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Verizon Cracks Down On Jailbreak Tethering

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the nickels-and-dimes-and-dollars-oh-my dept.

Wireless Networking 286

tekgoblin writes "Verizon, like AT&T has now started blocking jailbroken phones from using un-sanctioned tethering apps. Verizon will now require users to be subscribed to a mobile tethering plan to be able to use tethering at all." So which mobile company's actually any good for 3G tethering, voice service aside? My Virgin Mobile MiFi (bought under a plan no longer available) is theoretically unlimited and "only" $40/month, but has had too much downtime for my taste, and atrocious customer service.

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How do they tell? (4, Insightful)

jsnipy (913480) | more than 3 years ago | (#37029280)

How do they even tell tethered traffic from non?

Re:How do they tell? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37029288)

Highly illegal deep packet inspection. :) It breaks a ton of privacy laws put in place by the Fed AND local governments.

Re:How do they tell? (1)

geekboybt (866398) | more than 3 years ago | (#37029292)

I'd imagine that traffic from a desktop/laptop is far different from that of a mobile phone. For starters, significant amounts of HTTP traffic with a user agent from Windows/Mac/Linux would be a tipoff. Not saying it's foolproof or the only way, for sure, but that would be one easy way to narrow down the list.

Re:How do they tell? (1)

chucklebutte (921447) | more than 3 years ago | (#37029538)

My Blackberry browser allows me to choose how I am represented to websites i.e. IE, Firefox, or Blackberry... Also tethering comes with Blackberry desktop manager, and is enabled by default if bluetooth is enabled....

Re:How do they tell? (1)

SwedishChef (69313) | more than 3 years ago | (#37029314)

They may be looking at browser tags and anything that doesn't come standard on an un-jailbroken cell phone would be considered an unauthorized tether. But that's just a guess. And, of course, it can easily be spoofed.

Re:How do they tell? (1)

spyder-implee (864295) | more than 3 years ago | (#37029446)

That's an interesting point, I wonder (if that were the case) what their position would be if you have a netbook with a cellular device built-in, and use it for voice and data? Would your data end up getting blocked because of a non-mobile user agent?

Re:How do they tell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37029850)

That's an interesting point, I wonder (if that were the case) what their position would be if you have a netbook with a cellular device built-in, and use it for voice and data? Would your data end up getting blocked because of a non-mobile user agent?

Your TOS only allow you to use devices validated as allowed their network so if you were using a cellular device in a netbook they would make sure you have the correct plan to go with it. Else if you are VERY cellular tech savy and just got some random cellular device to attach to their network on your account somehow(cloning?)then you would be in violation of your TOS for that plan and would hear from them.

If a simple way to do this came about and came into even moderate use it would scare them enough that I guaranty they would come down with a huge hammer. As in likely criminal hacking prosecutions for a few to make examples of them.

Re:How do they tell? (1)

schnikies79 (788746) | more than 3 years ago | (#37029466)

You can change user-agents on browsers available in the Apple app store. They even provide an official API for doing it.

Re:How do they tell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37029318)

I believe it looks at th packet's TTL value. Traffic from the phone has one value and traffic originating elsewhere has that value -1. At least that's what I read someplace.

Re:How do they tell? (2)

sunderland56 (621843) | more than 3 years ago | (#37029438)

Assuming they are doing it by packet inspection: Just run a strongly encrypted VPN to your home server, and use that internet connection. All Verizon will see is VPN traffic, which is legal.

Re:How do they tell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37029506)

Have anyone tried to do VPN at the phone level? iPhone ---> VPN connection to home server.

And then tethering from the other devices through the iphone's VPN?

That way, there should not be a need to set-up VPN on multiple devices.

Re:How do they tell? (0)

Paradyme (950782) | more than 3 years ago | (#37029784)

Assuming they are doing it by packet inspection: Just run a strongly encrypted VPN to your home server, and use that internet connection. All Verizon will see is VPN traffic, which is legal.

At the point that you connect to VPN using cell phone, it's semi-obvious you're tethering.

Re:How do they tell? (2)

Calos (2281322) | more than 3 years ago | (#37029800)

Eh, I don't think so. I've set up a VPN for use from my phone and I don't tether. I just don't trust random open wifi networks, and feel semi-insecure doing things with sensitive info like banking without it.

Plus I have access to files at home, and all web traffic routed to my phone is filtered with Privoxy and compressed with Ziproxy.

Re:How do they tell? (4, Insightful)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#37029842)

I use VPNs all the time on my cell phone, and never for tethering. I don't really trust most wireless networks out there, so having my traffic going through an encrypted tunnel out is something I do as a matter of routine. A lot of "free" Wi-Fi places also have ad injectors (a la Phorm) so having an encrypted link gets rid of third party meddling in what I am doing.

