In the previous section I taught you how to install the NetGear WNA100 USB Wireless Network Adaptor, that allows you to connect to an existing broadband wireless network (broadband internet connection) if your computer does not have a built-in network adaptor for example.
NOTE: This article was created for Windows 7 and therefore its wordings and screenshots relate to the Windows 7 operating system. Where possible I have updated the wordings to relate to the Windows 10 operating system. Either way, the information is very relevant regardless of what Windows operating system you are using.
In this section I will show you how to install the 3G Huawei E353 USB "Mobile Internet" Dongle using its P.A.Y.G (Pay As You Go) Internet option (as opposed to its broadband contract option/connection). A dongle like this is ideal for netbook and laptops whereby you are in a place with no internet connection (i.e. in the countryside and/or in a house with no internet connection whatsoever).
Note Well: A Dongle is not the same as a USB Wireless Network Adaptor. A USB Wireless Network Adaptor is used to connect to an existing wireless broadband internet connection (network) whereas a Dongle has a built-in modem for connecting to a mobile phone provider's network (internet connection) such as the 3 (3G), o2, Virgin or VodaPhone network/internet connection.
When you first open the dongle packaging you will need to slide open the dongle's top cover (its lid) to reveal the sim card socket and mini sd memory
socket. Simply slide the supplied sim card into its socket and optionally install some mini sd memory (not supplied) into its socket before closing the
lid. Now the dongle is ready to be plugged into a spare usb port on your computer. All this information is inside the dongle's instructions booklet.
With the dongle inserted into a spare usb port on your computer, wait for the "da-da" thud sound and following installation messages to appear before continuing. This initial installation will install the necessary driver software needed for the dongle to be recognised by Windows 7, so its Installation Wizard can then be run (executed/launched).
Fig 1.0 - Plug the dongle into a spare usb port and wait for the installation messages
Fig 1.1 - Click on the notification icon to make sure the dongle's driver software has been installed
Fig 1.2 - Click on the RUN AUTORUN.EXE link of the autoplay requester to continue
When the dongle's initial driver software has been installed you should see an autoplay requester appear (above), if you have the autoplay feature of
Windows 7 set up properly (See the AutoPlay Settings section for more information), whereby
you should click on its RUN AUTORUN.EXE link. If you cannot see the AutoPlay requester you can always run the AUTORUN.EXE file (not shown here) from
within the COMPUTER folder >> CD DRIVE(F:) 3CONNECT sub-folder. Your drive letter might be different from F:
Running the AUTORUN.EXE file will then launch (run/execute) the dongle's Installation Wizard - A program that guides you through the installation (set up) of the 3G Software. The first step of the installation wizard (Fig 1.4 below) asks you to agree to the Terms & Conditions of the 3G Dongle hardware/software installation, which is basically the software license agreement. Simply select the I ACCEPT THE TERMS OF THE LICENSE AGREEMENT radio (circle/dot) button and then click on the NEXT button to continue.
Fig 1.3 - Preparing to the installation wizard
Fig 1.4 - Agree to the Terms & Conditions and then click on the NEXT button to continue
After agreeing to the Terms & Conditions of the license agreement the next step of the installation (Fig 1.5 below) asks you to choose an installation
type. Either ADVANCED or STANDARD. Do not worry about the ADVANCED option in this example - STANDARD is selected by default (normal behaviour) so just
click on the NEXT button to continue whereby the necessary hardware (i.e. Modem) and software (i.e. User Interface/Control Panel) will then be installed.
The ADVANCED option lets you choose which folder on your computer the installation files (driver software, program files and so on) go into, but for this example just use the default (destination/installation storage) folder by having the STANDARD option selected. Normally an ADVANCED option will offer greater settings to tweak, but this ADVANCED option only allows you to change the default folder.
Fig 1.5 Make sure the STANDARD option is selected and then click on the NEXT button to continue
Fig 1.6 The internal hardware (i.e. modem) and software (i.e. control panel) is being installed
Fig 1.7 The installation of the dongle has finished
At this point the installation of the dongle (its hardware and software) has completed, so click on the FINISH button (above) to continue. As you can see, it was a pretty easy installation. However, its the options on the control panel (user interface) that you will need to pay attention to!!
