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  • AT&T Cracking Down on MyWi Tethering?


    We've gotten a couple of tips today from users saying that they are receiving notices from AT&T regarding tethering. These users have been using MyWi for tethering, and are grandfathered into AT&T's old unlimited iPhone data plan.

    For one user, the notices began as a simple text message:
    "AT&T Free Msg: Did you know tethering your Smartphone to a computer requires a tethering plan? Pls call 888-860-6789 for details or visit att.com/dataplans."


    AT&T then followed up with this message via email:

    Dear [Customer],

    We've noticed your service plan may need updating.

    Many AT&T customers use their smartphones as a broadband connection for other devices, like laptops, netbooks or other smartphones– a practice commonly known as tethering. Tethering can be an efficient way for our customers to enjoy the benefits of AT&T's mobile broadband network and use more than one device to stay in touch with important people and information. To take advantage of this feature, we require that in addition to a data plan, you also have a tethering plan.

    Our records show that you use this capability, but are not subscribed to our tethering plan.

    If you would like to continue tethering, please log into
    your account online at Cell Phones and Cell Phone Plans - Wireless from AT&T, or call us
    at 1-888-860-6789 Monday - Friday, 7 a.m. - 9 p.m. CST
    or Saturday, 8 a.m. - 7 p.m. CST, by March 27, 2011
    to sign up for DataPro 4GB for Smartphone Tethering.
    Here are details on the plan:

    DataPro 4GB for Smartphone Tethering
    • $45 per month
    (this gives you 4GB in total, combining both your smartphone data plan for $25 and the tethering feature, $20)
    • $10 per each additional GB thereafter, added automatically as needed
    • Mobile Hotspot capabilities are included for compatible Smartphones

    If we don't hear from you, we'll plan to automatically enroll you into DataPro 4GB afterMarch 27, 2011. The new plan – whether you sign up on your own or we automatically enroll you – will replace your current smartphone data plan, including if you are on an unlimited data plan.

    If you discontinue tethering, no changes to your current plan will be required.

    It's easy to track your usage throughout the month so there are no bill surprises. For example, we send you free text messages when you reach 65, 90, and 100 percent of your plan's threshold. If you would like to monitor your account more closely, go towww.att.com/dataplans to learn about other ways to track your data usage.

    As a reminder, our smartphone data plans also include unlimited usage of Wi-Fi at no additional charge. AT&T smartphone customers can use Wi-Fi at home or on-the-go at any one of our more than 23,000 U.S. hotspots already included in your data plan.

    Thank you for bringing your account up to date. We appreciate the opportunity to continue to serve your mobile broadband needs.

    Sincerely,

    AT&T
    This is the first we've heard about users receiving messages regarding MyWi tethering from AT&T. One speculation as to how AT&T may know about tethering is the iOS 4.3 update, which allows the iPhone to be used a personal hotspot. It's possible that AT&T can now track data usage specifically to the device that's being tethered, regardless of whether its done through the personal hotspot feature in 4.3 or via MyWi.

    We'll keep you posted if we hear anything more on this issue. Thank you very much to the readers who sent this in to our tips email!

    UPDATE: Based on user comments that some users are getting the message that don't tether at all, it looks like AT&T is targeting users who have high data usage. As it turns out, MyWi shows up as 0 tether bytes.

    This article was originally published in forum thread: AT&T Cracking Down on MyWi Tethering? started by Matt Savoca View original post
    Comments 1466 Comments
    1. hfinmyblood's Avatar
      hfinmyblood -
      does anyone know how to use mywi for xbox live tunneling through an iMac?
    1. ynotrhyme's Avatar
      ynotrhyme -
      What tethering app uses the mobile data APN instead of the tethering APN? PDANET hide level 2? Please let me know.

      Cheers!
    1. Trooper Sam's Avatar
      Trooper Sam -
      Quote Originally Posted by ynotrhyme View Post
      What tethering app uses the mobile data APN instead of the tethering APN? PDANET hide level 2? Please let me know.

      Cheers!
      Nobody knows if PDANet uses the phone APN, as June Fabrics has revealed nothing.
    1. ynotrhyme's Avatar
      ynotrhyme -
      Quote Originally Posted by Trooper Sam View Post
      Nobody knows if PDANet uses the phone APN, as June Fabrics has revealed nothing.
      Why are these guys being so vague about their ****. I wish this scene was like the PS3 jailbreak scene where there's millions of crap coming out. Im running at the mouth, Anyways, thanks regardless. I already used PDANET level 2 so I'll find out what's up and let you guys know.
    1. Dispersion's Avatar
      Dispersion -
      Quote Originally Posted by 2hip View Post
      This is such a long post that I might have missed this but has anyone tried going to Trace My IP | IP Address Tracker | Digital IP Tracer | Computer People Search or similar sites when tethered and looked at what information is displayed?

      Trace My IP | IP Address Tracker | Digital IP Tracer | Computer People Search will show things like what "Device", "Browser" "OS" and screen res that the session is using. I'm certain ATT can capture the same info.