Re:How do they tell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37029494)

How do they even tell tethered traffic from non?

They cant really. A packet destined for a smartphone is exactly the same as a packet destined for a desktop. I imagine they will be looking for traffic that couldn't be originated from a smartphone (online gaming, etc...). My personal belief is that this type of thing should be covered under net neutrality.

Re:How do they tell? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37029574)

Wow. Verizon's tethering is so terrible as to be almost unuseable. It's one of the only things that I've ever requested a refund for after having attempted and failed at using it. Verizon tethering simply wouldn't stay up for more than a couple minutes for me. The reason for that seems to be that it creates some sort of tunnel or vpn to a verizon server and that tunnel is prone to failure. It was seriously the most crappy piece of software that I've used in years.

That vpn/tunnel is probably how they tell if it's legitimately tethered or not.

Hopefully all people previously using free tethering will sign up for the legit tethering and then ask for a refund so vzw figures out that their method doesn't work well.

Re:How do they tell? (1)

sirsnork (530512) | more than 3 years ago | (#37029656)

Phone based traffic is sent via their WAP gateway where as tethered traffic isn't, at least that's what someone said in a previous article on the subject. If thats true then all they need to do is monitor all non WAP traffic and compare where it's coming from against the people paying for tethering.

Re:How do they tell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37029744)

No smartphone uses a WAP gateway. Direct access to the open internet is what makes full-featured web browsing and apps possible.

Re:How do they tell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37029792)

That was true of non-smart phones half a decade ago.

AFAIK, the difference is in the NAI
tethered connections will have a number@dun.vzw3g.com
native connections have a number@vzw3g.com

If you can flash a custom ROM, or get into the NAM you should be able to change this behavior.

Re:How do they tell? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37029796)

Phone based traffic is sent via their WAP gateway where as tethered traffic isn't, at least that's what someone said in a previous article on the subject. If thats true then all they need to do is monitor all non WAP traffic and compare where it's coming from against the people paying for tethering.

This is not true. WAP was for phones before they had browsers that could read full HTML. The WAP server acted as a proxy and converted the HTML down to a subset that the phones could handle. This stopping being true with the advent of modern smartphones that can do standard HTML.

While I can't say for sure, as they could be doing something I'm not aware of, my guess is it's just simple DPI which means the previous posters suggestion of using your tether to make a VPN tunnel back to your home router/server should work. Might need to check for client sigs in VPN tunnel setup as a laptop client like Cisco AnyConnect might give itself away durning initial tunnel setup.

However if you run up the bytes I'm guessing you'll still hear from them.

Re:How do they tell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37029818)

AT&T was possibly looking at the TTL value

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1140306 [macrumors.com]

Re:How do they tell? (1)

Calos (2281322) | more than 3 years ago | (#37029858)

Aside from browser ID strings - which as others mentioned are easily spoofed - traffic patterns are probably just as identifiable. If I were to tether from my computer, it's not just browser traffic they would see. My mail client would be reaching out checking for updates, Dropbox would keep checking for changes and syncing, as would Evernote... This is probably especially true for Windows users: antivirus traffic, Windows update traffic... Youtube videos could be loaded that otherwise wouldn't on a mobile device. Short, high-bandwidth bursts of traffic are more likely from a tethered desktop than a phone - in Chrome I often load up 6-8 of the pages in my home tab on start, simultaneously. That's hard to do in a mobile browser. Even the user agent string is a good indication - who browses everything with a user agent set to a desktop on a mobile device? Sure, it's useful at times, if a site is misbehaving, but most often the mobile versions of pages are better for mobile devices. If they see a whole session of browsing with a desktop user agent, yeah, they'll probably be suspicious.

And your browser reports more than what browser it is, what version, what OS. They generally report information on plugins and fonts and compatibilities, too, which can be very unique and easily identifiable: https://panopticlick.eff.org/ [eff.org]

Re:How do they tell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37029876)

It would be very easy for any network engineer with a familiarity of tcpdump/snoop et al to determine PC traffic from a cell phone. I can easily rattle off heuristics (without much thought) from the obvious: connecting to a Warcraft server, browser ID (yes easily spoofed, but can add to the evidence), hosting a Quake server, heck even monitoring the general speed of web browsing/AJAX requests (dozens of tabs open = contacting multiple web servers in seconds?). To the more esoteric: OS fingerprinting [wikipedia.org] . Removing the human element and automating something like that, however, would be more difficult and error prone I imagine.

