I have a Three 3G Dongle that I occasionally use when on the road. Now that I have a NetBook with Mac OS X I plan to use it even more. The problem with this Three 3G dongle (Huawei E156G) is the software that comes with it. It’s bloated, replicates standard Mac OS X behaviour, and worst of all it disables your WiFi when you’re on 3G (because God forbid that you share your already slow 3G with another).
So a while ago I figured out how to use the 3G dongle without using the Three Mobile Manager software, but instead using the Mac OS X network manager. I decided to write it up now because I noticed a few more people with the same issues. This tutorial is based on a Mac Mini and Dell Mini running Mac OS X 10.6.2 and 10.6.1.
Step 1: Install the Mobile Manager
We’re not going to use the Mobile Manager, but this is the easiest way to install the drivers for the dongle.
- Just stick in your dongle into your Mac and wait for the 3Connect disc to show up.
- Run the 3Connect Installer.app
- When the installer is done, ignore any “new network adapters found” for now.
- Instead go to your Applications folder, and trash the 3Connect folder
Your drivers have now been installed but your OS X doesn’t know what to do with the dongle yet.
Step 2: Setup your network preferences
- Go to the Network panel in your System Preferences
- You should have a HUAWEI Mobile device in the list on the left, if it is not unplug and plug in your dongle until it does
- Click Advanced, and in the modem pane set the details to:
- Vendor: Generic
- Model: GPRS (GSM/3G)
- APN: Three.co.uk
- CID: 1
- Under DNS set the following two DNS servers:
- Then (I’m not sure if this is essential) go to the PPP tab:
- Uncheck Send PPP echo packets
- Check Use verbose logging
- Click OK to save your changes
- Finally, set the telephone number to *99#
- Hit Apply
Now when you hit Connect you should be able to connect to the network. Tick the Show modem status in menu bar to have a handy little menu in the menu bar that allows you to see how long you’ve been connected and much more.
There are some downsides to this method. The main one being that you loose the ability to check how much data you’ve sent/received this month. I guess you can use My3 for that instead. You also lose the ability to sent SMS messages, which is why it might be wise to leave the 3 Mobile Manager in your applications if you ever use that function.
Finally I have to note that this hasn’t been thoroughly tested. I used to run this same method under Leopard and it worked fine, it now works fine under Snow Leopard too, but any weird hardware or software upgrade might break it, I’m just not sure.