Wireless USB modems / dongles

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There are two types of USB modems (i.e. dongles) available. It is important that you recognize which type your USB modem is.

Both PiCube and HDCube (newer HDCubes with ID like 6-xxxxxxxxxxxx) supports 3G/4G modems.

NOTE! PiCube doesn’t support the new HiLink USB modems until Filesystem version 2015032578 (can be seen during startup, request for software upgrade if needed). Newer HDCubes (with id like 6-xxxxxxxxxxxx) support ONLY HiLink USB modems

Traditional USB modems

Before the year 2015 the USB modems available were mainly the ’traditional’ type. This means that the device / computer detects them as a USB-modem.

When using traditional USB modems, the PiCube has to be configured to use the USB modem with the operator’s settings. Check Configuration instructions.

New HiLink USB modems

Already during 2014 Huawei brought new types of USB modems (HiLink) to the market. They are small routers on their own and the device / computer detects them as a network interface card. From the year 2015 practically all Huawei’s USB modems available in the market were HiLink models.

NOTE! When using a HiLink USB Modem, the PiCube nor HDCube are NOT configured to 3G/4G mode but is left with factory settings (=ethernet and DHCP).

Instead, the USB modem itself has to be configured to use the operator’s settings (usually the settings are already in order). The instructions can be found from the USB modem’s package or the opearator’s website. If you’re not sure if the USB modem is preconfigured, you should test it first with a computer and make sure it can be used to connect to the internet.

At the same time it is recommended to check the USB modems other connection-related settings (connect automatically, always on etc.).

NOTE! HiLink USB modems are configured with a computer using an internet browser.

Recognizing the type of your USB modem

  • Unfortunately it is not always possible to tell the type of the USB modem externally. Even USB modems with the same model number can have different software in them. If the text HiLink can be seen somewhere, you can be sure that it is a new HiLink USB modem – it is recommended that you check the USB modem thoroughly plus the casing and manuals.
  • If you can’t tell the type of the USB modem externally, plug the modem in a computer. If the computer opens an internet browser with information regarding the USB modem and the operator after it has finished installing driver software, you can be sure that is a HiLink version. In this case the PiCube doesn’t need to be configured separately.
  • If the computer opens a distinctive connection software, the USB modem is a traditional version.