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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!

  • Anonymous

    They really ought to take a page from iTunes and add a tethering service. It’s clear that people want this functionality, they ought to sell it to them.

  • http://thunderror.com thunderror

    I’m so happy that US carriers don’t run my phone

  • Anonymous
  • Quenharo 2014

    NO Pdanet on Verizon Moto Droid

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chris-Smith/1555906012 Chris Smith

    WebOS on Sprint and no issues. If you all don’t like this crap then switch carriers. ATT is now instituting caps on wired (Uverse and DSL) as well. Seems to me that they don’t want my money, so I won’t give it to them. Easy!

  • Seanbone

    Everyone w/ unlimited data should filibuster by constantly downloading netflix movies around the clock…all at the same time…..until the carriers agree to allow tethering w/ no additional charge….somebody please setup a data-download day on facebook so we can all protest.

  • http://profiles.google.com/michael.geier Michael Geier

    WT is out on code.google.com. Download it, slide it over, and run the .apk. Just because the market won’t let you have it doesn’t mean you can’t install it.

  • http://blog.gleep.org/ andrewwatson

    I was just able to download it to my HTC G2 on T-mobile…

  • http://profiles.google.com/jdauriemma Jeffrey Auriemma

    If I root my phone, would I still be able to tether?

  • gordon

    Not everyone does it, only root. So what does it really matter? Give it out for free, I guaranty that you will get TONS of new costumers to your network

  • Fenopie

    Yup, same thing here with T-Mobile. :(

  • Grem135

    It came installed on my T-Mobile MyTouch4G and works perfect

    • Grem135

      I forgot to add, it is also unlimited though I do get throttled to 3g if I go over 5gig… well, some people do anyway

  • http://profiles.google.com/zac.sweers Zac Sweers

    sprint evo, still see it on the market

  • http://paul.warren.myopenid.com/ StrangeAttractor

    Can download and install from market with both Telstra and Vodafone in Australia. Wonder how long it’ll last. Hooray for adb install :)

  • Alexander

    This is ridiculous. I’ll probably repeat something so many have stated before but, look we have data caps 5gb usually. I’m with T-mobile, and after the 5gb, internet slows down to snail speed (still unlimited mind you). In my case, the carrier can just stfu because I’m using the alloted amount I get, and then I’m using up barely any bandwidth with dial-up speeds they give me after the cap.

    The thing is, if you give me a cap, I should be able to do whatever I want with it. Bandwidth or not, phones and the laptops being tethered will run at the same speed because it’s going through the phone, no? What’s the point then?

    I use my phone to view data-intense websites, play flash games etc. I can even bitTorrent from my phone. Are they gonna cap me for that too? One month, I reached the 5gb cap WITHOUT any tethering, just because I was downloading apps, the newest Ubuntu distro, and tons of other crap. Where will be the limits as to what they can “prohibit”? Next thing you know, you’ll only be allowed on facebook, your RSS feeds, and youtube.

  • Anonymous

    Hey wireless tether app developer, Post your app to apptown.com so we can continue to enjoy.

  • Kenny

    I think the message the carriers are trying to send is clear.

    “Don’t like our rules? Have fun being stuck in the stone age.”

  • jim

    I use Wireless Tether from google code on my defy. http://code.google.com/p/android-wifi-tether/

  • http://twitter.com/codybarr Cody Barr

    You can still download Wireless Tether from it’s google code page and put it on your phone manually http://code.google.com/p/android-wifi-tether/

  • http://profiles.google.com/coreyog Corey Ogburn

    On a separate note, Lifehacker has a way to get around carrier blocked apps.

    http://lifehacker.com/#!5758134/how-to-easily-install-carrier+blocked-apps-like-pdanet-from-the-android-market

    If you don’t use your phone for your main internet connection, I doubt they’ll know the difference between light laptop usage and hard cell phone usage.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_CDYP52ZJO4EZZL2KFTA65Z44BA Ron Lunsford

    Ok, just to kill this off now… Directly from the Verizon Wireless Terms of Service and Acceptable Use Policy…

    Unlimited Smartphone and BlackBerry Plans and Features
    These WirelessEmail plans and features cannot be used: (1) for access to the Internet, intranets or other data networks except as the device’s native applications and capabilities permit, unless you subscribe to Mobile Broadband Connect; or (2) for any applications that tether your device to laptops or personal computers other than for use of the Wireless Sync or the BlackBerry solution, unless you subscribe to Mobile BroadbandConnect.

