Using a Huawei E170 (T-Mobile Web 'n' Walk USB Stick) with Mac OS X Leopard

My mobile contract recently expired and instead of upgrading with a new mobile phone I chose the Huawei E170 T-Mobile Web 'n' Walk Stick. They seemed a bit confused at this request at first and had to 'speak to their superiors' but eventually agreed that there was no reason that I shouldn't be sent the USB Stick. This means I can add on the Web 'n' Walk Plus or Max packages as and when I need them at the discounted rates when using them as add ons.

To get the USB Stick to work with Mac OS X Leopard though you'll will need to do a few things for yourself as the Web 'n' Walk stick manager software crashed repeatedly when I tried to use it to connect. Here are the steps:

  1. Plug the Web ‘n’ Walk stick into your mac.
  2. Open System Preferences and then ‘Network’
  3. You should see a message about new connection devices (I think two are added for some reason: ‘DIAG’ and ‘HUAWEI Mobile’)
  4. Select the 'HUAWEI Mobile' device in the left column
  5. Enter *99# into ‘Telephone Number’
  6. Click ‘Apply’ and then ‘Connect’

You should now be connected using your modem. Simple really! I actually noticed once connected you can open the Web 'n' Walk stick manager software to monitor the connection. Considering it's this simple I think its a bit misleading that T-Mobile say the device isn't supported on Leopard. Feel free to share your experiences below in case there are other issues.

31 Mar 08

mobile broadband webnwalk t-mobile

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  1. thanks for the info. Just got my stick today... I'm using OS X 10.4 and the supplied software kept crashing for me as soon as I loaded it too. After entering the phone number in network prefs, the web 'n' walk manager no longer crashes at startup, but still crashes when I try to connect. It seems however that just using Apple's built in internet connect is all that is needed to fix the problem! The web 'n' walk manager will show the connection statistics fine though. We are still missing out on the SMS capabilities and other bandwidth monitoring tools that come with the windows version. I wonder if there is a 3rd party replacement? The guy in the shop told me that there was some free texts (50 per month?) included in the contract, so it seems Mac users are being deprived here!

    4 Apr 08 17:01 Tom

  2. Interesting - yeah thats pretty much what I discovered. Something odd has happened with my installation though now - I think I might have somehow managed to uninstall the stick manager so that I can't even try and open it. I just says it has been uninstalled and needs to be re-installed. I did this and then opened it - and this time it seemed to work, even connecting. Yeah would be good if someone came up with a 3rd party replacement. There is a version on the t-mobile website which was newer than the version on the cd-rom, this might have had something to do with it. You can get it from - hopefully they will post an updated version there in due course.

    5 Apr 08 0:36 the author

  3. Just noticed you said you were using 10.4 - thats odd that it shows the same problems as in leopard - sounds like typical dodgy software we get fobbed off with with these types of things!

    5 Apr 08 0:38 the author

  4. Yeah it seems like T-mobile contracted it out on the cheap, there are even two different versions of the manual, the one on the mobile and the one on the stick... clearly poorly translated from Chinese. Oh one other thing I remember I also had to do to get it to work, which was to change the modem script in the network prefs to the correct Huawei one and not the default Apple one that was selected. And I had to look up on another website what the default PIN code was for the SIM, because they didn't even tell me that. Oh well at least it does seem to give a reasonable speed once it's finally possible to connect...

    6 Apr 08 16:20 Tom

  5. How many bars of signal are you getting? I have had some impressive results in terms of speed at my home in Exeter - it gets full signal and says its operating on HSDPA (which it should be) and gets a few kb's under the 2mbs download (testing from and around 380kbs upload speed. Both of which are faster than my ADSL broadband line! However, I've noticed the download speed seems to drop to about 300kbs if the signal is as low as 1 bar (still HSDPA), but with two bars it goes up to 422kpbs. Seems like it likes to have a good strong signal to get the best speeds.

