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Is Wireless Tether About to Get the Android Axe? Carriers Finally Starting to Block it?

If you aren’t sure what that picture is saying, let me attempt to break it down for you.  After receiving a tip that Verizon may be blocking Wireless Tether from the market, I decided to do a little digging on the variety of devices I own.  Sure enough, from all of my phones, including the Nexus S I have running on AT&T, I was unable to find Wireless Tether in the market.  So to see what was really going on, I jumped into the browser-based Android Market to see if I could find the app and definitely did.  But what you are seeing, is my list of devices, all of which cannot accept this app.

Now, we’ve known for some time now that carriers were going to start cracking down on tethering, and you know what, it makes sense that they would.  In fact, AT&T has been warning users that were illegally tethering over the last week, so it wouldn’t surprise us if Verizon was jumping on board with that program.  And if these quick couple of searches that I performed this morning mean anything, then it looks like your days of “stealing data” are about to come to an end.

Anyone else able to find Wireless Tether?  Let me know your phone and carrier please.

Cheers AC!

  • Don Pridemore Jr

    I tether my laptop for free using usb…as far as other devices wireless…  yes… you have to pay for that.

  • Ctbailbondgal

    My Droid Incredible 2 with Verizon will no longer tether..do you have a fix?

  • (personally, I’m a bigger fan of USB tethering on my OG DROID. It’s robust, and it allows me to tether *to* WiFi on my phone. There are several hotspots that the Linux Intel drivers on my laptop just aren’t able to connect to (especially enterprise hotspots) and my phone can… Plus, it charges my phone from my laptop simultaneously)

  • My fiancee has an LG Optimus V on Virgin Mobile (grandfathered into the unlimited (but throttled) data for only $25/month). She uses “Quick Settings” to turn on the infrastructure-mode tethering built into Froyo (which is not available via settings but is available through API that Quick Settings accesses).

    It’s very easy to turn on and really robust. We actually purchased her phone solely to be a cheap pay-as-you-go WiFi hotspot, and now she’s gradually using it more as her primary phone.

    I don’t know much about Android under the covers and what changed in Gingerbread and ICS. I do know that this wasn’t possible on the OG DROID that I have because infrastructure-mode tethering was simply impossible with the hardware within the phone.

    So why can’t others get tethering via her solution? Why aren’t people on Verizion (et al.) using Quick Settings to flip on the tethering inside Android? Is it because most carriers distribute a stripped-down version of Android that doesn’t have the tethering back door enabled?

  • Anonymous

    For weeks now I can’t use my Tmobile Dell Streak 7 as a wireless hotspot. I’m on the 5GB plan which is suppose to have this feature. Anybody else on tmo with this problem?

  • Inshame

    If ATT wants to “flex” contract muscle, add extra charges, resort to bullying tactics, the freedom in a capitalist society gives us the wiggle room to take our over paid cell phone payments elsewhere. Breech of contracts in lawsuits. Bully.

  • Factoryorders

    What….? turn myself in? Lol….no thanks

  • Prozac4me

    I was always under the impression that unlimited meant, without limitations…  I guess, Webster is going to have to update the definition for phone companies.  Unlimited (for phone companies), may read, anything that doesn’t interfere with profit!

    When I DON’T go over my minutes, I don’t see them reimbursing me for NOT going over minutes!  AOL was sued for this type of behavior in the 90’s, for selling service to everyone, and not having enough ports for it’s users to log in. 

    If my data habits effect the network so adversely, then we need to re-negotiate the contract, and start paying me for when I don’t go over.  Quit calling something unlimited, and say if we don’t like how much data you use, we will throttle, er, i mean network optimize you!

  • Chaosnyx0

    I am currently using Wireless Tether to run on my Droid X. If you search for the apk via google and get the app that way, you will be able to use it. Obviously you must be rooted to use the wireless tether. BARNACLE is in the market and works just as good people. 