    And there it is… “device’s native applications and capabilities permit” which means if you have to install a 3rd party APK to get it to work – it’s not allowed…

  • klee2000

    These carriers are a bunch of these they make it seem like we’re stealing when it’s truly them. I pay for unlimited they call it unlimited but its actually caped. That’s slick it still is unlimited even when you are doing 63kbs. As bad as it is they want you to pay extra how you use ur minutes. As long as we have these hackers and devs I will promote them because, they are the only one that care. I am so surprissed that these carriers have been aloud to suck our blood as long as they have. I have a galaxy tab that was meant to be used as a tab and a phone but these greedy carriers took the feature off so you can put more money in their pockets. They can suck my BA!!z I am going to tether as long as I can.

  • http://profiles.google.com/coreyog Corey Ogburn

    I’m with T-Mo, and my phone came with it pre-installed. I couldn’t uninstall it if I wanted to (I don’t want to).

  • http://www.youtube.com/lanech Lane Chaplin

    Amazon Appstore ftw.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_CDYP52ZJO4EZZL2KFTA65Z44BA Ron Lunsford

    Actually, to use the ‘full service’ that the cable company offers, YOU DO have to have them install a DVR or Box in all the rooms. Sure, you can get the trickle down of freebie channels from your primary source, but you can’t record from a room with a splitter without the boxes… So, in a way, it is exactly the same. You can’t share your DVR without purchasing another DVR – or you can’t share your phone’s data connection without purchasing the rights to do so…

  • Anonymous

    Verizon is not allowed to do this, at least not on any of their LTE phones. As part of the cheap price they paid for the C block, they agreed to open platform restrictions.

    Part of those include that they can’t “block, degrade or interfere with the ability of users to download and utilize applications of their choosing”

    and

    they can’t “block…services that compete with the carriers own offerings”. i.e, tethering through the official hotspot app.

    and

    they can’t impose any additional charges (one-time or recurring) on customers who seek to applications outside of those provided by the carrier.

    source: http://www.howardforums.com/showthread.php/1714635-Verizon-is-violating-the-700-Mhz-open-platform-restrictions-already

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_CDYP52ZJO4EZZL2KFTA65Z44BA Ron Lunsford

    You make a good point, but you realize that Comcast has a data threshold that they hold you to also… If you exceed 250GB in one month, they can/will terminate your service. Over 1 device, that’s almost impossible, but over a wireless network that is being shared, it becomes very possible.

    We have 2 laptops, a roku box and 2 phones that we use on Wi-Fi at home. We regularly use 120-150GB of data a month. If we shared our connection with the neighbors, we’d go over if they did the same.

    Your argument of the “Single Device, Limited Data Plan” is pretty good, but when these plans came out, there was no wireless tether. Verizon doesn’t soft cap you, unless you are tethered – which is Mobile Broadband Connect ($59.99 a month) and will not throttle you for exceeding 5GB if you are only using the device itself.

    The other thing to look at is that Verizon will throttle/disconnect you for using applications that are NOT approved – Skyfire, Opera, Crackle and other programs that use high amounts of data are not approved apps and they can cut you off for using them as well. They cut deals with other companies to draw you in and use that paid service instead.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_CDYP52ZJO4EZZL2KFTA65Z44BA Ron Lunsford

    3 towers in less than a half mile? Really? They don’t space them that close together – and 1Mbps down is 3G speeds there… We all know WiMax doesn’t work indoors – which is why you got such awesome speeds outside.

