Cheapest way to use iPhone as hotspot?

Josb0411

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 8, 2011
21
0
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?
 
Last edited:

mmmtastybusch

macrumors regular
Oct 31, 2011
104
0
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.
 

JoeSixPack

macrumors member
Oct 4, 2008
76
12
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.
 

Zcott

macrumors 68020
Oct 18, 2009
2,302
45
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.
 

davenz

macrumors regular
Jul 19, 2008
102
1
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.
 

mantic

macrumors 6502a
Mar 30, 2007
533
0
AL
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.
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

\SYSTEM
\CurrentControlSet
\Services
\Tcpip
\Parameters

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.
REPORT
+ 81

and..

Quote:

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).