ClearOS Questions & Answers

General Questions:

  • What is ClearOS?

    ClearOS is a server operating system, which given it's platform nature, also includes the ability to manage your network and be deployed as a gateway server. It's a hybrid IT operating platform, which combines Server, Network and Gateway with the ability to integrate into Cloud services. ClearOS provides a turn-key platform for any IT environment to simplify their management while cutting costs by what's commonly reported to be more than 50%.

  • Is ClearOS consumer or commercial grade?

    ClearOS is available in multiple editions, with apps designed for specific types of users. ClearOS has options for developers looking to test code, build apps or just be purely open. ClearOS also offers a more basic ClearOS for homes, which in most cases tend to have a pretty "media server" or "content filter" based need. ClearOS also comes in a production ready, commercial edition, ClearOS Professional. This edition is well suited for any production setting, whether it's a 2 person company who needs assurances that commercial products provide, or multi-site, multi-thousand user environments that need to simplify their IT.

  • Is ClearOS based on open-source software (OSS / Linux)?

    Yes, ClearOS is based at it's core on a Prominent North American Enterprise Linux vendor.

  • Is open-source software (OSS) safe for production use?

    Yes, in fact most of the worlds enterprise grade servers and systems are open-source. Some countries have required all server infrastructure to be run on open-source tools, stating multiple reasons for this. When considering such enterprise friendly software for a SMB, GOV, EDU or Non-Profit type environment, you can expect greater stability, scalability and cheaper costs of ownership.

  • Is ClearOS a hardware or software platform?

    ClearOS is a software distribution tailored to meet the needs of everyday small & medium environments. It's dynamic functionality allows it to be deployed almost anywhere including on your existing hardware, however the ClearBOX Hybrid Appliance is certainly the most scalable and turn-key means of deploying ClearOS.

  • Will I need to be Linux savvy?

    No. This is one of the reasons ClearOS is the leading small business IT Operating Platform on the market today. ClearOS is managed by it's award winning Webconfig (web-based) console, which allows you to manage the system with point-n-click simplicity. You can view our live demo servers here.

ClearOS. Free vs. Paid:

  • What's the difference between the free and paid ClearOS

    ClearOS is offered in multiple editions.

    ClearOS Community 6 & 7 (Free) provides an excellent framework for those open-source contributors to install, test, and build on. It's a solid platform that's designed for testing and building new code, not for production use. This edition does not scale with compute power as it's designed for a different purpose than production settings.

    ClearOS Professional 6, Home 7 & Business 7 Edition (Paid) are production ready from start to finish. Where you plan to self-support or need the help of professional support engineers, these editions of ClearOS offer a solution level that fits your needs. Too often people assume that because it's a 'commercial edition' product, that the price point is prohibitive. This just isn't the case. ClearOS comes in pricing models starting at $5/mo per server, with no added user fees. You can see each subscription by navigating to the Product menu above, and selecting the edition best suited for your needs in the menu. ClearOS Professional, Home & Business include value added services not available to Community edition; such as commercially & dynamically updated lists, pattern files, remote cloud services as well as third party apps and integrations. ClearOS Professional and Business are also offered on ClearBOX Hybrid Appliances, making it the most reliable and robust platform on the market.

  • If ClearOS is open-source, why pay for a subscription?

    It's common that the first thing people think of when they hear the term "open-source" is the cost (usually they hear "FREE!"). Open-source is the belief that something developed should be for the betterment of all, and not limited by a pay-wall. ClearOS shares in this belief and offers editions of ClearOS designed around the movement and is a distribution built around open-source purity. ClearOS is available in a pure OSS (or what is also known as FOSS or free open-source software) edition, where only OSS / FOSS features are included.

    ClearOS subscriptions come into play when you consider the need for Professional Support Services, Proprietary Commercial Updates (e.g. IDS Signatures, URL Lists, etc.), Cloud Services such as Remote Data Backup & more. ClearCenter packages these services into tiered subscriptions, delivering a fully production tested & quality assured edition of ClearOS. The production edition of ClearOS is built for environments who value the testing and reliability of only tested updates being installed, the ability to received professional technical support, and access to additional features exclusive to production editions of ClearOS. These editions require a valid subscription, which starts at $80/yr with no user fees.

