How to setup a Huawei E5330 Mobile WiFi For GiffGaff

Posted: 13 August 2014

These instructions are for setting up a Huawei E5330 Mobile WiFi device (hereafter referred to as the 'MiFi') for use by the GffGaff network.
Please note that these instructions apply only if you are using a GiffGaff sim card: setup instructions for other networks are most likely similar, but of course the settings to be entered (as per section 5 below) will be different.

Having just bought one of these units myself, I found that the setup instructions that come with the device are a bit brief, and if you search on the GiffGaff website for instructions for this specific model, you won't have much luck (at the time of writing), as most of the people who have responded to setup queries just trot out the usual data setup process for phones, which are completely different to what is required for this device.

These instructions assume that you have access to a Windows PC, as most of the setup requires the use of a web browser: I used my Windows 7 desktop, but I'm sure the instructions would be similar for most other versions of Windows, or even for Apple MACs if you're that way inclined.

So here goes…
1 – Out of the box.

You will find in the box the MiFi unit itself, a battery, a micro-USB lead, the small 'Quick Start' instruction leaflet, and a small Safety information leaflet. Put the last two items in the bin, as you won't need them. If you already have a long micro-USB lead (for example for a mobile phone or tablet charger), then you can bin the lead which comes in the box as well, if, as in my case, it is about 3 inches long and not much use.

The only other thing you'll need before continuing is your GiffGaff sim card, preferably topped-up with one of their gigabags.
2 – Preparation

Prise off the back cover of the Mifi unit open by inserting a wide flat screwdrive blade (or similar) in the small slot located in one corner of the device, and twisting. You may then insert the SIM card in its place, and the battery. Note that this device takes a normal-sized sim-card, not a nano or micro sim. Before replacing the back cover, make a note of the SSID and the WiFi key printed on the label inside the back cover,as you a will need these later. The SSID will probably be in the format HUAWEI-E5330-xxxx. Once you have snapped the back cover back in place, you can proceed with the next step.
3 – Initial Setup

You may find that your WiFi already has some charge in the battery: if not, connect it to your PC using a micro-USB lead, to give it some charge. Whilst charging, the little battery icon on the front cover will flash: once this has stopped flashing, and is solid green, the battery is fully charged.

Press and hold the power button (the one on the extreme right in the central row on the front cover) for a couple of seconds until the indicator icons on the top cover all light up in green. The MiFi is now transmitting the SSID (Wifi network name) which you made a note of earlier. In order to continue you need to connect your PC to this SSID, in the way that you normally connect to a new WiFi network. When asked for a password, use the WiFi key which you also made a note of earlier. Once connected, open your web browser of choice on your PC, and type the following into the address bar:

With a bit of luck you should now see the Huawei MiFi home page in your browser, as per the screen-shot below. If not, make sure you are connected to the Huawei SSID (not your normal ISP WiFi service) and try again.
Note that just because you can see this page in your web browser does NOT mean you are connected to the internet yet: you are just connected to the MiFi home page which is effectively stored in the MiFi unit, and which you will now use to set up mobile internet access.
4 – Login

From the MiFi home page, click on the Settings option found at the end of the menu at the top of the page. You will then see a popup login box, as per the screen-shot below:
You can log in using the default settings, which are User name: admin and Password: admin. It is very important that you change the default password straight away, otherwise any passing stranger within range could potentially hack in and take over your MiFi. To change the default login password, select System from the bottom of the left-hand menu, then Modify Password (see screen-shot below).
On this screen, enter admin as the Current password, then a new password of your choice in both the New password and Confirm Password fields. Once you press the Apply button, you will get a Success message, then be taken back to the MiFi home screen, where you will need to login again, following the instructions at the start of this section, but this time using the new password which you have just entered (but still using User name admin, which is unchanged).

5 – Mobile Internet Setup

Now that you have logged in securely, you can start to set up the MiFi for mobile internet access. From the left-hand menu select Dial-up then Profile Management (see screen-shot below).
The chances are that you will see a Profile name called O2PAYMONTHLY or similar, as I did, as the unit has recognised the O2 network from your GiffGaff sim card and cleverly tried to set up mobile internet access by itself. Unfortunately, that won't work with the GiffGaff sim, so you need to set up a new profile as follows. Fistly, click on the New Profile button, which will make a New Profile pop-up box appear, as per the screen-shot below.
Enter details in this box as follows:

Profile name: giffgaff
User name: giffgaff
Password: leave this field blank

Once you have entered the above, press the Save button, and you're done.

6 – Rename SSID

This final step is optional, but I like to do it myself. If you want to rename the SSID broadcast by the MiFi, then carry on with this step. Otherwise you can logout of the Huawei setup page here and carry on from section 7 below.

I like to rename the SSID personally as I'd sooner see a WiFi name of my choice (such as franks_mob_wifi) rather than the default HUAWEI-E5330-xxxx as mentioned in section 2 above. To do this, select the WLAN option from the left-hand menu, then WLAN Basic Settings. This will show the followng screen:
You may enter a new SSID name of your choice, and also a new password in the WPA pre-shared key field. It's probably a good idea to replace the default password anyway, even if you're not changing the SSID name. Once you have done this, press the Apply button, and you will lose your connection to the Huawei settings page, as the SSID to which you were connected now no longer exists (because you've just changed its name to something else…). At this point it's best to close your browser, switch off the MiFi unit, wait for 10 seconds, then switch it on again. You are now ready to start using your Huawei MiFi to connect to the internet.

7 – All Systems Go.

Your Huawei MiFi is now fully setup to use the GiffGaff mobile data network. Switch the MiFi device on, then check on your PC (or tablet or smartphone) which WiFi networks are available nearby, and hopefully you'll see a name that you recognise, either the default HUAWEI-E5330-xxxx, or the one you've just changed it to, as per the previous section. Simply connect to that network in the normal way, using the password you made a note of section 2 above (or section 6 if you changed it there), and you're ready to go. Happy browsing!
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