Customer No-Service (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37029286)

My Virgin Mobile MiFi (bought under a plan no longer available) is theoretically unlimited and "only" $40/month, but has had too much downtime for my taste, and atrocious customer service.

As long as most customers who call for service are idiots who either actively create their own problems or can't be bothered to read a manual written to target a 4th-grade reading level, then this is a good thing.

People like that won't use common sense on their own. You have to provide an incentive. Remotely administered electric shocks create a lot of thorny legal problems so shitty service is a stop-gap solution.

Anyone who has ever worked a support line and dealt with the hellishness of not only rampant stupidity, but not being allowed to tell idiots that they are in fact idiots (not sure which is worse) will understand. The rest of you, if you haven't been there, you might feel quick to condemn me but you really don't know what you're talking about. Not that that ever stops anyone, of course, because you know everything don't you?

Sprint (2)

twilightzero (244291) | more than 3 years ago | (#37029290)

My HTC Evo comes with a wi-fi hotspot app built in that allows I believe 4 clients. It may not be the fastest but it works.

Re:Sprint (1)

XanC (644172) | more than 3 years ago | (#37029304)

Does that work without the $30/month account extra? Since it can be turned on and off without re-upping the contract, and it's billed on a daily basis, I do find it useful on the odd occasion I know I'm going to need it.

Re:Sprint (2)

Yosho (135835) | more than 3 years ago | (#37029342)

The app that Sprint bundles with their phones does require the $30/month extra. However, if you root your phone, you can install a third-party application (such as Wireless Tether) and use it without paying the fee. As far as I can tell, Sprint doesn't cap bandwidth and does not block devices; just last weekend I tethered a tablet to my Evo Shift 4G and was using it constantly.

Re:Sprint (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37029312)

I pay for their tethering plan and Sprint on EVO rocks. It is my only internet. When I lived in NYC and had 4G it was totally awesome. Now in Indy, not to awesome but I can still stream movies.

Re:Sprint (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37029698)

Root + Cyanogen or android-wifi-tether is free, 4G is pretty fast... 10meg max, around 5meg average in the areas I've been to. It's true that it's $30 a month for the tethering if you want to be legit but it does in fact work just fine if you're rooted and not paying. I've had 16GB months and average about 4GB and have not heard a peep from Sprint. Also, I'm on the Everything plan and am enjoying the only remaining (non-grandfathered) truly unlimited data plan left in the country.

Terms of Service (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37029296)

N'uff said

Re:Terms of Service (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37029472)

yawn.. fuck 'em.. you TOS appeaser corp-rats are no better than the pro-government wannabe-tyrants who think the government can dictate reality with law.

Re:Terms of Service (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 3 years ago | (#37029742)

Honestly, terms of service for almost anything now have reached such absurd levels in how lopsided they are that I just ignore the damned things now for anything I'm not using for business or negotiating for someone else. For personal use?

I got an email the other day from EA regarding them rolling over some account I registered years ago to Origin, and in their email was legalese describing how me not explicitly cancelling this new service was the same as me accepting the terms. Added onto that was their statement that they may "Alter the terms at any point, etc."

Now, for services provided to me which I am not paying for directly (I am paying for it by licensing my personal information though), I don't mind the ability for people to change terms to services they run on their servers, but it's slowly becoming that a lot of my purchased products have hooks in them which tie them back to the online service and their insane terms.

But I'm at the point where I just don't care. I'll open up a new email address and restart the service as long as they aren't revoking any of my ability to use purchased items. Now, once they start on that angle (and I'm sure they will eventually). It simply becomes a tradeoff analysis for me.

And we are back to the point where we decided that courts were a pretty good thing.

Pilgrim Jim and Bob get into a fist fight over rights of way for their sheep grazing. So society setup a system where we could sue each other instead of resorting to physical violence. What do you think is going to happen once one side effectively prohibits the other from seeking a redress in the legal system?

The big 3 in Canada (2)

zoffdino (848658) | more than 3 years ago | (#37029320)

All of the big 3 in Canada allow tethering. I started with Rogers in 2008 not blocking jailbroken tethering. When Bell and Telus got the iPhone, they also allowed it. However, prices have gone up quite a bit, from $30 / 6GB to $30 / 1GB (3 times increase???) in three years. The good thing is, they usually let you keep your old plan even if you no longer qualify as student, or not part of a family pack, etc.

