As I blogged earlier, I’ve just joined the 4G revolution with a Huawei E589 4G mifi device from EE.
The device is a lot bigger than my Three 3G Huawei E586, but opens up the possibility of superfast mobile internet.
The first thing I wanted to do was to change the device’s SSID (the name it broadcasts) and network key (password). To do this, I had to access a web management page. According to the Huawei E589 user guide, this involves typing http://192.168.1.1 into your web browser.
This didn’t work for me, on a 2012 MacBook Pro or 2007 HP Windows laptop.
Then I cracked it. I switched my laptop’s wifi connection from my home broadband’s wifi router to the mifi. (The mifi was connected to the laptop by USB cable.) I then typed the web management address, above. This opened the web management page. I was able to change the SSID and network key to something more meaningful.
It’s a shame that the E589 doesn’t come with any instructions. Or that the online manual is far from clear. I hope this post will help you get started.
EE to go
I’ve just joined the 4G revolution, through a Huawei E539 mifi device with EE, Britain’s first 4G network. It was the cheapest and most flexible way of going 4G. And 10 months with a Huawei E586 mifi device with Three convinced me that mifi is the best way to get internet-on-the-go.
It was a pleasant surprise to find that EE had a shop in Amersham, so we popped in after our regular Saturday coffee-and-smoothie break after Owen’s football class.
I knew what I wanted, so it should have been simple. But thanks to a simple misunderstanding, the shop set me up with a USB mobile broadband dongle. Luckily, I asked the shop to put the SIM in. At that point, we realised the mistake.
We’d been there for almost an hour by now, and the shop fell silent as the staff consulted in the stock room. They emerged to share the bad news: the shop only had 3G, not 4G, mifi units in stock. But they made a very generous offer: if I wanted a 4G one today, Ben, the person who served me, would go to the EE store in Harrow, London, to get one and bring it back in time for me to collect it later. And that’s exactly what happened.
This was outstanding service. I was resigned to not getting my mifi today, and didn’t complain at all. So the offer was prompted purely by concern not to disappoint a customer.
It has been a brilliant introduction to EE. Thank you Ben and colleagues.
Dream device: Three mifi
I blogged last week how I found it impossible to get a decent mobile internet service from Vodafone. A friend, Trevor Chenery, suggested in response that I get Three’s Huawei E586 mifi device. It proved a very good recommendation.
I chose a pay-monthly deal, giving a free mifi device and 1GB of monthly data a month for just under £11 a month. I can get online with five devices – plenty for my needs.
Three’s mifi up close
I gave it a test last Thursday on a day in London. I connected quickly and stayed connected on my iPad on the Chiltern Railways train to Marylebone – a contrast to my experience with my Vodafone iPhone, which constantly searches for signal – which it promptly loses. I was able to send and receive emails and search the web without difficulty. Later in the morning the mifi saved the day when the guest internet at a meeting venue wasn’t working. Finally, I was able to do an hour’s work at my hotel without paying £10 for a night’s wifi.
My only complaint is with the ‘dashboard’ used to change the device’s SSID name and password. At no point did the otherwise good quick start guides say this didn’t work on a Mac. It seems bizarre that Three has created a service that in effect can’t be run from a Mac – at least on Safari. (I’m sure you can still get a Mac online through the mifi – you just can’t change any settings on it.)
The other thing to remember is that the E586 will need regular charging. You can’t rely on it going into standby mode like a phone. That’s understandable, as it doesn’t know when you’re going to need to use it to get online. But it’s wise to charge the device overnight before you head for your morning train.
In short, an incredibly useful gadget that’s a perfect accessory for a wifi iPad or a phone on a network that has very poor data coverage such as Vodafone.