Mobile broadband for macs

In theory all mobile broadband providers should work with an Apple mac computer. The actual mobile dongle itself is an uncomplicated piece of hardware that simply acts as a mobile modem.

The only area I can see users getting into trouble with mobile broadband is with the software installation. As with all things not all broadband providers are created equal, and some are much better at providing Apple mac support than others.

Please leave a comment on this page if you have had a tough (or brilliant) experience from a particular broadband provider.

In the UK, you can receive mobile broadband of the traditional mobile providers or from the traditional broadband companies that are trying to get into the mobile broadband space. Lastly, you can also buy mobile broadband dongles from a range of high street retailers. Links to all of these are below.

Compare mobile broadband

  • Pay as you go broadband (PAYG broadband) website – includes mobile broadband
  • Now mobile broadband website – Reviews of mobile broadband providers
  • Broadband expert website
  • Broadband Genie website
  • Top 10 broadband website
  • Go mobile broadband website
  • Compare mobile broadband website

Mobile broadband companies

  • o2 website – mobile broadband – or see the o2 broadband review
  • Orange website – mobile broadband
  • T-mobile website – mobile broadband
  • Three website – mobile broadband
  • Vodafone website – mobile broadband

A more traditional broadband provider

  • BT website – mobile broadband

High street stores where you can order mobile broadband dongles online

  • PC World website
  • The Carphone Warehouse website

Reader's Comments

So far we have 63 comments about the product “Mobile broadband for macs”

  1. Paul Simister on December 23rd, 2008 10:27 am

    I have tried to install a 3 Mobile Broadband to a Mac and I can’t get it to work (yet).

    Googling throws up a number of issues with 3 but apart from the shocking customer service, I have found that it works well in a PC environment.

  2. Mac Broadband on December 24th, 2008 5:50 pm

    Hi Paul.

    Thanks for the feedback on 3 mobile broadband. Surely the dongle should work on your mac. If it doesn’t that would be shocking news because I went into PC World recently to ask about 3 broadband and the rep in the store told me I would be fine.

    Please let us know how you get on. It would be great if you could share your findings with other people visiting the website.

    Robin

  3. Nick on January 19th, 2009 7:38 pm

    I started with Vodafone pay as you go on the advice of the salesperson – not mac compatible, so refund and frustration! Can’t use 3 as they don’t cover my area so looked at the new O2 pay as you go package. Despite all of the tech team assuring me it would work – damn dongle still does not work! They say it may have something to do with the latest Mac update for Leapoard 10.5.6. Their only advice was to return it for a refund – how helpful…and in a recession!

    Not sure what to do now as I do not want to be tied to a contract.

  4. Andy on February 20th, 2009 11:00 pm

    I used T-Mobile last year – told it was mac compatible and was exactly the same as broadband I use at home/work. The dongle actually worked fine and installed with no problems but the graphics on web pages were very poor quality, (not much good if you are a graphic designer.

    After numerous trouble shooting, (one possible fix seemed to be graphic accelerator software however this was available for PC but not Mac) and endless phone calls I finally spoke to someone within T-mobile’s technical department who said it will never be as good as broadband and image quality will always be poor on a mac!

    Even though this was not stated anywhere in any small print on any advertising or leaflets T-mobile seemed to be unwilling to cancel my contract, especially as it was bought through carphone warehouse – luckily after a couple of frustrated hours in carphone warehouse and a number of calls made both by myself and the manageress to t-mobile – the manageress cancelled my contract and gave me a full refund.

    Have to say this was just under a year ago so maybe things have improved but just a word of warning

  5. Mark on February 21st, 2009 9:17 am

    T-Mobile works well with my Macbook. I have had no issues and on their CD, the software is both PC and Mac.

    Speeds are good, but the picture content is slightly blurred (however their is a fix using Firefox – use google to find it).

  6. Mac Broadband on February 21st, 2009 10:50 am

    Hello – thank you to you all for the helpful feedback; really good for other Apple mac users to have hear about your experiences.

    Mark and Andy both mention image quality issues on T-mobile. I believe these issues effect all the mobile broadband offerings as they all have similar solution to save your monthly bandwidth – all the mobile broadband operators use image compression to reduce the amount of bandwdth being used across their networks and on their customers’ contracts. Result – the web pages will load in full but the images will be blurred.

