The Clear 4G USB Modem, a Clearwire-branded Motorola USBw 25100 WiMax adapter, is basically a 4G radio on a USB stick. The modem is relatively easy to set up, and Clear includes a USB elbow adapter to help you face the antenna in the optimal direction (typically out a window). The modem costs $70 from Clear without a contract, or you can lease it for $4 per month with a two-year contract. For people who plan on never needing to connect outside the range of a 4G network, the Clear 4G USB Modem might be a fine choice. But anyone who travels, or who lives in one of the many non-4G cities in the United States, would be better off looking for a dual-mode 3G/4G modem.
The good news is that the drivers are clean and simple to use and install. On my wife?s Dell Mini 10, the Clear Connection Manager starts the instant she plugs in the USB modem; on my MacBook Pro and my Debian Linux machine, however, I have to start it manually. (One piece of advice: Take a bit of time to tinker with which way the USB elbow points, in order to get the Connection Manager displaying as many bars as possible.)
Clearwire will need some time to enhance and tune its networks in all markets. Like all wireless providers, though, Clear will make changes faster if and when enough customers complain. If you notice sagging performance in your WiMax service, take a bit of time to tell the company.