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Data plan confusion. How do they know?

Discussion in 'Verizon' started by Agrajag, Aug 12, 2011.

  1. Agrajag

    Agrajag Well-Known Member
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    I'm one of the people that gets royally screwed by Verizon's setup with regard to using one of their phones as a hotspot.

    For my situation I have a rooted original Droid and had been using WiFi Tether here and there. I used it once this past year at a business event for two days for a total of 10 hours when the facility couldn't get their WiFi working. I then also used it a few times at airports (for a grand total of my 5 hours) where WiFi wasn't free.

    For someone like me there's simply no way I can justify spending $20 more a month.

    I had been hoping either Verizon would wake up and make some changes for people like me who aren't going to abuse the feature or that they'd look the other way for when it happens. I had planned to use it a bit more with my next phone as I had been thinking about an eBook reader and a tablet (both WiFi-only) and, again, neither would get a lot of hotspot use from the phone as both would mainly use my own router-based WiFi at home or WiFi in other locations.

    Then a story about the upcoming Bionic got me curious. The Bionic, like the Atrix, has its own "laptop-like" accessory to let you use the phone and the accessory as a laptop replacement and there's no additional fee.

    That's pretty much what I'd be interested in and I'm wondering what the difference is. Sure, in one case the phone is physically connected but I'd be more than glad to do that with my laptop, my eBook reader or tablet (not even sure you can connect them that way). I'm not concerned about sharing the connection with multiple devices at once.

    How can Verizon identify that the device is the accessory versus my accessing the web via my laptop or some other device? Is it simply the WiFi hotspot piece that's the issue here and if I'm willing to cable then I don't have to worry about it?

    Bottom line to me is I'd be willing to give them maybe another $5 a month for hotspot with limited data and see how that goes but no way am I paying them 67% of the main data cost for something I'd barely even use.
     

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  2. Yeahha

    Yeahha Usually off topic
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    Several things come to mind. If you are using the VZW supplied tethering app then it tells VZW the data you are using is not being used by the phone but another device. Now if you root and use the wireless tether app that you can find floating around the internet (and in the amazon app store perhaps) then there is no switch flipped that would tell VZW what you are doing. Now if you start to consume an excess amount of data compared to "normal" use they may look into it and if the data is being used to do things that are not possible on the phone without tethering (say play xbox live) then that would be a big signal to them you are circumventing the system.

    Now while I have not needed to try this I have seen where people have added the tethering package to their plan for a vacation/business trip and removed it afterwards and only had to pay the prorated rate for the days used, that may be something for you to look into, if you know you will need/want to tether for a week or so you could add it to your contract and remove when it is no longer needed.
     
  3. WA_Bob

    WA_Bob Android Expert
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    This does work and is allowed by Verizon. My wife and I have had to do it before and, if you're an infrequent tetherer who wants to be honest about it, it's a cheap way to go.
     
  4. Agrajag

    Agrajag Well-Known Member
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    Thanks guys.

    I have done it the "wrong" way before as I find this whole approach pretty petty but I don't want to get stuck in an ethics argument.

    I wouldn't mind doing it the right way so knowing there's an option is good to know.

    I'd still prefer a smaller plan for the cases like using the phone for a hotspot when I'm on the beach or just stuck without WiFi here and there. Still very minimal traffic so a $5 plan would be great!
     
  5. Knewz

    Knewz Android Expert
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    Tethering in included in data packages now. So if you're on a 2G plan you can tether with whatever data you have remaining from your 3g/4g usage
     
  6. Agrajag

    Agrajag Well-Known Member
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    Just to be clear, I'm assuming perhaps you mean cabled tethering as opposed to hot spot access?

    If so, that's really oddball. If they're going to do that then they might as well allow a single connection hotspot.
     
  7. Knewz

    Knewz Android Expert
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    No i mean hotspot. I thought it odd too until it was pointed out to me and i read all the details myself
     
  8. Agrajag

    Agrajag Well-Known Member
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    That doesn't make sense to me. So I'm free to do full hotspot functionality simply because I have a data plan? I'm on the "unlimited" plan for $30 a month like most everyone with a smart phone.

    How would the $20 a month apply then? In order to do tethering you need a smart phone and that requires a data plan. No one would ever need the tethering option.

    From an article on the subject that's been echoed heavily:

    "Typically Verizon charges a monthly fee of $20 for 2 GB of data for direct tethering (Mobile Broadband Connect) and hotspot Internet sharing (3G Mobile Hotspot) – in addition to the $29.99 or higher data plan."

    "in addition to"

    However, the same article hints at it your way:

    "A ReadWriteWeb employee using a jailbroken tethered Verizon Motorola X without a data plan was sent to this page outlining Verizon's hotspot data plans today when trying to access a hotspot," reports ReadWriteWeb."

    I don't follow the process on this one.
     
  9. Knewz

    Knewz Android Expert
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  10. Agrajag

    Agrajag Well-Known Member
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    Ah, so for those of us that were grandfathered with the unlimited plan, then we have to go the $20 right.
     
  11. Knewz

    Knewz Android Expert
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    Yes. Your iphone reference is an example of that scenario. That same page will also load for rooted droids. They want you to add a data package, or change your plan. Depending on if you really need unlimited data, a tiered plan w/hotspot may be a better cheaper choice
     
  12. Agrajag

    Agrajag Well-Known Member
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    Very interesting. I'll have to take a look at my usage now (both my son and I are on data plans).
     

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