How To Set Up-

      3G Broadband for the Home or Office

3G Broadband is now a viable solution for providing high speed internet access at your home or office. As long as you have good 3G coverage then the simplest way connect a single computer is by buying a 3G USB dongle + 3G SIM card to access a mobile network.


Do check you have mobile coverage where you want to use your PC, if you have a 3G mobile phone you can easily check the signal strength by watching the sig

nal strength indicator whilst moving around.


To get a reliable connection you need a good signal strength, so it may be worth borrowing phones connected to other 3G networks to check which provides the best signal. 3G signal strength will vary depending on how busy the network is (it reduces in busy times) so you need to find a good location for the dongle. It may be that the best signal is by a window rather than where you want to use your PC - there a number of solutions for this. - The first and easiest is to buy a long USB extension cable (5 to 10m cables are available) - you can then tape the 3G Dongle to (or near) the window where the signal strength is a maximum and still use your PC in a more convenient location.


This solution is OK for a single PC but not that good if you want to connect more devices. For that you could buy a low cost router that supports 3G USB dongles (starting at around €30). With one of these you connect the 3G Dongle to the Router using the USB cable, then you can either connect your PCs to the router with WIFI or standard Ethernet cables. If you choose WIFI then the Router/3G Dongle can be located wherever the 3G signal is strongest as long as your users are within range of the WIFI signal. Once setup this should then be maintenance free so could be located in a roof space or unused bedroom.


If the 3G Dongle is located in a good position and 3G signal is weak or unreliable, the problem may be fixed by using a larger aerial. Many 3G USB dongles include a connector to fit an external aerial which is then able to increase its sensitivity considerably. A small aerial may double the signal whilst a large aerial will increase it 4-8 times or more. Do keep the aerial cable short as a signal is lost on long runs.


When you buy an external aerial make sure it includes a connector compatible with your 3G dongle as they do vary from make to make.


As with all WIFI routers you will first need to setup the security. This is achieved by connecting the router to your PC using a ethernet cable and then logging in to its control panel using a web browser.  Detailed instructions will be supplied with your router but the minimum steps you should take include:



  1. Switch off WIFI if you ar not going to use it.
  2. If using WIFI - give it a name (called SSID) - don't use the manufacturers default setting.
  3. Switch on WPA encryption and give it a password (obviously write it down!).

    Doing this will stop hackers using your Internet connection and more importantly stop them trying to connect to your computers.


    DMC Firewall is a Joomla Security extension!