    This is great for normal web users. But if you are involved in the creative or design industrires this is not great news. I will try to do some more digging around to find you some solutions. I am pretty sure that one of the mobile broadband networks doesn’t use image compression (could be 3) but I need to check. There should also be work-arounds to this problem, but, as you mnetion – they could well be for PC devices only.

    Keep the comments coming, It really helps others to know how good mobile broadband really is. Current comments seem to point to it having some mac compatibility issues.

    Robin

  7. arecki on February 22nd, 2009 11:37 am

    Don’t ever get 3 mobile broadband for mac, it’s a disaster om mac, it disconnects every 5 minutes, u have to change the settings, unplug it an so on to get it going again for another 5 minutes, u can’t even download updates sometimes cos it crashes and u have start again, i’ve wasted so much money and time being on the phone with not properly trained 3 customer service staff.

    Don’t ever get 3 mobile broadband for your mac people.

  8. alge on February 23rd, 2009 1:06 pm

    I had a 3 ZTE dongle for my mac. That worked fine and dandy. Then i had to switch to a huawei e156g.
    It wouldn’t install the software so i downloaded the 3 website. Now it works but it crashes my computer every five or ten minutes which is really frustrating. Going to try and find another ZTE and see if that works again.

  9. Jo on March 5th, 2009 8:05 pm

    I have a 3 Huawei soap on a rope style dongle. The connection is terrible even though I am in the best area of Britain for 3 a connection. After spending the last 33 minutes on the phone the result was I need to go find another computer over 2 miles away and test the dongle on that. If after taking the damn dongle for a walk – if it doesn’t work then I need to return the dongle to be repaired and wait 5 days without internet – they are too tight just to send me a new dongle! It’s driving me insane – I can’t believe I’m paying for something that doesn’t work. The 3 tech people also have no idea about macs.

    Has anyone got one that isn’t the soap on the rope style? Is it better? Or does anyone have a mobile broadband connection that works? Or does anyone have any setting tips to get the 3 modem to work?

  10. david pierce on March 6th, 2009 2:29 pm

    Vodaphone top up mobile broadband is not rated for mac , how bad is that , spoke to the shop guy and was told that this is going to change soon , the contract dongles have just been changed to mac as well as pc , so he expects this to happen to PAYG soon, it seems a firmwear issue.. very poor huh

  11. david pierce on March 6th, 2009 2:32 pm

    vodafone’s PAYG mobile BB dongel is not mac rated …how poor is that .. :(

  12. Sarah on March 24th, 2009 11:23 am

    I have a Huawei 3 dongle which has been working fine for the past 8 months on my mac until two weeks ago. After spending a hour on the phone to the 3 support guy in India he told me that the broadband was working fine so it must be the computer… I’ve spent a frustrating week, trying to get the software to install on my mac laptop which kept crashing. I even brought my mac to the office and connected it to the network – safari and firefox were fine…I even tried dumping Firefox and reinstalling.

    Now completely fed up, especially as it means I can’t work from home at the moment. Anyone had a similar experience??

  13. josh on April 2nd, 2009 11:14 am

    Hey I am from Australia and I just recently signed up to 3 mobile broadband (24months). I live near the city. I have an imac desktop intel based and I have the e160 usb modem (I think). The thing is it works ok then it doesn’t work at all or really slow, slower than dial up. The wierd thing is that it comes and goes. I have an old laptop that runs xp and it runs sweat on that so its definately a mac thing hey. I am pissed.

  14. tasha on April 7th, 2009 12:12 pm

    hi ALL! Major thx 4 all yr comments & feedback, i havn’t yet taken the plunge in2 the mobile bb world, so reading about your experiences is v.helpfull! Does anyone have any info on the Orange mobile bb dongle? I would be v.gratefull for any advice as to whether its any good with the new macpro book?? Keep up the good work! Thanku Mac Pac! T.

  15. Darren on April 16th, 2009 10:07 am

    I am using both Vodafone contract (works) and PAYG (personal) on my macbook and they both work fine. For PAYG just follow the instructions to set it up as shown here on Jan’s Blog. I admit you can’t see your usage directly through the software or top up on PAYG, but this can be done via the website and buying vouchers online or instore. I know its not the ideal solution overall, but it certainly works great, no connection drop outs, no clunky software and all using OSX’s built in functionality.

