28-05-2012 01:53 PM
I have a pocket wifi - HUAWEI E585.
I am finding that the connection is slow and very unstable. It will say "Connected" but I often receive error pages when online (when I say "error page", I mean a page that indicates I am not online). I was on a skype call the other day and the call dropped out every few minutes - it was ridiculous.
When I first got the device, I had trouble with it (i.e. it was unstable) and I found the best way to get it working was to uninstall the software and reinstall. At this point, I was using the pocket wifi via the USB cable as I don't really have a need to connect it wirelessly.
At one point, I uninstalled the software but when I plugged the wifi in via the USB cable, my laptop wouldn't recognise the device and the software wouldn't reinstall.
I called Vodafone support and they got me to enter the security key so that I was connecting wirelessly. I tried to tell them that this wasn't really solving the problem as I still didn't have the pocket wifi software installed - but the person insisted the problem had been solved.
I have called support 5 or 6 times now and noone can help me. The standard response is to reset the device which I have done a number of times (it does not help and I can confirm that I am resetting it, not just turning it off and on again).
I have also tried connecting via a different USB cable and I have tried all of the USB ports on my laptop. I know the ports are not broken because I can plug my USB mouse in and it works.
So, I am connecting wirelessly and it is very unstable. It wasn't great when I connected via the USB cable but I think it was better than it is now.
I would just like to get the software installed on my laptop and try connecting via the USB cable so that I can see if it solves the instability and speed problems.
The last time I called support they told me to go into a Vodafone store but this is not easy for me to do.
Please please please please help me.
28-05-2012 02:14 PM - edited 28-05-2012 02:31 PM
Hi Suse - it sounds like you've got a few problems but it should be easy to fix all of them. It would help to know the laptop you're using and if it's a Windows or Mac machine.
You don't need to install any software if you're using a wireless connection to the pocket wifi, only if you connect via usb cable. Even then, it's only drivers plus a browser bookmark.
Can you check the front panel display of the pocket wifi and tell me what kind of signal it's receiving? How many vertical bars on the left side of the display? More bars = more signal.
Out of the box, every pocket wifi I've used has been set to channel 3. Perhaps there are existing users sharing that channel with you? If so, it's easy enough to change the channel selection to Auto to avoid interference.
If you want to remove the software that was installed when you first connected the pocket wifi, you can do this too, but the method depends on the laptop's operating system.
Over to you...
28-05-2012 03:20 PM
Thank you for the speedy reply.
I am using an Acer Windows laptop.
It sounds like I might have been on the wrong track - associating my laptop's failure to recognise the pocket wifi when conncected via USB cable (and therefore failure to install the pocket wifi software) with the worsening performance.
It still annoys me that I can't install the software that was installed initially but my main priority is to have a stable and fast connection.
The software that was installed has been removed (I uninstalled it and when I tried to reinstall the device was not recognised when connected by USB cable). When I go to the Control Panel > Uninstall programs, the pocketwifi software is not listed.
The number of bars is alternating between 3 and 4 as I write this.
I'm not sure about the channel? I'm not sure if it is relevant but I am only connecting my laptop via the pocket wifi. Also, not sure if relevant but my laptop is detecting someone else's wifi but it is a weak signal (only 1 bar).
I'd be grateful for any help!
28-05-2012 03:25 PM
Hi again Peter
I just read another post and used the info in that to work out how to check my channel... you are right, I am on channel 3! What does this do? Do you think changing the channel would help?
28-05-2012 04:15 PM - edited 28-05-2012 04:17 PM
Hi again - good, it's a windows machine, more familiar!
Is the pocket wifi version one or v2? It should be printed on the back cover.
If there are only 3-4 bars(out of 8, I think, if I squint hard), then the network signal sounds mid to low strength. Two things affecting 3G reception are signal strength (bars) and numbers of users per tower (varies through the day). If you've got the older pocket wifi, that won't cover the more recent 850MHz band which has better coverage in metro areas.
To remove the pocket wifi drivers from the laptop, plug in the modem and get into the hardware (or device) manager. Locate the Huwaei modem under universal serial bus controllers and right-click then select uninstall. Remove the modem and reinsert it and it should recognise and reload the device / driver.
To change channels on the pocket wifi, in case that's a problem, open a web browser and put 192.168.1.1 in the address bar. This'll give you access to setting up & changing modem settings. Let me know how you go with that.