  • VerizonSucks

    I can’t wait until my contract with the scumbags over at Verizon is finally DONE!!!
    The day I bought it from the Smithfield Rhode Island store the dirtbag salesman there proudly showed tha tI could use my DroidX as a Hot-Spot.
    And THEN Hurricane Irene hit and when I went to use my DroidX as a Hot-Spot, the dirtbags over at Verizon took me to a page displaying a pricing chart.
    Suddenly my Hot-Spot was going to cost me an additional $20 per month.
    When my contract is complete I will turn my back on the dishonest company called Verizon!!!

  • Gamma1148

    What you are all missing is that Verizon advertised the Wireless Access Point (Connect up to five devices)!!! as a selling point for the phone.  They hide the detail that mentions the cost in a 4 point font on the edge of the advertisement, if at all.  This is deceptive advertising. They then take a feature that is native to the phone and disable it unless you upgrade to their higher cost service, then they punish the 1% of people who re-enable the feature via root.  I know for a fact that my contract doesn’t say that If I root my phone and use wifi tether to gain free tethering I would be breaking the law.  (Nor do I think that laws exist that say rooting an open source operating system is illegal) 

  • Searching_for_Key_Largo

    I know that through Google and other search engines I am {just checked to see for this post} currently able to find pdanet {from Junesfabrics}, easytether, wireless tether, miwi, and others — this is if you’re not surfing on your phone or whatever because the carrier blocks things with Google approval {as ATT, Verizon, et al does not show these things through their service such as their app store but others such as Sprint will}. The update last done from pdanet was with option to select no level, level 1 {hides tether}, level 2 {may hide tether but not suggested as some sites surfed to will show or pick up the android etcetera part}.

    As far as the droid symbol versus the internet page symbol for IE, Firefox, etcetera, when browsing or surfing the web…no, I don’t have those symbols and never have had {the droid or whatever} and in fact I was testing out pdanet for my fiancee via his phone and computer then with his phone and my computer with no other than normal symbols or whatnot for surfing. Also history has no indication of anything unusual with the history, web site{s} url{s}, or anything else {to indicate was surfing via the phone and pdanet, etcetera}.

    In fact, oddly enough, the only problem was going through his phone for netflix {it now has app for viewing que not just merely adding to que}; in that case it would do fine with minimal or no buffering {depending on whether verizon was working worth anything on their internet}. However, when using pdanet through the phone for netflix on the computer it would not load netflix at all or when it did it would say not supported {go figure, it confused me thinking it out}.

    Overall, having just tried the one {but being able to find all of them relatively easy on the computer through google but not necessarily the phone itself} it works fine except when verizon themselves are barely able to surf anywhere to begin with.

  • Vacman2000

    I just found out today that my Verizon Thunderbolt which I bought understanding was a “Mobile HotSpot” now is not a “Mobile HotSpot”… but it could be again for a mere $20 more a month! ALL the adds next to EVERY smartphone and tab at the Verizon store, DO NOT in any way say or even slightly suggest that this “Mobil HotSpot” feature will cost you extra. I think this was, and still is, blatantly misleading and that Verizon should have a class action suite filed against them for false advertising and bait and switch!

  • Stangplorer

    you can still download wireless tether and anything that they have ever taken off the market from a certain website which i will not be posting here … however verizon blocked the tether program somehow .. i have a droid x2 just rooted it last night with gingerbreak and cant even use wireless tether… sucks but there is always pdanet and other stuff like that …. just not wifi and barnacle is only ad hoc

  • Wynner70

    This is bullshit written by some carrier shill.

  • i guess i ave to say no matter i never got it wooring on droidx! MycriKet.com networK.. I dont Know wHat IM Missin

  • chikenhawk

    this is the thing that people are to complacent to see with Verizon. In order to use a wireless tether app the way that they want you to you pay for the same data 3x over. First you have to have “unlimited data” on your plan, then to even have an android phone you MUST pay for an “android data” plan per line then you must pay again for the 3g hotspot/wireless tether. So lets do some math here:
    $30 for unlimited option on your phone plan
    $25 if you have an android phone
    $20 if you want to use a tethering app
    thats $75 for the same data!!!!!
    I personally think its crap. And the argument that using a computer would add heavier usage to the towers is not as true as they would like you to think. The throughput on a phone is the same regardless of whether or not you are using the phone or a tether. I am perfectly capable of watching hd movies on my phone as I am on my computer where is the difference. HD being 720-1080p

  • anonymous

    i use wireless tether and before i upgraded to gingerbread on my droid x, i was able to tether. now when i try and use the app, i can connect to the internet but instead of going to google, it brings me to verizons page to sign up to use my phone as a hotspot… im going to figure out a way to do it. i will get around this but i think the phone companies know we want to do this and figure they would rather take all our money than actually give us a good deal… and now verizon wants to remove the unlimited data plan… bastards… i say boycott cell phone companies. if no one used their phone for an entire day, how much money do you think they would lose?

