mifi good and bad with the huawei e5830

so, I’ve been using the E5380 for 6 weeks now. The experience has been mixed, at times, it works great and flawlessly, and at times, it’s just horrendous.

So, would this be a device the I recommend, yes definitely; but know it’s limitations. To be fair, I’m using Singtel here in Singapore, and the device Singtel sells is the e5832. I could be that the e5830 is not totally well compatible with Singtel.

Before I get all too technical here, this is what I have experienced….

The situations are 2 extremes…

  1. the device works flawlessly and delivers uninterrupted internet access
  2. the device connects to the internet, works for a few mins and then loses connection, but thinks it’s still online

So far, I don’t have a clear clue on why exactly this is happening. From my observation and numerous internet posts, plus comparing some specs, I believe there are 3 possibilities

  1. what I do notice is that connection tends to be very flaky when signal strength is weak. But if I switch the device to force it to connect only using GSM (and never 3G) it will work smoothly, just slow. So here, I question what’s wrong that is preventing the device to switch network automatically… very much like what the E220 USB dongle can do.
  2. Reading from some aussie forums, it appears that there are users with the E5830 that encountered the same symptoms as I have. ie, the device works very well and consistently in some areas, and in others, flaky. What they have observed but unable to confirm is that it could have been a carrier network issue. So for many of them, without doing anything to the devices, all of the sudden at the areas where the device worked bad, it was performing fine already. The conclusion there is that there was some operating issue with their mobile provider and it was fixed at the carrier end.
  3. Singtel does issue the E5832 with the high end post paid plans, and comparing the difference between the E5830 and E5832, is that the E5832 supports WCDMA 2100/900MHz where the E5830 only supports WCMDA 2100MHz. Could it be that to work well with the Singtel network, I need the WCDMA 900MHz also? I don’t know, so far I’m not able to find any details online about what frequencies does Singtel 3G network operate on. In addition, my friend has the exact same model as me, just that he’s using Starhub. Starhub has the E5830, and his experience has been all much better than mine. In areas where I have dodgy signals, his still works smoothly. Will need more testing to see how well it performs in areas of weak signal strength.

There are alternatives out there for 3G pocket router solutions. The Novatel MIFI is definitely discouraged from the stories I’ve heard. But now, manufacturers like Aztech and Dlink produce 3G routers which you can plug your good ol 3G USB dongles to. I’ve read that some of the newer routers are USB powered, but have yet to be able to validate that. If true, it could be a viable alternative, BUT with a heavier baggage. The E583x models are still the slimmests and most portable around.

30 thoughts on “mifi good and bad with the huawei e5830

  1. guyster82

    Hi, just read your posts on the Huawei E5830.

    May I ask if your connection issues with the SingTel SIM card still persist? Or has the connection improved? What is the general battery of the dongle?

    Thanx! 🙂

    Reply
    1. Jason Post author

      Hi guyster82, yes the issue persists, but I have determined that it’s not a SIM card issue, nor a telco issue. My friend has the same device, and he’s on Starhub and he also experiences the same issue. We do notice that it’s only when the 3G signal is bad, then we’ll get the problem. At the point of bad connection, if we force the device to drop down to 2G, it will work fine, just slow. My conclusion is that the device is switching properly automatically to 2G when needed. Otherwise, it’s a great device and i typically get about 3.5hrs to 4hrs of usage.

      Reply
  2. Julian

    Hi Jason, I just bought the Trekstor (5830) from HKG.It works perfectly of the 3HK network in HKG. However with the Singtel sim card I am not able to connect to the internet.Is there any specific settings for it to work properly? thanks

    Reply
    1. Jason Post author

      Hi Julian, I’m not sure if the 3HK model is locked or not, if you can get a 3G signal with your Singtel sim card, I believe it’s not. What you need to do is to setup a new profile and put in the APN “internet”, and it will work for Singtel. If the 3HK model has web interface for administration, you can use that to change, if not, try plugging it into a Windows PC, install the connection manager and you can change from there also. Let me know if that works for you.

      Reply
  3. Ferd

    I have a huawei e5830 which is very slow compared to my huawei 1550. I’m using a Sun Cellular Philippines broadband postpaid sim. Is there a proper setup to maximize it’s usage. I practically can’t use it because of it’s slowness. I use the recommended APN “fbband”. Am I missing something?

    Reply
    1. Jason Post author

      I’m not familiar with Sun Cellular. Did you buy the e5830 from Sun Cellular? If you bought from Sun, then it’s simple… otherwise… I’d suggest you check out first if the device is compatible with the Sun Network. Specifically, if the 3G are working in the same frequency bands. If yes, then check and make sure the connectivity settings are on 3G. Do you get a nice blue “M” light when the device is connected?

      Reply
  4. Lynn

    I have a Huawei E585 from UK. I have unlocked it and it runs very well with starthub. However when I use Singtel. I can see the signal but cannot connect to internet. I called singtel and they confirm I am connected. But they cannot advise me why I cannot connect to the internet. Do you have any idea or suggestion? Thanks

    Reply
    1. Jason Post author

      Hi Lynn, did you check if you’ve got the correct APN setup? singtel requires the APN to be set to “internet” and starhub doesn’t.

      Reply
  5. adiar

    Bought it for IDR 799,000, approx. US$90, about a week ago. Main purpose is to allow my iPad WiFi to connect to the internet. It has been a decent option compared to buying a significantly more expensive iPad 3G, and it gives extra benefit of allowing other devices to get connected as well or share the connection with friends. Very easy to use. Once it properly confifgured, all I need to do is switch it on.
    I had a problem at the beginning though. It connected easily when the modem was connected to a laptop. The connection remained available even when I then unplugged the cable. However, when I tried to use it stand alone, it did not connect, the signal light remained red. Finally I found a solution, PIN of the SIM card has to be disabled. Makes sense actually. When it is connected to laptop, the program pops up a window asking for PIN so we can type it in. Stand alone there is no way to type in PIN.
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    Reply
  6. Eugene

    hi Jason, great to see someone so eager to help strangers.

