Because I have seen quite a few posts about using 3G dongles and accessing the Internet when no WiFi is available I thought I'd put something together in one place, that may help.
A few 3G modems reported from various location that are supposed to work
* Vodafone K3765-H
* Vodafone K3715
* Vodafone K3565 / Huawei E160
* Huawei E173
* Huawei E1550
* Huawei E1692
* Huawei E1820
* Huawei K3520
* Huawei E1752
Many of these will work with PPP Widget from the Google Store
Also you can find a list of Android 3G modems on this China site that may at least provide some names or model numbers. Usb 3g Dongle Support Android,Buy Quality Usb 3g Dongle Support Android from Manufacturers and Suppliers on Alibaba.com
Here is a forum sponsor with some 3G WiFi routers W2COMP Trading Company - W2COMP.com
Please read to full descriptions. Standard disclaimers apply here.
I can't verify any of these
First, the issues with a 3G dongle. (modem)
Android, as yet, has very little support for plugging a 3G dongle into a USB port, (assuming you have a USB port) due to a lack of drivers. Those drivers are frequently specific to the carrier the dongle was obtained from. But there are a few that do work with many Android tablets. Here is a list of a few that work and how to enable them.
How to setup your 3G modem
Note 1, Not all Android versions have those options nor do all Android tablets.
Note 2, for that to work it specifically addresses Android v 4.0
If you don't have access to those specific 3G modems or you don't have a USB port you can use a portable router that supports a wide range of 3G modems. Here is a list of broadband (mostly 3G) modems supported by Zoom Telephonics' portable router(s).
Here is a possible solution that requires root access.
The app is called PPP Widget and will be found under widgets, not apps.
1. Connect your dongle to your tablet.
2. If it is not automatically recoginzed by the Widget, you will be required to configure it.
3. Click on the configure button
4. Add the username/password and the dialing number. You can google it to find the values required for your dongle.
5. Click on Connect button and there you go..!!
6. Message in the widget status bar will change to Connected.
PS: This widget sometimes asks you to disable wifi first, even though you are not connected. You can either enable and then disable it or you can wait for some time (2-3 mins) before connecting again. This app is in its initial stage and the developer constantly asks for updates to refine and make it better.
- Needs root access
- Needs USB host
- Needs a powered USB hub (unless your device has plenty of power)
- Some devices (e.g. Samsung) need additional kernel drivers
- Android 4.2 may take away full network awareness
- Contains native tools for ARM and X86
Warning: there is no guarantee that every Android/modem combo will work. Don't blame me!
!! If your combination does not work, help with improvement !! Don't just complain in a short comment.
Zoom Telephonics - Mobile Broadband Modem and Smartphone Compatibility Information
No 3G modem?
So, let's say you don't want to invest in a 3G modem due to the contract cost. There are several portable routers that will allow your WiFi enabled tablet to connect to a wired network. One of those is a TP-LINK TL-WR702N N Nano Router. Another is an ASUS WL-330N3G Mobile Wireless Router. Both of these can also act as a WiFi extender or a WiFi bridge, but can be configured as a WiFi to wired network device, (using a computer for the initial configuration). The ASUS device also has limited support for some 3G modems. This is a short list as there are many portable routers that will do the same. The TP-LINK is particularly inexpensive.
Another option is what is commonly called a MiFi device. This is a cellular modem, (about the size of a deck of cards or smaller), typically purchased from a cell phone provider that communicates with your tablet via WiFi. (no ports required). The drawback is that it also typically carries a fairly steep monthly contact cost. However there are some benefits. You can typically connect as many as 5 devices at a time. Since you could use it for your tablet, (1 or more) and a laptop and even your phone, and it works even when you have lost your Internet connection due to mechanical failure in the provider's system, it makes a great emergency backup. This would also work on any WiFi equipped desktop assuming you have a good cellular signal.
Because the MiFi devices is so flexible it's like having a cellular connection with only one contract for multiple devices. I won a Verizon model MiFi and it enabled me to use minimum required data plans for my smart phones, so it is saving me some moey there that offsets the cost of the MiFi plan.
Anyone with other suggestions is welcome to chime in.