    6 Apr 08 21:14 the author

  6. Hi, you might want to have a look at launch2net ( it is not free, but might be a better allround solution if you need to use other SIM cards in different countries or need a better statistic. It works with most networks and modems worldwide. Cheers Jan (nova media)

    7 Apr 08 4:30 Jan Fuellemann

  7. Thanks Jan - I tried the demo and all seems to work very well. It's a bit expensive for me though. Guess it would be nice to see SMS support in there too.

    7 Apr 08 6:18 the author

  8. Hi Jan, Thanks for the tip - was getting very frustrated trying to get my new Web n Walk to start up earlier. I've now saved the settings as a location on my mac and if you switch to this when you want to use the stick you can use the Stick Manager without it crashing.

    8 Apr 08 8:18 damien

  9. I'm north of Glasgow just now, getting two bars, and about 300-400kbps up and down - not too bad. A bit of latency sometimes it seems, but results are fairly typical. I'll mainly be using it in Edinburgh where the signal strength seems better though!

    9 Apr 08 6:39 Tom

  10. Hi, i just had to say thanks for posting this info, i just bought the same usb stick encountered all the same 'quitting' issues, rang support helpline - told it was compatible, downloaded driver update still no joy. Found your info applied settings as instructed - perfetto e tutto bene! Grazie mille tutto

    12 Apr 08 3:29 Azzurri

  11. Very useful information. Thanks!P.S Your blog won't accept my email address

    4 Jun 08 8:32 Ben

  12. Sorry about the email verification - I've replaced the script - its failed a few now but the new one shouldn't cause any problems.

    4 Jun 08 8:38 the author

  13. I have tried the web n walk stick on my Macbook Pro. There dosent seem to be enough power in the USB ports to power the modem and as soon as it connects it drops the device and then says it can't find the device. Sometimes it comes back up and you can reconnect and other times you have to remove and reconnect the device. T-mobile were very helpful but they say the USB modem version carries a usb splitter to combine the power of two ports but the USB stick dosent. This would not be a benifit to MBP anyway because it only has one USb on each side of the laptop. Ended up sending it back.

    5 Jul 08 1:10 Paul Dresser

  14. Its great to have forums like this as it saves alot time effort and money in ringing up the manufacturer (T mobile) everytime something is not working on your internet or even phone for that matter.

    28 Jul 08 18:13 dharmesh kapadia

  15. If you are having trouble with the official software (I found it doesn't keep a log of data used) you may get on better with CheetaWatch ( It's a small app that keeps an eye on connection type/speed and seems stable.

    29 Jul 08 14:42 Halfasleep

  16. You can get a t-mobile branded version of launch2net free from the tmobile site. A lot easier than seting everything up!

    3 Aug 08 5:30 Steve

  17. Once I'd found the special characters palette I was up and away using internet connect. Thanks indeed! So far so good running on my MacBookPro off USB port.

    3 Aug 08 14:59 Jeremy Knowles

  18. Hi all, I've had all the issues mentioned previously, I have even had an issue with Safari not connecting although Firefox did. A pal explained Firefox holds it's proxies. These issue have all been sorted but I experience pixelating on images and graphics. My partner has a PC and downloaded the T-Mobile web accelerator which fixed this issue, can anyone help resolve this on Mac.

    11 Aug 08 5:31 D Carrington

  19. @ D Carrington - see my related article on the t-mobile image compression issue, link is in the 'related articles' section at the top of the page.

    11 Aug 08 6:04 the author

  20. I got one last week went into the shop they checked my post code told me i had excellent coverage where i lived... got home set it up tried connecting couldnt because it couldnt find a signal wtf! tried it in the garden got 12% signal gprs very slow indeed there assholes and there's my old sony ericsson k800i on orange with full 3g signal and they cant even provide decent 2g signal absolute waste of time and now i have 18 months with them! argh

    30 Aug 08 17:12 jamie

  21. I have been using my web n walk happily for some months now on my MacBook, but just now I can't connect to anything that is on port 8080. I am sure that this has worked happily in the past. Has anyone else experienced anything similar, or have any ideas what I can do?

    2 Sep 08 3:45 Mark Seaborne

  22. Web n walk worked okay for me with Tiger until the system crashed (first time after five years using OS X this has happened, as far as I can remember) then it lost its settings, and then would not connect at all. Have just installed launch2net, which I had bought previously for a different PC card modem, and this seems to connect fine.

