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Old May 2nd, 2011, 05:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Wireless Tethering...Free ride over??

Time to backup those APKs and get rooted (if you're not already), I guess it's always been this way but.....meh.

Carriers crack down on Android tethering apps, rain on our mobile hotspot parade -- Engadget

Any thoughts?

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Old May 2nd, 2011, 05:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Time to backup those APKs and get rooted (if you're not already), I guess it's always been this way but.....meh.

Carriers crack down on Android tethering apps, rain on our mobile hotspot parade -- Engadget

Any thoughts?
It's against the contract that I signed when I agreed to use Verizon's data service, so I do not do it. There are hotspot-capable phones available on Verizon if I ever need the service. In fact, I'm 100% certain that my next phone will have the capability to sign on to the service if I need it.

I'm not trying to be a turd, but those are my thoughts.
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Old May 2nd, 2011, 07:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
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PDANet now has the ability to hide tethering use.
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Old May 2nd, 2011, 08:29 PM   #4 (permalink)
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PDANet now has the ability to hide tethering use.
You have to sideload it now - Verizon has pulled it from the market. You cannot install it even from market.android.com.
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Old May 2nd, 2011, 08:33 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I saw that. I bought it last year but haven't checked to see if I can get the update from them easily.

* Nope. It looks like PDANet now has to be installed from a computer.
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Old May 3rd, 2011, 10:20 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Well, at least they failed to realize one glaring flaw in their plans, is that you can sideload these apps, and I'm sure that the APK's will show up aplenty with a quick Google search. Might slow down those who are less tech savvy, but odds are, many of these apps require you to be rooted, and if you can root your phone, odds are, you can handle sideloading a tethering app.
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Old May 4th, 2011, 08:21 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Well, at least they failed to realize one glaring flaw in their plans, is that you can sideload these apps, and I'm sure that the APK's will show up aplenty with a quick Google search. Might slow down those who are less tech savvy, but odds are, many of these apps require you to be rooted, and if you can root your phone, odds are, you can handle sideloading a tethering app.
If they look at traffic and see a lot of web traffic with non-Android user agents, they pretty much know that the traffic did not originate with the phone. That must be one of the things that PDANet is doing - or they are encrypting the packets somehow. That's also easy to watch for.

We Verizon users can sideload easily, but AT&T users need to install the SDK and use ADB right now to sideload - the feature is disabled on the handset.

BTW, the PDANet "hiding" feature is Windows-only right now. There is no explanation of what they are doing to hide traffic.
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Old May 4th, 2011, 11:04 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Well, at least they failed to realize one glaring flaw in their plans, is that you can sideload these apps, and I'm sure that the APK's will show up aplenty with a quick Google search. Might slow down those who are less tech savvy, but odds are, many of these apps require you to be rooted, and if you can root your phone, odds are, you can handle sideloading a tethering app.
Also, EasyTether is on the Amazon.com Android store. It automates the sideload for you; Verizon can't block it. It's USB tethering only, I think, but it's there.
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Old May 4th, 2011, 02:40 PM   #9 (permalink)
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...BTW, the PDANet "hiding" feature is Windows-only right now. There is no explanation of what they are doing to hide traffic.
I asked June Fabrics how they do it. They replied, "It replaces the user agent string of your browser request."

I tested it, and, sure enough, Level I and Level II hiding change the user agent to different browsers.

Pretty cool.
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Old May 4th, 2011, 11:08 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I asked June Fabrics how they do it. They replied, "It replaces the user agent string of your browser request."

I tested it, and, sure enough, Level I and Level II hiding change the user agent to different browsers.

Pretty cool.
I have already purchased PDANET also...How did you perform the test?/

I don't understand the level one and level two

Please advise
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Old May 5th, 2011, 12:35 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I have already purchased PDANET also...How did you perform the test?/

I don't understand the level one and level two

Please advise
My earlier reply seems to have been lost in the ether, so I'll try again.

PdaNet changes the user agent to hide tethering. Here's the web site that I use to display the user agent: Display User Agent - Browser Detection

Right-click on the PdaNet icon in your Windows task bar. Select Settings | Hide Tether Usage. I don't know why Level II says "Not recommended". They told me the same thing in their email reply to me.

Here's what I get with the three levels of hiding.
None: http://i52.tinypic.com/wmje51.jpg
Level I: http://i56.tinypic.com/258te89.jpg
Level II: http://i54.tinypic.com/e0gab4.jpg

My desktop browser is Opera 11.10. My OS is Windows 7 64-bit. I use Opera Mini on the Droid.
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Old May 5th, 2011, 01:31 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Fulltime Traveler View Post
Right-click on the PdaNet icon in your Windows task bar. Select Settings | Hide Tether Usage. I don't know why Level II says "Not recommended". They told me the same thing in their email reply to me.

