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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. Doran's Avatar
      Doran -
      Quote Originally Posted by scottw03 View Post
      ummmmm, not really. if he uses only a few GBs then he shouldn't be changed from unlimited to 7 GB. Because then he would be charged more money even though he is not downloading 25 GB worth of data.

      Don't get me wrong I don't want to see anyone have to get screwed by AT&T but at the same time I don't want to get moved from unlimited dataplan to a 7Gb tethered plan when I don't have to.

      I tether my iPhone occationally when I am out of the area for my laptop. Not often though. When I get my iPad Wifi only I will use MyWi on demand for internet on it while I am out of the house. But with that said, on my phone I usually only use about maybe 1.6 GB/month of data. My wife uses alittle more since she streams Pandora but neither of us really ever use more than 2 Gb. I still don't want to switch to a limited plan though. Or have to pay more money for the same data I am already paying for.



      exactly. I don't use that much data but it would be nice to know what the trigger amount is.

      I understand that..... The "LOLs" at the beginning and end meant I was joking.... I think it's absurd of AT&T to do this... But in the end they will do what they want to make as much money as they can....
    1. scottw03's Avatar
      scottw03 -
      Quote Originally Posted by MrObatres View Post
      wow that's wack I use mywi to play ps3 online and even hook up my tv and laptops speeds are great for the ps3 no lagging or nothing I'm on 4.1 il never update then I'm good
      I am sure that it doesn't matter what firmware you are on with your phone. AT&T is probably not detecting it based on firmware.

      They are probably hitting up customers that are using abnormally large amounts of data compared to others. So you should check to see how much data you are using based on the AT&T wireless app or from their website and see if it is pretty high.

      if it is I would probably expect to get an email or text from them sometime in the near future.
    1. Chrome_RCP-90's Avatar
      Chrome_RCP-90 -
      I apologize I was meaning unlimited per line
    1. cbr900rr95's Avatar
      cbr900rr95 -
      I just read this article from TIPB


      Some AT&T iPhone users, Jailbroken and tethering via MyWi, are getting text messages and e-mails from AT&T that imply they know they are tethering even though they aren’t on an official tethering plan. One of our own writers, Andrew was one of those who received the message.

      I use MyWi to tether as well but have not received anything yet. (I actually was just tethering today.) I’m not sure how they are detecting MyWi users but I can make an educated guess.

      I think it’s one of two things. Since AT&T offers Personal Hotspot under iOS 4.3, they may have access to data they didn’t before, and they’re choosing to use it in a pretty crappy way. So if you’re on iOS 4.2.1 still (almost all jailbreakers are) and they see you’re generating traffic that looks like Personal Hotspot, they know you’re doing so without a plan. Once a jailbreak for iOS 4.3 is released, I bet it will make it a lot harder for them to track what users are actually tethering legitimately. Option two, they’re just going after heavy data users again and trying to bluff them into switching to a tethering plan and losing their unlimited data. Andrew tethers a heck of a lot more than me. I only consume a fraction of what he does. So that’s a viable answer too.

      Originally Jailbreakers used MyWi because AT&T took a year longer to offer iPhone tethering than international carriers. Since then they’ve used it to get around AT&T’s ridiculous fees for tethering. (Tethering is free on some international carriers as well.)

      Hit the jump to read the e-mail AT&T has been sending out as well as to let us know what you think! Anyone else been getting messages from AT&T? Anyone on iOS 4.3 using official Personal Hotspot? Any PDANet users?
    1. Hopsing's Avatar
      Hopsing -
      They, ATT dont know anything. It just a bate, cause alot people using MYWI, they cry they losing money that why they just make it up to scare you guy. Dont worry just keep using it..... Enjoy
    1. Doran's Avatar
      Doran -
      Quote Originally Posted by Hopsing View Post
      They, ATT dont know anything. It just a bate, cause alot people using MYWI, they cry they losing money that why they just make it up to scare you guy. Dont worry just keep using it..... Enjoy
      The ones that are getting the message should contact AT&T and talk them out of changing their plan. If they don't, AT&T WILL change it automatically....

