Brian Vagnoni on 3 Aug 2009 15:03:15 -0700

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[PLUG] Clear WiMAX Comes To Philly

Clear WiMAX is coming to Philadelphia 9/1. There will be demos around town no doubt all month long. Comcast will most likely be re-branding the service as Comcast To Go and offering it as well. 

The bad news for Linux users is that the Moto USB dongle is NOT compatible with Linux. However, the Intel mini-pci express 5350 is Though you will need a mini-pci express card to usb converter(search google) if you don't have a laptop that can take a mini-pci express device. 

As far as WiMAX security goes it's kind of terrible. It's encrypted communication yes, but you are just one computer on a very large SSID if you can imagine that. There is no protection from other computers/people on the network. So far it looks like MAC addresses are the only form of authentication being used. Also they are making the same mistake as T-Mobile did and allowing non/former subscribers to connect. These folks are given IP's addresses on the network. So you can use OpenVPN on port 53 and basically VPN to whomever or where ever you want. 

If you already have WiMAX hardware like Intel's 5350, and you try and connect, you will be taken to a captive portal with the option of purchasing day passes. 

Signal strength is directly proportional to speed. The better the signal strength the faster the connection. There will be USB dongles, and home routers similar to cable modems initially. Plans from $10 - $30 month with mobile plans having a 5gb/month cap. 

Hopefully this won't end up like another Philly Wi-Fi.

Brian Vagnoni
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