28-05-2012 04:18 PM
I think I may be experiencing the problems described in this thread - http://community.vodafone.com.au/t5/Mobile-Broadba
I was just using my wifi when all of a sudden everything slowed right down. I still had 3 -4 bars, but I got a "web page not available" when I tried to open a newspaper article, a 7.8MB song that was downloading suddenly slowed and the time estimate for download was 30 minutes and I couldn't open Hotmail.
This was the case for a few minutes and then it seemed to resolve itself.
This is so frustrating!
Peter, thanks for your reply. I'm hoping a Vodafone rep will reply too.
28-05-2012 04:21 PM
Thank you so much for this help Peter!
I thought 3 - 4 was the max bars so it is good to know that it isn't!
I can't do what you suggested right now but will get onto it later today and let you know how I go.
28-05-2012 04:28 PM - edited 28-05-2012 04:30 PM
Suse wrote: Hi again I think I may be experiencing the problems described in this thread - http://community.vodafone.com.au/t5/Mobile-Broadba
nd/Pocket-WiFi-problems/td-p/7049 - I haven't read the whole thread but what I did read sounded very familiar.
Peter, thanks for your reply. I'm hoping a Vodafone rep will reply too.
That's fine, I hope I've helped a little. In the thread you mentioned, people get confused by the modem switching between 3G and H - that's what it's supposed to do - the modem switches from 3G to H (for high-speed HSDPA mode) when it's actually downloading something. In idle mode, it'll display 3G.
What's your postcode? There seem to be teething problems during or after upgrades so you might check to see if there's been recent work nearby.
PS Once you log into the pocket wifi modem admin page, you can also accurately check the signal level.
28-05-2012 09:30 PM
Thanks again for all of your help.
Here is the latest:
1. Checked back cover and it says Pocket Wifi 2
2. I checked the signal strength at pocket.wifi and it seems to stay on 3 - 4 bars. I'm not sure of the max number of bars though.
3. Thanks to your info, I was able to reinstall the drivers and I'm connected to the pocket wifi via the USB cable now. Thanks! It is a bit worrying that Vodafone couldn't help me to do this after I asked multiple times.
4. If I change the channel, what channel should I change to?
5. Postcode is 3127. I looked it up and found this:
No known issues have been logged in this area. If you're currently experiencing difficulties with your service, please call Customer Care on 1555 from your mobile or 1300 650 410 from a landline or email us at email@example.com
So, I am now connected via the USB cable rather than via the wifi but, as you suggested, it doesn't actually seem to have improved the situation. Everything is running slowly and I'm intermittently seeing "Web page not available".
Thanks again Peter for all of your help, I really appreciate it.
28-05-2012 10:25 PM - edited 28-05-2012 10:45 PM
Hey well done, Suse - let's keep going.
I counted 5 bars on the signal meter, so if you're seeing 3 bars, it should be sufficient signal. The e585 leaflet suggests moving it around so you get a minimum of 3 bars. There is a very accurate signal meter built in to the wifi modem which you'll be able to access shortly.
Postcode 3127 has areas of quite poor reception - zero dots indoors on the coverage checker for 850 and 2100 MHz for some spots - but I can't tell online if further upgrades are coming. Cross your fingers, I guess.
OK, to the online dashboard. Open your browser and type in either 192.168.1.1 or pocket.wifi. This should open the dashboard. Find CHANGE YOUR SETTINGS and enter Admin as the password (make sure you capitalise the A).
This opens the admin page. Under the Pocket Wifi heading, click Diagnostic to reveal Device Status, Mobile Status and Broadband Status. You'll find RSSI listed under Mobile Status - that's the field strength measured in dBm and should be between -65dBm and -90dBm (-90dBm is weak). Make a note of it.
Have a look under Broadband Status too and make a note of the APN. There are different APNs for prepaid and post-paid services. Theoretically, it won't work with the wrong one selected. In my case, the modem kept selecting the wrong APN but there was still a broadband connection. Figure that one out. Anyway, let me know what you see there.
To change the wifi channel from 3 to AUTO, use the back arrow to return to the Admin page and click on Manage Settings.
Then > advanced settings > wifi settings > wifi basic settings > select channel dropdown menu and select Auto. There are 13 wifi channels. When set to Auto, the modem chooses the one with least interference. It won't make any difference at all if you're using a usb cable to tether the modem but it will on wifi.
And that's pretty much it for this lesson. Good luck!
This is what it looks like:
PS You realise that there might still be a speed / connection problem after all this. What you're doing is eliminating as many possible causes as you can. After that?