In the previous section I taught you how to install a USB Wireless Network Adaptor that allowed you to connect to an existing broadband wireless network (broadband internet connection) if your computer did not have a built-in network adaptor for example.
In this section I will show you how to install a USB P.A.Y.G (Pay As You Go) Mobile Internet dongle, as opposed to a Monthly Contract mobile internet dongle - The installation process for both hardware devices is the roughly same, with some software options be applicable only to P.A.Y.G or Broadband of course, but as a rule this section is good for both dongle types; and other, similar, dongles too.
A Mobile Internet Dongle is ideal for both a netbook or a laptop whereby you need a mobile internet connection because you cannot connect to a regular, publicly available, internet connection; perhaps because you are in the countryside and/or in a place/premises with no internet connection for whatever reason(s).
NOTE WELL - A Dongle is NOT the same as a USB Wireless Network Adaptor. A USB Wireless Network Adaptor is used to connect to an existing wireless broadband internet connection (network) whereas a Dongle has a built-in modem for connecting to a mobile phone provider's network (internet connection) such as the 3 (3G), o2, Virgin or VodaPhone network/internet connection.
When you first open the dongle packaging you will need to remove the dongle cover (lid) in order to slide open the sim card holder. From there place the sim card inside the sim card holder before sliding the sim card holder back in place. You can optionally install some mini sd memory (not supplied) into its memory socket on the side of the dongle, but it is not crucial. Now the dongle is ready to be plugged into a spare usb port on your apple mac computer. All this information is inside the dongle's instructions booklet.
With the dongle inserted into a spare usb port on your apple mac computer you will notice a red light appear, after a few seconds, before it then turns green. This means the dongle itself has been recognised as a hardware device by MacOS. A 3Connect disc icon will then appear on the desktop screen whereby its 3Connect folder should open automatically displaying the 3Connect Installer.app application file - If the 3Connect folder does not open automatically, for whatever reason(s), just double click on the 3Connect disc icon.
Fig 1.0 Double click on the 3Connect disc icon if the 3Connect folder does not open automatically
Fig 1.1 Double click on the 3Connect Installer.app application file to begin the installation process
If your ZTE Dongle is a few years old already the original 3Connect Installer software (application) that came with it might not work with MacOS. The ZTE Dongle might have its green light glowing, but when you come to install the software it might not recognise your ZTE Dongle's built-in modem for example, for whatever reason(s). If this is the case you might need to download this Huawei 3Connect Installer software or this ZTE MF627 3Connect Installer software. The ZTE MF627 software also works for the ZTE MF112 Dongle (as exampled in this section).
I tried to install the 3Connect Installer software using the original 3Connect Installer software that came with my ZTE MF112 dongle, but all I got was a "Modem not recognized - Dongle not recognized" type of error message; so I gave up! and downloaded the above mentioned ZTE MF627 software instead. So from this point onwards the installation will be coming from that software, which needed Unzipping first.
Fig 1.2 Double click on the 3Connect disc icon to continue
To install the ZTE MF112 Dongle begin by double clicking on the 3Connect Installer.app application file (from the unzipped folder in this case and not from the original 3Connect folder) so that the Installation Wizard appears. Its first step is to display a Welcome Message, which is a common first step with many installation wizards. With this particular installation wizard it also displays a Warning Message that basically tells you to close down the 3Connect and 3Connect Setup Assistant applications if you have them open. Ignore this warning as it isn't applicable here. Just click on the CONTINUE button instead (Fig 1.3 below).
The installation wizard in this example is the independent part of the 3Connect Installer.app application file that contains the necessary instructions and setup files needed to install the actual 3Connect Internet Management software (application). In other words, the 3Connect Installer.app application file contains the instructions and files needed to guide you through the installation (set up) of the actual 3Connect Internet Management software (application) as well as the files (Drivers) needed by MacOS to install the hardware (dongle) device itself. More information about the role of the Installation Wizard can be found in the Installing Software section and throughout this website in general.
Fig 1.3 Click on the CONTINUE button to begin the actual installation of the 3Connect software files and drivers
The next two steps of the installation wizard ask you to read and agree to the Terms & Conditions of the 3Connect Software License Agreement.
Read the License Agreement carefully. Although license agreements tend to contain useless information, they usually explain Copyright issues or Usage issues that clarify who can use the software and who cannot. So if, for example, you are told that a certain piece of software is Free and/or Free To Use you may want to clarify this by reading the agreement. Some installation wizards (setup assistants) do not allow you to continue, by fading out the CONTINUE button, until you have read (scrolled down) the license agreement.
Fig 1.4 Read the Terms & Conditions carefully before clicking on the CONTINUE button
If after reading the terms and conditions you agree to them, click on the CONTINUE button (above) and then on the AGREE button (below) to continue. The next step of the installation wizard (Fig 1.6 below) will then ask you where you would like the actual 3Connect software files and drivers stored (installed). You normally select your apple mac hard drive (the hard drive that has MacOS installed on it), if it hasn't already been selected for you by default. In this example the Macintosh HD hard drive has been selected for me by default (normal behaviour).
Fig 1.5 If you agree to the Terms & Conditions click on the AGREE button to continue
If you only have one hard drive available, without partitions (sections), it will be the selected hard drive by default and therefore you will not need to physically select it (click on it). The 3Connect software files and drivers will be installed on that hard drive regardless. Once an hard drive has been selected (below), by you or the installation wizard, click on the CONTINUE button to continue to the next step.
