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How to use all Optus bands on your Nighthawk M5

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By Default, the Telstra sold Netgear Nighthawk M5 is NOT network locked, however it also does not have all of the Optus “Bands” enabled in its configuration. This means that you can put an Optus/Amaysim etc. Sim in the modem, and it may work with some API changes, however it won’t use all the bands that Optus has by default. This obviously isn’t ideal.

Luckily with a little bit of computer work we can enable these missing bands.

I’ll start with the very basics of accessing your Nighthawk and progress to the more difficult steps. Feel free to skip ahead to the stage you are up to.

ACCESSING YOUR ROUTER –

  • Connect your computer to the WIFI network of the Nighthawk. (The same network you use to access the internet through the device)
  • Open an Internet Browser
  • In the address bar at the top, type 192.168.1.1 and hit enter. This will bring up the login screen for the router.
  • Type in the Username and Password that you have set for the Router, if you haven’t set up anything, the default username and password are printed on a label inside the Router. Pull the back off and the battery out, and there will be a label underneath with this info.
  • Once you have logged in you will be presented with the Dashboard screen. This has a lot of useful info for you about your Nighthawk.

Adding in Optus Settings

  • First we click on the Settings menu up at the top of the screen.

  • Next we click on “Advanced Settings”, and then “Cellular”

  • Under the APN area, we select “ADD”

  • These settings can change, but in general this is what we use for AMAYSIM. (Our choice of Optus providers)

Advanced – Editing bands so that all Optus Bands work

Ok, here is the difficult part. Hopefully you all got to here ok!

Access via Telnet

  • First you must connect your computer to your Netgear M5 via a USB cable. The M5 has a USB-C port, you will need a USB-C to USB-A cable like the one included in the Nighthawk Box.
  • THIS WILL NOT WORK ON USB OR ETHERNET CONNECTION TO THE M5 ROUTER

For Windows:

  • Download a program called “Putty” this is a simple, lightweight program used to type commands to the router. https://www.putty.org/
  • Click the link above and it will take you to the page below. Click on the circled link on the image below to download the program.
  • Then install putty by clicking on the downloaded file.
  • Open Putty once it has installed and enter the details on the image below into the Putty window. Hostname – 192.168.1.1 Port 5510 select “Other” and “Telnet” then click Open.
  • Type (OR copy and then right click in the putty window to Paste), press enter AT!BAND=00,"All",2000004C00000,3A0080800C5,0,A0080800D5,3000
  • If this has worked correctly, you will get a response from the modem of OK.
  • Now, you can unplug from the modem and return to the modems settings in your browser. In Band Region change to “ALL” (And hit Apply down the bottom of the screen), select the Optus APN and your network selection should automatically change to Optus. If it doesn’t, you may need to change the network selection manually, by clicking the blue button.

  • Lastly, you just need to pop your Optus (Or Amaysim) sim card into the router and away you go!

For Mac

I am not a MAC user at all sorry, so I have done my best to try and get a working method for you guys, however I don’t have a mac to try this on. If it doesn’t work, please let me know via a message on Socials or through this site and I will try and help to get it to work and fix and adjust this article!

  • Connect Nighthawk M5 to your computer using a USB-C to USB-A cable.
  • Download Telnet Lite for macOS – https://mochasoft.dk/telnetmacx.htm
  • Telnet into the Router using the address 192.168.1.1 Port 5510
  • Enter the command AT!BAND=00,"All",2000004C00000,3A0080800C5,0,A0080800D5,3000
  • If this has worked correctly, you will get a response from the modem of OK.
  • Now, you can unplug from the modem and return to the modems settings in your browser. In Band Region change to “ALL” (And hit Apply down the bottom of the screen), select the Optus APN and your network selection should automatically change to Optus. If it doesn’t, you may need to change the network selection manually.

Hopefully someone can help and verify that this process works on Mac for me!

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Ben

    Just an easier way for mac users. Install Homebrew (https://brew.sh)
    Open Terminal and run -> [/bin/bash -c “$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/HEAD/install.sh)”] <– This is just a script to install the Homebrew Package Manager
    Once finished running type "brew install telnet" <– This is to install the telnet services/command
    Then you can just type in Terminal "telnet 192.168.1.1 5510"

    I'm currently trying to do this on an M2 but not getting much luck as it appears there is a password on the privileged commands if you know anyway around this that would be very helpful.

    1. admin

      Hi Ben,

      Thanks heaps for the info, I have absolutely no idea about Mac, so it’s appreciated for our Audience who do use them.

      Re: the privileged commands password, I can’t tell you, It’s not something I’ve encountered.

      The commands to change the bands shouldn’t be behind a password to the best of my knowledge.

      Dan

      1. Mouse

        Hi Dan. Just a quick message. Telstra have ceased selling the Nighthawk M 5 ( can’t get one) and are introducing a M6 in May. Do you have any visibility of new modem ? Sometimes new isn’t better.

  2. Michael Schipper

    Hi Ben – thx for the post – I did it on a mac but inside a virtual windows installation (I use parallels desktop).

    Followed the instructions to a T and it worked by the looks 🙂

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