The Z915 is made by ZTE. The default configuration is pretty secure as follows:
- Wi-Fi Security: WAP2 Personal
- Password: 8 digits (last 8 digits of the IMEI)
- Network Name (SSID): T-Mobile Broadband<last 2 digits of the IMEI>
- Admin Interface: http://mobile.hotspot
- Admin password: admin
While the admin password is weak and the admin interface is unencrypted, it should only be available to users that have already authenticated to the Wi-Fi.
Fortunately all of the settings are configurable (except encryption of the admin interface) by following these steps:
- Connect your computer/tablet/phone to the Wi-Fi network created by the hotspot.
- Point your browser to http://mobile.hotspot or http://192.168.0.1
On many devices, you will need to enter "http://" to prevent them from performing a search.
You will need to enter the IP address if your device does not get its DNS settings from DHCP.
- Login by by entering the password.
- Click Settings
- Change Wi-Fi SSID to your own custom network name.
- (optinal) Disable SSID broadcast. I see this as a courtesy at hotels and airports, not to increase security.
- Change Wi-Fi Password. Click Apply.
I set mine to a 32 character alpha-numeric password.
You will be disconnected from the network when you apply these settings.
- Reconnect to Wi-Fi with the new settings.
- Login again.
- Click Settings and then click Device Settings.
- Change Admin Password. Click Apply.
- Set Wi-Fi Performance Settings to Economy mode. Click Apply.
This should help increase battery life, and I was able to maintain a connection 60 feet away and 2 interior walls between.
- (optional) Disable SSID/WEB Password Display.
By default the hotspot displays its passwords on its screen. Since you should have physical control of the hotspot, this shouldn’t matter either way.
Internationally, T-Mobile includes free roaming on their postpaid plans. This is limited to 2G/3G speeds, but it’s enough to check email and get directions.
So far, I’ve observed the following speeds:
- Brussels Airport: 50 kbps
- London Heathrow Airport: 70 kbps
- Phoenix Sky Harbor: 12.3 mbps
Overall, my complaints are very minor.
I wish the hotspot had a more mobile friendly UI. As it is, it requires a lot of zooming and scrolling to get to the different links.
I also wish the hotspot supported https for the UI. I don’t think most people will allow untrusted clients to connect, so this is a minor security concern.