Here's what I get with the three levels of hiding.
None: http://i52.tinypic.com/wmje51.jpg
Level I: http://i56.tinypic.com/258te89.jpg
Level II: http://i54.tinypic.com/e0gab4.jpg

My desktop browser is Opera 11.10. My OS is Windows 7 64-bit. I use Opera Mini on the Droid.
Pretty clever - it looks like Level II is the only one that makes it look like you have traffic coming from Android, though.

Also, if you watch movies on Netflix or something, it won't matter what your user agent is - that'd be a dead giveaway. Saying that, I doubt that Verizon is watching all that closely. They probably just watch what sort of traffic and how much it is; if it's a lot, and it's sudden, they may start watching with a bit more care.

Thing is, I doubt that they want to piss off customers all that much, so as long as you're not ridiculous about it, I'm sure you're fine. You just have to mentally be aware that you're at risk - it is definitely against the terms of agreement, and Verizon has the right to terminate your service.
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Old May 5th, 2011, 03:11 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Rooted and wondering... should I bother with PDANet if I did that little trick in the settings (EPST I believe when using a Sense based ROM) where you just edit "dun" our of the URL Verizon uses to track data usage?
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Old May 5th, 2011, 03:38 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Rooted and wondering... should I bother with PDANet if I did that little trick in the settings (EPST I believe when using a Sense based ROM) where you just edit "dun" our of the URL Verizon uses to track data usage?
That's one way Verizon could detect tethering, although nobody knows if they do. Monitoring the user agent (which the new version of PdaNet fixes) is another.

Since nobody knows whether Verizon uses any of the means available to them to detect tethering, we are all just guessing whether we are avoiding detection with these measures.
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Old May 5th, 2011, 05:09 PM   #15 (permalink)
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My only advise is to use 'free' tethering judiciously. A day here or there should not attract much attention (nor be much of an issue). If you want to depend on it for regular use please pay for what you are using.
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Old May 5th, 2011, 11:04 PM   #16 (permalink)
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My only advise is to use 'free' tethering judiciously. A day here or there should not attract much attention (nor be much of an issue). If you want to depend on it for regular use please pay for what you are using.
Didn't we already do that when we paid for UNLIMITED DATA?

Data is data, and bandwidth is bandwidth. It's the same data whether you're using your phone's browser, or you are tethered to a computer and using its browser. Only difference being whether or not there is a mobile version of the website you're after which will be the first thing that loads on your phone's browser. But in most cases, you have the option to load up the desktop version to your Android device anyway, and most often, that is exactly what I do simply for the enhanced user interface of the given website.
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Old May 6th, 2011, 08:07 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Didn't we already do that when we paid for UNLIMITED DATA?

Data is data, and bandwidth is bandwidth. It's the same data whether you're using your phone's browser, or you are tethered to a computer and using its browser. Only difference being whether or not there is a mobile version of the website you're after which will be the first thing that loads on your phone's browser. But in most cases, you have the option to load up the desktop version to your Android device anyway, and most often, that is exactly what I do simply for the enhanced user interface of the given website.
Incorrect. Read the contract agreement that you signed with Verizon. They allow unlimited data for the device only. In fact, the unlimited data agreement says this:

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Unlimited Smartphone and BlackBerry Plans and Features
These WirelessEmail plans and features cannot be used: (1) for access to the Internet, intranets or other data networks except as the device’s native applications and capabilities permit, unless you subscribe to Mobile Broadband Connect; or (2) for any applications that tether your device to laptops or personal computers other than for use of the Wireless Sync or the BlackBerry solution, unless you subscribe to Mobile BroadbandConnect.
This is a contract that you signed - you entered into a contractual agreement not to tether with another device. You may not get caught, but you are at risk.

The Eris does not have a mobile broadband capability available to me, but at the time that I bought my Eris, Verizon was selling smartphone that had the capability. If I really needed it, I would not have been able to get an Android phone with the capability, but there were Blackberries and Windows Mobile phones (there may have been an old Palm OS phone as well - can't remember) that had mobile broadband capability.
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Old May 6th, 2011, 10:52 AM   #18 (permalink)
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My only advise is to use 'free' tethering judiciously. A day here or there should not attract much attention (nor be much of an issue). If you want to depend on it for regular use please pay for what you are using.