  16. Richie on April 21st, 2009 11:21 am

    I’m looking at getting PAYG mobile broadband for my Imac can anyone recommend ans ISP please? My friend has t-mobile which works fine on his Macbook but crashes every 5 minutes when he tries to use it on his Imac.

    Any help please?

  17. James Hurley on May 7th, 2009 9:11 am

    I am using o2 both on PC and MAC. Both install and work great in the UK. The problem i’m having with the MAC’s is that you need to use the Connection Manager Software to change provider when outside the UK, i can only see that o2 have provided this for PC and not MAC’s, very frustrating, anyone know a way around this?

  18. Colin Miller - Freelance Web Designer on May 13th, 2009 2:07 pm

    I am unfortunately stuck in a contract with o2′s mobile broadband. I use a MacBook Pro and I have to say its been a nightmare with o2.

    The connection wipes out every 10 mins or so, after which you have to unplug the dongle and start again.

    o2 inform me that as I am using an Apple machine I will only be able to get ‘Edge’ and not the ’3G’ they advertise. This is in the middle of London folks!

    When I am connected it’s obviously not the super speedy broadband that they advertise.

    o2 cringe when you tell their support you are an Apple user… They are clueless beyond belief.

    The upside is that you get use the Wi-Fi Cloud which is also crap!

  19. Frustrated RicKY on June 3rd, 2009 6:07 pm

    have two Macs – one lap top – have just brought o2 mobile broadband – doesn’t work – assistant in shop clueless – customer service even more clueless – guess will be taking it back for a refund

  20. JoshToo on June 12th, 2009 6:22 pm

    MacBook Pro, Leopard 10.5.7, O2 Mobile Broadband – contract, not pay-as-you-go, worked out of the box, not limited to EDGE, in fact running at HSDPA as I type. Outside London too… And I don’t even work for O2.

  21. David on June 13th, 2009 2:08 pm

    I’ve had 3 mobile bb for almost 18mths on 2 Macbooks and it’s been pretty good. It was really easy to set up. It does misbehave every now and again by not loading certain sites. BBC and Lloyds can be working fine but Ebay and Facebook won’t respond for up to 1/2 a day – on my girlfriend’s PC everything will work faultlessly. So there is some kind of Mac issue. As my contract’s up, I was considering trying out Orange as it looks like there’s a simple return policy if you’re not happy with it and they include 241 cinema tickets in the deal.

  22. tom on June 23rd, 2009 10:11 pm

    Since buying my first mac a few months ago, I fell in love with the ease that they seem to operate…

    But now since buying a PAYG dongle from Tmobile it seems my love affair has come to an end.

    The software installed first time and seemingly all correct.
    When I try to connect to the net it simply does…. err.. nothing

    After countless restarts, re-installs and re-hitting the connect button whilst on the phone to the tmobile helpline they advised me to take it back to carphonewarehouse as the modem was probably faulty.

    One trip to town later Im back on the phone to Tmobile repeating the same process only to then be told that the problem lay with my MAC not the modem and that my case would need to be passed onto the specialist advisers. Im still waiting for to hear from them.

    In the meantime through my need to get online I dug out my old
    PC, and whatd’ya know!!?? Here I am online first time throught he power of Tmobile.

    Signing out, an overly frustrated MAC user.

  23. Graham on June 29th, 2009 2:29 pm

    I bought a Macbook Pro 2 weeks ago along with 3 mobile broadband. In the last 2 weeks, my Mac has frozen about 5 or 6 times and has needed re-booting, which means that I get to lose everything I am working on. PC world were very good. The guy seemed fully informed. He told me to run a diagnostic check on the hard drive to see if that was the prob., otherwise it was probably a broadband and Mac software incompatability.

    Not sure quite what to do now! Do I take the dongle back for a refund and end up internet/email ‘less, or do I just take my chances???

  24. Jason Scott on July 2nd, 2009 1:40 pm

    I have had the T-Mobile Huwai dongle for over a year on my macbook and it is sluggish at best,video streaming is awful and you tube is a pain,impossible to download music,watch films etc as it cuts itself off alot – I would generally say avoid.

    Also hard to keep track of your download limit and if you go over your limit you are put on an even slower speed making it neither use nor ornament.

    I live bang central in a major city and if i go a few miles up the road to my girlfriends it is even worse.

