Has anyone ever been caught tethering AT&T's 3G connction?


ToroidalZeus

macrumors 68020
Dec 8, 2009
2,301
821
Think of it this way, safari on your tethered macbook is going to use the same amount of data as safari on your iPhone. So as long as you are not going over your 5GB soft-cap, AT&T will not check your usage because it would take way to much work for an employee to go through everyones data usage, line by line, for anomalies.
 

kcgunner

macrumors member
May 3, 2009
53
0
I've been caught

I was off AT&T's network visiting my mother and I tethered by connection quite a bit. So much so that I got an email from AT&T saying I was using "excessive amount of off network data" and in violation of the terms of my agreement. Apparently you are only allowed 100MB per day if you're off their network. Nothing happened however. I stopped using it and didn't get charged anything.
 

jav6454

macrumors P6
Nov 14, 2007
16,864
1,480
1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
I was off AT&T's network visiting my mother and I tethered by connection quite a bit. So much so that I got an email from AT&T saying I was using "excessive amount of off network data" and in violation of the terms of my agreement. Apparently you are only allowed 100MB per day if you're off their network. Nothing happened however. I stopped using it and didn't get charged anything.
Off network is not tethering. Off network just means you were roaming outside AT&T owned/operated cell towers.

On network, it's very unlikely for you to be caught.
 

-aggie-

macrumors P6
Jun 19, 2009
16,793
50
Where bunnies are welcome.
Think of it this way, safari on your tethered macbook is going to use the same amount of data as safari on your iPhone. So as long as you are not going over your 5GB soft-cap, AT&T will not check your usage because it would take way to much work for an employee to go through everyones data usage, line by line, for anomalies.
There is no soft cap. End of story.

I was off AT&T's network visiting my mother and I tethered by connection quite a bit. So much so that I got an email from AT&T saying I was using "excessive amount of off network data" and in violation of the terms of my agreement. Apparently you are only allowed 100MB per day if you're off their network. Nothing happened however. I stopped using it and didn't get charged anything.
You were caught off network. This has nothing to do with tethering.
 

kcgunner

macrumors member
May 3, 2009
53
0
Well I would say it's pretty hard to use over 100 MB on an EDGE network unless you're tethering! Pretty sure they knew I was doing something I shouldn't.
 

jlc1978

macrumors 68020
Aug 14, 2009
2,414
818
Think of it this way, safari on your tethered macbook is going to use the same amount of data as safari on your iPhone. So as long as you are not going over your 5GB soft-cap, AT&T will not check your usage because it would take way to much work for an employee to go through everyones data usage, line by line, for anomalies.
Pattern recognition - they would simply id excessive usage and patterns automatically. It's probably not wort hteh trouble unless someone really abuses it, though.

As for the off network usage mentioned above, ATT probably pays the provider so they want to limit the costs. Way back when, if you used to much "free roaming" they'd drop you as well. It was one way to get out of a contract with no fees.
 

thelatinist

macrumors 603
Aug 15, 2009
5,933
49
Connecticut, USA
Way back when, if you used to much "free roaming" they'd drop you as well. It was one way to get out of a contract with no fees.
They still do this. I spent a couple of weeks in a "partner" area two summers ago, and I got a text message warning that more than half of my usage had been off-network for that month and threatening to drop me if it continued. They changed my network ID to off-network when I wasn't on the AT&T network after that, too.
 

Looon

macrumors 6502a
Jul 10, 2009
685
2
I got caught tethering about two months ago. The AT&T police knocked on my door, stormed in and stomped my iphone and laptop into the ground and said if it happened again that next time it would be my head. I recommend not tethering if you value your life.
 

Dan14

macrumors regular
Aug 28, 2009
226
0
There is no way (other than indepth packet analysis) for the carrier to differentiate data sent from the iphone compared to a PC/Mac. The only thing AT&T can do is identify excessive usage and warn you due to fair usage policy. Phone salesman WILL try to scare you off simply because they can make money out of you. It simply comes down to just being sensible with your usage and you'll be fine.
 

Shenaniganz08

macrumors 6502
Jan 26, 2010
467
4
There is no way (other than indepth packet analysis) for the carrier to differentiate data sent from the iphone compared to a PC/Mac. The only thing AT&T can do is identify excessive usage and warn you due to fair usage policy. Phone salesman WILL try to scare you off simply because they can make money out of you. It simply comes down to just being sensible with your usage and you'll be fine.


