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USB tethering with Samsung Epic?

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Journeyman

Re: USB tethering with Samsung Epic?

Do we have our terminology right?  Doesn't "Tether" refer to using the USB cable to connect one computer to the Epic 4g to use the phone as a modem whereas "Mobil Hotspot" means using the Epic 4g essentially as a wireless router?  The two are completely diffferent.  The Mobile Hotspot can connect several devices wirelessly and Spring charges extra for it. OK, makes sense.   It seems to me that the tether should be no extra charge; as others have said, we are paying a $10 premium for our 4g service.  BTW I live in downtown Philly and my 4g is sporadic at best.

What I don't understand is why Sprint is so cryptic about Tethering.  It is an option when we connect via USB and once selected, it should go right into action.  Unfortunately, it doesn't.  What gives, Sprint?

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Journeyman

Re: USB tethering with Samsung Epic?

i most agree with the cryptic way sprint has disguised the $30 for 'tethering'.  took me two months to figure that out.  and not til i tried the function, it didnt work, so i began the research.  no one mentioned this, funny:( not.  and to me tethering and hotspot are two diff functions.  alot of mystery here.  this is starting to make my experience turn sour.  i will begin letting sprint know through feedback.

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Journeyman

Re: USB tethering with Samsung Epic?

Oddly enough, I searched into this forum because I'm having problems with my tethered connection getting frequently dropped, and I haven't found an answer to that problem.  However, I can definitely clarify something else. You CAN tether without the $30 wifi hotspot plan on an EPIC 4g, and you DO NOT HAVE TO ROOT your phone.  I know this because:

a) my phone is not rooted, and
b) I'm tethering right now on the 4G network.

(sadly it's only about 2MB at the moment, sucky, but it's there - that's another issue).

And also, I'm not sure who you guys talk to at Sprint (or who you Sprint employees are on this forum), but before I shut off my $30 wifi hotspot feature, which was uber-slow and disappointing, I asked at least two Sprint reps about it and both of them confirmed for me that I could still tether my phone without the $30 wifi hotspot charge.  I do pay the extra $10 data plan charge, but that's it.  $69.99 for my minutes etc., and $10 for the extra data.

I downloaded and installed Easy Tether and followed it's instructions.  I have successfully tethered a Windows Vista and a Windows XP computer (both laptops). I haven't tried Windows 7.

Now if I could just figure out why it keeps disconnecting about every 5 mins.  That's just annoying. When it happens I just unplug the phone from the USB and plug it back in, and it's good to go.  And also, I'm able to use all other features on the phone while tethered (data, calling, apps, etc.)

Good Luck!

Message was edited by: mrtomh

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Wizard

Re: USB tethering with Samsung Epic?

mrtomh wrote:

...

I shut off my $30 wifi hotspot feature, which was uber-slow and disappointing,

...

Now if I could just figure out why it keeps disconnecting about every 5 mins.  That's just annoying.

...

Sprint does not officially allow or support wired tethering.  Sprint charges a monthly fee for connecting other devices to data through a Sprint handset.  It is a real shame that you get "annoyed" while stealing this service.

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Journeyman

Re: USB tethering with Samsung Epic?

wait a minute pal... if you read my post, you might have noticed that i wrote thatat least two sprint employees told me that i could tether my phone the way that i have. in fact one of them told me specifically how to do it.  then, just to be sure, i went to a second employee who said the same thing. i dont know if youre just being a troll or what, but please keep your mean spirited accusaations to yourself. i was trying to do the community a little favor by sharing what i learned, so i sure as hell dont deserve to be scolded by some self righteous clown who appears to have nothing better to do than troll the forum and throw in their unhelpful commentary. speaking of annoying, egads sir.

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Wizard

Re: USB tethering with Samsung Epic?

Read the Sprint Terms and Conditions.  It is stated several times that you may not connect another device through your handset unless you have a plan that specifically allows it.  If several K-Mart employees told you an easy way to shoplift from their store, it would still be illegal.

Some exerpts from the Sprint T&Cs:

Our data services may not be used: ... (vi) for an activity that connects any device  to Personal Computers (including without limitation, laptops), or other  equipment for the purpose of transmitting wireless data over the network  (unless customer is using a plan designated for such usage);

...

Except with Phone-as-Modem plans, you may not use a phone (including a  Bluetooth phone) as a modem in connection with a computer, PDA, or  similar device.

...

If your Services include web or data access, you also can't use your  Device as a modem for computers or other equipment, unless we identify  the Service or Device you have selected as specifically intended for  that purpose (for example, with "phone as modem" plans, Sprint Mobile  Broadband card plans, wireless router plans, etc.).

Why is it a concern of others that you are stealing services and recommending that more customers do the same?  Sprint is in the business of selling services, not giving them away.  If Sprint were to perceive that "too many" customers (whatever that number may be) are stealing the hotspot (or tethering) service without paying for it, then they will likely take measures to mitigate the loss of revenue...and many customers may suffer.

Message was edited by: wasbakntyme

Journeyman

Re: USB tethering with Samsung Epic?

