Att tethering crackdown only affects iPhone users? Android users unaffected???

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by ap3604, May 22, 2011.

  1. ap3604 macrumors 68000

    Jan 11, 2011
    If you look through my post history you'll see that I'm a big iPhone fan. This is a genuine question and not a troll post.

    I need unlimited data but sometimes I'm at a friends house who doesn't have Internet and need to turn in a paper to my professors which requires a very tiny amount of tethering.

    I know Att will take away your unlimited if you tether with an iPhone but it seems like Android users are not being affected?! :confused:

    - "the iPhone, when in tethering mode, sends traffic through an alternate APN (AT&T access point/router) for the express purpose of identifying the traffic as tethered data. This makes it extremely easy for AT&T to identify whether or not an iOS device is utilizing tethering, and just how much of their data is consumed via tethering."

    - "Android tethering, on the other hand, isn’t set up to route data through an alternate APN when the phone is in tethering mode – meaning AT&T would actually have to scan packets to determine whether or not you’re tethering. This requires diversion of AT&T’s resources (read: money), while identifying iPhone tethering is markedly simpler (read: cheap)."

    I was wondering if anyone can verify this? Does anyone have both an iPhone AND an Android phone and have gotten a tethering text of death on an iPhone but once you switched to Android you don't get caught anymore?
  2. wordoflife macrumors 604


    Jul 6, 2009
    Wow, I just realized that I don't see AT&T tracking down Android users. This might be a huge incentive to go to Android if you need tethering. Nice catch OP
  3. ap3604 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jan 11, 2011
    Again I'm not trying to convince anyone else at all (I really love my iPhone and don't want to switch) but I'm not as smart as some of the other members on macrumors when it comes to the technical details of tethering and how it works and just wanted some clarification.
  4. Sparky9292 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 1, 2004
    This is pretty much true. I have both phones and have tested this. I don't see tethering charges on the Droid phone.

    This gives hope that the programmers of PdaNet and MyWi could code an app that doesn't depend on the existence of the APN codebase in IOS.

    Then it would be a real bitch for AT&T to differentiate between Pandora, YouTube, and MyWi without deep packet inspection.

    This is all stupid. IMHO, AT&T should simply build extra cell towers with those billions of dollars in profit.
  5. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
    You do realize that at&t can't just put up towers willy-nilly, right? There are a lot of government agencies that they have to go through, not to mention the NIMBY environmentalists, etc.

    I'm wondering if at&t is just concentrating on its larger base of iPhone users and will eventually get to the Android users as well.
  6. lsvtecjohn3 macrumors 6502a

    May 8, 2008
  7. jp700p macrumors regular

    Jun 28, 2010
    Sorry, but Android users are not getting hit by this. Go search google yourself.
  8. macingman macrumors 68020


    Jan 2, 2011
    This thread is way over a month old.
  9. jp700p macrumors regular

    Jun 28, 2010
    Still relevant though.

    So effectively for us iPhone users we could do this to avoid the dreaded "tethering warning" from ATT:

    1. Go buy a cheap Android phone like the HTC Aria
    2. Do 1 click unroot for Aria
    3. Download android-wifi-tether and install on Aria
    4. Tether and enjoy not being harassed by AT&T

    AT$T detects by APN (very easy to detect), while Android users are lucky because packets are not routed that way. Which means if AT&T wanted to crack down on Android users, it would have to do a deep scan of packets. Source:
  10. markm75, Aug 22, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2011

    markm75 macrumors member

    Nov 25, 2008
    I'm wondering, and assuming true, that, if you use the iphone as an access point via wifi, the same would hold true.. i dont see why it would be any different?

    So its not just a bandwidth usage alert, but actual detection of browser/mac address/origin they are using based on the posts here?

    If att offered an unlimited plan with tethering at a reasonable price, then it would be worth switching to, but tethering and 4GB can easily be consumed, especially if you are tethering in a home situation where you dont have internet access via say comcast or verizon.
  11. TC25 macrumors 68020

    Mar 28, 2011
    IOW, you chose to live in an area that is not served by even a phone company that offers Internet access, you want to be able to clog the cellular network with unlimited data traffic?

    The simple fact is Internet Service Providers, from your local telephone company to ATT, Sprint and Verizon, have to limit access to their network infrastructure by connection speed, data limits or both.
  12. scaredpoet, Aug 22, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2011

    scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    On a properly engineered network, he wouldn't be "clogging" anything. The bandwidth hog concept is a fallacy that is being used - apparently quite successfully - to make it seem acceptable to force people to pay high fees for an artificially limited service, and then point the blame at "bandwidth hogs" when people complain.

    Sorry, I reject your "simple fact." While it is possible to argue that wireless resources have some finite aspect to them, you're now bringing in wired broadband access, which is limited primarily by how much the carrier is willing to invest capital in its network to accommodate capacity. You MIGHT get away with some capping at the wireless level (though even that is dubious), but the real "simple fact" is that carriers like Verizon, AT&T, Comcast, etc are more interested in protecting their profit margins, and squeezing more revenue from poorly built out resources.

    Take a look at a coverage map sometime. 3G isn't even fully built out yet, and AT&T wants to scream about capping 3G and 4G?