    • chikenhawk

      they would actually make money as then you would still be paying for the service but not utilizing it.

  • Waynemartin1561

    It blows my mind how this is even considered an issue, and let me be more specific…
    If something is clearly undeniably wrong and let’s throw the word “unjust” in as well, if you sign a contract agreeing to it does that now make it right and or just?
    The quick and easy answer is “NO”!
    Smart phones in and of themselves are mini computers and there are now apps as well as keyboard and monitor docking stations that Smartphone’s can be plugged into and what you ostensibly have is a bloody laptop.
    For me the majority of my downloads are done on my Smartphone and then in my case it’s a Droid X and are then transferred to my Laptop.  Also, in case some of you don’t know the Droid X has a mini HDMI output so you can stream movies directly to another device which would usually be a Flat screen television.  This in and of itself would to me suggest streaming huge amounts of data.
    I like to watch documentaries and every once in awhile a good movie, so for me it’s a really good thing that my phone has unlimited internet/data!
    When I purchased my phone I knew that I was going to need an internet connection and my carrier is Verizon.  So I honestly inquired about purchasing a separate internet service plan along with a wireless card that I could plug into my computer so I could get internet and do the mass majority of my downloads i.e. a 2 gigabyte plus HD documentaries and or movies and usually 2 or more at a time.
    What I ended up finding out was this service was not unlimited and was maxed out at 2 Gigabyte a “MONTH”!   OK, and sorry but I blast through 2 Gig. by lunchtime and If you go over that it’s $20.00 for every additional 2 Gig. !!!  Being that by today standards 2 Gigabyte is gobbled up just sitting around streaming youtube for a of couple hours.
    So for all of you saying that there is too heavy a load on wireless… I submit that your point is moot and without merit, and is in fact “fait accompli” or something already done and beyond alteration.
    When a company or group of companies like Verizon and AT&T provide a service and they got you by the contractual throat you are to some extent at their mercy.
    As far as I see it I am paying for Data and this data is limited only by the bandwidth of my service in that it is supposed to be “Unlimited.
    I would also like to through something else out there… A common answer I hear about tethering and will my wireless carrier know if I am using my phone to provide an internet connection for my computer and penalize me i.e. slam you with an ungodly magnanimous phone bill…
    No they probably won’t know as long just you don’t download ridiculous insane amounts of data.
    This answer is by far and away B.S. in that your weakest link is your signal and your bandwidth and I am a living example of this in that I download ridiculous insane amounts of data on a daily basis if not on an hourly basis straight to my phone. 
    Sense you are going directly through your phone to receive your wireless signal you are not going to be able to download appreciably more data via your laptop going through your phone then you would directly from your phone.  So using the amount of data downloaded as a gage to determine if you are using your phone as way of getting an internet connection for your computer simply doesn’t hold water and makes me want to pull my hair out by the roots every time I read this.
    In the end I have purchased unlimited data at a maximum bandwidth and I should be able to use that any way I see fit.
    An analogy I would use would be if I purchase a movie on a DVD have I not just purchased the rights to watch that media however or wherever I want?
    Or have I only purchased the rights to watch this media on a DVD player only?
    I would submit that it is the former and not the latter.

  • John

    I have a Droid 2 Global with Verizon and I searched wireless tethering on the market and found A WIFI Tether AP Mesh Client by Open Garden, Open Source.
    I have not tried it yet, however, so I don’t know if I can use it.

