Thursday, December 9, 2010

Preliminary Impression of iSpot

After some hairy moments with Fedex on the delivery of my iSpot, I finally got in after days of back and forth with more customer service agents than I hope to deal with.

And yeah, I am very happy with this mobile investment. In fact, I was able to get it up and running in less than 5 minutes of opening up the box the iSpot came in.

The total cost was $99 for the iSpot and unlimited wireless access through Clear's WiMax network (call it 4G if you like or not). The monthly access fee for this is $25 (I am sure tax will be levied). And why so cheap? Well, it has an "i" for a reason. See, it working with Apple's iOS devices and, to my surprise, some Macs as well. So, it will not work with other mobile devices or laptops.

This afternoon at work, I managed to connect my iPod touch at work all afternoon. My work has no wifi and I have had to provide my own wireless solution for my mobile devices. The first thing I did was to check my We Rule and Smurf Village status, you know, make sure my crops are cultivated.

I also managed to do some speed tests using the Xtreme Speedtest app I downloaded (using iSpot, how cool is that?). I managed to get between 7-8Mbps download and 450kbps upload in three separate tests. Not bad. I'm only getting 2Mbps download on my DSL at home.

Regarding the battery life, I have been running the iSpot since before 8pm. I've streamed about 90 minutes of video through Netflix on the Macbook and have been using my iOS devices for various Internet tasks like e-mailing and surfing the Web. It's is now three hours later and I managed to use only about half the battery life. Not bad.

What are my plans with the iSpot? Well, I've decided that not only will I be using it for my mobile needs, I will take it a step further. With some help with some tech savy friends, I hope to use my iOS devices and maybe my Macbook and Android devices as my own personal mobile office. Using VOIP solutions, I hope it'll be enough for me to give up traditional wireless voice plans with T-Mobile and not have to be subject to features I don't need and be freed of ineffective limitations imposed by carriers to avoid becoming the dump-pipes that they are destined to be.

PS. I logged into my Clear account and I happened to stumble across some users saying their accounts were limited by Clear for using Netflix. I will continue to monitor this and see if Clear offered an acceptable explanation for their actions.

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