• Your favorite

    Apple

    ,

    iPhone

    ,

    iPad

    ,

    iOS

    ,
    Jailbreak
    , and
    Cydia
    site.
  • 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. dadoria2's Avatar
      dadoria2 -
      Quote Originally Posted by slickvic621 View Post
      Hold the phones.....people reporting that the USB tether may be what got them caught...this is an interesting development that I've not seen discussed here. I halted my tethering after receiving the first round of text, emails, letters because I didn't want to lose my unlimited. On the other hand, someone else I know continued for the next 6 months even knowing my warnings that they bay get caught, but they never received anything, until just recently. They have been using data of at least 2GB each billing period, with some months upwards of 30GB, and had never received anything. Well just recently, they switched to using the USB tether (this is all on MyWi by the way) due to battery conservation issues (WiFi sharing was using too much battery, and draining the battery, even while the device was plugged to a charger). They just received their text, emails, and letters. Can there be something with the USB tether which would be detectable in a way that the WiFi hotspot wouldn't?

      It all may just be coincidental timing, but now seeing someone else here say the same thing, made me think further about the situation. Any other ideas anyone?
      I personally think its the USB tether. I didn't get caught until I used that function along with tetherme. I've also heard a few other people in different forums mention that as soon as they switched to USB tether they got caught. They also switched to USB for battery drains issues.
    1. slickvic621's Avatar
      slickvic621 -
      Quote Originally Posted by sirlance0505 View Post
      I got to say my experience was the opposite. I had always used usb to my laptop and never received the warning. Then one day the wife and I were out and needed the iPad2(wifi only) so I said what the hell lets give it a shot. So we tethered up for about 15 minutes or so. Well about 5 days later I get the warning text and email. Called and gave the usual play dumb excuse. Haven't tethered since then and haven't received anymore warnings.
      Did you use Bluetooth tethering or WiFi? If Bluetooth, that may make sense, since they are built onto the OS, and MyWi may just be piggy-backing off the built in protocol, possibly making it detectable. The WiFi hotspot was built by the MyWi devs prior to iOS inclusion, I believe, thus built without going through possibly detectable channels. I do realize that the same occurred when tethering was first built for the jailbreak community without Apples built in protocol, but it seems like devs have just piggy-backed off this since Apples inclusion, and used the built in protocols going forward, since what's the point in rebuilding something that's already built in. None of this may be correct, but if it were the case, it may make sense, and the pieces may be falling into place.

      I realize that there are far more numerous ways of detecting tethering, but if the above is true, it would be the easiest and most cost effective way for AT&T to detect it, through the use of these built in protocols, that are directed through specific channels at AT&T.

      I know this thread is dying, but I would love to hear some of the more intellectuals input on these thoughts. Tell me how stupid I am...

      Thanks for listening.
    1. dadoria2's Avatar
      dadoria2 -
      I'll have to say you might be onto something with your logic. Prior to ios 4.3 including support for native tethering with AT&T, mywi used the iPhones wifi fiction as an adhoc connection with other devices. That was mywi 4.0 I believe. After the update to 4.3 mywi adopted infrastructure mode and used the iPhones native protocols. You can see the update log on the mywi page in Cydia. After that update is when I received my first warning text. A friend of mine still uses mywi 4.0 on iOS 4.1. He's not tech savvy so I used to do his updates until he moved. But he still hasn't received a single warning with mywi and he uses his phone as his only source of home Internet

      Quote Originally Posted by slickvic621 View Post
      Did you use Bluetooth tethering or WiFi? If Bluetooth, that may make sense, since they are built onto the OS, and MyWi may just be piggy-backing off the built in protocol, possibly making it detectable. The WiFi hotspot was built by the MyWi devs prior to iOS inclusion, I believe, thus built without going through possibly detectable channels. I do realize that the same occurred when tethering was first built for the jailbreak community without Apples built in protocol, but it seems like devs have just piggy-backed off this since Apples inclusion, and used the built in protocols going forward, since what's the point in rebuilding something that's already built in. None of this may be correct, but if it were the case, it may make sense, and the pieces may be falling into place.

      I realize that there are far more numerous ways of detecting tethering, but if the above is true, it would be the easiest and most cost effective way for AT&T to detect it, through the use of these built in protocols, that are directed through specific channels at AT&T.

      I know this thread is dying, but I would love to hear some of the more intellectuals input on these thoughts. Tell me how stupid I am...

      Thanks for listening.
      I'll have to say you might be onto something with your logic. Prior to ios 4.3 including support for native tethering with AT&T, mywi used the iPhones wifi function as an adhoc connection with other devices. That was mywi 4.0 I believe. After the update to 4.3 mywi adopted infrastructure mode and used the iPhones native protocols. You can see the update log on the mywi page in Cydia. After that update is when I received my first warning text. A friend of mine still uses mywi 4.0 on iOS 4.1. He's not tech savvy so I used to do his updates until he moved. But he still hasn't received a single warning with mywi and he uses his phone as his only source of home Internet
    1. sirlance0505's Avatar
      sirlance0505 -
      Wifi only. Never used Bluetooth. When using USB I have my TTL changed and use safari browser with the user agent switched to iPhone 4.1. Funny how I never received a notice till I tethered the iPad.
    1. amyking's Avatar
      amyking -
      great
    1. hadzo's Avatar
      hadzo -
      Can more people confirm this theory... I am sitting on two warnings and have started a tread somewhere here when first received a warning so I don't want to gamble now... Thanks!
    1. Shart's Avatar
      Shart -
      Man, they are pretty heavy handed. I tried to play dumb that I was streaming music and didn't know what tethering. They are going to stick me on a tethering plan with 5 GB monthly for $50.00/month and are not giving me the option to not have this happen (next month). They said I have to wait until they implement the change, and then I can move to 2 GB a month if I want but they are not going to let me continue with unlimited. They said I should have called when I was getting the warnings and it is too late now. I told them that this would be the last straw that has me changing carriers and their response was basically, "Okay. See ya".
    1. The6uest's Avatar
      The6uest -
      What's weird is I got 2 tethering warnings (I called both times to dispute charges) then I got a notice that my plan was going to change since they said I was still tethering after 2 warnings. Well that was 3 or 4 months ago and I still have my unlimited plan! I don't know if they messed up or if it just hasn't changed yet but so far so good.. I sure hope they don't change my plan though.