Yeah, I only use it in a pinch. Of course I pay for unlimited data, but other than texts, I really don't use all that much to begin with. Meh....
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Old May 6th, 2011, 01:36 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Incorrect. Read the contract agreement that you signed with Verizon. They allow unlimited data for the device only. In fact, the unlimited data agreement says this:



This is a contract that you signed - you entered into a contractual agreement not to tether with another device. You may not get caught, but you are at risk.

The Eris does not have a mobile broadband capability available to me, but at the time that I bought my Eris, Verizon was selling smartphone that had the capability. If I really needed it, I would not have been able to get an Android phone with the capability, but there were Blackberries and Windows Mobile phones (there may have been an old Palm OS phone as well - can't remember) that had mobile broadband capability.
While you are right that contract itself goes against it. It still doesn't make it any less BS that we have to pay extra to tether legitimately. Its pretty much a "we can charge extra, just because we can" charge. The other guy is right, in the sense that bandwidth is bandwidth, regardless of destination. A phone that uses 6 GB/month on their network is going to cost them more than the guy who tethers only using 1 GB/month, but the guy that uses 1 GB/month is supposed to pay more? Its ridiculous.
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Old June 25th, 2011, 02:20 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Also, EasyTether is on the Amazon.com Android store. It automates the sideload for you; Verizon can't block it. It's USB tethering only, I think, but it's there.

I use EasyTether on my OG Droid ... I figured if I use Opera Mini on my Droid and Opera on my netbook, then the user agent would be somewhat the same, and maybe harder to tell which browser the data is coming from.
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Old July 9th, 2011, 01:59 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Hi, posting late here.

Of course I'm aware of the contract terms. On rare occasions, when tethering is my only option for internet access on my laptop, I choose to ignore those terms (i.e. I have no other internet connection available on a job site for several days at a time and for 20+ days in a month). But it's simply a fact: Data is data. That Verizon wants to take advantage of the fog of technology to rip off many of it's own, unsuspecting and loyal customers, by somehow pretending that data isn't data, is sadly reprehensible. Unfortunately, the same insane, *reality avoiding and/or denying* culture is far too common these days and it's more widespread.

Fortunately, we have outlets for real facts about mobile technology via this web site, xda, and others and we don't have to live in a Big Red or Blue Fog. Every time I'm in a Verizon store, I get really ticked off at the outright lies and b.s. that almost every sales person is spouting, obviously taking advantage of the wide eyed, inexperienced customers, who are overwhelmed by the avalanche of new mobile technology. Yes, I'm not following the letter of my contract: I can think for myself and take responsibility for my decisions and actions and I'm very comfortable with both. BTW, have you EVER intentionally broken or worked around a loophole in a contract or EVER broken a law? Of course you have and I hazard a guess that you felt at ease with that as well.

I am paying for UNLIMITED data. That's in my contract too. If I use more than they like, Verizon throttles the data flow down and I'm OK that (though come to think of it, I don't think the throttling was in my contract?). So it's a fair deal in my book. I ignore the moronic attempts by Verizon to pretend that tethered data is magically different and I let them make up and implement new TOS rules outside of my contract. Feels to me like a fair deal. I might even call it: honor among thieves (me & Verizon).

Oh, and during one very busy month on that work site, I had to tether almost every day and I used...22 GB on my data plan! Yup, 22gb. I admit, I had no idea it had gone that high and when I check with about 5 days to go in my billing cycle I thought for sure that Verizon was going to sweep down from the sky, take my phone and throw me in some kind of data prison, after handing me a $10,000 bill of course. But...not a peep. Not one word from Verizon. Data got slow for the last week or so but popped right back up the next month. That turned out to be a one time anomaly but I was impressed, Big Red kept to their word on that one.

BTW, with Verizon's new tiered smartphone data plan, for the same $30, instead of unlimited data, you get 2gb (this the required minimum for all smartphones, they removed the $15 for 150mb option). They also offer $50 for 5 gb and $80 for 10 gb data plans. All smartphones pay $10 per extra 1 gb over their plan (and wanna bet how fast they round that up ;-)). At my current cost of $30 month, that 22 gb month would have cost me $230 (2gb = $30, 20 gb x $10 per gb). Is is just me or did seem like Verizon was being more reasonable for a year or so but now their reverting to their old *&6%^% ways? Well, maybe I shouldn't judge them so harshly: maybe if I ran a company where I could make a few usage and billing changes that turned on the extra money tap like that, it would be pretty darn tempting indeed :-p!
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