mobile internet on your kogan agora netbook

Three mobile broadband USB key (image courtesty of

UPDATE: I have just tried the kogan agora netbook coupled with a borrowed 3 USB mobile broadband internet key, and the setup was exactly the same as described below.

The kogan agora netbook is designed to be taken anywhere – on the road, on the train, down to the local, etcetera. And being a netbook, its primary use is the internet – email, the web, instant messaging, etcetera.

So it’s safe to assume that people are going to want to use mobile internet devices with the agora – be it a 3G USB dongle or mobile phone – to connect to the internet. So safe to assume, that Matt has already asked how this can be achieved.

Thanks to the gnome NetworkManager applet, connecting to these devices is easy! First off, connect your USB dongle or mobile phone (by USB – my Nokia 6120 works fine, just select “PC Suite” when you connect the USB cable). Next, from the Preferences menu click Network Connections, and then select the Mobile Broadband tab.

Now you need to add a new connection. Click the Add button, click Forward, and then select your mobile broadband provider. Click forward again, and then click Apply. You can now click the Close button on the Network Connections window.

The final step is to connect. Left click the NetworkManager icon in the top panel (next to the clock – see the last screenshot below), and select your mobile provider. After a few seconds, you should be connected and ready to roam!

Coming soon – connecting to your phone via bluetooth! I have been working on this the last couple of weeks, and whilst it’s a little hit and miss, I hope to post some information once I am confident it will be useful.


3 thoughts on “mobile internet on your kogan agora netbook

  1. Many thanks for this – I ended up working this out, but unfortunately the modem didn’t appear in the network list :-(

    Anyhows, I ended up installing Windows XP, as we bough the Agora for my sister-in-law who isn’t all that computer literate, so I opted for safe and simple XP set-up.

    But thanks again for your help – I enjoyed mucking around with Ubuntu!

    One warning I’ll give to anyone thinking of wiping the gOS install – I lost a number of drivers (wireless network and sound in particular, for both the Ubuntu and XP install) which was quite a pain in the arse to reinstall. So make sure you know how to re-find these in case it happens to you.

    Also, installing XP from usb was a reasonably complicated process – I couldn’t get it to work from the site that the Agora handbook links to, but I did manage to get it done relatively easy from the following link:

    It was much easier installing Ubuntu – thanks to Kayno’s instructions :-)

  2. Hello,

    I can also confirm that the Telstra NextG USB modem worked just fine.

    If you’re going to set this up, I would also recommend installing “Firestarter” under Ubuntu (Administration -> Package Manager). It is a Personal Firewall interface to iptables. Configure Firestarter (with your USB Modem attached) such that it is running on ppp0 (the modem/Internet interface) and so that it auto-starts when that interface/link comes up (i.e. whenever you are online, via the respective mobile network).

    Even though the mobile network you’re on may be using RFC1918 (private) addressing), you are not immune to attack. You should see probes/attacks from various Windows virus and worm infections, from other mobile network devices that are running as a Windows platform.

  3. Hi guys, Unfortunately I had already done what Matt warned about. Delete the gOS when installing XP Pro on my Agora. Damn!!!! Now I don’t have sound or networking. Matt, can you tell me how you achieved the workaround for these and anything else you came across please mate. My neighbour won the Agora in a raffle and didn’t have any idea of Ubuntu so I volunteered to install XP for him – big mistake (never volunteer sounds so good now). If this doesn’t get through to Matt perhaps someone else can give me some advice. Thanks heaps, Dennis

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