how about the other way round: using SIM from dongle in smartphone like the N900, to make use of preferential data rates, and maybe turn it into a wifi hotspot using something like joikuspot?
How to Unlock Mobile Broadband Dongles
Tried popping a new SIM in your dongle and found it doesn't connect? Just like mobile phones broadband dongles can be locked in to a network, because providers don't want you taking advantage of cheap dongle deals by using another SIM. Luckily, dongles can also be unlocked like a phone handset.
This can be useful for a number of reasons. Perhaps you've bought a dongle and discovered that the signal is weak, but another network has better coverage. SIM cards are cheap or even free, so rather than having to buy a whole other package you can easily swap. It's also handy if you get given a second hand dongle or have an old one kicking around you want to use with a pay as you go SIM.
What's especially useful for many of us – particularly at this time of the year – is the option to take a dongle on holiday and use it with a local SIM. Going on holiday with UK mobile broadband is not cheap at all, so you can pick one up while travelling and use it in your own dongle.
Is your dongle locked?
Before you do anything else check whether the dongle is even locked to a network. Not every dongle comes tied down, even different models on the same network can vary. This is easy to check using a software app called DC-Unlocker, which can unlock dongles for a price, but also tell you for free whether your dongle is locked down.
Browse to dc-unlocker.com and click download to grab the latest client. After installation remove the SIM from your dongle, plug it in, select the brand from the list and use the auto-detect search. Assuming it's supported and detected give the app a few seconds and DC-Unlocker will say if, and how, your dongle is locked.
Call your provider
This should be the first thing to try: you may be able to get an unlock code for your dongle directly from the network, just call up and ask. Depending on the provider, type of deal (contract or PAYG) and how long you've had the dongle then this could be free or cost a small fee.
Unlock codes can be entered by connecting the dongle with a new SIM inside. A window should pop up prompting you to enter the code. If not see “install generic software”.
Pay for an unlock
Some local mobile phone unlocking stores now do dongles as well, and you can purchase an unlock code from numerous online stores. There are plenty of independent sites offering this service as well as eBay sellers. The code will be emailed along with instructions so it's a very simple solution. If your network wants to charge for providing a code then compare the prices with these services.
Change the network settings
Dead simple this one – if your dongle isn't locked then you can use another network by swapping out the SIM cards and entering new APN (network) settings through the software controls, sometimes by creating a new profile. You can find a list of UK network settings at this site.
Install generic software
A dongle can have a SIM card lock that requires a specific network SIM in order to work, but some may only have software locks. This means the dashboard application you use to connect is the thing blocking other SIM cards, and if this is the case it's very easy to defeat as generic, unbranded software can be downloaded for dongles. You'll find it on the manufacturer's web site, or here on the DC-Unlocker site. Just remove the existing program, install the replacement software and enter the network details for your new SIM.
Note that if your dongle has been SIM locked then the generic software will still ask for an unlock code.
Flash the firmware
This is the complex but free solution for a SIM card locked dongle. What you need is a new firmware package for your specific dongle (and it must be the exact model) plus the generic software dashboard, both of which may be found on a manufacturers' site. Writing new firmware wipes out network branding and removes restrictions, then you can use the unbranded dashboard to connect. Google your dongle model to see if there are specific instructions as it can get complicated, though getting hold of an unlock code is going to be much easier and less dangerous unless you have some experience with this kind of thing.
Whichever method you choose the main thing to remember is to always enter the new network details so you can connect. If you're going abroad then Google the network beforehand to find out their settings (“
Had problems with my connection on my pay monthly deal with 3. Hoping to use the dongle with another network until 3 have solved the problem
I have a ZTE 3 dongle but havent used for a while cant find the sim and have forgotten my password. Is there away around this problem?
I need to remove the Vodafone dashboard from my unlocked dongle.
However, my computer detects a virus in the DC uninstall software.
Removing the existing software on an "unlocked" Vodafone dongle is impossible.
Why not just buy an unlocked dongle like this Go Baby Mobile
Because for that price I could buy one with at least 1GB loaded.