Re:The big 3 in Canada (3, Interesting)

green1 (322787) | more than 3 years ago | (#37029674)

Not only does TELUS allow tethering, they actively encourage it. When they updated my Motorola milestone to froyo they bundled a tethering app that was not previously there. Additionally they are selling wifi only tablets and bragging that you don't need a separate data plan, you can simply use tethering. (according to the website "Share one data plan between your smartphone and tablet at no extra cost. It's easy, affordable, worry-free and secure." (bold text in original))

Now as for the plans themselves... these need major work, the biggest plan you can buy from TELUS is 5gig. They simply don't sell a bigger plan than that. I find this rather abysmally low.

So I took my iPhone 4 SIM out (1)

hsmith (818216) | more than 3 years ago | (#37029324)

and put it in my Nexus S to tether - so I guess it isn't a jailbroken device, right?

Re:So I took my iPhone 4 SIM out (2)

Vegeta99 (219501) | more than 3 years ago | (#37029766)

You didn't do that on a Verizon phone.

they can't (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37029326)

it's not possible from them to be able to tell, unless they start forcing everyone to go through proxy but there less problems to.

Sprint (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37029330)

I know lots of people don't like sprint but they have unlimited data and you can tether all you want. Kinda makes that cloud drive you have more useful when you're not getting raped by your provider for data. I left verizon for sprint and don't regret it at all.

Sprint (2)

timothyb89 (1259272) | more than 3 years ago | (#37029350)

Their speeds aren't the best, but they don't restrict usage at all. I can tether my (rooted) 4G android phone for free with no data caps or throttling (as far as I can tell), and on occasion I've used nearly ten gigs over a WiMAX connection while on vacation without any issue. I've rarely needed customer service as downtime and issues in general are virtually nonexistent, but it's there when needed and is pretty good.

As for price, though, the smaller/contractless providers like Virgin Mobile may be your best bet. I've heard they're far cheaper than any of the "big three" and make good on their "unlimited" promises. Even so, I can't vouch for their quality, having never used one myself.

Re:Sprint (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37029384)

Similar experience here. I have an EVO 4G modded with Cyanogenmod 7 and i can turn my phone into a hotspot. Wireless is pretty fast. Tethering is very simple. Unlimited data. I use the 4G occasionally and if it's in a good area the speed is pretty decent. Makes my amazon/google music storage much more useful. I always hear people bash sprint but honestly I've had a great experience with them since i left verizon.. and i can almost sit down without pain now. (FUVerizon!)

Re:Sprint (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37029390)

As for price, though, the smaller/contractless providers like Virgin Mobile may be your best bet. I've heard they're far cheaper than any of the "big three" and make good on their "unlimited" promises. Even so, I can't vouch for their quality, having never used one myself.

Cool story, bro

Re:Sprint (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 3 years ago | (#37029444)

Virgin Mobile is a Sprint owned company in the U.S., it was a joint venture but Sprint bought Virgin out and purchased rights to use the brand.

Virgin phones only talk to Sprint owned towers, no Verizon towers, so the coverage isn't as good.

Re:Sprint (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37029548)

On Android, you don't even need to root your device to tether it. There are utilities that do require a utility on your PC, and ADB access, or do their magic over Bluetooth.

The advantage of using a utility like this is that you do not have a wireless attack surface someone can potentially hack.

Re:Sprint (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#37029654)

Stock Android has USB tethering out of the box since, IIRC, 2.2.

Re:Sprint (1)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#37029866)

It does, but cellular carriers have the ability to disable it. I know that by default, Verizon devices won't show up the option for tethering (wireless or USB) unless you have the option on your phone.

Of course, that is easily gotten around with a custom ROM, or root.

Re:Sprint (2)

Calos (2281322) | more than 3 years ago | (#37029878)

...but you'll rarely see stock Android on your phone. To install a version that the tethering hasn't been cut out of by the carrier or manufacturer, you still need root.

t mobile (1)

hierophanta (1345511) | more than 3 years ago | (#37029354)

i like t mobile's plan scheme, where the first 2gig is at full speed and then your speed gets knocked down. instead of paying an arm and a leg for the data. their data plans are $10 a month and i've always been able to tether for free using the phone off the shelf. i hate to say it, but with their shitty service and all but they've got the best setup. all told i think that is a $20-50 per month saving

Re:t mobile (1)

scottbomb (1290580) | more than 3 years ago | (#37029408)

That's what sold me on T-Mobile. It will be interesting (likely a very sad day) to see how that changes when AT&T takes over.

