Cheapest way to use iPhone as hotspot?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Josb0411, Jan 23, 2012.

  1. Josb0411, Jan 23, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2012

    Josb0411 macrumors newbie

    Feb 8, 2011
    I have 4s iPhone on verizon. I also have a wifi only iPad 2. Unfortunately I've been finding it difficult to find free wifi spots when on the road. I'm grandfathered in to nlimited data plan for my iPhone with Verizon. What's the cheapest route to always have wifi using my phone?
  2. mmmtastybusch macrumors regular

    Oct 31, 2011
    As far as I know there are only two options for mobile hotspot on iPhone: pay 20 bucks a month to Verizon, or jailbreak and do it for free.
  3. rgarjr macrumors 603


    Apr 2, 2009
    Southern California
    U can jailbreak the 4s and install a tether package. Dunno if VZW will upgrade to a tether plan though if they catch u.
  4. Buckeyestar macrumors 6502a


    Sep 17, 2011
    And the carrier sees that and charges you for tethering anyway.
  5. JoeSixPack macrumors member


    Oct 4, 2008
    With Verizon you are able to turn tethering on and off month to month which can be helpful it you only need it for traveling.
  6. mmmtastybusch macrumors regular

    Oct 31, 2011
    I'm not sure how it is with iPhone as far as that goes, but I've rooted all my android phones and tethered for over two years with no issues
  7. Zcott macrumors 68020

    Oct 18, 2009
    Belfast, Ireland
    No one is really sure how carriers detect tethering, so you might get away with jail breaking without any issue. I imagine if a carrier notices a large increase in the amount of data consumed they probably assume you're tethering.
  8. davenz macrumors regular

    Jul 19, 2008
    It should be free. I've never been charged a thing outside my normal plan. Maybe its different in the US, but it's not like its an additional service, you're still just using your data, just in a different way.
  9. mantic macrumors 6502a

    Mar 30, 2007
    Here's a bit of insight:

    For all you wondering how they can tell:

    All IP packets have something called a TTL associated with them. It stands for Time To Live. Every "hop" along the network from one router to the next reduces the TTL by one. When it reaches 0, the packet is dropped. This was introduced to keep routing problems from overloading the network. If for example, by some error a packet was going around in a circular path, the TTL would eventually reach 0 and prevent a packet storm.

    The thing is, ALL routing devices do this. OSes use standard TTLs. For example, let's say both your iPhone and laptop use 127 for the TTL. AT&T will receive packets from your iPhone with a TTL of 127, but since the packets from your laptop pass through your iPhone first, they arrive at AT&T with a TTL of 126. They can detect a tethered device this way.

    Apple uses a TTL of 64 for the iPhone, by the way. So change the TTL on your computer to "65" and there should be no problem. Here's how to do it:

    1. Click Start - Search and type “regedit”. This launches the WIndows Registry.
    2. In the registry, navigate to the following registry key [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Servic es\Tcpip\Parameters] HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE


    3. In the right pane, right-click and select New – DWORD (32-bit value) and set its name as “DefaultTTL” and set its value anything between “0? and “255?. The value sets the number of Hops or links the packet traverses before being discarded.
    + 81



    TTL is a good start. However, deeper packet inspection would reveal HTTP requests from sources other than "approved software packages" (i.e. the http request would show a browser name like chrome). Protocols other then HTTP would be equally revealing.

    Deep packet inspection is expensive; so they probably look for people whom consume a generous amount of monthly bandwidth and sniff their traffic.

    The only way to protect yourself would be to encrypt your packet payload, until it reached a non-AT&T intermediate node. And of course, eventually that type of behavior would be a red flag. However, they would not be able to PROVE you were tethering, they would only have a reasonable suspicion (which appears to be enough for AT&T).

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