  25. Angharad Thomas on July 6th, 2009 11:34 am

    I bought a 3 dongle and it worked just fine for the first 2 months then never again! I have talked to the technical support team so often I can now speak fluent Indian! They didn’t solve the problem they were meant to fix the modem and never contacted me back and they wouldn’t allow me out of my contract without paying the whole thing out. All i can say is buyer beware .. even if you get it to work if you ever have any difficulties they are THE most unhelpful customer services people EVER!!!

  26. brendan Breadbin on July 9th, 2009 10:14 pm

    SIGH…

    T-mobile dongle is not compatible with macs… So far mine loses connection every 5 or so minutes, doesn’t load pages fully, has messed up my e-mail. I think I also have a virus on my mac which is unheard of but I am getting seriously unpleasant spam and it is so infuriating.

    Please help T-mobile can’t…

    Thanks

  27. Chris on July 15th, 2009 5:05 pm

    Ditto vis 3. Worked for about 3 months. Then its been hell ever since. Never loose your website password as they can only send website password to the actual 3 modem dongle…which means you need to take out the SIM from the dongle and put it into a 3 or unlocked phone to read the text message that contains the new password. Breathtaking incompetence. Staggeringly bad customer service. etc etc etc….

  28. Dee on July 23rd, 2009 2:22 pm

    I have just discovered, thanks to this site, that it is my ’3′ Huawei E156G dongle that is causing my macbook to crash ‘you must restart your computer’ screen. Not only that, I have had to replace the hard drive, as a week ago this was crashing the macbook every day so I’m convinced now that this E156g conflict has caused my original hard drive to die! So now its a trip to the data recovery people. :(

    Thing is, with this dongle, I am getting a good connection and a good speed. I’m using it today (it has crashed already). So its a shame it is causing crashes intermittently – thats the frustrating part. The dongle may have to go at this rate as I can’t risk more damage to a new hard drive.

    I have looked on the Huawei and 3 website and they all say just reinstall the 3connect software and the easyconnect software, so I have done this – no one is offering an updated firmware for mac
    os 10.5.7 / Leopard. Why do these companies find it so hard to make good compatible products for mac? It might only be 5% of the global market, but thats a potential millions of customers client base! Duh!

    Looking for better alternatives now. Will persevere a little while longer, then it might have to go in the bin! Luckily its PAYG. I was considering getting a Huawei D100 Routerhttp://www.three.co.uk/Mobile_Broadband/Huawei_D100_Router wondering if this would stop the crashing problem? Has anyone else used one of these routers? I’m thinking if there is no connection at all via usb to the E156g dongle it might cause crashes? Mmm dunno.

    Glad I got that lot off my chest! LOL

  29. martin Elliott on July 27th, 2009 12:57 pm

    How frustrating to see all the above comments. i have been using a Vodafone dongle for a year but since buying a new macbook pro and a macbook air for our office, and getting a lot of help in a vodafone store, including a new dongle, it has stopped working. The vodafone mobile connect crashes all the time and won’t even recognise the modems. There MUST be a solution out there for macusers….apple please help

  30. Peter Rogers on August 9th, 2009 10:59 am

    Like many of you, I have an issue with Three MBB (Huawei E156g). I was unaware of the crashing problem until I bit-the-bullet, and now share the pain!
    I am running it on a G4 (1.5GHz) PowerBook (10.5.7) and a Pismo (G3/500) with 10.4.6. Both have had the same intermittent crashing, but I think I may have found a solution….
    It seems that part of the problem is when the dongle is inserted after the computer is running, or is used after it has been put to sleep, and then wakes up. After the connection is made with 3, and as soon as the first web page has loaded, crash time with the black window of reset instructions. (you know the one!).
    Solution: 1. Shutdown the computer at the end of the session (don’t use sleep) 2. Insert dongle before starting up
    So far it has been behaving itself (touchwood), and I think it is down to a problem relating to memory allocation. If it starts up with it in, it gives memory allocation to the dongle as a priority. If its inserted afterwards, it tries to use a memory address that has already been given for something else, resulting in a conflict, and hence crash.
    Speed wise, it can be very slow, but as I write this I have been getting 1 MB/S (using SpeedTest.net) which is OK (forget all this talk of 3.2 MB/S – Its fairyland talk!).

  31. Heather rosa on August 11th, 2009 1:48 pm

    Guss how excited I was at finding BT offering a dongle as part of its broadband package for a fab price. Only to at the point of putting my signature to the contact did I find out – not mac compatible!!!! Shame on BT!