    Take that combined with the fact that there are roughly 250-500k Verizon 4G users out there and approximately 10 times that in EVO/Epic and Clear users… I’ll take my stable 6down/1up 4G service at the deal I have right now any day.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_CDYP52ZJO4EZZL2KFTA65Z44BA Ron Lunsford

    Actually, its that magic term of ‘Mobile Broadband Connect’ is where the 5GB comes in to play. On Web/Email for smartphone (the $29.99 plan) there is no limit as long as you are using only the device and not tethering… Which is where this whole debate starts…

  • http://www.facebook.com/carl.weston2 Camera Man Carl

    Tethering is still on Virgin Mobile Optimus V.

  • Nakizzzle805

    Custom rom ;)

  • Robert Olivas

    You can put your phone in air plain mode and turn on wifi. Go to the market and you should see some apps that are beign blocked. It works on lots of phones

  • http://profiles.google.com/simcona Tito Gonzalez

    The Samsung Galaxy Prevail on Boost Mobile has Wireless Tether

  • StephenFB

    I can no longer find it, but I do have it installed on my phone and it still works. Haven’t had any word/warning from my carrier either.

    Droid X / Verizon Wireless
    Rooted running Liberty 2.0.1

  • http://www.ScienceProUSA.com SciencePro

    You can just sideload it…don’t be stupid.

    To be honest I didn’t even know this was on the market.

  • htc_bolted
  • Ryan C

    I have an OG Droid on 2.2.1 and Wireless Tether doesnt show up in the on phone market. However, Its interesting to see that Barnacle wifi does. And also in the browser market, Wireless Tether cannot be installed on my OG Droid, along with PDAnet, and Klink tethering. It seems most of the tethering option apps are disabled. The funny thing is tho, my Droid can still be selected for installing Barnicle Wifi. So maybe they just havent gotten to that one yet? but is definitely seems that something odd is going on with the tethering apps.

  • Hank

    PDANet still runs tethering on Virgin Mobile’s LG Optimus V!

  • http://revengeofthepc.com Ethan Madison

    http://code.google.com/p/android-wifi-tether/ I found it! Seriously, just download it from there. I’ve found the experimental one to be fine on my Droid X, but then again I do have free tethering built in on GB.

  • Tbolt

    I went to http://www.junefabrics.com/android/download.php and downloaded the .exe for my laptop. It installed PdaNet to my Laptop and Tbolt. I don’t plan on using this as a primary means of internet, but there may be a few occasions per year where I find myself with a laptop and no wifi or cable around.

  • Anonymous

    What’s stopping you from downloading the apk elsewhere?

    BOOM done

  • http://www.BriefEpisode.com/ Gib Wallis

    Interesting! I have a Nexus One on Tmobile and I, too, cannot install this app. It says it’s not available on my carrier.

    With a stock Froyo 2.3.3, though, I have the native tethering, which works just fine. Tmo doesn’t charge extra for tethering so maybe there’s another reason for blocking this app by carrier?

  • http://www.youtube.com/dfmediainc Triny D

    Totally UNsurprising

  • Pirujo

    ya nos chingaron, we fuct….!

  • Nbanicholas

    for people who forgot that google search exists: (wireless tether project page)

    http://code.google.com/p/android-wifi-tether/

  • Anonymous

    Just one more reason to stick with a jail broken iPhone!

    http://www.real-privacy.eu.tc

  • http://profiles.google.com/helfinstine David Helfinstine Jr.

    You can still download and sideload from the developer. It is not blocked to install manually, just not from the market. Barnacle is still available, but definitely not as good as Wireless Tether. To download from the developer, just click the link to go to the developers website from the Market.

  • http://www.facebook.com/benjamin.ferrari Benjamin Ferrari

    It’s not the “Android Axe”. It’s the “Google Android Market Axe”.
    If your phone’s operating system allows for installs from outside the Android Market, as most OSes based on Android do, no service provider (e.g. Google or your Carrier) have any rights (and will probably not try) to remove these apps from your device.

  • Spc Hicks09

    Not available on the Market for the OG Droid anymore but thankfully I have the .apk on my phone, my laptop, my external AND my desktop lol. Watch me tether till my phone falls apart!

  • http://twitter.com/__menthol d

    i found a workaround to this in about 4 seconds. anyone complaining needs to man up and lrn2google.