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Support Bluetooth/WiFi/Cable Tethering w/ Unlocked Phones?

Discussion in 'Android Help' started by SampsonNation, Apr 9, 2016.

  1. SampsonNation

    SampsonNation Well-Known Member
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    Hey all,

    I am new to the Android community.

    I've been tethering on my non-branded Nokia dumb-phone for well over 3 years on my unlimited data plan with AT&T. The network is 2G, but it's enough for the minor things that I do.

    My plan just got switched over to the unlimited share everything plan. This includes unlimited data from AT&T. The problem is, the mobile hotspot feature is not available in this plan. Now, I can still tether just fine. That's not even the issue here. I'm curious to know if I upgrade to a smartphone if I can find a way to continue to tether.

    I wanted to know if I were to get an unlocked Samsung S7 or equivalent if there is a way to tether to a laptop or create a link between devices via Bluetooth, etc? I would prefer not to root or jailbreak (not sure what the Android community calls it) the phone.

    I also wonder if the Nokia smartphones would be able to tether just like their dumb-phones. That's also an area I haven't explored.

    Worst comes to worst, I could try buying an unlocked phone and then trying it. I'd have to go through the hassle of returning it though.

    Im curious what you all think.

    Thanks in advance!
     

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    #1 SampsonNation, Apr 9, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2016
  2. chanchan05

    chanchan05 The Doctor
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    The main issue here really is that carriers now are blocking tethering because they want to charge you extra for it. Assuming you can get a phone that has not been touched by a carrier to block the tethering features, yes you can tether with no issues.
     
  3. SampsonNation

    SampsonNation Well-Known Member
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    That's kind of what I figured. It makes sense. That's also why I had to stick with a non-AT&T branded Nokia.

    Now the next part is, which phone to go with?

    Do Android phones require some special method for creating a tethered link?
     
    #3 SampsonNation, Apr 9, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2016
  4. AZgl1500

    AZgl1500 Android Expert
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    My truck driver friend is on AT&T with a Galaxy S5, he has a 6 gB/month plan.

    he can use Hotspot with his laptop if he wants to.

    you gotta be care though, if you tie a laptop to a hotspot, you will burn up the gBytes fast if you go to websites full of links to news feeds and pictures, and other stuff.

    Personally, I only use my Hotspot to go direct to my forums, like this one, and I never use more than about 1 gB/month that way.

    Check your email, etc.... stay off the surfing binge, that will kill your data plan.

    Just reread: My plan just got switched over to the unlimited share everything plan. This includes unlimited data from AT&T. The problem is, the mobile hotspot feature is not available in this plan.

    Have you tried FoxFi ??

    * FoxFi (WiFi Tether w/o Root) - Android Apps on Google Play

    ____________________________________
    Verizon: Note 4, two ea. Galaxy S5, HTC One M9, VZW MiFi $212/month :(
     
    #4 AZgl1500, Apr 9, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2016
  5. SampsonNation

    SampsonNation Well-Known Member
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    I've had the unlimited non-smartphone plan for many years now with AT&T. I want to switch to a smartphone, but my new plan doesn't offer tethering. Technically it didn't offer it on my dumb-phone and I still could do it without any issue. So, I'm wondering if by changing to an unbranded smartphone, if I'll run into any issues with the actual method of linking up two devices to share internet. My current AT&T plan is the unlimited everything plan.

    I think I'm going to try getting a phone and testing it out. If it doesn't work, I'll just return it.
     
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  6. AZgl1500

    AZgl1500 Android Expert
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    I used FoxFi for many years when Verizon absolutely refused to allow us to Hotspot/Tether without paying them an extra $40 a month back in the Dark Ages.... nuts to that, I went to FoxFi and they don't know the difference.
     
  7. AZgl1500

    AZgl1500 Android Expert
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    I hear that the Nexus phones are great, and would serve your purpose well.

    I have only used Samsung so far.
     
  8. SampsonNation

    SampsonNation Well-Known Member
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    To answer your previous question. I don't currently own a smartphone, so I am unable to try FoxFi. I'm debating which smartphone I want to try for this operation :D.

    So far, it's between the 920 Lumia and the Samsung S (anything heh) and maybe the Galaxy. I'm not being picky. It really comes down to overall price, battery life, and if I can tether.

    Thank you for your help!
     
  9. AZgl1500

    AZgl1500 Android Expert
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    Well, don't want to bias you in any direction, heh, heh, but I love the Samsung menu setup...

    My daughter bought a HTC One M9, and IMO, that is the worst piece of garbage ever....
    I cannot find anything I want in their menus to help her set it up.

    once you get a Smartphone, install Nova Prime launcher, the ability to make the lockscreens, wallpaper like you want them is just endless.... Folders to hold all of your like minded applications, etc....

    * Nova Launcher - Android Apps on Google Play


    . Folders for Internet.png
     
  10. AZgl1500

    AZgl1500 Android Expert
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    That Tools Folder holds about 15 shortcuts to apps....
    lots easier to keep things in a place where you can find them in a hurry.

    Likewise for the GPS and WiFi folders, they contain shortcuts to apps that work in that category.
     
