Wireless Broadband

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Revision as of 06:29, 22 June 2016 by Rpeters (talk | contribs) (→‎mini Router: basic description)
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Host-less Modem

These are a newer style of USB 3G/4G dongle. See http://ofmodemsandmen.com/hostless.html

Key features include:

  • auto-connect when powered up
    • can subsequently be connected/re-connected via web interface
  • appear as an Ethernet device, having own IP address

The above features can simplify connecting to Linux. See above page for a list of devices.

mini Router

Can also include rechargeable battery and be referred to as "pocket router"

Tested examples include:

  • TP-Link 703N and MR-3020
  • GL-inet 6416

The last has more RAM & flash memory as well as coming with customised openWRT pre-installed. openWRT is supported, for user installation on the others

All can be used as a "standby" if ADSL/VDSL is out of service

  • hint - reset the mini-routers LAN IP to the same as the ADSL/VDSL modem/router
    • the two can then be swapped by replugging the LAN-side ethernet cable, without the need to change any LAN settings


IPFire wiki contains no specific guidelines. The following work with Telstra 4G and probably similar products from other vendors.

  • involves several config changes from usual RED zone device and Network Addresses
    • Wireless broadband is likely to be an (expensive) contingency WAN
    • one option would be to use a second, differently configured installation to a different SD card that would be used in a RPi or BPi, during contingency operation
  1. the USB dongle/SIM first needs to be activated via direct connection to a PC/Tablet
    • defaults to "automatic connection to WAN on power-up"
      • retain (can be manually disconnected/reconnected later to conserve quota)
    • NB Linux does not firewall USB dongles, so best to use an expendable installation of Linux
      • situation with Win8 indeterminate
  2. note "hardwired" network address eg 192.168.0 displayed from "Information" tab of m.home page
    • this will be the unchangeable RED address on IPFire and other zone addresses on IPFire must have different network addresses eg 192.168.1 for GREEN
  3. click on "Disconnect" button and remove dongle
  4. plug USB Broadband dongle to USB hub on IPFire system
    • main USB or Ethernet RED device can remain physically plugged/connected
  5. run SETUP, via SSH shell or Monitor & keyboard
  6. from "Network -> Drivers & Card Assignments" deselect existing RED
  7. select USB dongle as RED eg ZTE for Telstra dongles
  8. from "Network -> Addresses -> RED" select DHCP
  9. exit SETUP
  10. SHUTDOWN -> REBOOT IPFire system
  11. Status should be:
    • (IPFire home page) RED interface gets IP address eg
    • (IPFire home page) Gateway allocated eg
    • (IPFire home page) DNS allocated eg
    • Dongle LED indicates "connected to WAN"

If Internet access is not achieved then it might be necessary to revisit IPFire SETUP and allocate the above Gateway and DNS addresses staticly via "Network -> DNS & Gateway Settings"

Note that "Dialup" settings that are normally used with xDSL connections are not used with the broadband dongle, but should be retained, if they will later be used with a DSL device.

Controlling the Dongle

This will be vendor specific. In the case of Telstra 4G, the following web pages (in the dongle) should be accessible from a computer/tablet on the GREEN zone:

http://m.home or

  • clicking the "Disconnect/Connect" buttons controls the WAN
    • these options no longer available from IPFire home page
  • clicking the button at the bottom of m.home page should bring up:

--Rpeters (talk) 10:05, 8 August 2015 (AEST)