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Using the Huawei E3372 Hi-Link LTE Dongle with OpenWRT

Getting the Huawei E3372 LTE dongle to work on a router with OpenWRT 15.05 Chaos Calmer is very easy and requires two additional packages: kmod-usb-net-cdc-ether and usb-modeswitch. They can either be installed through the web interface (System > Software) or by running the following on the command line:

opkg update && opkg install kmod-usb-net-cdc-ether usb-modeswitch

A new network interface will show up (eth1 in my case), that just needs to be added to the wan firewall group (Network > Interfaces > eth1 > Edit > Firewall Settings > Assign firewall-zone). That’s it, the router is online! The web interface remains accessible through the browser at its usual IP address (192.168.8.1).

Installing the packages obviously requires an already existing internet connection. The router can be temporarily connected to another wifi network (Network > Wifi > Scan > Join Network), e.g. a hotspot from a smartphone. Don’t forget to disable or remove this network once finished (Network > Wifi > Disable/Remove).

Double NAT Configuration

When running server applications on the router or network, additional configuration is necessary to make them accessible from the internet.

Both the OpenWRT device and the Hi-Link dongle work in router mode and separate the internal from the external network through a NAT, and this double NAT is a pretty effective way to block incoming connections. Because the NAT cannot be deactivated on the dongle, the ugly and configuration intense solution is often to disable the OpenWRT NAT and use the dongle’s instead. This is a pretty bad workaround and there’s a much better solution for dongles with the DMZ feature available (which depends on the firmware version).

In the configuration interface of the dongle (192.168.8.1),  locate the DMZ settings (Settings > Security > DMZ settings) and enable the DMZ feature with a target IP address of 192.168.8.100, which should be the IP of the eth1 network interface on the router that the dongle is connected to (double check in OpenWRT under Network > Interfaces > eth1 > IPv4). Form now on, all incoming connections are passed directly to OpenWRT. The firewall, SIP, and UPnP features of the dongle can be disabled. In contrast to what other guides say, the NAT setting can stay at its default (cone), because it does not have any influence on the DMZ behavior.


Comments
Posted at 09:34 January 14, 2016
Gnuton
Reply
Author

Hi could you please tell me The firmware, UI and hardware versione of your device. I cannot see any dmz settings in my hilink device.
I have a e3372s-153

    Posted at 21:53 February 8, 2016
    Mario
    Reply
    Author

    Hi, I have the E3372h-153 running on software 22.315.01.00.00 and Web UI 22.315.01.00.00.

    Do you have a 3rd party branded dongle? I bought it with the Latvian “lmt” branding and the UI was missing lots of settings, but unlocked them by flashing the Huawei software/UI.

Posted at 22:01 February 8, 2016
Gnuton
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Author

Hi there!
What you need is to install a modified webui and you will get DMZ, porta forwarding, firewall and more..basically All The options that a standard router has. Feel free to mail me at gnuton at gnuton.org. i LL Update The post on my website about my latest findings and experience with it!

Posted at 21:25 March 5, 2016
Jeff
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Author

Hey, I stupidly turned off my DHCP and now cannot access the device. Do you know of a way to reset, or be able to access the device back on it’s original IP, or through a PC tool? any help would be appreciated! Thx.

    Posted at 21:42 March 5, 2016
    Antonio
    Reply
    Author

    Have you turned DHCP off in your computer? If it s so you can re-enable it.
    If you have a modded Hilink UI then you could have disabled the DHCP server.
    In that case you could set 192.168.8.2 as static IP for the ethernet over USB interface of your computer.
    The hilink device should be available at http://192.168.8.1
    Good luck!

Posted at 15:04 March 7, 2016
Jeff
Reply
Author

Thanks Antonio. Yes, I disabled the DHCP server on the device. I am without it now for 2 days, but will try as described by setting a static on my machine and going in that way.

Posted at 16:06 June 23, 2016
AugustQ
Reply
Author

Hi,

thakns for your explanations, but I’m still struggling with this stick.

I have here :
– a TP-Link WR1043ND router with OpenWrt (Gluon, Chaos Calmer)
– I think all relevant packages are installed
– a Huawei E3372 LTE-stick

dmesg delivers:
[ 339.480000] usb 1-1: new high-speed USB device number 2 using ehci-platform
[ 339.970000] usb 1-1: USB disconnect, device number 2
[ 340.660000] usb 1-1: new high-speed USB device number 3 using ehci-platform
[ 341.000000] cdc_ether 1-1:1.0 eth2: register ‘cdc_ether’ at usb-ehci-platform.0-1, CDC Ethernet Device, 0c:5b:8f:27:9a:64

but ifconfig does not show me eth2.

Do you have a tip for me?
Thanks
AugustQ

    Posted at 12:34 August 29, 2016
    Denis
    Reply
    Author

    Hi, have resolved your issue? I have the same problem with the same device
    Thanks

    Denis

Posted at 23:58 July 28, 2016
lsr
Reply
Author

The better solution is to put the stick in NCM mode and NOT use it in hilink mode (see http://blog.asiantuntijakaveri.fi/2015/07/convert-huawei-e3372h-153-from.html ) to avoid NAT on the stick. This works on OpenWRT with the appropriate modules (too lazy to look them up on my openwrt now)

Posted at 01:42 February 8, 2017
Hassine
Reply
Author

It works fine with this method however the speed of connection become too slow <3M/seconde in spite of 38M when the modem E3372 is branched directly to Pc

Posted at 14:45 July 13, 2017
AugustQ
Reply
Author

Hi,

some days ago I found a solution: you need the packages usb-modeswitch wwan
that’s all. It worked like a charme. retested with a frehs installation of OpenWrt.

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