    6 Sep 08 9:50 Lee Hanken

  23. Note to Jamie. Take the stick back. You placed reliance on the seller's advice that the stick would be usable at your postcode and it does not. This is a clear case of fitness for purpose - it does nto match the purpose for which you needed it and the seller assured you it would. Sale of Goods Act covers this, even the 1994 version. If there are any problems cancelling, write to OfFcom.

    10 Sep 08 5:46 John

  24. Thanks for your help with this. On a related issue, every time I plug the USB modem in it acts like a memory stick and opens a folder with the web'n'walk installation app and user manual. Any ideas as to how to stop this happening?

    23 Sep 08 17:33 David S

  25. Do you know of the same problems regarding the E160 Huawei on t-mobiles web n walk deal? I having problems using the software provided it connects but seems to take over a min or longer to get to any webpage. Tried the tip you mentioned for the E170 but states the modem isn;t connecting via the macconnect panel.Any ideas anyone?

    4 Dec 08 23:36 Benn

  26. upgrade e170 in the web of, it work better than tmobile driver

    14 Dec 08 0:49 franck

  27. I have been having problems with this USB stick on OSX - the modem works fine using the settings provided here - logs on quickly - no problem, but it seems the stick starts to fail after about 20 to 30 minutes and refuses to log back on - i might be lucky and get another minute or two but then drops again. It seems like its overheating or something - the stick does get quite hot to the touch. Has anyone else experienced this? Btw - the exact same thing happens on my partner's mbp as well. Any solutions would be greatly received.

    3 Feb 09 12:38 Rob D

  28. I've had the same problem, have managed to make the E170 last longer by using the USB cable as opposed to plugging it directly into my mbp... I'm sure its an overheating issue...!

    9 Feb 09 18:03 Frank S

  29. Whilst i have not got a mac i have to say that the Huawei E160 G mobile broadband modem that i treated my grandson to last week nearly caught fire!! He was using it in a Acer laptop with no power supply plugged into it and the ''stick'' got so hot it nearly burned a hole in it!My daughter smelled burning and saved the day as no one was in the lounge at the time (MAKING TEA) SO BE WARNED!!

    14 Mar 09 0:59 Harry Larter

  30. I found the Huawei dissapoiting. indeed heating problems and most of the time gprs and no hsdpa connections. I have send mine back (trail period) to KPN the netherlands. But now I am stuck with a repeating popup message when I open my network pref in my system pref. I can't change anything because as soon as i klick ok ( there is another programe changing the network settings) it comes back. Only after i kill the netcnfgtool under the activity monitor i can chage my settings.trying to delete the hauwei modems under the nework prot settings doesn't work because something is preventing me from saving the changes. The button save is pressed but no changes are saved.any help from someone in getting this viral software from my computer would be greatly appreceated.

    21 Mar 09 8:49 Dave

  31. I had similar issues with MBP Unibody 2.53 Ghz, Huawei E170. Using latest firwmare from my operator and either Huawei's latest dashboard or operator's older dashboard, the connection won't stay more than few minutes.
    The strange thing is that in Windows, it works more than 30 mins to hours without problem. So it must be the MAC driver that is 'crappy'.
    Sigh... I wonder what can be done. even the latest firmware ( look under mobile broad band, customer service) which is newer than HuaWei's website didn't help.
    The power on USB is interesting, but I don't have a USB splitter to test that.
    Overheating definately not the case. The modem disconnect within few minutes upon high data transfer speed (400kb/s)

    8 Apr 09 5:08 Leonard

  32. I've updated it with starhub's firmware as well. In fact after updating it, my disconnections got even more frequent. I've also tried using a powered USB hub to power the device but sadly, it still overheats. Its strange cos some days there are frequent disconnections, and some days no disconnects at all.
    My theory is that high data transfer speeds might cause it to work over time and overheat and lead to disconnects. I called huawei but they said this shouldn't be the case.