Re:t mobile (1)

kybred (795293) | more than 3 years ago | (#37029478)

i like t mobile's plan scheme, where the first 2gig is at full speed and then your speed gets knocked down. instead of paying an arm and a leg for the data. their data plans are $10 a month and i've always been able to tether for free using the phone off the shelf. i hate to say it, but with their shitty service and all but they've got the best setup. all told i think that is a $20-50 per month saving

I've got T-mo as well. My (un-rooted) Vibrant came with a option in the settings to enable it to be a WiFi AP. When I bought the phone I was told that I could tether with no extra charges. Then a couple of months after I got it, this came out [androidpolice.com] :

T-Mobile recently announced the upcoming availability of a Tethering and Wi-Fi Sharing service plan that enables select smartphones to function as wireless modems for connecting devices, such as laptops, tablets and netbooks, to the Internet through the T-Mobile network.

I've only used it a couple of time, for my iPad, and so far they haven't modified my plan. But from the wording, it looks like they could. I suppose they'll only go after the biggest data hogs.

Re:t mobile (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37029634)

2nd that. Been tethering on my G2 since I got it last year. And their "4G" is fast as hell, faster than airport wifi.

Telstra (1)

batkiwi (137781) | more than 3 years ago | (#37029360)

Telstra offers quite reliable 3G service, and for $30 on prepaid you get about 400 minutes (depending on call lengths) plus 400 megs, $40 gets you ~1000 minutes and 800 megs, or $60 gets you 2000 minutes and 3GB.

No restrictions on device, tether all you want.

Re:Telstra (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 3 years ago | (#37029814)

Sure recall http://apcmag.com/telstra-to-block-ipad-micro-sims-in-other-devices.htm [apcmag.com]
It was fun deal when the new devices entered the Australian market and they wanted in on the buzz.
You can use any device you want until x00 megs.
In Australia its a per meg limit. In the US its a rent the $x1000 dongle with some 'free'* downloads.

With what staff do they intend to do this? (1)

waddgodd (34934) | more than 3 years ago | (#37029374)

In MA, the IBEW and CWA declared a strike against Verizon starting yesterday (Sunday). So, Verizon has very little trained staff on right now, and they want to do things to make their phones seem like they're broken to the end-user. This will turn out well....

Re:With what staff do they intend to do this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37029418)

Wireless group is not involved. Its in every news story.

Re:With what staff do they intend to do this? (1, Troll)

Anonymous Psychopath (18031) | more than 3 years ago | (#37029430)

In MA, the IBEW and CWA declared a strike against Verizon starting yesterday (Sunday). So, Verizon has very little trained staff on right now, and they want to do things to make their phones seem like they're broken to the end-user. This will turn out well....

I have this idea that union members are never the brains behind any operation.

Re:With what staff do they intend to do this? (1, Troll)

Antisyzygy (1495469) | more than 3 years ago | (#37029474)

Uhh, no. Verizon wants to do this to double dip into your wallet. They are greedy, and have no government oversight. Government oversight occurred on landlines to prevent things like this, and now for some reason Congress sees a major difference between the way land lines should be regulated, and the way wireless lines should be regulated even though they both are pretty much the same thing and serve similar purposes. Its all a big crock to make as few of people as much money as possible.

Re:With what staff do they intend to do this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37029480)

Verizon is on strike not Verizon Wireless. They are two separate companies.

Re:With what staff do they intend to do this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37029622)

Verizon != Verizon Wireless....

Re:With what staff do they intend to do this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37029794)

The strike is pointless. The result either will be Verizon shutting down that facility and outsourcing immediately, firing all the strikers (which is easily done), or at worse, giving in their demands, and in 1-2 years, replacing the call center with one in India, and the skilled labor with H-1Bs. You know those want ads in the paper asking for 11 years of experience with Word 2010 or 5 years of experience with Cisco Nexus hardware? Those are not just yuks. Those are so the hiring firm can get the H-1B person they want without stooping to hire someone domestic.

Most likely the result we will see is a bunch of IBEW members looking for work in a couple weeks.

What about the new FCC law the says any app and an (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 3 years ago | (#37029404)

What about the new FCC law the says any app and any network?

Re:What about the new FCC law the says any app and (1)

Anonymous Psychopath (18031) | more than 3 years ago | (#37029440)

What about the new FCC law the says any app and any network?

That policy does not say what free tethering proponents think it says.

Re:What about the new FCC law the says any app and (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37029482)

It's hard to argue against free tethering when Gingerbread includes it in the base operating system. I'm reminded of home ISPs and their very brief war against routers.

Re:What about the new FCC law the says any app and (1)

mykos (1627575) | more than 3 years ago | (#37029590)

I think the default stance of telecoms is "Oh yeah? Sue me."

In the UK... (2)

webmistressrachel (903577) | more than 3 years ago | (#37029442)

In the UK, there's one big 3G-only network offering unlimited data for £15 a month on PAYG.

