1. Are you ready for the Galaxy S20? Here is everything we know so far!

Need some advice on this device

Discussion in 'Computers' started by ardchoille, Sep 21, 2011.

  1. ardchoille

    ardchoille Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    I've just learned that cell phone providers sell a small USB device that plugs into a netbook/laptop and gives it 3G/4G connectivity. I'm not even sure what this USB device is called. My only concern is that my netbook runs Ubuntu Linux rather than Microsoft Windows. Does a USB device such as this work with Linux netbooks/laptops without the need to install drivers? It would be nice to not have to maintain a mobile phone just so my netbook can have 3G/4G connectivity via a mobile hotspot.

  2. 9to5cynic

    9to5cynic Android Expert

    You know, I can't recall what they are called either. I think sprint calls them something like "air card" or something (but that was an actual card...)

    I would guess it would be auto detected by most modern linux distros. When I tether via USB in my linux distros I get autoeth0 or autousb0 or something like that. That being said, I've never tried it with one of the dedicated usb devices.

    Portable Connections...? hmm. what are they called??
  3. drdoom

    drdoom Android Expert

    Modem perhaps? :rolleyes: Doing a quick search on Sprint's site shows that their 3G/4G modem is only compatible with Windows and Mac. There might be a workaround to get it working in Linux, but it probably won't work out of the box.
  4. No. The 3g/4g usb modem will not work out of the box with linux. It is very difficult for you to get the device to work under any linux, do to firmware installed on the cards.

    It is possible to get it to work, but you will need to use a windows emulator and a driver wrapper.

    I am a wireless developer, and know linux inside and out. It took me 4 hours to get the modem to work with linux and ended up with the firmware on the modem disconnecting every 30 seconds.
  5. 9to5cynic

    9to5cynic Android Expert

    Hmm.... sounds like you might be better off using your phone then..?
  6. mikedt

    mikedt 你好

    Actually most Huawei and ZTE 3G modems made in the last 2 years have Linux firmware and drivers included with them, right on the modems themselves.

    Which is NDIS. Sure you're not thinking of WiFi cards?

    What 3G modem and what distro where they? Because Huawei and ZTE USB 3G modems are extremely well supported by Ubuntu based distros 'out of the box'.

    TBH Ubuntu is the most common Linux distro and the above mentioned 3G modems are by far the most common makes one will find, so for many Linux users getting connected shouldn't be a problem.

    They're called 3G USB modems or just 3G modems. Most Huawei and ZTE modems should just work with Ubuntu straight away, no need to install drivers. I'm currently using a Huawei EV-DO 3G USB modem(China Telecom) on Joli OS Linux, no problems at all. Was using another Huawei UMTS modem(T-Mobile UK) on Linux, and again no problems at all.

    Sprint's U600 USB modem(which looks like a ZTE) shouldn't be a problem. Sprint states it's supported by Win, Mac and Linux on their site.
  7. 9to5cynic

    9to5cynic Android Expert

    Hey, was that huge title rhyme intentional?

    USB modem sounds good to me.
  8. ardchoille

    ardchoille Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    Ah, ok, I'm using Ubuntu 11.04 (latest) so I'm going to look deeper into this.

    Thanks for the info everyone :)
  9. !on

    !on Android Expert

    They're called "dongles" over here :D

    Depending on network & for a little extra cost, you can get one of these "mobile hotspots". Basically a pocket WiFi router that is rechargeable & often comes with memory card slot. Mine is a Huawei model "MiFi".

    When I used the dongle I got frequent disconnects. Apparently this was down to slight power fluctuations at the USB. Newer models may have fixed it. MiFi's don't suffer this as they're not plugged in (can be though, for charging off USB etc...).

    You wouldn't need drivers for it as it's a WiFi router.
  10. 9to5cynic

    9to5cynic Android Expert

    ^ Yeah, the MiFi might be a better way to go, as it should be compatible with every device.

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