  • Ke_kromer

    I’m with US Cellular and they charge a fee to tether but it’s great because in the boonies, where USC is really the best option, there aren’t a lot of wifi spots and it’s great to be able to hook up the laptop (my Froyo/Desire has a hotspot app but it’s slower than usb tether).
    I hope they will continue to offer this option.
    What about the wireless modem cards that carriers used to sell?  Do those plans still make them money, if so then that’s why they’re cutting off the tethering…

  • Ke_kromer

    I’m with US Cellular and they charge a fee to tether but it’s great because in the boonies, where USC is really the best option, there aren’t a lot of wifi spots and it’s great to be able to hook up the laptop (my Froyo/Desire has a hotspot app but it’s slower than usb tether).
    I hope they will continue to offer this option.
    What about the wireless modem cards that carriers used to sell?  Do those plans still make them money, if so then that’s why they’re cutting off the tethering…

  • Toms Daksa

    Thanks god I live in Latvia and my carrier is LMT, I can tether as much as I want.

    What next? Prohibit us from using unprotected wi-fi networks?

  • Chris

    Doesn’t Android (at least in recent versions) allow tethering as part of the standard OS install anyway? Pretty sure it’s there on both my Nexus One and HTC Desire.

  • lmao

  • Furreal Pursuhn

    Another scam for the same bandwidth we’re already paying for. Someone in Congress want to step up here? Or of course I am sure this is over their technical heads…

  • Nemesis1701

    Droid is crap made from crap and used by thieves

  • Nemesis1701

    Droid is crap made from crap and used by thieves

  • Guestey

    To the “You signed a contract people”. Yes I did. My Verizon contract had:
    1. phone has unlimited data
    2. tethering has a 5GB data limit

    Which mean I am NOT “stealing” when I tether and yanking my ability to tether IS a contract violation by Verizon.

    Sadly the violation will probably just entitle me to break my contract early with no termination fees so I can go to a provider that allows tethering like…

  • Anonymous

    “stealing data” WTF?

    Instead of digging around looking for the app, why don’t you dig around and look for some information on how these carriers are justified in essentially charging you twice for the data you already pay for.

    Hint: It makes no logical sense and unless the author of Wireless Tether is getting a cut it’s illegal.

    …Does your water company charge you extra to have a dishwasher in your home??

  • Welp I’m glad I already snagged this.

  • Shawn99452

    You can always just find the .apk and install it manually, rather than from the market. This would be a deal-breaker for most apps, but remember that to run Wireless Tether, you need to have a phone that is rooted, AND have a netfilter-enabled kernel (which no carrier is going to provide). So you pretty much need to be running a custom ROM on your rooted phone, and if you did all that you shouldn’t have any trouble side-loading Wireless Tether.

  • Someone

    I don’t get it, you pay for your data no matter what you do with it
    1 MB youtube, 1 MB mail or 1 MB tether traffic

  • Jaimex2

    My Nokia n900 gets past this very easily running a squid proxy server, I’m sure someone will port it to Android.

  • Carriers have a hard time waking up to a new reality, which is that all they’re good for is providing bandwidth and data connectivity. Sure, you can deliver different dataplans for different use types. But that’s about it. It’s cool that they’re delivering some additional services such as voice but there’s a limit to how important this is. VOIP is rapidly taking over voice as a service and nobody is interested in a dinosaur trying to hold on to their little monopoly. Imagine going to the hardware store and asking for a piece of rope. Sure, sais the salesman, but what are you going to use it for? Ehh, what? Well, if you’re going to use it make a leesh for your dog we can offer it to you for a great price $5/m, but if you you’re going to lift some furniture to the attic with it. Well, that’s a whole other level of convenience. Then it’s $15/m. And by the way, you can’t lift any IKEA couches with it. Competition, you know. I would suggest regulators force phone infrastructure suppliers both mobile and fixed to accept any kind of competing service providers. And also ensure that “voice” cannot be delivered by those phone infrastructure suppliers but by separate service providers. This way, we can have some serious competition focusing on delivering superior quality in stead of ripping you off. Why would a mobile phone be different than your ADSL line?

  • no

    One word Applanet

  • two words: side load

  • Scott

    You should always be able to download the apk from http://code.google.com/p/android-wifi-tether/downloads/list