Grab a Sony-Ericsson A2 handset supporting HSPDA, stick your SIM in there, and tether with the oldest version of the PC-suite you can find (they get worse and more unreliable the newer they get).

I HAMMER that fucker, and have done since the plan came out, and not a single complaint and never throttled - we're talking gigs a day over Bittorrent / eMule. Customer support told me they don't want to know what I'm doing, they don't support it, but they don't stop it.

Anybody with the brains to figure out which network I'm referring to, feel free, but if it hits critical mass I feel it will come to an end. And all because I posted on /. - I was in two minds whether or not to. Please do not post the network's name in replies to this post. I like it this way.

Re:In the UK... (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 3 years ago | (#37029660)

this is what makes throttling and metering necessary: since everybody doing that would take the networks down, nobody (in the name of fairness) can be allowed to do it.

Re:In the UK... (1)

webmistressrachel (903577) | more than 3 years ago | (#37029736)

During the same support call, the rep told me that the network would prioritise voice, text and pay per gig traffic. I was quite relieved, not only because of the guilt aspect (tragedy of the commons) but also because I know that my torrent is not hurting their profit margins. They seen fairly impressed that I had asked, and told me not to worry, enjoy it!

Sprint (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37029450)

My first generation Pre is still chuggin' along, with super easily installed homebrew on the still awesome WebOS (this homebrew includes a great free tethering app). I've used my data plan as my only internet connection several times, even for online games or (reasonable) downloading.

Maybe Not (2)

ducttapekz (879839) | more than 3 years ago | (#37029452)

1. After clicking through a few links I found the original story:

http://www.mobiledia.com/news/101731.html [mobiledia.com]

2. Mine still works. The only source I found is some guy who says he got the landing page you get when you use Verizon's app. Anyone actually get this warning using any of the non Verizon apps?

Re:Maybe Not (1)

Galactic Dominator (944134) | more than 3 years ago | (#37029486)

I found particularly interesting the phrase "illegal data tetherers". Something doesn't smell right here.

This should drive them out of business (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37029454)

If consumers weren't so stupid, this should drive companies like this out of business. I am not sure why Verizon and other mobile providers charge X number of bucks a month for unlimited data, then smack you with additional fees for tethering. Either that, or they charge for tiered data plans. Data usage is data usage.

So sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37029462)

The iPhone makes an awesome (wired/wireless) router. It gets hot and the battery runs out, but it's really fast!
In the US you have hot spots all over the place, we don't have that in Australia. So the convenience of reaching into your pocket and pressing some buttons and then having a super fast internet connection for a couple of people is awesome!

You can even put the iPhone back in your pocket. When it's cold it helps to keep your nuts warm too.

Re:So sad (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37029576)

You can even put the iPhone back in your pocket. When it's cold it helps to keep your nuts warm too.

iPhone owners mustn't let their balls freeze, lest their boyfriends complain vigorously.

Sprint (2)

zogre (1080899) | more than 3 years ago | (#37029468)

I have Sprint, they've never given me a problem about tethering. As far as I can tell, there's no data cap on my unlimited plan (2 Epic 4G phones, $150 /mo unlimited everything family with the 4G premium, both phones are rooted and running Froyo 2.6.32.9).

My wife is a heavy media consumer with Pandora and Netflix. Occasionally my AT&T home internet goes out, and I stay online for work and play by using Wired Tether (http://android-wired-tether.googlecode.com/ [googlecode.com] ) because my desktop doesn't have 802.11. I frequently use the Wireless Tether (http://android-wifi-tether.googlecode.com/ [googlecode.com] ) when I'm out and about with my laptop, as my "4G" (San Francisco bay area) is generally faster than free WiFi and I don't have to deal with a gateway.

All told, it's rare for us to be under 4 gigs per month, and I haven't received any communication from Sprint other than the occasional text advertisement and our monthly statement, but YMMV.

If you are shopping jacket local NORTH won't hard (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37029470)

