Cancel home internet and get LTE iPhone so I can tether my MacBook?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by patent10021, Mar 19, 2014.

  1. patent10021 macrumors 68030


    Apr 23, 2004
    Home internet is $45.00 / month and my plan on an old iPhone is only $15.00/month - no data. iPhone 3G doesn't have tethering.

    Thinking of ditching ISP and for the same monthly $ total buy a new iPhone 5c and just tether my macbook to it since I'd be getting an unlimited data plan.

    I'm assuming many people have gone this route?

    How can you go wrong IF your data plan is unlimited?
  2. 0007776 Suspended


    Jul 11, 2006
    Depending on what carrier you have and their policies they might restrict tethering on an unlimited data plan. If they don't then you are probably fine, but I would look into that first, it is likely that they will restrict the unlimited data to just one device.
  3. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    They'll likely warn you a couple of times then throttle your unlimited each month after you've used sufficient bandwidth.
  4. patent10021 thread starter macrumors 68030


    Apr 23, 2004
    What if you mainly browse with the odd download? Are carriers throttling all over the place on these unlimited plans?
  5. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

    Oct 31, 2009
    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    You should be fine. I was only doing 5GB a month on 4G a few years back.
  6. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    Are you sure you will get unlimited Tethering?

    As long as you are the only person who is going to use your internet, you will probably be fine. It doesn't work for a family (wifi is too weak on the iphone). Tethering will also affect your battery life of your iPhone so be prepared.
  7. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    I'm not personally aware of any carrier that won't throttle on these plans after a point, which I'm sure varies. Unlimited doesn't really mean unlimited with acceptable performance.

    I don't doubt that there's some carrier out there more lenient than most, but the spirit of unlimited mobile broadband isn't likely to include tethering for home use.
  8. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    I can't see this being a viable option unless you are a very light user. I check my modems download count on a monthly basis, and apart from the vary rare occasions that i have to DL a copy of an OS, it runs on average to around 500GB...No carrier is going to put up with that kind of usage, and I'm only an occasional power user as far as the DL side of things goes.

    I get 125 Down, 11 Up and pay £39.00 per month for uncapped free usage.

    $64 for unlimited BB is pretty good....I shudder to think what O2 would charge for this...I had to tether my iPhone to my MBA when a friend passed away 2 years back and the bill went from £11 ( normal monthly charge) to £45.00 for 2 day's.

    I'd stick with your ISP.
  9. rmp71701 macrumors member

    Nov 7, 2012
    I'll second that question - are any carriers offering unlimited tethering anymore?

    I know on Verizon you have to be one of the minority who was grandfathered in with unlimited data. This has been my family's scenario for a year and a half. Only use Verizon hotspot on iPhone 5 for home Internet and tether all wifi equipment to iPhone, since it has unlimited data. The max I usually have tethered is 3 devices at a time. The more devices, the more speed is slowed down. And yes it does drain phone battery faster.

    I'm pretty sure I don't get throttled, and I am a heavy user - like 20 GB a month.
  10. dukeblue219 macrumors regular

    Dec 18, 2012
    Honestly, no you're not. That's what, 600MB a day? It's not hard at all to exceed that from a PC that's tethered. I don't do any torrenting or excessive DLing, don't run any servers or anything abnormal, and I regularly use 100GB+ on my FIOS. I guarantee that would get me in hot water with Verizon if it was over LTE, not to mention I'd have to keep my phone plugged in all the time and it would be quite warm.

    To the OP: You can definitely do it, so long as your "light use" means browsing web pages, checking email, and an occasional brief youtube video here and there. If you watch any kind of streaming video service this won't be worth it, both in terms of quality and your b/w use. Netflix will burn around a GB/hour if you're watching it on a PC or TV, so if you do that regularly you will be surprised at your usage.
  11. dan1eln1el5en macrumors 6502


    Jan 3, 2012
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    couldn't do it myself for sure, I had 650 GB of data on my home LTE "broadband", but a good friend of mine have a phone with "3" max plan, which I think he uses 200 GB / month on, which also acts as his home network, that is pretty clever.
  12. rmp71701 macrumors member

    Nov 7, 2012
    Yeah heavy is probably relative. I guess I was thinking heavy in terms of someone using only tethering for all home Internet. I have no idea how I stack up to other unlimited data hotspot users. Based on Verizon's info that ive heard, I'm in that 5% bracket that exceeds 5GB/month.

    I do watch Netflix & youtube on it. Not daily, but maybe average 8-10 hours a week. It meets my needs, which are pretty modest. To each his own.
  13. themumu macrumors 6502a


    Feb 13, 2011
    You should check your current usage, and inquire with your mobile provider about restrictions on tethering. There is usually a lot of fine print that goes along with an "unlimited" plan :) Since we don't know what your usage and provider is, everyone is just guessing.
  14. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    Usage is definitely relative! 500 GB a month?! Some of you guys are using amounts of data that seem unfathomable to me.

    I watch a couple hours of Netflix and YouTube pretty much daily and I still manage to squeak by my provider's relatively meagre 60 GB/month bandwidth limit (granted, I have started to exceed this limit a couple of times).

    Even so, 60 GB is still far more than the 6 GB that I have on my iPhone plan. I have considered doing what you are proposing, but not permanently -- I was thinking of cancelling my service and moving to a new, cheaper, provider, and using my iPhone hotspot as a backup internet provider during the transition. I also find it useful as a backup for times when my ISP is experiencing an outage.

    But as a permanent solution? I could only see it if you are a very light user.
  15. monkeysoncrunk macrumors newbie

    Mar 24, 2014
    i used to do this when i was at college with my grandfathered atnt plan. Worked great. Just make sure you dont torrent or download like crazy. I got a message from at&t because although its "unlimited" its actually not. they had a cap n i hit it. Then until the month ended, i was throttled.

    youtube/facebook/gmail is fine.

    idk about your carrier, but try it. If it doesnt go well, cancel it and get home internet.
  16. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    Just one OSX update can chew through 1 GB. One download of Xcode can blow through an entire 5 GB and don't get me started on Netflix. A tethered phone for broadband is not generally a good idea unless you are willing to carefully restrict your data usage. Another culprit is cloud backup. Say you decide to go with Crashplan or Carbonite. You decide to back everything up on a 300 GB HDD that is half full. That's 30 months worth of quota on most tethering plans. Say your HDD crashes and you want to download it all back. There goes another 30 months quota. A reasonable home use quota is more like a Terabyte than single digits of gigabytes. And if you get into throttling, it will feel like dialup. There is nothing worse than sitting through an OSX update at 1.5 Mbps. I know because that happened to us on Comcast even through we pay for 24 Mbps. There were incidents where we were getting less than 1/10 what we were paying for. I've gotten so sick of Comcast, I've looked into various hotspot thingies and tethering plans and so far I've found nothing worth bothering with.

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