There is no way (other than indepth packet analysis) for the carrier to differentiate data sent from the iphone compared to a PC/Mac. The only thing AT&T can do is identify excessive usage and warn you due to fair usage policy. Phone salesman WILL try to scare you off simply because they can make money out of you. It simply comes down to just being sensible with your usage and you'll be fine.



someone please sticky this
 

FoxMcWeezer

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 4, 2009
113
0
Well I would say it's pretty hard to use over 100 MB on an EDGE network unless you're tethering! Pretty sure they knew I was doing something I shouldn't.
OP here. I'm on T-Mobile and I recently canceled the Internet service at my house. My only source of Internet at home was tethering my Edge Internet off my iPhone. It was over 2GB in a week.
 

TurboSC

macrumors 65816
Aug 4, 2007
1,360
0
California
OP here. I'm on T-Mobile and I recently canceled the Internet service at my house. My only source of Internet at home was tethering my Edge Internet off my iPhone. It was over 2GB in a week.
Man, could you imagine downloading 2GB over EDGE. I would ****ing kill myself.
 

pcs are junk

macrumors 65816
Sep 28, 2009
1,044
0
Man, could you imagine downloading 2GB over EDGE. I would ****ing kill myself.
i have verizon turbo speed at my house. fastest internet verizon provides. when i tether with at&t's 3g network i freak out. imagine tethering with tmobiles 2g network, god you load like 2 pages in a whole day. lol.
 

byulasfjazz

macrumors regular
Jul 5, 2009
177
13
Iv used 5 GB plus for the last 3 months ... Nothing has changed on my bill... But I have wifi at home now woo hoo so that should drop back to nothing again.
 

senorhappy

macrumors member
Jun 8, 2009
56
0
Ok, a tad bit off topic, but I upgraded my phone back a few years ago when 3G came out so I could tether. In upgrading, the dumba$$ AT&T guy put the non-unlimited data plan on my account instead of the unlimited plan that I had up to that point.

Got a bill the next month for over $2000. Thought it was a joke... big time typo on their part. I paid my normal monthly amount figuring it would be corrected in the next bill. Next bill: over $32,000... thats right! Over $35,000 those idiots tried to get out of me for 2 months of data. I still have the bill in storage at my parents. I look at it about once a year... still makes my butt pucker!

Before you ask, I had to download huge data files every night for research I use to do. Not p0rn!

Even with copies of all the paperwork from the upgrade, they still tried to make me pay up. Took 1.5 years, but they finally acknowledged that the mistake was theirs and cleared the charges. Idiots!

I know it's not "getting caught", but it was something I wouldn't believe if it hadn't happened to me. Make sure you've got unlimited data on whatever phone you tether with
 

Daremo

macrumors 68020
Jul 3, 2007
2,154
266
Chicago
I got caught tethering about two months ago. The AT&T police knocked on my door, stormed in and stomped my iphone and laptop into the ground and said if it happened again that next time it would be my head. I recommend not tethering if you value your life.
LOFL! That made my day. Thanks!
 

Shenaniganz08

macrumors 6502
Jan 26, 2010
467
4
ive been using my phone's 3g connection as my internet connection at home (average about 100-120 kb/sec download)

I've been averaging about 500mb-1.2gb a day for several months

so just keep it within limits = no suspicion


i would kill myself if i had to use edge connection speeds, that's like 10-15 kb/sec
 

joebobthehob

macrumors member
Jan 27, 2010
72
0
Got a bill the next month for over $2000. Thought it was a joke... big time typo on their part. I paid my normal monthly amount figuring it would be corrected in the next bill. Next bill: over $32,000... thats right! Over $35,000 those idiots tried to get out of me for 2 months of data. I still have the bill in storage at my parents. I look at it about once a year... still makes my butt pucker!
...and this is why you always call in when there's a problem on your bill. For better or worse AT&T deals with about 80 million bills each month... they're generally perfectly happy to fix any fook ups, but they aren't even gonna look at your account unless you ask them to.
 

thep33t

macrumors regular
Jun 18, 2009
241
0
It is not nearly that difficult for AT&T to be able to differentiate what kind of device something is originating from unless you are doing some sort of spoofing.
+1

the url header gives away enough info to tell your not on an iphone. And that is hardly 'in-depth'
 

TeamDNA

macrumors 6502
Sep 7, 2009
252
0
you can use a ton.. i use about 8GB a month of data tethering .. and my bill is always normal .. one month i used 10GB of data