If you are shopping jacket local NORTH won't hard to find
Put Your big and small retailers will be north face, you will find that, if you shop, early can save quite a lot of money. In addition, if you are willing to compromise a bit, you can purchase the sorting through the sum after choose what left. Because retailers get so many size and so many of the same coat, chances are, you will still find what you like, but it will be marked down. Wait for only two to three weeks longer than usual to shop for your jacket, will allow you to save a bundle of money. Whennorth face jackets [northface-online.org] you shopping jacket NORTH put must hold to use one of the best brand. Many will have surpluses NORTH because the others don't put jacket, pay so much a coat!!!!! This is why you can usually wait a bit longer, retailers, in honor of buy before jacket, in many areas of the world not only in winter you need a good coat, but all of the season. If you are shopping jacket local NORTH won't hard to find
Put Your big and small retailers will be north face, you will find that, if you shop, early can save quite a lot of money. In addition, if you are willing to compromise a bit, you can purchase the sorting through the sum after choose what left. Because retailers get so many size and so many of the same coat, chances are, you will still find what you like, but it will be marked down. Wait for only two to three weeks longer than usual to shop for your jacket, will allow you to save a bundle of money. Whennorth face jackets [northface-online.org] you shopping jacket NORTH put must hold to use one of the best brand. Many will have surpluses NORTH because the others don't put jacket, pay so much a coat!!!!! This is why you can usually wait a bit longer, retailers, in honor of buy before jacket, in many areas of the world not only in winter you need a good coat, but all of the season.

Remember, it's a cell phone company (1)

JoeCommodore (567479) | more than 3 years ago | (#37029502)

Sky High Promises
High Rates
Bad Service
Lousy Support
and the power to get away with it.

Nothing new there, even before smartphones the complaints were the same.

Whats the difference how you use the data??? (1)

Cutting_Crew (708624) | more than 3 years ago | (#37029508)

What difference does it make whether you natively use the phone to get on the net or use another device to connect to the phone to get on the net? the same source of data is still the phone regardless.

Re:Whats the difference how you use the data??? (1)

tooyoung (853621) | more than 3 years ago | (#37029664)

What difference does it make whether you natively use the phone to get on the net or use another device to connect to the phone to get on the net? the same source of data is still the phone regardless.

You are aware they charge for text messaging...

Re:Whats the difference how you use the data??? (1)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 3 years ago | (#37029712)

Desktops are more convenient to use, and so people end up using much more data on them. If all you use the tether for is browsing, then they shouldn't care. But if you're streaming an entire TV season on Netflix and downloading games on Steam, you're going to use up a lot of bandwidth. They want to dissuade people from doing that.

The good way to do it would be with a flat price per GB, with a discount during off-peak hours. But they can make more money with the current tiered service plans, so that's what they'll do until and unless they are forced to stop through either competition (unlikely since other carriers can also make more money with the same tactics) or a law (unlikely since the Republicans are slaves to big business and the Democrats are spineless cowards who'll abandon their "principles" at the first sign of a fight).

Re:Whats the difference how you use the data??? (2)

Cutting_Crew (708624) | more than 3 years ago | (#37029758)

They want to dissuade people from doing that.

thats none of their business. If we have 2 GB of data allowed then how we get that data shouldn't matter. As someone else said, if we watch netflix the faster we get to the limit and the chance of paying overage fees are feasible. Don't understand why they wouldnt want to go that route.

link is dead and no other sources can be found (1)

postmortem (906676) | more than 3 years ago | (#37029516)

Does anybody have another credible source?

Re:link is dead and no other sources can be found (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37029556)

Try this [tekgoblin.com] (In other words, link is not broken)

Why should they care? (1)

webdog314 (960286) | more than 3 years ago | (#37029554)

I suppose it makes their lousy network actually look as bad as it really is, but why else should they care? Didn't they do away with unlimited plans? If you're paying for the data, why should they give a damn how you are actually using it... unless of course, they CAN'T actually supply the data and bandwidth they are advertising. It's like selling lollipops but saying that you can't give one to your friend. If you run out of lollipops and want to buy more, ISN'T THAT THE WHOLE POINT??

We use Cyanogen in my family (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37029564)

We also use Firefox with a default Android useragent while browsing tethered through Cyanogenmod on our phones.

....'cause fuck Verizon, that's why. I wanted a Nexus S with actual service.

Still works for me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37029572)

Posted this using MyWi 4.0 tethering.

This is why unlimited data plans are stupid (1)

tolomea (1026104) | more than 3 years ago | (#37029592)

Nothing is ever really unlimited, they are just making assumptions about your potential usage based on device. If just you paid for the data you used they wouldn't give a damn what you were using it for and would actively encourage things like tethering as a way of encouraging you to use more data.

Re:This is why unlimited data plans are stupid (0)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#37029696)

The thing is, they're not even confining their fraud to "unlimited" any more. Now they're offering metered plans and calling you a hog if you dare to use what they sold you.

It's like McDonald's wanting to charge you an extra bathroom surcharge if you dare to actually drink all of your stupid sized soda.

jailbreak tether? pay for it? root? (1)

bhcompy (1877290) | more than 3 years ago | (#37029594)

My WinMo6.1 phone does it out of the box. It's built into the OS

Re:jailbreak tether? pay for it? root? (2)

mjwx (966435) | more than 3 years ago | (#37029686)

My WinMo6.1 phone does it out of the box. It's built into the OS

So do most Android phones. The tethering API has been included since 2.2 and HTC Sense has had it built in since 2.1.

