I'm in my first week with Clearwire service. I was a little disapointed at first because I realized that though I was just 1,000 feet from a tower, my windows face west and the tower was south of me. So, the Clearwire technical support staff had me face the receiver to the south and still, I only had 3 bars out of 5 on the router showing (so, a 3/5 of signal). They called out a Clearwire tech to come to my location, which was free. He tested the "line" and it turned out that I had about 3/4 of my connection in upload and download. If I open my window, I get 100% of my upload and download connection. So, while the connection seemed a little iffy, it is very functional.
Here are some relatively minor things to consider when shopping for Clearwire:
-They offer MUCH better deals on their website, esp. if you sign up for 2 years. I didn't do either, I took a one year deal on the phone. No discount for me beyond 3 months at $19.99 (as opposed to $40 per month).
-Clearwire may be affected by weather. When I first got it, I was getting a lousy connection. Just one bar out of five. --But it was snowing like crazy that afternoon and the technician later explained to me that there might have been snow on the tower disrupting my signal. However, 4 days later when it snowed again, I had no problem picking up a signal.
-If you have speakers in your home that seem sensitive to your cell phone being pinged (that static sound you get on the radio or speakers just before you get a cell phone call), you will probably hear (much more faintly) static with every download or upload your internet activity. Check email "chzzzz. chzzz. chzzz." Surf to Judy's Book, "chzzzz. chzzz. chzzz." Apparently, you can buy speakers that aren't sensitive to this. Mine are mid-priced ones from the Apple store and pick up a lot of pings.
-They require a credit check just to see if you're eligible for the service.
-You are under contract unless you move out of their service area, or there is a $150 contract break fee.
-You can use these nifty things called Clear Plugs with Clearwire. Your Clearwire router is only plugged into an electrical outlet and is able to transmit your internet connection THROUGH the electrical line in your office or home!! You just need another Clear Plug to pick up the "signal" on the other end---which is just as strong as what a user would have at the router. Plug a DSL cord into the router and you're in business.
All in all, I'm glad I made the switch. Though I'm still a little concerned if I'm getting the whole connection I'm supposed to be, I do have a lightening fast connection (faster than my DSL used to be).
And, if you decide to sign up for Clearwire, please mention my review by telling them customer 399987 referred you. Every referral that cites me, $15 goes back into Knowledge As Power, a non-profit I founded. (www.knowledgeaspower.org.) Thanks!