    I am having both he Huawei USB E1552 & wifi E5832. The E1552 supports connection up to 3.6Mbps while the E5832 at 7.2Mbps. However, when connected, it seems that the E5832 is extremely slow compared to E1552. A test with http://www.speedtest.net and the below results shown :-
    E1552 0.45Mbps downlink
    E5832 0.14Mbps downlink

    Do you know what is wrong? Both are connected to Maxis broadband in Kuala Lumpur.

    Thanks bro

    Reply
    1. Jason Post author

      Hi Eugene, I’m assuming you are using the same SIM card in both the E1552 and E5832, and the test is done in the same location. It is fair to think that both devices should perform at least at the same speed. Is the result very consistent, that is the E5832 is always about 1/3 the speed of the E1552? I would consider other factors like WIFI quality, as the E5832 goes over WIFI. Perhaps there’s a lot of 2.4GHz traffic in the area and so affects the speed, but that’s quite a congestion too. Have you tried going direct USB from the E5832 to your computer? Also, the E5832 can be set to only run on GPRS and not 3G, you may want to check that setting. cheers!

      Reply
  7. Eugene

    Jason, Yes both using the same sim card, same location. One test after another. The E1552’s speed is pretty consistent. However, the E5832 does out of sudden chalks 0.8Mbps, but its a one off thing. Most of the time, on average around 0.15Mbps.

    I forgot to mention that the wifi connection does gets disconnected very often. And sometimes even when its CONNECTED, the data packets are not delivered (even when the “M” LED shows connected). No such issue with the E1552.
    I’ve tried direct USB frm E5832 to PC. The connection is much more stable. No disconnection unlike via wifi. However, the speed is still low at 0.15Mbps.

    Do you think there is a manufacturing defect in this product?

    Thanks & Regards

    Reply
  8. Jason Post author

    Hi Eugene, you are likely facing a severe wifi inteference, or the unit is faulty. I’d suggest trying the wifi in other locations and see if the experience with the wifi is better. Also, have you checked if the settings for it is on 3G? In addition, what is the color of the “mobile signal” indicator? Greed is good, orange is poor, and red is no signal.

    Reply
  9. Eugene

    Jason,

    Mobile signal LED is green
    (M) LED is stable blue

    network settings at 192.168.1.1 : WCDMA preferred / All bands

    a bit disappointed with the result… but no choice, as its the only way i can get my iPad connected,,, I cant use the E1552 on iPad….

    Thanks bro

    Reply
    1. Jason Post author

      sorry for the slow reply, was sick the past week. The other thing you may want to check is the network compatibility. ie does the 5830 support the frequencies of Maxis? there could be a mismatch and so you are getting a sub-optimal performance.

      Reply
  10. francisco garza

    jason I have a huawei e585 unlocked works perfect but very slow it does not work on 3g only on 2g. I´ve tried to change the settings to 3g only and only says no network. but I´m sure theres network in this area I use that sim in my iphone 3g and my ipad 3g works perfect but not in this device. please help.. thank you

    Reply
  11. irvin

    i just subscribed to globe myfi and im using it for my laptop and sony xperia but the wifi connection is not stable.it always disconnects in so very often and sometimes wifi connection lasts only in a matter of seconds.its better to use it on my laptop via usb.wifi is not stable.is there any resolution to this issue?by the way, im using e5832s.thanks

    Reply
    1. Jason Post author

      hi irvin, from the sound of it (both your phone and laptop are dropping), my guess will be that there could be a problem with your unit. Try to connect other devices to it via wifi and see if they are also unstable. All you need is 1 device with a stable connection to debunk the theory. good luck!

      Reply
  12. annie

    Hi I have an E5830 on the 3 network, my laptop says that i’m connected but i just cant get on any web pages. Please can you advise in un-techy terms please 🙂 Thank you

    Reply
    1. Jason Post author

      hi annie, which version of windows are you using? Are you connected to the E5830 via wifi? Is the E5830 logged on, do you see all 4 LED light up
      (steady, not flashing) on the device? All 4 LED must be on before your laptop will have internet access.

      Reply
    1. Jason Post author

      Hi Nik, has it ever worked before, or it’s like this out of the box from Starhub? Did you configure it on “auto connect”, “manual” or “on demand”?

      Reply
  13. JC

    Hi Jason,
    Was thinking of getting a good Mifi device – I suppose the HW E5832 is a better choice for “idiot” like me (was looking at the novatel previouly). Anyway didn’t expect this to be active anymore but see the last post in on 18-Jun-11. As said from many strangers – thanks for sharing your expertise

    Reply
    1. Jason Post author

      Hi JC, sorry for the late reply. The device is pretty easy to use, and now the direct from huawei version is readily available in many shops. If you haven’t purchased one yet, don’t buy those which have been hacked. There’s no need for those anymore, get the direct huawei model. Both types will look the same, except for the logos on the device; you want the one that has a HUAWEI logo, not the “3” logo.

      Reply
  14. Nik

    No the past few days it was ok but 2 days before i tried but the M LED keep on flashing and it never stable.

    Reply
  15. Jason Ong

    Hi, I have a e5830 using starhub, and just recently, I got a problem.
    The unit will not turn on properly, but instead show a up arrow image and stalls there.
    Would you know anything about how to troubleshoot this? thanks!

    Reply

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