Clear Spot Voyager review: Clear Spot Voyager

On the bottom of the Voyager, along with the chart that shows the meanings of the indicator LED lights, you'll find the default Wi-Fi network and its encryption key. With this information, all you need to do is turn it on and you are all set. There's no other setup required to use the device.

If you want to further customize the Wi-Fi network and use other features of the router, you can access its Web interface by pointing a Web browser on a connected computer to its default IP address, which is 192.168.1.1. (the default log-in password is "admin.")

The Web interface also offers more in-depth information on the router's status, including a more detailed battery life indicator, the exact number of connected Wi-Fi clients, and so on. It also allows for some other basic routing functions, such as port forwarding and firmware updates.

Data plans and performance
I tried the Clear Voyager around the San Francisco Bay Area and was able to get 4G coverage almost everywhere, as with a cell phone. The router offered data speeds ranging from 500Kbps to around 10,000Kbps for download and 300Kbps and 3,500Kbps for upload. As with all mobile routers I've tested, the cellular data speeds of the Voyager fluctuated a great deal; in the end, it averaged around 7,200Kbps down and 2,200Kbps up, which were very fast though not the fastest I've seen. At these speeds, the tiny router can finish downloading a 10GB HD movie in less than 2 hours. You can download as many movies as you want, by the way, as, again, the device's unlimited data plans start at $35 per month. (According to Clear's Web site, its higher-priced data plans offer higher ceiling speeds and more mobile options.) Comparatively, this is the best deal on the market, as most, if not all other providers only offer limited data plans that cap at 10GB per month and cost much more than $35.

As a Wi-Fi router, the Voyager supports the 802.11g standard that caps at 54Mbps. While this doesn't affect the sharing of Internet access, it means the router is not fast enough if you want to share data between clients. However, the router makes up for this by offering very good battery life, around 7 hours in my testing. I did notice, however, that it won't automatically go into sleep mode when there's no connected client, which means no matter how often you use the router, 7 hours are about the most you can get from it, unless you turn it off when you don't need a connection. Other routers, such as the Apollo, would go into sleep mode when idle, making the actual battery life potentially much longer when used sporadically.

All things considered, I was happy with the Voyager's performance. In fact it was impressive for how small the device is.

Cellular Internet speed (in Kbps)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Download  
Upload  
Verizon VL600 UB Modem (4G)
12,288 
3,130 
Clear 4G+ Apollo
9,235 
3,313 
Clear 4G+ USB Modem (4G)
9,216 
3,072 
Clear Spot Voyager
7,393 
2,259 
T-Mobile Rocket 3.0 (4G)
6,729 
2,440 
Verizon Fivespot (3G)
1,300 
700 
Sprint MiFi 2200 (3G)
1,000 
550 
Verizon MiFi 2200 (3G)
1,000 
500 

Conclusion
The Clear Spot Voyager is an excellent source of Internet access for those living and travelling within Clear's 4 coverage. Since there's no support for 3G networks, it's useless if you travel elsewhere, however.

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