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Root? Hotspot despite service provider

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by mikec557, Sep 20, 2019.

  1. mikec557

    mikec557 Newbie
    Thread Starter

    I apologize in advance if my question is inappropriate. But I won't know if I don't ask...

    I have a Moto G6, unlocked and unbranded. I can turn hotspot on on my phone, and other devices can connect to it as if it were a wireless router. But, it no longer shares the internet like it used to.

    My phone service provider does not support sharing the internet by hotspoting. In fact it does not support hotspot at all. So they are not a resource. I have an "unlimited" data plan which can be throttled down after 60gb. And 60gb is more than enough for my needs. For the last 1.5 years I have been able to hotspot this phone to my laptop and a Roku device with the same service provider and same plan. But not any longer. One day not long ago it just stopped sharing the internet.

    That's a long way to get to the question, but here it is....

    1. Would rooting the phone give me a way to wirelessly share the phone's internet connection to my laptop and Roku, despite my provider's non-support on the issue?

    2. If this is a taboo topic here, can you direct me to somewhere I can ask and learn about this?

    I'm not preaching or complaining, I'm just trying to utilize the 60gb I pay for each month.

    Thanks
    Mike

     

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  2. Best Answer:
    Post #24 by mikedt, Sep 23, 2019 (3 points)
  3. mikedt

    mikedt 你好

    I'm pretty sure it's not a taboo subject on AF. unless you're trying to do something illegal, like trying to defraud your carrier?

    I've just upgraded(renewed) my plan, now get 40GB each month that I pay for and I can tether or hotspot, i.e. I can use that 40GB with a computer, phone, TV box, or whatever I like.

    Who is your service provider, what plan have you got with them, and what country are you in?
    Having this info might give us a better idea.

    FWIW I'm in China with China Unicom.
     
    #2 mikedt, Sep 20, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
    ocnbrze likes this.
  4. ocnbrze

    ocnbrze DON'T PANIC!!!!!!!!!

    it's cool to talk about wireless tethering here. i have not rooted my phone in a very long time.....so unfortunately i'm not sure how custom roms are designed these days. back in the day you used to be able to wireless tether with no issues as they were built into custom roms. but that was back in the day where most carriers restricted or you had to pay for the hotspot feature so the devs cooked in that feature into their roms. not sure now though.
     
    mikedt likes this.
  5. mikec557

    mikec557 Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Thanks for the quick responses.
    I'm using Straight-talk (USA). It's an unlimited talk, text, data plan. But they reserve the right to throttle the speed down from 4g to 3g or 2g after you use 60gb. I've had the plan for about a year and a half and successfully tethered wirelessly to my laptop and Roku. Then the other day it stopped sharing the internet. I remember reading a "couple years" ago about rooting to allow wireless tether. But I didn't need it then so I never learned how. Now I need to get this ability back. Any ideas on how to get it back?
     
  6. mikedt

    mikedt 你好

    I'm not familiar with that carrier, apart from what I've read about them on AF. In fact someone else posted a few days ago on AF, that Straight Talk had cut-off their tethering.
    https://androidforums.com/threads/need-solution-to-casting-to-smart-tv.1314074/#post-7915683

    I suspect it's more like "unlimited*" with this particular provider.

    * subject to limits, tethering isn't included, and you must pay extra if you wish to tether and hospot your data.

    If rooting can get around that, I have no ideas myself.
     
    #5 mikedt, Sep 21, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2019
    ocnbrze likes this.
  7. ocnbrze

    ocnbrze DON'T PANIC!!!!!!!!!

    well that's the thing. back in the day....yes rooting allowed you to tether without a plan. but rooting never hid the amount of data being used as you stream and do other things on the net. your carrier will still see you that you are using data from tethering. there is no hiding it....at least back then. even now i do not see how you can hide your internet usage.
     
    mikedt likes this.
  8. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    I've never encountered a phone that requires root to use a hotspot, so I always assumed this was because the carrier had disabled it in the phone software and you needed root to make that work, rather than anything to do with the carrier's systems.