      I only use a few GB a month and they've been throttling my data over 3GB so if my plan changes I'll probably just change providers when the iPhone 5 comes out. I didn't want to use Verizon or Sprint before since their iPhone data speeds were slower, but the 5 should have 4G LTE so that won't be holding me back anymore!
    1. chuenwe's Avatar
      chuenwe -
      I've never used over 3GB a month and never used the USB. Finally got a text msg from AT&T "Because you use your smartphone as a mobile hot spot, your plan has been updated to a DataPro 5GB plan which includes mobile hotspot capability. Questions: call 1.866.679.7136 or visit att.com/dataplans"
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      Are you using your phone for tethering?
    1. chuenwe's Avatar
      chuenwe -
      Yea. I share it for my iPad and for my daughter's iphone and occasionally for my laptop via Wifi.
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      Quote Originally Posted by chuenwe View Post
      Yea. I share it for my iPad and for my daughter's iphone and occasionally for my laptop via Wifi.
      Then why are you surprised that they are charging you for what you are using?
    1. WHUDS's Avatar
      WHUDS -
      Quote Originally Posted by confucious View Post
      Then why are you surprised that they are charging you for what you are using?
      It should not be a problem with unlimited Data, We should be able to tether without an xtra charge, its just a way of At&t to make more $$
    1. csglinux's Avatar
      csglinux -
      Quote Originally Posted by chuenwe View Post
      Yea. I share it for my iPad and for my daughter's iphone and occasionally for my laptop via Wifi.
      What tethering app were you using and what was your data usage this month?

      I've not heard of AT&T doing this for a long time. Everybody's metered these days, even those on "unlimited" plans, so there's no need for this kind of ****** behavior. This has to do AT&T more harm than good. The day is coming where you'll just pay for data and carriers won't be able to tell you what you can and can't do with it.

      One word of advice chuenwe: Verizon.
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      Tethering ties up bandwidth which mobile usage does not. The whole way CDMA works was never designed for tethering which is why they charge more, it's nothing to do with the amount of data used, just the way its used.
    1. chuenwe's Avatar
      chuenwe -
      Quote Originally Posted by csglinux View Post
      What tethering app were you using and what was your data usage this month?

      I've not heard of AT&T doing this for a long time. Everybody's metered these days, even those on "unlimited" plans, so there's no need for this kind of ****** behavior. This has to do AT&T more harm than good. The day is coming where you'll just pay for data and carriers won't be able to tell you what you can and can't do with it.

      One word of advice chuenwe: Verizon.
      Was using MyWi on iphone 4. I used 900K last month and 600K this month. The most in the entire year I used was about 3GB once.

      Quote Originally Posted by confucious View Post
      Then why are you surprised that they are charging you for what you are using?
      I'm just surprised that they want to charge me less. I've been paying $30 a month for unlimited plan and I've been using average 1GB a month. When they "update" me, I'll just downgrade my plan to a lower data plan that cost less.

      I'm also surprise that I've been using MyWi every since it came out and I've seen people getting caught all the time while they finally get to me after years of using tethering.
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      So you're hogging bandwidth which is why they charge extra, nothing to do with being greedy and everything to do with stoping people stoppingr people stopping other people using the network.
    1. chuenwe's Avatar
      chuenwe -
      Quote Originally Posted by confucious View Post
      So you're hogging bandwidth which is why they charge extra, nothing to do with being greedy and everything to do with stoping people stoppingr people stopping other people using the network.
      How does that hogging bandwidth while I use 500K-1GB a month? while I'm playing $30 a month that would give me 3GB a month for their current data plan that allows tethering?

      I don't know how your logic works.
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      Quote Originally Posted by chuenwe View Post
      How does that hogging bandwidth while I use 500K-1GB a month? while I'm playing $30 a month that would give me 5GB a month for their tethering plan?
      The clue is in the name CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) it divides the available slots up and allocates them based on time slots - tethering does not release the slots so the bandwidth can not be allocated to other users which can cause severe degradation in service for other users. Poor connection is less likely to be caused by lots of users using mobile devices than a few on the same mast tethering.
    1. csglinux's Avatar
      csglinux -
      Quote Originally Posted by confucious View Post
      So you're hogging bandwidth which is why they charge extra, nothing to do with being greedy and everything to do with stoping people stoppingr people stopping other people using the network.
      confucious, I understand your comment about tying up bandwidth, but CDMA is really a dinosaur of the past. It's certainly not much use to you over there in the UK, is it? ;-)

      The data-hog argument has been beaten to death and really has no merit. chuenwe could have streamed audio/video all month long on his phone, and all AT&T would have done is throttled his speeds after 3Gb. I did work out once exactly how much data you could chew through in a month after the 3Gb soft cap kicked in. It's somewhere on these threads. It's not "unlimited" by any stretch, but it's way, way more than the 900Mb or 600Mb he actually used.

      chuenwe - you can downgrade to a metered, no-tethering AT&T plan, or switch to Verizon, whose capped plans include tethering for no extra cost (which was forced due to an FCC ruling).

      P.S. AT&T is a GSM carrier. It does not use CDMA.