Fig 1.6 Make sure your Apple Mac hard drive (Macintosh HD) is selected and then click on the CONTINUE button
In the next step (below) you can change what is installed by clicking on the CUSTOMIZE button - The modem drivers (modem files) only, the software (application) files only or both. This is good if you need to reinstall the modem drivers only, perhaps because they became corrupt and/or are giving you connection problems, or the software files only because it became corrupt for whatever reason(s). In this example just click on the INSTALL button because you need to install both the modem drivers and the software (application) files that haven't been installed before.
Fig 1.7 Click on the INSTALL button to install both the modem drivers (files) and software (application) files
After clicking on the INSTALL button a security requester will appear asking you to authorize this installation of the 3Connect software files and drivers. Simply enter the password of the currently logged-in user account into the security requester's PASSWORD Edit Box and then click on its INSTALL SOFTWARE button to continue.
Fig 1.8 Enter the password of the currently logged-in user account, then click on the INSTALL SOFTWARE button.
With the installation process now authorized to place files on your selected hard drive the installation wizard can continue by performing the actual file copying, file registration and overall setup procedure. The above steps were just the preparation stages for you to customize, authorize and agree to with regards to where the actual software files and drivers will be installed and what actual software files (including applications) will be installed.
If you need to cancel (quit) an installation process at any time, not just this one, you should click on the CANCEL button or QUIT button of the installation's current window; if one of these buttons are available of course. Or just click on the window's red eXit button. In some cases, generally speaking, even if you click on a CANCEL button the installation might have gone too far for it to be stopped, cancelled and/or reversed. So think very carefully before deciding to install any software on your computer.
Fig 1.9 The installation wizard is copying modem, application and settings files onto the selected hard drive
When all the necessary files have been copied, installed and registered with MacOS the last step is to close the installation wizard's last window by clicking on its CLOSE button.
Fig 1.10 The installation wizard has finished - Click on its CLOSE button to continue
After clicking on the CLOSE button the 3Connect Setup Assistant application (installation wizard) is instructed to launch. This was done by the installation wizard before it closed. The 3Connect Setup Assistant application is basically an installation wizard similar to the 3Connect Installer.app installation wizard, but its job is to guide you through the setup of the P.A.Y.G Dialup software (application). The P.A.Y.G Dialup software (application) that will be installed will allow you to connect to the internet via the dongle's built-in dialup (p.a.y.g) modem.
The first window of the 3Connect Setup Assistant installation wizard is its Welcome Message which you can ignore! Just click on its CONTINUE button to proceed to its next step.
Fig 2.0 Click on the CONTINUE button to proceed to the next step
The second step of the 3Connect Setup Assistant installation wizard wants you to plug your dongle into a spare USB Socket (USB Port), but you should of already plugged it in; especially if you are installing this software from the dongle itself (as opposed to newer software you may of downloaded from the internet). So if you are installing from the dongle itself there is no need to unplug it and then plug it back in again. Just click on the OK button instead. On the other hand; If you are installing from downloaded software then it might be a good idea to click on the OK button, but if nothing happens/works then you will need to unplug the dongle and then plug it back in again before retrying the installation (detection of the dongle).
Fig 2.1 Make sure the dongle is plugged in and then click on the OK button to proceed to the next step
After clicking on the OK button, with the dongle inserted into a spare USB Socket, the 3Connect Setup Assistant installation wizard goes hunting for your dongle's internal dialup modem so that it can register it as a hardware/network device with OS X Mountain Lion and then apply certain modem/network settings and so on.
Fig 2.2 The 3Connect Setup Assistant installation wizard is trying to detect your dongle's internal dialup modem
Once the dongle's internal modem has been found and registered, as a piece of hardware, the last steps for the 3Connect Setup Assistant installation wizard are to setup (configure) the 3G P.A.Y.G Internet Access side of things; which for you just means clicking on a few buttons.
Fig 2.3 Make sure 3 UK is the preferred Profile Type before clicking on the CONTINUE button
Fig 2.4 Click on the CONFIGURE button to continue
At this point a security requester will appear asking you to authorize this part of the installation. Simply enter the password of the currently logged-in user account into the security requester's PASSWORD Edit Box and then click on its OK button to proceed.
Fig 2.5 Enter the password of the currently logged-in user account and then click on the OK button
Once you have authorized this part of the installation the 3Connect Setup Assistant installation wizard will finish off the necessary configurations before showing you the FINISH button.
Fig 2.6 The setup of your 3G Modem/P.A.Y.G Internet Access is complete - Click on the FINISH button to continue
With the installation complete the 3Connect application should then launch automatically. If it doesn't, for whatever reason(s), go inside the APPLICATIONS folder and then inside the 3Connect sub-folder where you will then see an application called 3Connect.app. Double click on it to launch it. You will then see the following 3Connect window appear. It is this window that will allow you to dialup the 3 Network in order to use its P.A.Y.G services. Simply click on the CLICK TO CONNECT button to continue.
Fig 2.7 Click on the CLICK TO CONNECT button to dialup the 3 P.A.Y.G Network (Internet Service)
When you are connected to the 3 P.A.Y.G Network you will see the following window whereby you then need to click on its GO TO MY3 button in order to setup your tariff, register the dongle in your name, top-up with some p.a.y.g credit and so on. If you have already done these things then you can simply launch the Safari web browser application for example and start browsing the internet.
Fig 2.8 Click on the GO TO MY3 button to setup your tariff, register your dongle, buy credit and so on
Fig 2.9 The three.co.uk web page allows you to manage your dongle account and buy p.a.y.g credit
Obviously because you are paying as P.A.Y.G (Pay As You Go), or even a monthly broadband contract, it makes sense to always disconnect the internet connection when you are not using it - To disconnect simply click on the DISCONNECT button on the 3Connect window.