      Can some of those using the various tethering app post what each is showing(mywi vs tetherme vs pdanet level I and Level II.
      ISP : Service Provider Corporation
      Country :
      United States
      State : Illinois
      Hub City : Chicago
      (Routed Internet Connection)
      Timezone : America/Chicago
      Browser :
      Safari 6531.22.7
      OS :
      iOS 4.1
      Device :
      iPhone
      Screen Res. :
      1920x1080
    1. iamse7en's Avatar
      iamse7en -
      Has anyone (a credible user) had their data plan changed? I bet there are thousands and thousands tethering. They're just going to say no more grandfathering in... Learn from their mistakes and will try to get rid of as many unlimited tethering plans as they can.
    1. ynotrhyme's Avatar
      ynotrhyme -
      Quote Originally Posted by Dispersion View Post
      ISP : Service Provider Corporation
      Country :
      United States
      State : Illinois
      Hub City : Chicago
      (Routed Internet Connection)
      Timezone : America/Chicago
      Browser :
      Safari 6531.22.7
      OS :
      iOS 4.1
      Device :
      iPhone
      Screen Res. :
      1920x1080
      What program for tethering did you use to get these stats? And if it was PDANET what level hide did you use? Those stats you posted are a good sign.
    1. one_crazy_dude's Avatar
      one_crazy_dude -
      Quote Originally Posted by ynotrhyme View Post
      What program for tethering did you use to get these stats? And if it was PDANET what level hide did you use? Those stats you posted are a good sign.
      I don't think that hides much at all. It does say iPhone but it also says routed Internet connection and the screen resolution shows much larger than iPhones res. Dead give away.
    1. ynotrhyme's Avatar
      ynotrhyme -
      Quote Originally Posted by one_crazy_dude View Post
      I don't think that hides much at all. It does say iPhone but it also says routed Internet connection and the screen resolution shows much larger than iPhones res. Dead give away.
      Damn your right. :?
    1. Dispersion's Avatar
      Dispersion -
      Quote Originally Posted by ynotrhyme View Post
      Damn your right. :?
      I was using pdanet level 2 but the routed Internet connection isn't a giveaway. Here are the same stats given by running the trace from Safari on my iPhone.


      Your IP address is:


      TraceMyIP.org - Be Curious
      ISP : * Service Provider Corporation
      Country : *
      United States
      State : * Illinois
      Hub City : * Chicago
      (Routed Internet Connection)
      Timezone : * America/Chicago
      Browser : *
      *Safari 6533.18.5
      OS : *
      *iOS 4.2.1
      Device : *
      *iPhone
      Screen Res. : *
      *320x480

      The only thing that differs is the screen resolution and I could theoretically make my monitor show that resolution (but it'd suck)

      Edit: version of safari is also different...but I could use another licensed app like skyfire and see what happens.

      Edit2: stats with skyfire


      ISP : * Service Provider Corporation
      Hostname : * mobile-166-137-141-098.mycingular.net
      Country : *
      United States
      State : * Illinois
      Hub City : * Chicago
      (Routed Internet Connection)
      Timezone : * America/Chicago
      Browser : *
      *Safari 528.17
      OS : *
      *Mac OS X 10.5.7
      Screen Res. : *
      * 320x480

      Note that it shows I'm running Leopard...very interesting.
    1. klouud's Avatar
      klouud -
      I used MyWi for about a week and then switched to PDAnet and have not gotten any SMS's of death... yet.
    1. Assassination's Avatar
      Assassination -
      I use tethering constantly, I can admit like some people. I received the message once but to confirm is this true or not, DID SOMEBODY DATA PLAN GET CHANGED?
    1. Dispersion's Avatar
      Dispersion -
      I also set my resolution on my second monitor to 320x480 in order to mimic the iPhone screen.
    1. devitouch's Avatar
      devitouch -
      Denying tethering from the beginning, I called sh-it&t Friday for a status on my appeal, they said they didn't know until mid next week when they come out with "the list" of people getting their plans changed. Just a heads up. I threatened to pull my $3000.00 worth of business I give them annually if they change my plan {AND FORCED THEM TO NOTE THAT THREAT IN MY ACCOUNT NOTES} (like they care). I'm grandfathered in the unltd data and no contract (because I bought my phones outright without their petty discount with a contract). I bought MyWi twice, and PDAnet recently for their "level 2 protection". I hope these companies haven't hung us out to fry using the native iOS APN and not tell us about it. Why wont the dev's of MyWi or PDANET come here and join the discussion???? You guys should insist they do. This is the best site for discussing THIS subject 81 pages so far? wow! Hope this was a decent 1st post.
    1. HCWHunter's Avatar
      HCWHunter -
      Quote Originally Posted by devitouch View Post
      I bought MyWi twice, and PDAnet recently for their "level 2 protection". I hope these companies haven't hung us out to fry using the native iOS APN and not tell us about it. Why wont the dev's of MyWi or PDANET come here and join the discussion???? You guys should insist they do. This is the best site for discussing THIS subject 81 pages so far? wow! Hope this was a decent 1st post.
      Maybe it's better if they don't post here about their tethering details. ATT is no doubt aware of the tethering apps available and if they publicize their anti-detection methods, then it just makes it easier for ATT to use additional or different detection methods. Finding this page and discussion isn't hard at all.

