How to Setup a USB internet device

These devices tend to be the somewhat problematic and it is recommended that you consider switching to a different type of network device that uses either ethernet or Wi-Fi. However if you must use a USB internet device, it is usually straightforward to setup.

There are two main types of USB internet devices – USB mobile broadband modems and USB tethering from smartphones. 

USB tethering from a smartphone

If you are using USB tethering from a smartphone, you usually do not have to install any additional software – just plug in your device via USB cable and enable USB tethering. Most operating systems will be able to install the USB network driver automatically and you should be connected right away.

This will allow you to get online through the internet connection that your smartphone uses (such as a Wi-Fi or cellular connection). To get started with this:

  1. Obtain a working USB cable for your device and plug it into your computer (the charging cable that came with your phone is fine). You should see an indication that it is connected.

  2. Go to the Settings app of your mobile device. Look for the network, internet or tethering section of settings.

  3. Look for a tethering option and enable it. On iPhones, this is called “Personal Hotspot”. On Android devices, this is called “USB Tethering”. If you are having trouble connecting, try searching for these settings using the search box in the settings app.

  4. Once tethering has been enabled, you should now be able to connect to the internet! Keep in mind that if your mobile device is using its cellular connection, this may incur additional charges for mobile data usage.

USB mobile broadband modem

If you are using a USB mobile broadband modem, the setup is slightly more complex. After plugging in your device via USB for the first time, your system should pop up automatically with an autoplay window to install the software needed for the USB modem. If you don’t get anything popup, open Windows Explorer and double click on the virtual CDROM that has now appeared and run through the setup. If the Virtual CDROM does not appear in Windows Explorer, contact us and we can assist further.

One the USB modem has been installed, you will need to run the software it has installed and then click the connect button for your modem to connect to the internet. Sometimes you will need to run through an additional setup and login with a username and password – contact your service provider if you have problems with this. Remember that you will need to connect to the internet manually each time you start your PC.

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