  32. Edward Venison on August 27th, 2009 10:51 am

    My Hauwei E156G USB Modem from Three Mobile is causing me lots of problems. As per lots of previous replies on this page, My iBook Powerbook G4 running Tiger OSX 10.4.11, intermittently crashes and I need to restart the computer. I have had no problems with my laptop crashing before I bought the USB modem, and since the problems started I’ve given my Mac the best spring clean / virus checks / diagnostics checks that it’s ever had and there are no problems.

    I agree with the previous comment from Peter Rodgers. So far (fingers crossed) when I have tried doing this I’ve had no problems, but we shouldn’t have to do that to get the service we paid for, plus it reduces the flexibility of using your mac with sleep mode and password.

    I’m very frustrated that there isn’t a patch / firmware supplied by 3 or Huawei – they should get their act together and get something out there.

    The connection speed varies quite a lot but on the whole I am not to disappointed with this aspect of the service – as I was expecting it. It’s not quit fast enough for annoyance free video watching, at least here in West Sheffield.

  33. DHL on August 29th, 2009 1:28 am

    MBP with Leoprd uses Huawei E160 stick from T-Mobile broadband for nearly a year, living in major UK cities.

    Sometimes has losing signal problem and need to reconnect. I believe that was the network problem. Overall performance is just fine and speed is downloading: 2202.40 Kbps, uploading: 330.15 Kbps, on 28/08/09 23:42.

    However, T-Mobile hasn’t provided a solution of improving image quality for Mac yet, which has already been done for PC. They also said the image accelerator software for Mac will be out a few weeks after PC’s. And it has been nearly a year already. This naughty marketing tricks fooled Mac users like me turn to their contract trap!

  34. Jim Harrison on September 2nd, 2009 5:56 pm

    Don’t get Vodaphone PYG, they say it is mac compatible, but its not.

    Had a vodaphone pay as you go dongle for 7 months now, using on my windows XP run PC, all great, then bought a macbook. Hey guess what it does’nt work on a mac. “sorry sir” said the nice lady at Vodaphone, “we are working on making them mac compatable”. Thanks a lot for nothing, back to the PC.

    Come on Mobile broadband providers, help us Mac users out here!

  35. julie croft on September 15th, 2009 5:50 pm

    Good news BT have now made their mobile broadband dongle mac friendly via their bt connecton manager for mac. I am using it as we speak and the connection is very stable and fairly fast the best mobile broadband I think by far.

  36. Pandemonium Yachts on September 22nd, 2009 2:48 pm

    Any ideas?? I have a PowerBook G4 400mhz running OS X 10.3.9.. We’ve had the E220 from Three for a year and it worked fine until Three upgraded their mast. Three Tech Support useless as they said it doesn’t work with OS X Panther so won’t help. The dongle still works, just only when it fancies.

    Three have now sold me the latest dongle HUAWEI E1750 which they reckon supports Mac but I can’t even get the software to install. It recognises the dongle and displays the 3Connect Icon but will not launch the software…. any ideas?? Local Mac Repairer wants £60 just to have a look!

  37. MrsWrinklesToBe on October 13th, 2009 5:00 am

    I have a MAC Book Pro and bought the new Orange dongle ZTE MF636 3G+. After successfully installing the application (through the web which I had to download onto my own personal USB from the Internet cafe), the program told me that no device was found even though the dongle was firmly attached to my laptop. After an hour at the Orange store talking to their operator, I was asked to call the following day during the data team’s opening hours (8am-8pm). When I did, they told me that the new dongle doesn’t support MAC ’cause it doesn’t have the drivers to ensure that it works.

    Great, well then why at the store tell me that it’s compatible with MACs? Also, I was told that Orange used to produce a dongle called ICON 225 which worked well with MACs but, of course, this is no longer available.

    Am heading back to the Orange store today to request a refund.

  38. VM on October 19th, 2009 9:38 pm

    I’ve got a G4 Powerbook running 10.4 (Tiger) and have been using Three’s E220 (the ‘soap-on-a-rope’ style dongle) for the past 18 months.

    Used mostly in NW London, the coverage is pretty good, have found speed varies day-to-day, even hour-to-hour sometimes. On average, it takes me 1min to download 1MB (yeah, it’s not great, just tolerable). Uploading anything, however, is ridiculously slow (56k modem speed!)