    8 May 09 12:32 Lincoln

  33. just bought myself a macbook, previously used my web n walk on a pc, when i try to connect it says "connecting..." then disconnects and says there's a problem with my modem and check settings, spoke to people at t-mobile they said put the SIM in a t-mobile phone and go online to set it up, did that, re-tried, still no joy, any ideas?!?!?!

    21 May 09 12:13 tom

  34. Have you gone through all the steps I listed in the article above?

    21 May 09 12:35 the author

  35. I just bought a USB stick modem from Singapore (M1). I brought it to another country (Malaysia) and bought a prepaid broadband card (Cellcomm ).

    Works very well now but I had to top up because the initial mysteriously dissapeared!

    Had to pop the sim card into a mobile phone ; sms the local provider and topped up using a code bought from 7-11.

    Hope this helps those who have problems. Connection was OK and I managed to download iPhone 3.0 upgrade.

    Now , if only there was a way to SMS on my MacBook Pro thru the modem to top up without having to pop out the card into a mobile phone!

    19 Jun 09 2:15 Ronnie Yap

  36. Thanks Ronnie, hopefully that will help others in your situation. Interesting tale to tell! I second the the wish to be able to text through from the sim via the mac, would be great. So annoying the PC users get to do that!

    19 Jun 09 6:21 the author

  37. does anyone else have the problem of slow connection on a mac? i can use the stick on my PC and it get up to 60kbps but with my mac the fastest i get is 6! any ideas anyone? some network preference changes perhaps?

    14 Jul 09 0:57 Rob drury

  38. Brilliant! I was ripping my hair out trying to get this to work. My Web 'n' Walk software wasn't crashing, but it was generating a crash with Network Status whenever I tried connecting. Popped in *99# for the phone number and works a treat now :)

    28 Jul 09 14:11 Andrea

  39. Thanks Ben for your opening note. I have been using this OK for 9 months now on Mac OS X via their software. The recent upgrade to 10.5.8 caused the application to crash - KERN_INVALID_ADDRESS at 0x000000006f6c6c61 . Dialling as you suggest works! Brilliant. No loss really as the application front end is useless, and awful translations of the German. ("Success to connect" and the like). Direct dialling also gives a connection-up monitor. Windows (spit) software is infinitely better. Better graphs and says the connection type. Windows keeps usage history. However even that assumes use on only one system - ha! Website has stats but session only. "Add them up" they said - again ha! Re speeds, I get full "speed" with GPRS connection. Speed is no problem at all with 3G of course (everywhere but home (8-(# ). 2mbps of course (although it says 7.2!). If anyone needs to connect using Linux, I know someone who has the method. I am sending this now via my stick at 64k, so if you see this it really works. Thanks again Ben - a life saver.

    6 Sep 09 17:11 Tony Firshman

  40. If you check 'Show modem status in menu bar' then the 'Connect' is available from there - small handset logo. I tried checking advanced|PPP "Connect automatically..." but that appears not to work. Also has anyone worked out how to stop finder opening the stick contents?

    6 Sep 09 18:26 Tony Firshman

  41. I too wish the mac software would handle SMSs. Reason? In the UK, T-mobile charge £2.50 for paper bills for *all* their customers. They SMS when the online bill is ready, wait for it .......
    ..... to the stick!

    I have a Virgin mobile phone (T-mobile is the provider) but they won't use that. Eventually after much management discussion, they agreed to email me.

    6 Sep 09 19:01 Tony Firshman

  42. I can't believe 41 of you and not one of you mac os idiots thought about checking THE MANUFACTURERS WEBSITE for a solve to your problem.


    you'll need to use xp or vista to update?
    there is a small chance of bricking your modem(if your a bit thick).
    and remember to get the mac compatible version.

    your welcome....

    13 Dec 09 19:19 ubuntuboy solves macOS idiots problem.

  43. Bit of an offensive tone there! Still - the link might be useful.

    13 Dec 09 19:21 the author

  44. I just updated my E160 using the latest update on the t mobile site on a windows machine. My speed has dropped to a crawl.

    20 Feb 10 13:31 john wenmoon