I along with many others have been doing numerous speed test on the Sprint Overdrive device and have come to the conclusion that there is some sort of bottleneck in the device that limits its speeds. I have WiMax service through Sprint and Clear and I own three different 4G devices (Motorola Home WiMax Modem, Sprint U300, Sprint Overdrive) and I can definitely confirm that the speeds from the Overdrive are poor to say the least. The device usually has a lower signal than the U300 when I put them in the exact same area. Please work with Sierra Wireless to correct the issues with the device to make it better than it currently is, until then I cannot recommend it to other people. I will post some speed test below.
With Clear I am getting these speeds repeatedly using an U300 on 4G only:
With Sprint I am seeing this using an Overdrive attached via Wifi:
With Sprint I am seeing this using an Overdrive attached via USB:
I kept the test to two servers that are closest to my location.
After doing these test I walked away with a few tidbits:
1. It looks as though Sprint is now capping their uploads in Atlanta to 1 Mb just as Clear is doing. The speed test would always hit around 1 Mb and hover or drop back down a little.
2. The U300 seems to have better throughput than the Overdrive when it comes to download speeds.
3. The Overdrive seems to have speed issues when working via WiFi. If speed is an issue make sure to use it via USB.
Disclaimer: These tests are in no way scientific. They are real world test which will probably help people out even more. All tests were performed within 100 feet of the actual Clear/Sprint WiMax tower:
One thing that I am really starting to notice is that the speeds overall are dropping. In this same location I use to get 14-16 Mb down constant speeds using my U300 and as you all see I'm not able to pull that down anymore. Line of sight to the antenna cannot be an issue because as you all see I was virtually sitting under the thing. At my other location my Clear Motorola Home Modem use to pull in 13-17 Mb down and now it usually tops out around 6-8 Mb. So it seems as though Clear/Sprint are lowering the speeds overall and then on top of that some devices are lowering that speed even more.
Sprint/Clear, PLEASE let WiMax be neuter free or I will need to consider other alternatives. Do you all really want to go down this route with so many alternatives that will exist in the very near future? We will have a saturated wireless data market with lte, 21+ hsdpa, and wimax and then for home markets we have additional options with cable, dsl, and fios.
I purchased the Sprint OverDrive on 1-May-2010. Though I am in Chicago - I too am getting very poor speeds with 4G in Wi-Fi mode. On week-days the speed is only 0.3 and sometimes goes upto 0.8 Mbps. In week-ends the speed is better and touches 2.5 Mbps.
I have tried only the Wi-Fi mode. I think there is no point in using it with the WIRED mode - because the device is needed for wireless not for being WIRED.
I have a WIRED RCN connection and it gives me 5 Mbps.
Hands down to the Sprint OverDrive.
Even in spite of complaining to Tech Support - they first put the issue on the manufacturer of the device - then they said that it is an issue with the tower. Now they want me to goto a Sprint center and check it out... I may just return this device.
When the rep requsted me to switch to 3G and check the speed - it is surprisingly 2 Mbps on week-days (against 0.3Mbps using 4G). The reps also dont know how to answer that !!!
So hands down to the OverDrive... Hey Sprint folks - Time to do some rigorous testing before launching - This is just CRAP !!!
I use the Sprint 3g/4g Overdrive in the Las Vegas, NV area and get no more then 3 bars or 60%. My speeds with my laptop are no more then 3m down and .50m up over WiFi. My iPod and Palm Pre the speeds just suck I get faster using my Pre normal 3g. There are many many dead spots in Vegas when it comes to 3g (sprint towers) speeds are great but 4g (clear towers) it just sucks. Get the 4g working as good as your 3g. Sprint-Clear you really need to check out your 4g towers and get them working like you say it should. Because in Vegas most people use Cable Broadband, DSL or WiFi Hotspots because for broadband/high speed internet or wireless internet 4g just aint cutting it. Sprint-Clear please take care of the slow speeds and how bad the overdrive works.
Agreed, I live in the 89129 zip code of Las Vegas and the 4G coverage is very sketchy (ie, 1 or 2 or no bars in the same location or at least, according to the Overdrive). Also, the Overdrive freezes up, etc. and badly is in need of a firmware update. Very disappointed thus far.
Yep, the Sprint Overdrive is junk. Unreliable, poor performance and Spint is doing nothing to correct it. I've had a wonderful experience with Spint up to now. The hunk-o-junk can't hold a 4G connection for more than 5 minutes. From all the comments on various forums, the device has a very flawed radio design and can't hold a signal. I stuck it out being one of the first buyers and hoped that they would resolve the issues. 30 days have passed and now I'm stuck with a useless black hockey-puck. With all the complaints I've seen about this device, I wonder how it was ever released. Oh, and BTW, I'm now on day 2 with not internet access because they broke the network with all 4G HTC activations. Is it me or did Sprint just turn into ATT.