    There’s often problems connecting to YouTube/ BBC iPlayer on Safari (but fine on Firefox), sending emails from Entourage or from a web browser (though receiving is fine) and uploading files (problems which are inextricably linked), but disconnecting and reconnecting (sometimes a few frustrating times over & over) fixes that.

    Serious connection problems have been rare. Worst was a 2-week bout of no connection; tech support told me someone muffed-up upgrading my local Three mast; got a refund for the month but only after being pushy with them. The constant slowness & connection problems can be frustrating if you want it to simply work and work fast (the very reason I use a Mac, not PC!)

    There’s rather alarming talk on this comments list about image compression being used by some providers resulting in degraded-quality webpages. I haven’t found this problem using Three – I work in video and graphics production so am very image-conscious.

    So… It’s not perfect (as if there is such a thing) but is actually okay if you can live with the hiccups. Kinda dreading what’ll happen when I upgrade to a new Mac with Snow Leopard…

    The following link might well be useful though: http://www.mac-forums.com/forums/airport-networking-wireless-technology/164961-snow-leopard-3-mobile-broadband.html

  39. VM on October 22nd, 2009 9:15 pm

    An update to my above posting re Three:

    I’ve installed Orange mobile broadband and it’s twice as fast as Three for both uploads & downloads (and I mean that literally as I’ve tested both side-by-side).

    Pretty stable too, don’t have the same little connection bugs as I had with Three. Woop-de-woo, & hope it stays that way!

  40. bertie on October 27th, 2009 8:14 am

    my Hauwei dongle kept crashing my mac laptop and eventually killed my hard drive. I now have a new mac laptop and it is starting to crash again. I am worried !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  41. Matthew on November 4th, 2009 11:31 pm

    T-mobile = a complete waste of time and money

  42. Rob on November 13th, 2009 12:16 pm

    I have got a dongle from three about 18 moths ago and it worked fine with Leopard. Upgrade to snow leopard and not a thing.
    This issue is with all operators it seems.

    I got around this by buying the mifi modem from three on a pay as you go and putting in my sim.

    Works fine and also with ipod touch.

    not ideal but gets your mac back on mobile broadband

  43. Duncan on December 20th, 2009 9:21 pm

    I’ve just bought a 3 dongle with 12GB prepaid for £79.99 from Maplin, Got it working in a few minutes on my MBP under Leopard.

    The laptop did lock up once, after an hour or so of use. We’ll see if it remains stable from now…

  44. Tommyboy on February 9th, 2010 10:51 pm

    Regarding the Vodafone Mobile Broadband problems on OS X, I came across this solution:

    1/ Force quit VMC

    2/ Delete “/Library/Application Support/nova media/VMC/ppp_session.log”

    3/ Start VMC

    Please note that deleting the ppp_session.log file wipes your PPP session history so VMC will re-start the traffic statistics from zero.

    For a complete explanation:
    http://blog.loudhush.ro/2008/10/when-vodafone-mobile-connect-refuses-to.html

  45. Trev on April 2nd, 2010 4:01 pm

    Have O2 dongle which works fine on my Toshiba with Windows Vista but simply refuses to load the drivers onto my Mac Pro, even though there are instructions with the dongle on on how to do this. Bit frustrating, seems from reading above comments this is all a bit hit and miss.

  46. Tacitus on April 10th, 2010 9:04 am

    I’ve just tried using an O2 issued Huawei e160 dongle. Although this is supposedly Mac compatible, installing Mobile Connect is not straightforward, since incredibly, you need to disassemble the installer to in order to install it. Why is it these people seem incapable of writing half decent Mac software?

    Then, since I’m using a laptop and always run as User not Admin, it refuses to remember the settings.

    You would think that O2 would be Mac friendly after their big push with the iPhone, but tell them you’re using a Mac and they look at you like you’re off another planet.

    Fortunately I signed up for PAYG before getting into a contract.

  47. Rob Spencer on April 25th, 2010 12:20 am

    This is the panic log I receive when my macbook crashes (see below) and i get the ‘please restart’ messsage. I have a vodafone (Australia) usb modem. I have never had a problem with my macbook in the last 2.5 years. I’m worried that if it continues it will damage my hard drive. any suggestions apart from don’t use it?