If you're getting bent over by your phone company it's not your handsets fault (unless your handset was built for that purpose, which makes them an accessory).

Re:jailbreak tether? pay for it? root? (1)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 3 years ago | (#37029722)

Androids do tethering out of the box too. But some carriers charge extra for tethered data. By rooting the phone, you can hide the fact that you're using it as a tether and thereby avoid the extra charges. That's what Verizon is cracking down on.

Whatever (1)

xq311z (2432914) | more than 3 years ago | (#37029596)

Just used barnacle to view this story!

Pick one or the other (1, Insightful)

Solandri (704621) | more than 3 years ago | (#37029636)

Either you get rid of unlimited accounts and charge by the GB, in which case it shouldn't matter to you whether those GBs are from the phone or tethered. Or you restrict tethering because people on unlimited accounts are using too much bandwidth while tethered. Charging for tethering while at the same time charging per GB is trying to have your cake and eat it too.

The FTC should step in and make it illegal to advertise bandwidth as "x GB" if the carrier puts restrictions on exactly what is and isn't allowed in those GB. At the very least it should come with an asterisk and a disclosure of limitations at the bottom of the ad. That way people know not to compare GB* to GB.

Re:Pick one or the other (1)

Paradyme (950782) | more than 3 years ago | (#37029822)

Either you get rid of unlimited accounts and charge by the GB, in which case it shouldn't matter to you whether those GBs are from the phone or tethered. Or you restrict tethering because people on unlimited accounts are using too much bandwidth while tethered. Charging for tethering while at the same time charging per GB is trying to have your cake and eat it too. The FTC should step in and make it illegal to advertise bandwidth as "x GB" if the carrier puts restrictions on exactly what is and isn't allowed in those GB. At the very least it should come with an asterisk and a disclosure of limitations at the bottom of the ad. That way people know not to compare GB* to GB.

Good luck trying to impose that. I might be shooting my karma, but what the phone companies are doing is not illegal, and it isn't unexpected. Just like a private person has the right to decide whether you agree to the terms set by contract, the company has right to decide whether to sell you the contract or not. If you do not agree and think this style of contract is making them lose huge amounts of business... Go ahead and start your own telecom company.

Re:Pick one or the other (1)

webdog314 (960286) | more than 3 years ago | (#37029844)

Actually, it might be more apt to say they want to have their cake... and my cake... and eat them both.

Is this just an iPhone thing? (2)

AgentBurbank (1282070) | more than 3 years ago | (#37029714)

They use the term "jailbreak" and the Forbes article [forbes.com] refers to an app named MyWi that is available via Cydia. This terminology leads me to believe they are specifically targeting jailbroken iPhone tethering. Android phones like the Droid X and X2 tether "out of the box" (unrooted) with apps from Google's marketplace. No jailbreaking/rooting/evil hax0ring required.

Re:Is this just an iPhone thing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37029782)

No "ebil hax0ring" required on the iphone either, you just pay a bit extra, and voila, tethering! service is good, never noticed any down time (for the price this is the what you'd expect...)

ATT and Nokia E71 (2)

trailerparkcassanova (469342) | more than 3 years ago | (#37029768)

Not the ATT-supplied E71x. I can tether using my Medianet account with this phone. Also a RAZR v3xx makes a very good tethering device. Both work very well and it was my only net access for a few months.

All this heavy handed crap... (1)

Red_Chaos1 (95148) | more than 3 years ago | (#37029770)

...is just making Sprint look better and better really. Unless the guy at the Sprint store was lying to me, they don't care if you tether, they don't seem to care if you root, and they still have unlimited data (though apparently you need to root and such to avoid throttling at some point).

Who wins in this race to the bottom? (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#37029832)

Punishing customers, limiting services, lies in advertising... and we in the US continue to tolerate it. I don't and I won't but I am not large enough in numbers to make any difference. I just have to wonder what is wrong with the majority of people who are too lazy to vote with their dollars and to shop around for what's best. Damned sheeple.

Credo Mobile (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37029840)

I'm on my second rooted Android phone on Credo Mobile with unlimited data and I've never received any complaints about my tethering. This is doubly great for me whenever Comcast cuts out (which is far too frequent).

While the phones on Credo are a few generations behind, they do donate toward user-chosen progressive causes and encourage Credo subscribers to speak out against such activities as the proposed AT&T / T-Mobile merger.

Not available in all areas, but worth checking out: http://www.credomobile.com/

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