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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!

  • APK

    If carriers start blocking apps from the Android Market then maybe they’ll show up in Amazon’s App Store or just be downloadable through the developer’s website.

  • Uh Oh

    pdanet is missing too.

  • I used to have Alltel, but since I switched to AT&T I noticed it was removed from the market. You can easily grab it from http://code.google.com/p/android-wifi-tether/ and install the APK, that’ll never go away. I have a 2GB cap from AT&T and I’ve used tethering in a pinch once or twice this month. I see myself as a fairly heavy user and I’ve only touched 700MB.

  • Scea67

    The apk file is out there for anyone who wants it! I love wireless tether!! And will continue to use it , the cell companies get enough of my money

  • Anonymous

    What’s next? Blocking google voice from providing free sms?

  • Heres the link for the apk from google http://code.google.com/p/android-wifi-tether/downloads/list?can=2&q=Generic if you need to side load it

  • i use barnacle as well. its amazing. I am currently stationed in Kuwait and I use barnacle all the time. I easily use over 10Gb a month and Verizon hasnt said a single thing to me. I even use Skype here and I have my cell phone number as the caller ID and I dont ever get charged minutes. I still get unlimited M2M mintues!!

  • Anonymous

    Barnacle is still available in the market, and I even find it to work better than Wireless Tether… Continue with your day…

    • Anonymous

      Also, I do not feel half-bad doing this as I only use it in places where I don’t have wi-fi such as my work (where the internet was disabled), and around my campus when I’m not near a classroom or the library there isn’t wi-fi everywhere so I use it. I don’t use it to download anything usually, and I rarely get even close to my 5GB “cap” (unlimited data here..). I will continue to tether when needed and I will tether my Asus Transformer once I get it.

  • Drcashman

    I think people seem to forget when cable modems first came out most cable systems only allowed one computer to be hooked up to it and charged you extra for another IP address . But when routers became cheaper I wanted to buy one but heard that my cable company (Media One) was blocking you from using them. they were locking the connection to the mac address of the computer the installer set it up on and they forbid it in the TOS. But as new routers allowed you to clone the mac address more and more and more people started using them and eventually the cable company allowed it and even started to install them. I think this will happen with the phone companies no matter how much they try to stop it.

  • For what it’s worth, sometimes you can install blocked app from the web Market if you remove your SIM card, connect to wifi, then try to install the app.

  • Anon

    Good! I’m glad this is happening. Those of you illegally tethering are the reason phones are getting locked down. You are why rooting is getting such a bad rap. Pay for what you use.

    • a good article on why charging us for tethering is bullcrap:

      Also even if no one ever tethers Verizon and other carriers are always going to try and stop people rooting their phones and doing things carriers don’t want us doing. eg. removing data throttling, removing bloatware, putting on custom roms.
      It’s all about control and money and nothing to do with any specific one thing that people are doing.

  • Anonymous

    Is paying for tethering the same as paying twice for my land line because my 14.4 modem uses it to connect to the interwebs? 😛

  • Wtm1417

    shhh dont tell verizon but bluetooth still works. You cant download it in the market though. Google wireless tether. Rooted Droid X on gingerbread

  • JP

    Market is allowing me to install Wireless Tether to my rooted Nook Color, not that that would do a lot of good since it doesn’t have 3G…

    Has anyone actually been contacted by Verizon about violation of contract for tethering when you don’t get anywhere near the 5GB limit of “unlimited”?

    • MOTOX

      nope. Im on 6.5 for this month so far, and tommorow’s the last day of the month so it’l be 7 gigs, 2 gigs of tethering.

  • Anonymous

    No biggie. I think I have tethered less than five times. Most places I go have free wifi. I have the app now and I am sure you can find it online.
    I still don’t see it as “stealing data” if I don’t share it and am not using it entirely as my personal internet access. I pay for internet access at home from another provider.
    I do understand that the people who abuse it are the problem and I would defend a carrier who closed the exploit because it was taxing servers and causing interruptions in service to those who pay.
    Otherwise, this is no big friggen deal to me.

  • The good news (unless carriers figure out ways to block this too. I’m talking to you AT&T!) is that the apk can be downloaded from Google Code and sideloaded onto a rooted device. Take that carriers! 😀



    Just saying people, tether is an extra paid feature on all carriers…so technically although greedy of course, they do have the right to block you….you can still have unlimited data on verizon for use on your phone or if you have the app already you can still use it….and have unlimited data, they just don’t want you to use that extra data or pay them for the tether feature…I do get what your saying though. Ugh, come on google, take some action!


    Actually i just found it on my thunderbolt. update: on my 2nd one, it is now not found…..but i can’t think this is verizon yet…every other android tether is still found on my first thunderbolt. I am using 3g….not in 4g. just saying.

  • nanogeek
  • Emu

    Still shows up for my Optimus V on Virgin Mobile.

  • Anonymous

    Barnacle is still available

  • Azndan4

    Unlimited data is advertised as just that — unlimited data. Having a 5 gb/month cap makes it FALSE ADVERTISING. Don’t let them get away with false advertising. I’ll feel bad about breaking the contract when they feel bad about breaking the law.

  • Azndan4

    Unlimited data is advertised as just that — unlimited data. Having a 5 gb/month cap makes it FALSE ADVERTISING. Don’t let them get away with false advertising. I’ll feel bad about breaking the contract when they feel bad about breaking the law.

  • Looked on my Droid X just now. Wireless Tether app not showing.

  • If this will stop the carriers from trying to block root or locking the bootloaders. I’m all for stopping free tethering. I used to tether some. I’ve removed the app.

  • Anonymous


    Oh, right, sideloading.

