Tuesday, August 10, 2010

"Clear", super fast mobile Internet? - part 4

Day 6 - (yeah day 6, I skipped a few days, "big whoop, wanna fight about it...")

Ok last Friday I found out that Clear released a firmware update that was supposed to fix the problems many customers had connecting their devices to the ispot. In my case it did a little more. Let me explain.

As I have explained before the ispot device is designed only to accept connections from iPod, iPhone, and iPad. I have since found out that this is accomplished by the ispot recognizing only a certain number of MAC addresses. (if you don't know what that is, Wiki is your new friend) My hypothesis is that before the firmware update the list of acceptable MAC addresses was far too restrictive and the device ended up denying access to devices that, for some reason or another, had a different address from the standard.

Now after applying the update, not only was the before mentioned iPod touch working but ASLO my iMac (that's right, my home computer.) Apparently the default address of my iMac is acceptable to the ispot. Now there ARE ways to manually change the MAC address of both PCs and Laptops so I'll just leave the possibilities to your imagination. (Google is also your friend)

The other adjustment the firmware update made was a improved performance in signal. Thursday night the device could only get a zero bar signal (red light.) Now I can get a two bar signal, (yellow light.) I've been clocking in speeds of 2.5Mbps at home, which is a vast improvement from pre-update tests in the same area.

So what have I been up to with this device over the weekend?

Towson- connected to iMac. Excellent signal. Checked email and updated websites. Uploaded pictures relatively fast.

Dundalk- connected to 1 iPad and 2 iPods. Hit and miss the closer you got to the city. Decent speeds browsing Internet.

Baltimore to Glen Burnie via Harbor tunnel- connected to iPad (serious disclaimer: do not operate devices while driving, just say'n.) medium to excellent signal, even in the tunnel itself. Listened to Pandora radio flawlessly. (and yeah I know Pandora buffers your playlist in advance and that it is possible that I had a bad signal but couldn't tell.)

Perry Hall- connected to iPad. Ok as long as you stay on the main streets. YouTube playlists were ok as long as it wasn't attempting to handle high def.

Ok I think it's time to wrap this up. Stay tuned for the thrilling, the exciting,... alright informative conclusion...