      I'm just keeping my overall usage reasonable and tethering my iPad sparingly when I don't have wifi available. I'm not using Mywi for the time being.

      I would be willing to bet that if some people hadn't abused the unlimited data plan by using upwards of 10, 20, or 30GB of data per month, ATT would not have gone after tethering to begin with.
    1. Dragonsoul80's Avatar
      Dragonsoul80 -
      Hey guys .... Does anyone got any new notices? And if the ppl that appealed can let us know how that goes it would b awesome, personally I'm still averaging 8GB a month tethering only my iPad when im at the gym... No notices as of now, I've used pdanet level 1 for about a month and been using tetherme for almost another month now .... Good luck to all of u guys on flying under the radar until this goes away
    1. xenodata's Avatar
      xenodata -
      So if AT&T decides to change your terms because you ARE tethering... does this mean that you then have the option of ending your contract because of an adverse change to your Terms of Service?? (TOS)
    1. Browning151's Avatar
      Browning151 -
      Quote Originally Posted by xenodata View Post
      So if AT&T decides to change your terms because you ARE tethering... does this mean that you then have the option of ending your contract because of an adverse change to your Terms of Service?? (TOS)
      You have the option to end your contract at any time you wish, so long as you pay the ETF. If you were asking if you'll be able to terminate the contract without paying the ETF, highly unlikely unless you just happen upon a REALLY nice rep when you call in.

      Quote Originally Posted by Orby View Post
      AT&T has the right to change your rate plan at any time (WCA Section 1.3). The provision to terminate your contract upon a rate plan change is void in AT&T's interpretation if AT&T determines, in their sole judgement, that you are no longer eligible for a particular rate plan; they may switch you to a rate plan for which you are eligible (WCA Section 1.3). Data plans that do not specifically include "tethering" (defined for the purposes of the contract in WCA Section 6.11.1) are prohibited from using any tethering feature (WCA Section 6.2). AT&T does not consider a data plan an essential part of your contract, and they may, in their sole judgement, with or without limitation, terminate or modify your access to their data services at any time (WCA 6.1). Considering the interpretation that a data plan is not an essential contractual obligation of AT&T, the ETF will not be waived if AT&T modifies your data plan and you terminate your contract as a result.

      Also, AT&T has the right, but no obligation, to monitor, screen, delete, deny, or disconnect any data sent over their network that AT&T has determined violates AT&T's policies, contractual agreements, terms, conditions, or is determined to violate Federal or state law. (WCA Section 6.2)
    1. szr's Avatar
      szr -
      Quote Originally Posted by one_crazy_dude View Post
      I don't think that hides much at all. It does say iPhone but it also says routed Internet connection and the screen resolution shows much larger than iPhones res. Dead give away.
      Ok, 1) It always says "routed Internet connection" on every test I've done, from my iPhone or computers, on 3G, wifi, or home connection. I'd safe it's rather safe to say that's completely meaningless in this case.

      2) The screen resolution is obtained via java-script, and thus, only if java-script is enabled. Java-script runs on the client-side, and NOT on the server (your browser downloads the scripts and then executes them locally), and thus that kind of information CANNOT be found by sniffing network traffic, only perhaps the scripts being downloaded that generates it.

      In other words, the information in that that copy-pasting indeed appears to be coming from an iphone. Nothing shown there, that's actually taken from headers and not java-script, appears to indicate otherwise. As already mentioned, looking at headers is not a good way to determine anything concrete as it's too easily faked. APN is one more likely determinate. some have also mentioned TTL, but that too isn't very good way to tell IMHO, as it can change anywhere along a given route or even depending on protocol or program.
    1. one_crazy_dude's Avatar
      one_crazy_dude -
      Quote Originally Posted by szr View Post
      Ok, 1) It always says "routed Internet connection" on every test I've done, from my iPhone or computers, on 3G, wifi, or home connection. I'd safe it's rather safe to say that's completely meaningless in this case.

      2) The screen resolution is obtained via java-script, and thus, only if java-script is enabled. Java-script runs on the client-side, and NOT on the server (your browser downloads the scripts and then executes them locally), and thus that kind of information CANNOT be found by sniffing network traffic, only perhaps the scripts being downloaded that generates it.

      In other words, the information in that that copy-pasting indeed appears to be coming from an iphone. Nothing shown there, that's actually taken from headers and not java-script, appears to indicate otherwise. As already mentioned, looking at headers is not a good way to determine anything concrete as it's too easily faked. APN is one more likely determinate. some have also mentioned TTL, but that too isn't very good way to tell IMHO, as it can change anywhere along a given route or even depending on protocol or program.

      Mine dosent. .