  11. Jfalls63

    Jfalls63 Android Expert
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    I think I read that in Android 4.3 is when they added the tethering provision that checks with your network provider to see if you are allowed to share data via hotspot.
    Even with new non carrier branded phones like my Moto XPE or Nexus 6 I don't think you can get hotspot working on stock ROM without upgrading your data plan to one that allows it.
    One way people have gotten around it is to root and edit the build prop or to flash a custom ROM that has the tethering provision removed.
     
  12. AZgl1500

    AZgl1500 Android Expert
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    FoxFi was still working for me with 4.4.4 on my S5 phones.

    don't know about it being able to check with the provider, this is the first I have ever heard of that.
    FoxFi would I suspect intentionally not do that.

    I do know, that if I tried to use the builtin "Hotspot" you would see a message "checking your subscription status" and it would fail for me every time....

    so, I installed FoxFi and went on about my business.
     
  13. Jfalls63

    Jfalls63 Android Expert
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    I used Foxfi when I was on contract with Verizon with my old Commando and it even worked when I switched to Straight Talk/Verizon compatible sim. Only way I could get tethering to work with other phones on same setup was custom ROM.
    I don't tether often but nice to have when you need it.
     
  14. SampsonNation

    SampsonNation Well-Known Member
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    So, currently FoxFi still works?

    I might look at the S5 SM-G900F. Apparently that version has 4G.
     
    #14 SampsonNation, Apr 9, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2016
  15. Jfalls63

    Jfalls63 Android Expert
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    I would guess it depends on which carrier you go with if Foxfi will work or not. If it doesn't you can always upgrade plan to share data if they allow it.
     
  16. AZgl1500

    AZgl1500 Android Expert
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    FoxFi was still working on my Verizon S5 SM-G900V with 4.4.4 version until I dropped my Unlimited Data plan and went to a Family Plan sharing 6 gB/month... that plan turned on HotSpot so don't need FoxFi anymore.

    but there is no reason it should not work on any phone.
    I have never seen Android 6.x and don't know if that has any adverse effects on FoxFi or not.
     
  17. SampsonNation

    SampsonNation Well-Known Member
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    Changing my plan is not an option unfortunately. It's part of a bundle with DirectTV. This is what the majority of my family wants. I'm just the oddball who wants to tether. :D

    I use AT&T.

    I've been doing some research on the S5 SM-G900F. I'm really liking the phone to be honest.

    I'm still partially interested in the Windows Mobile phone, but I'm slightly leaning towards Samsung because of the features, etc.

    Do you have a carrier branded phone, AZgl1500?
     
  18. AZgl1500

    AZgl1500 Android Expert
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    Yes, all of my phones are Verizon Carrier Branded, and therefore, they are NOT rooted.

    I have two Samsung S5 phones, and I love them... fantastic phone, and almost big enough for anything you need to do. I used them for 2-1/2 years until I found a Note 4 for a price I could not ignore. I am 73 y/o now and my eyes can't see small fonts, so the bigger display on the Note 4 was a great thing for me.

    I kept my spare S5, and I still use it a lot in WiFi mode around the house.

    My wife is using the other S5, my daughter is now on a HTC One M9, and she wishes she had just got an S5... she don't like it at all. But, I bought it on Contract, so gotta pay the piper.

    My best friend is also on the same DirecTV/AT&T plan you have and he is using a Galaxy S5 because I bragged on mine so much.... he set his up with 6 gB/month data use for the family. He is an OTR truck driver, so he has to have internet. That is a cost he just have to pay... he chalks it up to "being part of the technology world" :)

    he used to only have 2 gB/month, but that really restricted him from being able to use Facebook and the internet while out on the road for 5 and 6 days straight... he leaves Sunday morning and don't get home until late Friday night or Saturday morning.

    .
    ____________________________________
    Verizon: Note 4, two ea. Galaxy S5, HTC One M9, VZW MiFi $212/month :(
     
  19. AZgl1500

    AZgl1500 Android Expert
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    as a side note, I am on the AT&T Uni-Verse internet DirecTV plan...

    oh, they keep begging me to switch over from Verizon to them...
    so far though, I have resisted... I just have to have solid coverage, everywhere I go....
    I ride motorcycles into some really barren country, and Verizon is the only carrier that can get into the really remote areas.

    My sister lives in Price, Utah.... Verizon is the only carrier covering most of that state.
     
  20. SampsonNation

    SampsonNation Well-Known Member
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    I forgot to ask. Does it matter which S5 I go with in regards to creating a mobile hotspot?

    I was going to go with the S5 SM-G900F after I read that it has both the 4G and 3G bands. Apparently some versions do not.
     
  21. Jfalls63

    Jfalls63 Android Expert
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    They should all have hotspot function built in except for maybe Straight Talk/Tracphone model.
    The 900F model is compatible with AT&T also.
    http://willmyphonework.net
     

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  22. SampsonNation

    SampsonNation Well-Known Member
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    Awesome website. I didn't know that existed. Thanks!
     
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  23. Jfalls63

    Jfalls63 Android Expert
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    The F version is at least compatible with 1 of the 4g bands that AT&T uses. You may want to check and see if that band is available in your area.
     
  24. SampsonNation

    SampsonNation Well-Known Member
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    My entire state is basically 4G LTE. I'm sure it has other bands too, but I checked 4G.
     
  25. Jfalls63

    Jfalls63 Android Expert
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