    It's not obvious to me how the carrier would know that you were using the hotspot anyway. But if you think that might be it I don't know whether using a VPN might obscure it?
     
    ocnbrze likes this.
  9. mikedt

    mikedt 你好

    The phone itself knows and counts how much data is going through its hotspot. Perhaps it's snitching that data to the carrier? Via the same protocol that allows certain carriers, like Straight Talk to disable or enable hotspot features on their phones? Just a guess.
     
    ocnbrze and Hadron like this.
  10. mikec557

    mikec557 Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Thanks for all the input. My recollection from an article I read 2-3 months ago was that the APN (access point something-or-other) , that the service provider sends to your phone when you sign up with them, has a line or two in it that reports to the provider that hotspot is turned on. I think that is supposed to alert them and then they block the internet from being shareable. I think it also said you can't edit the APN unless your phone was rooted.

    Our phones have no straight talk software on them because we essentially bought them directly from Motorola. So, somehow ST has blocked me from what I was doing for about a year and a half.

    Now I'm off to read the thread Mikedt linked.

    If I come up with something definitive, one way or another, I'll post it.

    Mike
     
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  11. MoodyBlues

    MoodyBlues Compassion is cool!
    VIP Member

    What do you mean by essentially? I ask because I always buy my phones directly from Motorola, and part of its online ordering process includes picking your carrier. It's been ≈9 months since I placed my last order, and I don't recall if there was an option to pick 'none' or similar. I'm just wondering how you did it!
     
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  12. mikec557

    mikec557 Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Moody

    We bought my Motorola Moto G6 at Walmart. So they are the seller. It is an unlocked, and non phone company branded. Itwwas not the Straight Talk Moto G6. That phone is branded, has ST software and restrictions.

    I wanted to use Verizon lines so my hardware has to be CDMA compliant. But it can also use GSM (AT&T) sim card. So it is a true "bring your own phone" to the party.

    We bought my wife's identical phone from Amazon many months later. Same phone, same hardware. Mine was about $240, hers was about $180 because the g7 was soon to be released.

    You CAN buy directly from Motorola but you don't "have to" sign up with anyone. You just need to make sure you buy a phone that is the hardware compatibility you want: CDMA or GSM, or can handle BOTH.

    Hope that explains it.

    Mike
     
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  13. svim

    svim Extreme Android User

    By its design, a hotspot relies on receiving a cellular signal and converts that into a limited range WiFi signal. It makes no difference if your device is rooted or not, your hotspot cannot provide any Internet access without going through your carrier's cellular network.
    Even when you are enabling the hotspot function on your device, all that's doing is putting out a WiFi signal that other devices are detecting -- but without any cellular connectivity to provide you with online access, there is no Internet.
    Again, it's your carrier's cellular signal that's required.
     
    ocnbrze likes this.
  14. MoodyBlues

    MoodyBlues Compassion is cool!
    VIP Member

    Thanks for the explanation, @mikec557.

    I've always bought my phones directly from Motorola, via their site. When I ordered my latest one last year, the Moto Z² Force Edition, I had AT&T and when prompted for my carrier, just automatically selected it.
     
    ocnbrze likes this.
  15. mikec557

    mikec557 Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Svim

    Thanks for the explanation. I know I have to have a cellular signal. But somehow their signal allows my cell phone to use the internet, and yet while it does that, it prevents access to the internet to my other devices when I turn on my hotspot. That's what I'm trying to figure out how to get around. I could do this for the past 1.5yrs. Suddenly I can't.

    I can turn on my hotspot, my other devices can connect to my hotspot. But none of them have internet access after having connected to my hotspot. My cellphone does but they don't.

    Somehow the service provider is blocking that. Yet I can connect my laptop to my phone by USB cable, turn OFF hotspot, and utilize clockworkmod's app, which needs me to turn on usb debugging on my phone, and through that connection my laptop gets the internet. Whatever ST is doing to block wireless hotspot is not blocked by going this usb debugging route.

    By the way, ST also blocks USB tether and Bluetooth tether. So the USB debugging gets around all that.

    That's why I thought maybe root and a custom rom might work. But I don't know where or who to ask if that's possible and if so then how to proceed.

    Any ideas on that?

    Thanks
    Mike
     
  16. svim

    svim Extreme Android User

    You're equating a hotspot (WiFi supplied by a cellular signal feed) with tethering (online access through a USB connection) but they are different from each other.

    When you're connecting two devices (phone to phone, or phone to computer, or computer to computer, or whatever) that's a basic network, where at that point both devices can detect and interact with each other. That's what's going on when your other devices can detect your phone's hotspot -- you can ping or ssh between each other as they're on a common network (what's being provided by your hotspot). But your carrier is apparently not allowing your account to use hotspot functionality so while your phone is still able to use mobile data, your carrier is blocking any hotpot online access so it's just a matter where any other device connecting to your phone's hotspot isn't able to get any online access. Contact your carrier and confirm that hotspotting is included in your account. Also, when connecting devices to your hotspot, experiment using 2.4GHz or 5GHz band as some devices are 2.4GHz only.
     
    ocnbrze likes this.
  17. mikec557

    mikec557 Newbie
    Thread Starter

    I think that's the question.

