’s unlimited data package.
For $50 a month, you get unlimited data traffic at speeds of 3-6 megabits per second download and 1.0 Mbps upload with no long-term contract. These speeds are actually better than a DSL connection. With the unlimited data, you can use Clear to replace your home internet and have the ability to take your service wherever Clear is available. Most mobile hotspot services cost about $79 a month and limit you to 4 gigabytes of data a month. I don’t know about you, but I can blow through 4 gigs in less than a week. I know; I’ve done it.
The Voyager has another benefit lacking in most portable hotspots. The Voyager allows up to eight simultaneous Wi-Fi connections; most others limit you to either three or five. Eight connections should be enough to power all the devices in your home. I’m a geek and I max out at six, so you should be fine. There is one downside to the Voyager: coverage. When you get out of 4G coverage, your speeds drop significantly. I have only encountered this in one area of Jacksonville, but the drop was dramatic. If you plan on using any Clear hotspot, be sure to check their website to make sure that the location where you will primarily be using it is in a 4G zone.
If you are looking for a cost-effective solution for your internet needs and you suffer from commitment issues, the Clear Spot Voyager may be just the device you’re looking for you. For just 50 bucks a month, you get unlimited data, connection for up to eight devices, and if things don’t work out, you two can go your separate ways. Just make sure, before ordering your Voyager, that you are in an area with good 4G coverage.

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