  • Is the paid ClearOS product a monthly, yearly or one-time cost?

    ClearOS subscriptions are offered as a yearly subscription, with a multi-year discount optional. Monthly options are available when you choose our hosted infrastructure option.

  • What's the ongoing renewal cost?

    Depending on the type of product you buy, the renewal cost may vary. If you buy a ClearBOX appliance which includes the first year of ClearOS Professional licensing, the renewal cost is whichever level of ClearOS Professional or Business 7 you want to continue with. For more specific information, contact a member of our team today and they can help you establish your exact yearly renewal cost.

ClearOS Evaluation:

  • How can I try ClearOS Professional 6 or ClearOS Business 7 for free?

    ClearOS Professional offers a 30-day no-risk trial. You can install and test ClearOS Professional 6 or Business 7 locally using a trial license. During the 30-day trial you'll have full access to the Marketplace, chalked full of apps surrounding Server, Network, Gateway and Cloud integrated technologies. A few third party apps requiring a valid license and dynamic cloud services to function properly may not function completely.

  • What happens to my server when the 30-days is past?

    In order to build a production ready, quality assured product, ClearOS Professional 6 and ClearOS Business 7 were built with technologies that make this a reality without any hassle from the IT Admin. This means no manual patch or bug fixes, and confidence that apps being installed are well tested and ready to go. How this translates into an evaluation expiring (or any license expiring for that matter, be it a production license or trial license) is that the system will cease to function as it once did.

    The following are examples of features and functions that halt when a license expires:

    • ClearOS Marketplace Disabled
    • Dynamic DNS Disabled
    • Dynamic VPN Disabled
    • Remote Data & Configuration Backups Disabled
    • Remote System Monitor Disabled
    • Remote Security Audit Disabled
    • No Support
    • Software Updates Disabled
    • Server Becomes Unregistered

Reselling ClearOS:

  • Is ClearOS a good product for Service Providers?

    Absolutely, in fact many top members of the ClearOS team came from the service provider world, which has led to a continued emphasis on making ClearOS a platform for service providers!

    There are many in the service provider space who are looking for new ways to simplify their IT solutions, and are exploring new ways to scale their business. ClearOS provides a unique way to do this, by delivering a simple yet enterprise grade platform (operating system + lots of sweet & juicy add-ons) that quickly turns an ordinary (even low spec'd) appliance into a super machine capable of delivering 75+ IT functions.

    ClearOS combines the power of Marketplace to deliver simple scalability through it's intuitive web-based interface. The end result is a system with the ability to perform a wide range of functions from Networking, Gateway Security & Filtration, Server Applications, Cloud Integration and more.

    The ClearOS platform is built for service providers. It can integrate with existing systems to bridge the gap on functions missing in the environment, or can simply replace and consolidate what's been used historically. ClearOS brings a dynamic and disruptive platform to those looking to simplify their deployments, decrease their costs, increase their uptime and return and manage their customers with less overhead (allowing for scaling of the organization).

    ClearOS includes enterprise functionality like Multi-WAN and Load-Balancing FREE! These and many other features just like them offer you as a service provider a more attractive solution, at a fraction of the cost.

  • Will ClearOS provide hybrid network abilities?

    ClearOS helped define what today is known as the Hybrid Service Provider space. As an evolution from what historically has been the Managed Service Provider space, a Hybrid Service Provider (HSP) has leveraged technologies like ClearOS to deliver both on and off premise technologies to their client base. ClearOS integrates with third party systems to provide a seamless integration with the local network and remote cloud apps and services.

  • How do I become a partner?

    ClearCenter provides production ready products and services for ClearOS, and as such provides a great ecosystem for resellers to grow their business utilizing ClearOS. You can review the benefits and commitments to the program here and post review submit your application here.