    How is my service provider aware I have turned hotspot on?

    Is there a way to prevent them from knowing hotspot is on, such that the secondary devices can then use the internet connection that the cell signal is already providing to the phone?
     
  18. svim

    svim Extreme Android User

  19. MoodyBlues

    MoodyBlues Compassion is cool!
    VIP Member

    It's not; the OP said: "My phone service provider does not support sharing the internet by hotspoting. In fact it does not support hotspot at all."

    Given that fact, @mikec557, maybe it's time to switch providers to one that does.
     
  20. mikec557

    mikec557 Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Thanks both.
    I found a 2017 thread at XDA dev that sheds some light on this. It began as root, enable hotspot that had been disabled on a branded phone. But then it developed into my topic. That is, for some, the providers who blocked the internet after hotspot didn't block after this major mod. But others said they were still blocked. I may have to experiment with one of my phones.

    Regarding switching providers. Anything less than 50-60gb and no contract is not really worth changing to. It would seem the only real option out there is Sprint premium plan: no contract, 100gb you can hotspot at $80 a month. But then I'm no longer on Verizon lines... which may be what I have to do. But that is expensive.

    On the other hand. I can just sit and ponder. I can presently cable my phone to my laptop and my laptop to the TV. Fortunately we don't watch much tv, so that mess doesn't have to be setup very often...
     
  21. svim

    svim Extreme Android User

    If it is actually a matter where of using a service that their carrier doesn't offer, that sounds really odd.
    There are options like buying a Straight Talk mobile hotspot device:
    https://get.straighttalk.com/hotspot/
    But if the issue is instead a matter of trying to find a free, no-cost solution, unless the OP has a truly 'unlimited' data plan (cellular carriers have redefined the word 'unlimited' to mean 'capped' in their contractual terms) I don't know how they will be able to bypass any mobile data limits.
     
  22. MoodyBlues

    MoodyBlues Compassion is cool!
    VIP Member

    I don't think that's the OP's intent. As I understand it, he has an 'unlimited' plan, which can throttle down after 60GB, but 60GB is more than enough for their needs. It's just that their carrier doesn't allow hot-spotting, which means he's paying for data that he's not even using! If he could hot-spot, he'd be happy with 60GB.

    If I've misunderstood/misstated anything, @mikec557, please correct me. :)
     
  23. mikec557

    mikec557 Newbie
    Thread Starter

    The straight talk dedicated hotspot is a new element. They didn't used to have that. I wonder if it's introduction coincides with my loss of ability.

    I've never said I was looking for free internet. I pay monthly for unlimited data which they reserve the right to slow down to 3g or 2g after I use 60gb. But it is my belief that if I pay for the data it doesn't matter how I use it. I pay about $55 for this 60gb+ of data. They're new hotspots tops out at $75 for 7gb. 7gb is useless. Compare that to my earlier post about Sprint... 100gb of hotspot for $80. I could setup a sprint compatible phone as a dedicated hotspot and just not use its phone capability. That would provide 100gb instead of 7gb for about the same money.

    This conversation began because I had been hotspotting my 60gb phone plan for 1.5 yrs and suddenly lost the ability. Maybe that's because they now have these hotspots. But they are so over priced compared to other companies it will be a failed business model.

    But back to the topic, if rooting and a mod will give me back my ability to use my 60gb between my phone, laptop, and Roku, then I'd like to to do that. I pay my $55 monthly and I use 60 or less GB monthly. Whether it's by wireless hotspot or by using a USB cable, and an HDMI cable on occasion, I'll use the same amount of data. It's a question of convenience. I can live with it either way.

    BTW, I was in Walmart less than a week ago asking if straight talk had a hotspot and was told they do not. Not surprising that store personnel don't know the product. But I digress..

    Mike
     
  24. mikec557

    mikec557 Newbie
    Thread Starter

    You understand it perfectly Moody.
    I was doing it for a year and a half, then recently lost the ability.
     
  25. mikedt

    mikedt 你好

  26. mikec557

    mikec557 Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Thanks Mikedt, I'll give that a try.
    Mike
     
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