    Mac OS X Version 10.4.8 (Build 8N1150)
    2010-04-25 08:54:41 +1000
    2010-04-25 08:54:42.305 SystemUIServer[125] lang is:en
    Apr 25 08:56:14 robert-spencers-computer kextd[143]: a link/load error occured for kernel extension /System/Library/Extensions/HuaweiDataCardDriver.kext
    Apr 25 08:56:25 robert-spencers-computer kextd[25]: cannot resolve dependencies for kernel extension /System/Library/Extensions/NMSmartplugSCSIDevice.kext
    Apr 25 08:56:26 robert-spencers-computer kextd[154]: kld_load_from_memory() failed for module /System/Library/Extensions/iTunesPhoneDriver.kext/Contents/MacOS/iTunesPhoneDriver
    Apr 25 08:56:26 robert-spencers-computer kextd[154]: a link/load error occured for kernel extension /System/Library/Extensions/iTunesPhoneDriver.kext
    2010-04-25 08:56:30.209 Vodafone Mobile Broadband[155] Could not find image named ‘edit’.
    2010-04-25 08:56:30.214 Vodafone Mobile Broadband[155] Could not find image named ‘SMS-GetSMS’.
    2010-04-25 08:56:30.219 Vodafone Mobile Broadband[155] Could not find image named ‘SMS-drafts’.
    2010-04-25 08:56:30.223 Vodafone Mobile Broadband[155] Could not find image named ‘SMS-NewSMS’.
    2010-04-25 08:56:30.227 Vodafone Mobile Broadband[155] Could not find image named ‘SMS-ForwardSMS’.
    2010-04-25 08:56:35.388 NML2NDeviceObserver[128] Now removing driver volume ‘disk1′
    2010-04-25 08:56:36.000 Vodafone Mobile Broadband[155] Now removing driver volume ‘disk1′
    Disk disk1 unmounted
    Disk disk1 unmounted
    {type = mutable, count = 1, capacity = 4, pairs = (
    1 : {contents = “IOProviderClass”} = {contents = “HuaweiDataCardECMData”}
    )}
    MyOpenUserClient was successful.

    JNI dylib: connect() start! MyUserClientConnectByQMI was successful.

    Debugger() was called!

  48. Duncan on August 17th, 2010 6:07 pm

    I wanted to let folks know that the new ’3connect’ app from three seems to have ironed out all my issues. After 8 months of dealing with kernal panics I found new software (Version 3.0.0.63) here: http://mymobile.three.co.uk:8080/mbb/Huawei/E156G/main.html

  49. Lee on October 6th, 2010 7:43 pm

    I just wish this term “mobile broadband” would go away. I’ve tried various dongles & they just don’t keep a connection or are unsuitable for streaming audio / video. Broadband It Is Not.

    The most usable solution is tethering to your 3g phone via bluetooth & using it’s data plan. Most people never use all their data plan allowance, whatever that may be, in whatever time frame they have chosen. We’re talking “mobile” here, so that’s usually plenty for mobile laptop use.

  50. Larry on November 4th, 2010 4:28 pm

    I’m totally ignorant of “broadband modems” so pardon me if I ask some really dumb questions about them.
    For remotely getting online with a Macbook Pro would I just need the dongle or would I need the dongle plus a plan.
    I’ve found that in places like some airports even if they say they have a public connection I often have trouble getting online so I might want my own connection. In that case might I really want a satellite USB device instead or is that overkill?
    And what brand works better with the Macs? (I know this is really a personal choice type of question, but I need all and any recommendations I can get.)

  51. william on April 6th, 2011 11:02 pm

    please help!!!!!!

    its good to see people thats on the same boat as me
    i bought my macbook pro last week from pc world and i was asuard that my 3 dongle would work on it . i was also tols at a three shop.
    ive had my dongle a while now and its worked on my laptop no problem.

    my 3 dongle e156g installed on my laptop no problem it was just when it came to the 3 connect setup assistant that the macbook wont pick up my device . its just giving me options of two and thats hauwei modem and zte mf622 usb modem.

    the only reasson i got a dongle was so i didnt get into no contract with any other broadband such as bt because it requires a land line . im think that will be my only option to get internet on my macbook pro from looking at these comments….