Legality of the terms of service aside (as that would need to be challenged in court). I think your example of Kmart shoplifting is fundimentally flawed. Shoplifting is the depervation of a physical asset at a financial loss to the corporation. There is no loss to Sprint when a phone is used as a modem, there is only a loss of profit from a duplicate charge for resources already provided under the contract. Think of it this way, if I leased you a car and you had unlimited miles to drive it, but then I decided to charge you $50 extra to drive in Arizona, what would you think?

There is no difference to listening to Pandora on your phone than there is to listening it on your laptop through your phone. The data utilization is the same. The only impact to setting up tethering yourself versus paying Sprint $30 a month to use their application is the $30 a month to Sprint, service wise there is no impact.Your contract specifically states "Unlimited Internet", which is the service you are purchasing.

Without specifically delving into the complexities of the laws surrounding the issue, there are laws that protect consumers against service providers and content providers from limiting their use of the services provided. (The exact reason why it's now legal to circumvent encryption used to lock phones to specific service providers, despite the DMCA.)

Sprint failed when they decided to try and institute a money grab for a service that is trivial to set up on an open platform like Android. Sprint would be far wiser to consider getting into the application development front and to create new ways, new services to enhance the capabilities of the platform and then charging fees for the purchase of those applications. They could stand to do a much better chance of producing high quality apps than the average hobbyshoppist.

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Journeyman

Re: USB tethering with Samsung Epic?

My last response got removed by the mediators.  I may have been a little too offended at having been accused of "stealing" something. And I agree with Tragicframe that the Kmart analogy is fundamentally flawed. Stealing merchandise from a retail store is a criminal offense covered by criminal statutes that are written into our law books.  The good faith interpretation (or misinterpretation) of a business contract between parties is civil, not criminal, matter. So I'm not a lawyer, but I'm pretty confident that I'm not a thief, either. 

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Wizard

Re: USB tethering with Samsung Epic?

mrtomh wrote:

My last response got removed by the mediators.  I may have been a little too offended at having been accused of "stealing" something. And I agree with Tragicframe that the Kmart analogy is fundamentally flawed. Stealing merchandise from a retail store is a criminal offense covered by criminal statutes that are written into our law books.  The good faith interpretation (or misinterpretation) of a business contract between parties is civil, not criminal, matter. So I'm not a lawyer, but I'm pretty confident that I'm not a thief, either.

In many jurisdictions, what you are doing would meet the elements of the crime called "Theft of Services".  So yes, it is possible, depending upon where you live, that you might actually be a criminal.


For one example, Pennsylvania statutes include:

§ 3926.  Theft of services.
        (a)  Acquisition of services.--
            (...
            (1.1)  A person is guilty of theft if he intentionally
        obtains or attempts to obtain telecommunication service by
        the use of an unlawful telecommunication device or without
        the consent of the telecommunication service provider.

http://law.onecle.com/pennsylvania/crimes-and-offenses/00.039.026.000.html

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Journeyman

Re: USB tethering with Samsung Epic?

This is where the nuances of law become fascinating...

Yes, hooking up a direct connection into the power lines outside your home after the power company disconnects your service is a crime. That is theft of service. However, in the incident we're discussing here, there is a lot more nuance involved. You may be using the service in an inappropriate manner, but you're not using it without consent as the company is providing you the service and accepting payment for the services rendered. It would be arguable that this transaction constitutes consent.

Violating TOS is typically grounds to terminate service. The ramifications of more harsh alternatives would be damaging to the company. Not to mention, you have to consider the "power of the people" effect that comes into play when dealing with situations like this. The RIAA took a stance where they sued everyone who traded an MP3. This cost the organization hundreds of millions in resources to combat and left an un-repairable mark against their public reputation. No one likes sueing grandma or the little kid across the street. As a result, mp3's became mainstream, services like iTunes were able to redefine music distribution models, and the income models of the RIAA and it's constituent members were irrevocably altered. And this incident involved a legitimate crime of theft of intellectual property. Prosecuting in a similar manner for a violation of a term of service is not only cost prohibitive but highly damaging to the company image at the same time.

It's far more effective from a business perspective for Sprint to attract the highly technical folks to their service, because these people act as litmus tests for their friends and families when it comes to recommending technology to use. One geek recommending an Epic to their friends and families is worth more than one ad played at the start of a movie. So shooting down all the technically inclined? Bad idea for someone whose interested in capturing more market share.

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Journeyman

Re: USB tethering with Samsung Epic?

You know, I just realized that I'm engaging in a pointless debate. As much as I might be tempted to debate this point-by-point, I'm going to surrender and leave you full rights this small world.  My apologies to anyone who has had the misfortune of being on the sidelines. Good day to you all!

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Journeyman

Re: USB tethering with Samsung Epic?

Now, I wonder if all of this will soon be moot.  Froyo for Epic 4g has been leaked and I've heard that Froyo (generally) has hotspot and tethering built in.  Has anyone heard from the early Froyo adopters whether these are available without additional cost?  I certainly hope Sprint doesn't block tethering.

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