Web interface and more from your Huawei E5830 (Three MiFi)

Posted on April 11th, 2010 by Luke Sheldrick.
Categories: IT / Tech.
Tags: , , , , , , , .

11 04 2010

Last year I bought a Three MiFi aka the Huawei E5830. The small box of magic has a 3G sim and a battery. It’s basically a wireless router. What this allows you to do is to ‘share’ the 3G connection to 5 wireless devices, as well as an additional one via usb.

So when I’m out, it’s great. If I need to use my netbook, laptop, iPod Touch, or my iPhone or Blackberry if their connection is poor, I can just switch on my MiFi, and as long as there is a decent Three data signal, I’m good to go. It’s a lot more flexible than just having a 3G dongle or using the inbuilt 3G modem on my laptop and netbooks, as I can share it with a number of devices at once, effortlessly.

The problem with it, is it comes with some poorly written software which is windows only app to configure the device, which can only be used when the MiFi is connected via USB. Not ideal? Well no not really. Quite often I’ll let someone I’m with leach off it, and want to set the password to something easy to share, and turn mac filtering off. This is often when I’m out and about, and I only have one windows machine, which is my work laptop, which I’m not in the habit of keeping with me. Also the interface gives no stats as to how much data I’ve used, or any logging.

So I was looking around the interwebs the other night, as I thought there must be a way around this. The previous wireless router (albeit not battery powered but still made by huawei) I had,¬† did have a web interface at least. Turns out there are a number of different firmwares available if you’re a bit brave, which unlock the good stuff.

First of all have a read of the flashing guide here. The process is pretty straight forward if you follow the instructions. There are two versions of the firmware available out there, one by another network, which brands with their branding, which I wasn’t a fan of. There is also the official firmware (not from three though) which is what I used, and so far am quite happy with. You can get that from here.

Make sure you follow the flashing guide, and if like mine if you flash b0rks half way through and your device then doesn’t turn on, not all is lost. Follow the guide again, and keep trying. For best results use XP. However if you’re going to use Vista/7, then ensure you run the exe as administrator, else it will get half way through the flash, then b0rk, leaving you with a MiFi that wont boot.

Once you’ve updated the firmware it should reboot, and the come back as normal. I noticed that it seemed to turn on a lot faster Also turning on 3G/Data and Wireless seems a lot quicker too. The standard Three utility will still work as before, just connect via USB. However now you’ll have web access to the Mifi, with all the goodies unlocked. So go to 192.168.x.1 where x is the subnet you set, default is 1 (so 192.168.1.1). You’ll get a login screen, the username is admin, as is the password.Then you can go in to all the advanced features. You also get a bandwidth usage which is really nice to have if you’re always running out.

You can also change the config quite a bit, which is awesome. Two things that used to annoy me, that I had to turn it on, then turn wifi on, and then 3G, it should just do it all when I turn it on. Now I can set this… WIN.

Also noticed that it has a mobile (well looks iPod/iPhone friendly) gui too. Point safari to the same IP and you get

So a lot more usable, and I can say goodbye to being stuck to Windows for it. Good luck, let me know how you got on.

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