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Hostless Modems

What is a Hostless modem

All About Hostless Modems

One category of modems that is supported by the ROOter firmware is the hostless modem.

Hostless is a term used by ZTE to describe a type of modem that, when plugged into your computer, appears as an Ethernet device and is accessed using your web browser. These are known as web GUI hostless modems. Huawei Hilink modems are examples of this type of modem. Other names for these modems are Wifi Modem or Wingle.

Another type of host-less modem is the GUI version, which still appears as an Ethernet device when plugged into the computer but is accessed through a Connection Manager program rather than the web browser. The ZTE MF825A is an example of this type of modem. This type of modem is rare.

Some modems come in both regular USB or hostless versions and it is important that you know which version you have, since they require a different set up in the ROOter.


When using a hostless modem in a ROOter it is important that it be configured to auto-connect when powered up. You must first plug it into a computer and use the web browser to set up the modem to auto-connect. This way it will automatically connect when it is plugged into the router. Most hostless modems do auto-connect by default.

The MF825A is an exception to this rule, as you use the Connection Manager program that installs when you plug it into a computer to set up the APN and other connection details but it does not auto-connect. When it is plugged into the ROOter the proper connect string is sent to the modem to make it do an automatic connect.

Because these modems are set up using the computer web browser you don't need to enter an APN, User name or Password on the Modem -> Connection page. This information is already stored in the modem when it is plugged into the router.

IP Address

When using this type of modem you must be aware of the IP address that you use to access the modem using the web browser. On ZTE hostless modems this address is, while Huawei Hilink modems use

The subnet of the IP Address is "0" while the subnet of is "8".

This can cause a problem if the router uses the same IP address or subnet as the modem does. By default a ROOter uses to access the router's web interface and a conflict will happen if you are using some hostless modems. The modem and the router can not be on the same subnet.

The way to avoid this is to change the IP address of the router. In the router web interface go to Network -> Interfaces and click on the Edit button for the LAN. Change the IPv4 address to and then click on Save & Apply. You will have to manually change the IP address to in the web browser in order to get back to the router's web interface.

By giving the router a different subnet than the modem the router will work correctly and data will flow properly from the client devices to the internet. Most hostless modems are already using a different subset so this change is needed only for some modems.

You can then access the modem's web GUI using the same IP address as you would when it was plugged into a computer.

Network Status and SMS

Because these modems appear as an Ethernet device when plugged into the router there will be limited information displayed on the Network Status page. The same thing applies to SMS Messaging, as the modem is not accessable using AT Commands like a regular USB modem.