What may have been the correct answer at one time changed to being incorrect. Rooting the phone with one click root and using the Wifi Tether app works great for those times when you're in a pinch and don't have internet access but you have your phone and your wi-fi enabled laptop or desktop PC. I personally think $30 is a rip off for a once or twice a month usage as many people might need in an emergency. My DSL modem/router went out and didn't get replaced for a couple days, so this got me by very nicely.
I talked to a Sprint rep and they said Sprint sends out a pulse signal regularly to disconnect unauthorized tetherers. As others mentioned, they will remove the unlimited data feature if people continue to abuse it with these programs. $30 per month to connect 5-8 devices with unlimited use is really a bargain--especially over 4g with wireless-N. $50 per month if you use Overdrive or Mifi.
1. Don't believe what every Sprint rep tells you. That's rule number one. You can easily hear different stories depending on who you talk to. All the providers tell tales. An AT&T rep once told me I couldn't get wifi on my Blackberry unless I paid for data...said
it was actually not possible...total b.s. also because I enabled it and had no data charges the entire two years I was with them. After all, it was using my own wireless network or another free wifi somewhere, so it was none of their concern to begin with.
2. I don't care if they think they can disconnect tethering on my rooted phone. I only needed it for ONE OR TWO DAYS anyway, or did you miss what I said? If my DSL router ever goes out again in the future for a couple days, I'll happily make use of it again.
I haven't checked my tethering ability since my DSL router got replaced, but I suspect you're wrong...but in any case, whatever they think they can do, I can undo again.
3. "$30 is a rip off for a once or twice a month usage as many people might need in an emergency" was my exact words, but maybe you saw what you wanted before replying. I'm not so cheap as to rely on tethering for my sole internet access and I pay not much
more than $30 for a far better connection on DSL the vast majority of the time it's working. $30 is a rip off for two days a month, whether that two days is my DSL being down or if I want to take my laptop on the road and have internet access. Far as I'm concerned,
the amount of bandwidth I'm eating up in those two days of nominal surfing is close to the same as if I relied solely on the phone's screen rather than my laptop's screen for the GUI, so again that's none of their concern, yet, and those two days cannot reasonbly
constitute abuse (abuse of WHAT?).
Where it begins to be a legitimate concern, and I'll agree with the basis of your pro-Sprint sentiment on this one, is if someone is truly cheating the system and using tethering to power their full-time internet access, especially their network's internet access.
Anyway, I'm not worried about the Sprint nazis (not picking on Sprint per se, they exist in every company). I do believe they have better things to do than pick on the one'sy two'sy people like me. If they are focused on that small of potatoes, maybe they
should rather be focused on making the service better instead because they'd be wasting a lot of money and effort constantly disabling tethering and cutting people's data plans -- and losing even more money by losing customers over petty stuff like that.
If they're cutting access to people scamming the system and running networks off tethered phones, then those are the people that deserve the cut. It's all about how much bandwidth you're using anyway, that's the bottom line, not whether you're actually tethered.
You can avoid tethering altogether and still run afoul of Sprint if you suck up too much bandwidth running a torrent app on your phone (many can be found on the Android Market). And that does not even require rooting your phone!
Because bandwidth is the only cost issue Sprint's bean counters really care about, I highly doubt they know or really care who is using unauthorized tethering anyway and I really think the 'pulse' signal is baloney. It would create more hostility than the good it
would produce for Sprint if they violated people's phones that way who are light 'unauthorized' tethering users. Yes, the network and the use of it does belong to Sprint (and that is ALL they have a perfect right to), but the phone still belongs to you and they have
no right to determine what software is on it, period! Unless you want to give that right to them.
Late add: I did see this article: http://www.examiner.com/gadgets-in-los-angeles/sprint-to-join-other-networks-banning-unauthorized-te...
However, no mention of a "pulse signal" and no sign this has actually started yet. The article says XDA Developers is already working on a 'solution'.
But how is Sprint going to unroot your phone, which is what might have to be done in order to disable root-enabled tethering? I haven't heard of that being done yet. Searching around a bit on XDA's site, I don't even see evidence that Sprint can even tell if you're tethering
- all they know about for certain is bandwidth usage.) There is a tethering solution that doesn't require rooting, and maybe the person the editor is referring to means that one, which Sprint could definitely control as with anything on an unrooted phone. The editor of the article
seems to think he knows what's going on, but hard to tell his actual level of knowledge because he seems not to know the correct URL for XDA Developers (he forgot the hyphen). Also, I looked through XDA's forums but don't see mention of anything they're working on.
Maybe that's a total, sloppy assumption on the editor's part, since he points to no forum thread to support that claim. Maybe with a rooted phone, nothing has to be done (?) don't know. Do you see people saying their unauthorized wi-fi tethering stopped working yet?