  • Jbrock98

    No wireless tether in my market (DX) but I still have barnacle, haven’t used it since my OGdroid days, what if u still have a wireless tether apk does it still work?

  • i tether on my inspire 4g everyday for my friends at school cause the school blocks their wifi, att still hasnt informed me that i have been charged… maybe that is because they use a total of 5 mb a day? and atm i only used 400mb out of 2gb

  • Welcome aboard the Android train, I hopped you’ve enjoyed your pleasant ride so far, however we are now pulling into Appleville.

  • Anonymous
  • Can’t find it – D2G

  • oh no, now i’ll have to sideload it, use barnacle, the built in CM7 tether, or any of the other 7 options…

  • Ipissuoff

    Wow people are ridiculous. Unlimited means unlimited…no matter how you use it.

    But I mean they charge for text messaging for crying out loud…so carriers being greedy as hell is nothing new. Maybe they should charge for email too.

  • Anonymous

    mine’s grayed out too…but only because when i hover my cursor over my device, it says it’s already installed…

  • Poena69

    can’t you side load it?

  • Anonymous

    i can still download it? and cant you just download it from a nonmarket source and put it on your sd card?!

  • I’m a little confused…. If you have froyo or later, why not just enable your WiFi Hotspot that is a part of the OS instead of using an app?

    • Because only AOSP Froyo has the Wifi hotspot app. All of the carrier-based ROM’s have removed it. But as long as you’re running CM7 or something of that sort, this isn’t an issue.

  • Anonymous

    Can’t get it for my tbolt anymore. Thank god for my titanium backup of it!

  • T S

    Still available on my Viewsonic Gtablet, but not Droid. Of course, the tablet doesn’t have 3G.

  • SIDELOAD we dont need the market for that! hell if were already rooting to do it then why not at that point

  • Anonymous

    This is slightly annoying. I hadn’t even thought of Wireless Tether for the longest time.

    IIRC, they have a google code page so you can install it manually. URL: http://code.google.com/p/android-wifi-tether/downloads/list

    Also just to throw my two cents in the ring, as long as you aren’t sharing your connection out to devices that aren’t yours/in your household I don’t see how/why the carriers care. Well, that’s not true, I do see why. Since cell phone came into existence they have called it unlimited because every phone sucked and data speeds sucked. Up until smartphones came along. And even then, tethering was hard to do and data speeds still sucked. It is just now in this age of easy to use smart phones, easy to install apps, and decent data (even on Verizon which has the slowest 3G network I can get 2Mb down with a ping of ~120ms. I would have killed for that speed less than 10yrs ago. There are people on DSL with lower speeds than that.

    But that isn’t my problem. The carriers weren’t forward thinking and now it is coming back to bite them. I have said a few times that I don’t mind if they changed the data to be limited, as long as the prices and caps were reasonable (IMO 3GB for $30 is fairly reasonable to me). And if they didn’t limit how I used the data.

  • Anonymous

    So, if you already have it on your phone, will they somehow be able to disable it or begin charging you for it? I only use it occasionally when I have no other option, but I certainly don’t want to pay a ton extra every month just in case I might need it!

  • VZW can lick my arse – 9GB of data usage all on device not tethering. Next month my goal is 18GB – Its getting harder to double. Might need to rethink my doubling strategy.

  • Rodys7

    Found& installed an app via AppBrain market

  • Mr. Steve

    Wireless Tether is gone because the dev is working on a new app that’s better. At least that’s what I hear.

    • Guest

      It’s still there, the dev is just done updating and is working on a new app that will only tether over wi-fi. Don’t quote me on the wi-fi part though.

  • Anonymous

    Stealing data my ass (comment not for Kellex). Douchebags nickel and diming you to death is what this is all about. Phones come ready to roll and carriers figure out ways to stick their greedy hands into your pocket for more. You pay for the phone, the phone service, the data service and if that’s not bad enough, an extra fee for the data service across your own device. You pay for unlimited service and they lock you into a contract only to change the terms half way through. Horsehockey. Lying sacks of used car salesmen bollocks. Beautiful thing is that it all comes around and I’ll dance a jig when they lose their shirts.

    • You PAY for all the products and features you want? WOAH WHAT A NOVEL CONCEPT!!! What a revolutionary new business model! Thanks for enlightening me!!

      • Anonymous

        I’m all for paying per service and I totally get your response, I simply have a problem with paying for every little aspect of the SAME service. How many times should I pay for data? I paid for the phone, ok. I paid for the cell service, ok. I paid for a data package so I can surf and email. Fine. I pay for the same data package with a cap so I can surf on my iPad using the SAME DATA? C’mon. When cells were found to have the ability to be used as modems (long ago, galaxy far away) companies tried to squash the idea, then they figured out how to make money out of it and bammo, new “service”. My problem is that the so called service is a built in feature of the phone that is crippled by the carrier, not the phone manufacturer. It’s the same data stream from the same carrier just routed differently and thereby fair game for my whole nickel and dime comment. I also believe the charges we incur for these services are bloated. Yes, I pay for them as long as I want to use them, but that doesn’t make them fair, doesn’t make it right, and certainly isn’t going to make me applaud them for their prowess in business.

  • Zero Cypher

    I was able to find it in the market from my phone.

    Epic 4G

  • Temp123

    Can’t you just use appbrain or Amazon to get the app? CM7 comes with Barnacle Wifi Tether. Hiding the apps is not going to be effective.

    • Justinb

      barnacle is still on the market i just checked. wireless tether was not

  • Ad0131065

    good thing i already have it and have it backed up.

  • It cant be stealing data im paying for it

    • no read your terms of service your paying for data on your phone not other devices