Blocking tethering

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by charlieegan3, Oct 6, 2012.

  1. macrumors 68020

    charlieegan3

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2012
    Location:
    U.K
    #1
    I'm thinking of getting the new Note 2 - I'll use my existing sim only contract and it's data allowance.

    Just wondering how do carriers stop you tethering and are there any ways around that?
     
  2. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2010
    #2
    The easiest way for carriers to stop tethering is to monitor your web traffic. The most popular way is for them to use software that checks the User Agent string that your web browser gives out when a website checks for it.

    One carrier (t-******) automatically redirects all web traffic with a desktop browser User Agent to a splash page where you can sign up for their mobile hotspot feature.

    The only way around it is to fake your user agent (change it manually, or use a browser plugin), but the problem is that this can sometimes cause web pages to give you the non-enhanced or mobile versions of their site.
     
  3. thread starter macrumors 68020

    charlieegan3

    Joined:
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    #3
    But the reality of the matter is that it's effectively impossible for them to stop? How do they attempt to stop unlocked phones?
     
  4. macrumors 604

    Jessica Lares

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2009
    Location:
    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    #4
    They use the bloatware. You know, AT&T Visual Voicemail, etc. Those apps monitor the usage of your network in the background. So the only real way is to use a different ROM all together.
     
  5. thread starter macrumors 68020

    charlieegan3

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    U.K
    #5
    but if you buy your phone handset only you don't get that?
     
  6. macrumors 604

    Jessica Lares

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2009
    Location:
    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    #6
    I'm not sure how that works to be honest. I've never bought a handset without the carrier.
     
  7. thread starter macrumors 68020

    charlieegan3

    Joined:
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    U.K
    #7
    Okay, well I just have this minute :)

    I hope that I can find a way too as it would be really handy.
     
  8. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2010
    #8
    No, it isn't impossible for them to stop. All of your traffic is going through their network and short of using a VPN to a remote system (or similar), there is nothing you can do to completely hide your internet traffic from them.

    For the carriers, it is a question of how much scanning, blocking and filtering that they want to do. Too much and they get angry customers calling them en masse and going to a competitor. Too little and people exploit loopholes in the system.

    T-mobile has been slowly (but steadily) ramping up their efforts to eliminate tethering. I actually went through this last week. I was on a very old (like 8 year old) data plan that did not mention tethering at all (meaning that it wasn't prohibited in the terms). It took them a few months, but when my data usage started getting close to my 5GB pre-throttle cap, then they started redirecting my computer even though my phone still worked just fine.

    A lot of people have the wrong idea about tethering because they believe the crap that the carriers tell them.

    Tethering is not a 'service' that the carriers offer. Tethering is something that your phone does with the data connection that you rent from your carrier. If you own your phone like I do, then it is your device using a feature that you enable to distribute data (which you already pay for) to your other devices. There is no extra 'service' by the carrier involved, despite the spin that they try to give you.

    If a customer service representative tries to feed you some talking point about how its the carriers' data, then interrupt them and tell them that you want to speak to a level 2 tech who isn't chained to some script.
     
  9. thread starter macrumors 68020

    charlieegan3

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2012
    Location:
    U.K
    #9
    All sounds like sense to me - hopefully get something working when my phone arrives. thanks.
     

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