When you click on the FINISH button (above) the control panel (user interface) then opens whereby additional networking services and settings are set up, denoted by the installation message/notification that appears (Fig 2.0 below). When that is done the control panel then scans for available networks (Fig 2.1) and in particular any 3 networks.
Fig 2.0 Setting up additional services and settings to do with the 3 network
Fig 2.1 Scanning for available 3 networks.
Fig 2.2 The 3 network has been set up and is ready for use
After all the networking side of things have been set up, to connect to your dongle's 3 network simply click on the CLICK TO CONNECT button. This will then give you an internet connection and more importantly access to the internet via your web browser (i.e. Internet Explorer 9 or Google Chrome).
Fig 2.3 Click on the CLICK TO CONNECT button to connect to your dongle's 3 network
Fig 2.4 a p.a.y.g internet connection has been established using the 3 network
In this example I have 1GB of data allowance to last me 1 Month. I bought my dongle at Argos for £19.99. The 1GB of data is worth £10, so the dongle itself is worth £9.99. Meaning, it is a cheap but affective way for me to use a mobile internet connection for my netbook/laptop when ever I have no other access to an internet connection.
I am not under contract because it is a pay as you go tariff and am therefore under no obligation to top it up every month. I chose 3 because I use this network provider in my Samsung Monte mobile phone and because I have seen this particular dongle in action; and for what it does, liked its performance.
When you first use the dongle a pop-up window should appear (below) where you then need to enter your name, e-mail address and so on details in order to activate your dongle. If the pop-up window does not appear, for whatever reason(s), click on the GO TO MY3 button instead (see Fig 2.4 above).
Fig 3.0 Click on the NEXT button to start the simple registration process
Fig 3.1 Click on the START USING MOBILE BROADBAND NOW button to begin using the internet
Fig 3.2 The dongle has now been activated and internet ready
After the registration process you will receive a Welcome text message via the TEXT Tab (window) on the control panel - Remember, the dongle uses a sim card and can therefore accept text messages - and you will also receive confirmation that your dongle is now active (Fig 3.4 below).
Fig 3.3 Click on the title of the Text Message to read it
Fig 3.4 The dongle has now been activated
The window in Fig 3.2 above is just the dongle's Useful Links window. Although it can be used for internet purposes I would suggest using your normal web browser instead, such as internet explorer or google chrome.
The control panel has many features, and some of them may seems daunting, but many of them are already set up to use their default (standard) settings;
therefore no need for you to touch them. I am talking about the settings on the SETTINGS menu, located on the top bar (menu bar) of the control panel
The only real information you may be interested in is the History Information on the HISTORY Tab (window). It shows you an approximate of how much data you have used so far. In the example below I have already used 2.5MB of data from my 1GB data allowance.
Fig 4.0 Check your monthly data allowance by clicking on the HISTORY Tab
If you click on the GO TO MY3 button it will take you to your My3 Account where you can then register your personal details, debit card details and so on in order to then top-up your data allowance each month. For example, you can buy a £10 top-up and get another 1GB pay as you go data allowance that lasts one month.
Fig 4.1 Manage your My3 Account by clicking on the GO TO MY3 button (see Fig 4.0 above)
There are many options/settings to explore, but only if you want to. I cannot explain them all in this section and this section was not created for that reason. It was created to get you up and running with your dongle only. As said, the options/settings can be left alone if you wish. All I am saying here is "Don't be afraid to explore the other options/settings yourself".
Obviously because you are paying as P.A.Y.G (Pay As You Go), or even a monthly broadband contract, it makes sense to always disconnect the internet connection when you are not using it - To disconnect you can either click on the DISCONNECT button, located on the HOME Tab of the control panel, or use the Windows 7 network sharing notification icon.
Fig 4.2 ALWAYS DISCONNECT YOUR INTERNET CONNECTION When it is no longer needed
If you are using a monthly broadband contract with your dongle you use that notification icon to also connect and disconnect, and if necessary set up your user name (ssid network id) and password (encryption/security key). As said, explore this straight forward steps by reading your booklet or exploring the control panel options/settings.