Review of Sierra Wireless Overdrive Hotspot
For the past 3.5 years, I have used Sprint wireless as my exclusive broadband access service. I understand that the data rate can be a bit slower than wired access, but chose it because I was switching residences and traveling routinely. (With Sprint I didn’t have to pay a start-up/installation fee every time I moved and I didn’t have to take a day off from work for installation.) I started with a Pantech PCM card for my laptop and was most pleased with the service. (So much so that when I settled into a permanent residence, I opted to continue using Sprint broadband rather than choosing a wired option such as DSL or cable modem.)
About six months ago, I ‘upgraded’ the hardware and have been disappointed since then. After reading that 4G was available in my neighborhood, I bought the Sierra Wireless Overdrive Hotspot. The two advantages I find with the hotspot are that it handles multiple users and it is easy to program through a web browser. Now for the disadvantages: The 4G signal is weak in my neighborhood, despite the claims on the coverage maps. Sometimes it’s not seen at all, but usually it is listed as “very weak” by the hardware. I have tried moving it all over the house, even into the attic. The device itself seems to have other issues. The boot time and the recovery time are slow, compared to the Pantech card, usually about two minutes. By recovery time, I’m talking about the times when it senses the 4G signal and spends several minutes trying to connect, then reverts back to 3G. There is a “3G only” option in the setup, but I’ve found that leads another problem. With this device, I frequently find it operating at the 1xRTT mode rather than the EVDO mode. EVDO is generally 1 to 3 Mbps, while 1xRTT can go up to 144 kbps (roughly twice as fast as dial-up, if you remember those days.) This was an occasional (like once month) issue with the Pantech modem. This has become a routine (daily) issue with the Sierra Wireless Hotspot. If the modem is set to occasionally look for 4G, it will eventually go back to EVDO, following several minutes of interruption. The other option is to power cycle the device, which still leaves you with a service interruption of a few minutes. About once a week, I find the modem non-responsive and I have to remove the power cord and the battery to reset it. One final issue…The terms of my plan include unlimited 3G and 4G access, yet, at least once a week, in the middle of web surfing, Sprint inserts a page offering me to upgrade to 4G for 24-hours. There seems to be no way around this page. If I open a new tab and type in the URL I want, Sprint still has my browser hijacked. The only way out of it, is to decline the offer by clicking on the “no, thanks” button. (The offer to upgrade adds insult to injury, considering my plan is unlimited and the 4G signal in my neighborhood is too weak to connect.) To sum up my sentiment of this product, consider the pitfalls I mentioned above and then combine that with those times when you want to “quickly” check something, like a single webpage or check to see if you have any new emails, and you end up spending 5 to 10 minutes performing “trouble-shooting.” I am planning on discontinuing my service and going with a wired solution.
The Overdrive does have some issue with it. I had to replace the first one I got (still in warranty) because it kept on overheating to the point to where the unit would shutdown and the plastic was quite soft.
I have a second unit that works well but does need some babysitting. I have been forced to tell the until to either use 3G only or 4G only depending on where I am. It appears that the device has a hard time staying on one network or the other (4G or 3G) when there is low 4G signal and strong 3G signal. it seems to get into a pattern of connecting to 4G as soon as it sees it and then disconnecting when the signal gets below a certain threshold and connecting to 3G then reconecting to 4G when the signal rises slightly (just above the previous threshold) just to be disconnected again. This causes delay and dropped connections if you are say downloading a large file or even loading a page.
So my recomendation set the device to 3G or 4G only manually. It will save you headaches and you will always know when you are on the metered service vs the unlimited 4G.
Just my 2-cents.
It sounds like you had a defective unit. Perhaps a replacement would have saved a lot of hassle. Within 30 days of the original purchase you can exchange it with a new unit for free. I had to do that with the first overdrive I purchased. Also I use my overdrive when I commute on the bus and subway. First unit terrible second unit has been great.
We live in a 3G-only area, with the tower about a mile away, and with clear line of sight to our OD. I recently reconfigured the OD to "4G Preferred," thinking that would be useful if I was going to an area that had 4G available. I discovered yesterday that the OD was seeking 4G every 5-10 seconds, even though the configuration was set to 10 minute intervals for a re-seek. This tied up the device enough to the point where everybody in our house (there are 3 of us - each on a separate PC) would experience frequent (every 2-5 minutes or so, depending on what was going on) periods where the OD was unresponsive. Such outages would last anywhere from a few seconds to a minute or so. Once I reconfigured the OD to "3G Only" all the outages disappeared.
My subjective impression is that this situation also caused a marked reduction on network transmission throughput speeds. YMMV
Please note that while using on 3G setting - I overshot the usage limit without noticing it. I was slapped a bill of 325$. I called Sprint - Yes - They dont have a way to alert you of usage limits (like AT&T). Hands down !!!
Also - ensure that if you are on 3G you dont have Skype always "on" on your PC - it keeps polling the internet and a lot of data usage happens just because of the frequent polling...
I do get notices from Sprint when they think I'm approaching the 5GB limit - I think we get one at 90% and 95% (not sure of the precentages). Don't remember if I had to sign up for the notification or not. Maybe you haven't included an email address in your profile or something similar?
Bear in mind that Sprint's data collection procedures are in error, and you will get such notification far before the actual limit is really reached. I find that Sprint's reported numbers are about 50% higher than actual. YMMV.