  52. Philip on October 2nd, 2011 8:49 pm

    Bought a 3 dongle for my 2 year old MBP. Wish I’d read the comments on this site first.
    I’ve spent hours trying to get the dongle to install but can’t get past a message that appears ‘adapter busy or unavailable’.
    Tried taking it back (only had it 5 days) but the manager at carphone warehouse pointed to the bottom of the ‘contract’ where it says Three do not offer a 14 day change of mind or 14 day exchange. This in spite of the salesman at the time saying if there were problems with it could be exchanged within 14 days.
    Any ideas anyone …

  53. Ian on October 17th, 2011 10:00 pm

    Use a Huawei E585 3 Modem on a Mac Book Pro through a wireless connection to the modem in a USB connection on to my upstairs laptop. Nothing wrong with the modem, just getting it to connect to the mac book. Stopped working 2 days ago, no reason, but I can’t get it to reconnect.

    Pretty depressing. All i did was connect a VGA adaptor to the mac book.Surely not?

  54. melanie on November 22nd, 2011 10:23 am

    my 3 dongle installed on my laptop no problem it was just when it came to the 3 connect setup assistant that the macbook wont pick up my device. its just giving me options of two and thats hauwei modem and zte mf622 usb modem. Iv searched everywhere to see what mobile broadband I can use or how to get my 3 dongle connected but still no luck. Can anybody help me???

  55. ReggieRareBreed on December 14th, 2011 1:48 pm

    Bought myself a MacBook Pro, works brill on Airport, but plug in my 3 ZTE112 Dongle and NOWT?
    This dongle does work well on Windaz and Ubuntu, but I really need it to work on my Mac.
    Would have thought that these Companies would realise this by now after reading through all you posts going back to 2009?
    Depressing……
    Keep the Peace. Reg

  56. mbzrad101 on December 26th, 2011 10:31 pm

    It seems that I am not alone in wasting a lot of time trying to get a ZTE 3 dongle to operate on a Mac. Quite unbelievable, I am demanding a refund and getting nowhere. Maybe I’ll tie it to a brick and chuck it through their window ! If nothing else I’ll feel better,.

  57. Charlotte on January 20th, 2012 5:45 pm

    I am going crazy. I am in France using an Orange 3G Huawei E352 dongle and cannot get it to work on my Mac. I have a Mac OS 10.4.11 and though it’s only compatible with MAC 10.5 or 10.6, the lady in the store told me that if I download the 3connect Installer, it would work anyway.

    Well, I downloaded the 3connect installer, no problem, and it all seemed like it was going to work, yet everytime i click connect, it attempts to connect and then disconnects again. When I use Mac Internet Connect to help me, it just comes up with an error message saying: “Could not negotiate a connection with the remote PPP server. Please verify your settings and try again.”

    I have no idea why this is not working and am wasting a lot of time trying to figure it out. Any ideas?

  58. Jenny Martin on May 14th, 2012 7:55 pm

    Just bought a MacBook Pro with OSx 10.7 Lion. Had a VMC Lite that worked fine with laptop running Vista so popped down to the local vodafone store met a really helpful young lady. “Put the dongle into a usb port and you’ll see setup instructions and off you go”. Put the dongle into the usb port and was instructed that I needed an older version of the dongle – not sure there are any older dongles – or need a higher opertating system??? Taking a trip back to the store. So frustrating

  59. mark on June 10th, 2012 9:47 pm

    I also have the 3 mobile ZTE dongle, and have also had no joy getting this to work with my current (new in May) i5 desktop. Comes up with ‘unable to recognise modem’ plus ‘java’ error or even internal error 63** (can’t remember the last two digits), therefore I sum up as follows; 3 mobile is great for those who want to work on PC format, but 3 mobile broadband does not support the creativity of Mac users………. If i am wrong, 3 network, then prove me so, sooner rather than later……

  60. Anonymous on January 12th, 2013 4:37 am

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  61. David on April 3rd, 2014 9:35 pm

    I tried installing my 3 mobile broadband on my Mac but found it wasn’t compatible with the operating system I had OSX 10.92 . So I was disappointed and would probably have to buy another dongle that did

  62. jan on April 22nd, 2016 11:17 am

    I have a Vodafone contract dongle which doesnt work in my mac, after 5 calls to Vodafone still unresolved. The dongle is the 2008 version and Vodafone will not give me a newer version, so I am currently paying for a service I don’t have. The tech department say a new sim will sort it out, yet they don’t send me a new sim card to find out. Very frustrating and have no idea what to do next. Any helpful comments, advice thanks.

  63. zekrullah on December 4th, 2016 5:33 am

    Hi,
    i have a macbook pro and a HUAWEI e3531 dongle. but it does not cennect. is there any solution for it?

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