I have decided to keep Clear; the final decision to cancel my DSL is now in question (do I really need two 6Mbps+ lines to my house?).
I am disappointed that Clear does not offer a reasonably priced Static IP option ($10/month is not acceptable). However, it does appear that my external IP as remained unchanged since I started using the service about a week ago. The DHCP lease time is 24 hours- so perhaps as long as I do not go offline for more than a day I will continue to renew with the same IP (which makes sense if it is typical DHCP). The Dynamic DNS options offered are very inadequate (DynDNS, Dyns.cx and ZoneEdit) as well.
That said, I ran into my second issues with Clear: They do not have a SMTP server. The two email addresses provided with each account by Clear are actually Google Mail accounts- so if I need to send a message out from an application on my server (Such as GeoVision alerts), I need to authenticate and send it out to the Google SMTP server: the problem I have is that Google only accepts SSL SMTP (on TCP port 465) messages and my application cannot use this. As a work-around, I am using a legacy Yahoo account (which had POP/SMTP before Yahoo started charging) to route my out-bound email alerts.
Configuring the modem to co-exist with my current router (D-Link DGL-4500) was fairly easy: log in to the router (default at http:\\192.168.15.1, password is ‘motorola’), disable the firewall:
and setup a DMZ IP address for for the one your router picks up from the modem:
The above two steps will take any traffic from the external IP address and forward it to the WAN interface of your internal router.
This configuration allows me to control external port access/forwarding for my GeoVision camera system, access my internal webcams, monitor/control my home alarm system and RDP to my desktop from remote locations (most of them from my G1 Android phone).
An alternative would be to configure the port forwarding in the router to the system you need in-bound access to from the internet:
I need a wireless router for my wireless devices- and I want to keep them on the same subnet with my PCs and servers- so I chose to use the router behind the WiMax modem (double-NAT is not THAT bad).
I am still trying to find the 5 bar Nirvana to see what speeds I can obtain. I have found that an unsteady 5 bar (i.e. toggling between 4 bars and 5 bars of connectivity) is much worse than a solid four bar. The router appears to need to re-negotiate each time the signal strength changes- causing large dips and spikes in download bandwidth.
Unlike the XOHM Zyzel WiMax Modem, the Clear Motorola WiMax modem does not have any connectors (SMA, TNC or N). I purchased the WiMax modem, so I decided to take it apart to see if there are any antenna interfaces. The modem has no external screws; the bottom held on exclusively by plastic snaps:
Careful use with a plastic putty knife was all that was needed to open the bottom an reveal the router board:
A careful inspection found what appears to be two SSMT Mini Coax connectors in the top of the board:
I am not sure if this was designed for an additional antenna, but I am toying with the idea of finding two SSMT Mini Coax to SMA (or N) male connectors and making some holes in the modem casing to mount these through. Once I have accessible antenna connectors, I could then order an external antenna to see if I get a better signal. :)