Another item from eBay 🙂 The idea about 4G router came as we had a need for a temporary access to Internet for few months. I am a bigger supporter for some “wires-based” Internet but here we did not have too big choice as we are planning to relocate…
You can find quite a lot of 4G routers while most of them provide only wireless access. I was looking for something with Ethernet (RJ45) connection. So, after few cycles googling/reading and repeating again, I end-up on eBay. It appeared that there are plenty of units of model Huawei B593u-12 4G routers (via eBay), which possessed what I needed – a wired connection for sharing.
Briefly about the model and its hardware
This model (Huawei B593u-12) was produced around 2012-2013. Normally, it was sold under different brands names for 4G Internet providers like Vodafone B1000 or Telekom Speedport LTE II (via eBay). This router has a possibility to connect the external antennas, which might be (or not) locked in the firmware.
According to some sources on Internet, the router has HiSilicon Balong integrated 710/ Hi6920 chipset on board with 512 MB of Flash and 256 MB DDR RAM. Not bad. And the CPU is … Broadcom. The max speed of this model is 100Mbps.
I ordered the 4G router on eBay (via eBay) from Germany. So, until it arrived, I had plenty of time to browse and read the stories of success and failures of others with changing the firmware 🙂
Some of them are still available on Internet while others – not anymore. As you might see, each firmware starts with V(ersion)100, which is represents the model too. Next, the R(elease) number follows. The C(ountry) with its code, which shows that the firmware was customized, and SP(service pack) number (the higher the newer).
If you have gone through the list, the latest version is from T-Mobile Germany or German Telekom. However, you cannot download these last firmwares from the German Telekom website, as the links are broken 🙁 But, if you have their router, after connecting it to Internet, it will ask you either you would like to upgrade to the latest version 108.
At the beginning, I was willing to debrand the 4G router (via eBay) but after seeing the list of the versions of available firmwares, it became obvious that it was not worth to have quite older firmware instead of one latest.
4G router setup (APN etc.)
The router arrived in less than one week from Germany by DHL. I was already waiting for it 🙂 Of course, it came with European power plug. If you live in IE or somewhere else with not typical EU sockets/plugs, just keep that in mind.
I switched on, the LEDs started to blink but …The login details were printed on the label at back site of the router but I could not login to the router. Well, it appeared that it needed to be reseted. There is a small hole between WPS and WLAN buttons on the left of the router. You should press it for 5-10 sec when the router is on. After the reboot, I gained the access.
The sim card was in its place, the router was on and I was waiting for Internet access. Nothing. I expected that it will automatically get the APN settings. Nothing happened. After spending ~10 min, I decided that it is time to manually check them.
ok, let’s do it trough the menu. First, you have to go through the setup wizard. Then, you can access the APN settings under the path ….
One things, which slightly annoyed me – I could not remove of any present setting but fortunately I could add new one. I googled and found the settings for Eir (ex-Meteor) here in Ireland and put all of them:
Version 1 for Eir
Connection name: eir Mobile data
Data bearer: Packet data or GPRS on some handsets
Access Point Name (APN): data.myeirmobile.ie
Prompt password: N/A
Version 2 for Eir
Username: leave blank
Password: leave blank
Leave all other settings as they are.
After rebooting, I got the connection. Cool 🙂
My router came without any external SMA antennas (via eBay) but I got a bit above 50Mbps speed (four signal bars on the router). Just from the curiosity, I checked the pings to google.com and compared with Eir landline. Well, the difference was not drastic but 4G router’s pings were ~30% longer than landline. Of course, that depends on your living place and how far or close do you live from the base station.
The integrated antennas are something 2dBi (at least very similar looking for WiFi routers). An original manual says that external antennas can be connected to the router, so I have ordered a pair of attachable 5dBi antennas from eBay (via eBay). I need to get the contract for 4G data too with the sim card. Let’s see 🙂