Privacy and iPhone

Texas_Toast

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 6, 2016
849
69
Texas
So I got my new iPhone 6S Plus, although it is in a box somewhere in the pile while I was away.

Last night I stopped by AT&T to see about getting a replacement for my current hot spot since its batetry life is now under an hour. After getting some options on a hot spot, I was about to leave the store when I asked one last question that has opened some interesting options for me...

I asked the kid what AT&T could offer me as far as a plan for my new iPhone - which is to used for testing website text messages and demoing sites. TO my surprise, the kid sad I could keep my current plan, and add the iPhone for about an extra $5.25 per month?! Wow!

I am interested in doing this HOWEVER, because I am someone who is a big believer in privacy, I am worried what the gotchas might be, and thus I am creating this thread.

Where could I lose privacy if I switched from accessing the Internet on my hot spot versus on my new iPhone?

I usually use a VPN, so my IP should be protected whether I use free wi-fi or my hot spot or my iPhone. However, it seems to me that it is easier fro AT&T to track my online activity is I am tethering my MacBook Pro to my iPhone to get Internet access.

If there are any provacy or security experts out there, I would appreciate your thoughts on this!

Thanks.
 

legioxi

macrumors 6502a
Mar 2, 2013
639
75
There won't be any difference between using a hotspot or your iPhone hotspot for internet in terms of privacy. They both connect to the same network and NAT your equipment behind their IP which is then CGNAT'd to the internet. ATT will still see all the traffic being used so I'd still use a VPN if you don't want ATT to see what you're up to.
 

Texas_Toast

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 6, 2016
849
69
Texas
There won't be any difference between using a hotspot or your iPhone hotspot for internet in terms of privacy. They both connect to the same network and NAT your equipment behind their IP which is then CGNAT'd to the internet.
What do you mean by NAT and CGNAT? (I looked that up and got lost.)


ATT will still see all the traffic being used so I'd still use a VPN if you don't want ATT to see what you're up to.
I have heard on the news that smartphones all but give you away even by sitting on a table. Wouldn't that be a privacy downside to using my iPhone as a hot spot versus my "dumb" hot spot?

My understanding is that every time I use my current AT&T hot spot to connect to the Internet, somewhere AT&T is logging the general geographical area where I accessed their towers, right? So in essence I am creating a log of where I travel.

I don't like that, but I guess that is what happens when you want to use wireless networks.

But at least with a VPN, AT&T and the end websites aren't keeping track of me, which is good.

Since I have never owned a cellphone, I just worry that all of that extra technology and power will lead me to hand myself!

It would be great to get the benefits of a hot spot and iPhone all in one device for an extra $5.25 a month, but not if it means I am losing my privacy!
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
30,409
30,665
So I got my new iPhone 6S Plus, although it is in a box somewhere in the pile while I was away.

Last night I stopped by AT&T to see about getting a replacement for my current hot spot since its batetry life is now under an hour. After getting some options on a hot spot, I was about to leave the store when I asked one last question that has opened some interesting options for me...

I asked the kid what AT&T could offer me as far as a plan for my new iPhone - which is to used for testing website text messages and demoing sites. TO my surprise, the kid sad I could keep my current plan, and add the iPhone for about an extra $5.25 per month?! Wow!

I am interested in doing this HOWEVER, because I am someone who is a big believer in privacy, I am worried what the gotchas might be, and thus I am creating this thread.

Where could I lose privacy if I switched from accessing the Internet on my hot spot versus on my new iPhone?

I usually use a VPN, so my IP should be protected whether I use free wi-fi or my hot spot or my iPhone. However, it seems to me that it is easier fro AT&T to track my online activity is I am tethering my MacBook Pro to my iPhone to get Internet access.

If there are any provacy or security experts out there, I would appreciate your thoughts on this!

Thanks.
And I believe the Hot Spot is encrypted as well. At least from my understanding.
 

iphone1105

macrumors 68020
Oct 8, 2009
2,010
194
Lol privacy? Its 2016 good luck with that with any device. Just get it and enjoy it and don't worry about silly crap. You live once don't worry about privacy. Enjoy life
 
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