    It's the equivalent of residents of an apartment building complaining when a tenant takes more than a 5 minute shower because they'll "hog" all the hot water, when in fact the slumlord who owns the building won't fix the busted boiler. The slumlord has successfully distracted the tenants into a witch hunt among their own to throw them off the real issue: bad upkeep. And the tenants have bought that argument, hook, line and sinker, while the slumlord continues to collect the rent.

    Speaking of rent: AT&T has collected $1.3 billion in federal funds between 2007 and 2010, specifically for the purpose of making rural access possible. And that's BEFORE the T-Mobile merger... where one of the concerns is that AT&T is buying T-Mobile to try and get even more federal cash to build out LTE. That's on top of the steadily rising data charges (including the elimination of lower price points for texting plans to force people to pay $20 for the privilege), which they claim is also necessary to fund the buildout... all while they pocket as much of the $31.5 billion in revenue they can.

    So who's hogging what here, exactly?

    When AT&T fully utilize the resources at their disposal which includes taxpayer dollars, instead of squandering it with a poor network buildout, then they can talk to us about bandwidth hogs and capping.
  13. markm75 macrumors member

    Nov 25, 2008
    And to add to that, take the example of a family on a trip, they sign there iphone up for a tethering plan, just so they can either tether or use the hotspot to do netflix streaming during a long trip.. I'm quite certain such streaming would eat up more than the 2GB allowed on the tether/hotspot portion, on a longer duration trip.
  14. Menel macrumors 603


    Aug 4, 2011
    I have Android friends who have gotten the txts, email warnings over tethering from ATT.
  15. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Oct 9, 2006
    It is not a fallacy but I will say they need to change how they do the system. I would say limit usage during peak times but give unlimited during off peak hours much like how cell phone minute plans are with night and weekend.
    Everything is based off a model and high usage people screw up the model. They system was never nor should it ever been designed to handle everyone using max bandwidth at once. That is a huge waste of money. You design it to handle peak loads. Now minus the rare times were it is spike due to outside events that is fine. High users screw up the system.

    iPhone heavy data users screw it up. I would say for cell phone that we should limit data usage during peak hours but let go unlimited nights and weekends because it is not like the system is slammed during those hours. Hell after I am going to guess 7pm cell data usage drops because people are running them at home on home wifi. Now home usage spikes during prime time and netflex kills their systems but that is another story.
  16. Kadman macrumors 65816


    Sep 22, 2007
    I tether from my iPhone 4 using MyWi and have not changed my usage pattern (browsing, some Netflix, Sling, etc.), since the rash of reports in the spring. I haven't received any warnings from AT&T. Some of the reports at the time were saying that usage would be hunted down in the coming weeks, but it's been months now.

    Still rocking the unlimited $30 plan. :D

    Not aware of any Android using friends having this issue, but then again, none of my iPhone carrying friends have been burned either.
  17. markm75 macrumors member

    Nov 25, 2008
    What is your peak GB usage.. perhaps if under a certain limit they dont trigger an alert.. however, i've heard on other threads of people being hit even with minor usage (tethering) indicating they may be using other means to detect, but your story says otherwise..
  18. Kadman macrumors 65816


    Sep 22, 2007
    At most, just over 3GB but commonly less than 2GB. That's total data usage, not just the tethered usage. Yeah, I've heard & read lot's of the various discussions about how or what they might be doing but it still seems to be a bit elusive as to the rhyme or reason to the identification process.
  19. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Oct 9, 2006
    could also be the hours when you tether that they are getting people. teather during the peak hours (during the day) they nail you. Tether late at night not as big of a deal so not a reason to jump on you.
    That or towers you use are not among the watch group.
  20. Kadman macrumors 65816


    Sep 22, 2007
    I've thought about the "peak" idea as well. Nothing to back that up, but just pure speculation on when they'd care the most about usage. I could see that, but again I don't have anything to back it up. My data usage is definitely skewed towards off-peak times (during weekend trips, evening during kid's practices, etc.)
  21. barkomatic macrumors 68040

    Aug 8, 2008
    That's actually a good idea. It's rare I need to stream a netflix on Monday afternoon at 2pm, but certainly on a Saturday while travelling. I could live with off-peak unlimited with a cap at peak times. Seems fair.
  22. markm75 macrumors member

    Nov 25, 2008
  23. markm75 macrumors member

    Nov 25, 2008
  24. changes662, Sep 21, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2011

    changes662 macrumors newbie

    Sep 21, 2011
    AT&T stupid tethering rules

    OK, here's a shocker if you didn't already know. I've read about AT&T cracking down on people that tether their iPhone to other devices and getting text, email, and or letters in the mail. I received an email today saying about them automatically upgrading my plan because they said I was tethering. I did not tether my iPhone so I called the 866 number on my email. I told the AT&T rep that I didn't know what she was talking about. Well I'll be damn, she ask me if I ever watch Netflix on my phone (of course I do) I told her. She then put me on hold, when she got back on, she asked me if I hook up my iPhone to a TV. Yes was my answer, I told her I bought a component cable online so that I can do that to view a bigger picture. She said that was consider tethering. What kind of bulls**t is that. I bought the cable from an authorized Apple Store. Now I can't watch my Netflix on a bigger screen cause I will get ********. Is this legal?? I'm not connecting a laptop to it. I think it's time to go back to Sprint with an everything plan.
  25. iphone1105 macrumors 68020


    Oct 8, 2009
    retarded rep

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