      Do not just ignore the message...
    1. SovneerDesigns's Avatar
      SovneerDesigns -
      "What is there to be guilty of without proof?" My bill always says Data, nothing about tethering. someone may have messed up and said they were tethering lol.
    1. Maxhasadhd's Avatar
      Maxhasadhd -
      I used aboit 5 gigs a month. I use to barely use mywi. I used it for 2 short youtube vids te rest off doing nonsense movie watching and app downloading everymonth and so ya. I think its based on people with high data but i think that ONLY brings thier attention i think they no another way cuz lets say i used 30 gigs. They most likely wont send a txt about tethering. Also to check your data go to settings app/general/usage at the bottom under recieved.. Oops now 4.1 gigs
    1. Hondamaker's Avatar
      Hondamaker -
      Quote Originally Posted by JAYPIFF View Post
      Live under a rock? 4.3 is out -.-
      He said jailbreak for 4.3 is not even out, not 4.3.
    1. windwalker's Avatar
      windwalker -
      I got this too. I don't tether and use 12gigs a month or more. It has to be the 10gig mark for flag. They gave me a text and later gave me an email. Get this though, it was in Spanish so I called anyway cause I couldn't read the dang thing. They said it was sent to me to see if I was tethering. I said what the heck is tethering? She gave me a really long list of things that are tetherig. I said all I do is surf the web a lot and use YouTube that's stock on the phone. She tried to give me some bs that YouTube is a form of streaming and is considered a form of tethering. I said wtf??? Why is it on the phone if we can't even use it. She got all snippy and told me that they will be monitoring your account and I have 10 days to stop tethering or they will automatically change my plan. I said do it and I'll leave! She said I'm sorry you feel that way and said thank you for contacting AT&T and the hung up on me. Wtf kind of customer service is that? Really now. I pay a lot for unlimited, as much as broadband users. I should be able to do what the heck I want with it! Btw there is no mention of a cap on iPhone unlimited only their stupid laptop USB things. They only have a legal right to cancel or change account if you use it illegally. Since all purchasable apps that don't have a 3G limiter on them is legal to use and downloads is one and so is YouTube, they can't do anything to you. Use mywi and they catch you. Youre done! End of story!
    1. Hondamaker's Avatar
      Hondamaker -
      If certain people weren't such data hogs they wouldn't get caught. You'll stay under the radar if you simply take a little at a time. It's common sense, really.
    1. 2Jaze's Avatar
      2Jaze -
      Quote Originally Posted by 0_Maximus_0 View Post
      Im a happy verizon user , but if they change your bill, legally you have the right to immediately cancel your plan (contract or not) for free. If they were to ever change my plan, to be honest they would see me in court. Thats complete bs.
      First youd have to read ALL terms of your contract and make sure they don't have that right. I'm guessing there's some clause that protects us otherwise there would have never been any "grandfathering" but I'm pretty sure ATT is prepared to cover their asses on this one.
    1. CompFreak07's Avatar
      CompFreak07 -
      Quote Originally Posted by iliveudie View Post
      TO ALL THE PEOPLE WHO ARE TALKING ABOUT THE GUY CLAIMING TO CONNECT HIS PS3 VIA MYWI:

      It cannot be done. The guy was clueless, and wanted to sound smart.

      Over at intelliborn.com under the support section, this question was asked:

      Why can't MyWi 4.0 work with PS3, PSP, Wii?

      ANSWER:
      "MyWi 4.0 creates an Ad-Hoc network. These devices do not support connecting to an Ad-Hoc network.

      We are working on having MyWi 4.0 create an infrastructure network."

      Don't listen to that guy, and please refrain from talking about anything but tethering and AT&T on this thread.
      Ok, after reading all 12 pages I thought I would give some input. First, but kind of off topic, you can use MyWi to tether to your PS3 as I have done it multiple times to play Call of Duty. The thing of it is, you don't directly tether from your iPhone to the PS3. You tether it to your PC and share the internet connection your PC gets from MyWi to your PS3 through a Ethernet port. FYI about an hour of play COD I only used approx 40MB of data for those wondering lol. People who post things without proper research or common knowledge really irritates me!

      Second, I have to idea how they would be able to tell if you are tethering but there are many great theory's in the 12 pages that I have read here such as this one AT&T Cracking Down on MyWi Tethering? Also to those who say unlimited is unlimited are living in a dream world. If you check your contract I can almost guarantee, but don't quote me, in there somewhere it has a fair use policy that states they can throttle your speed if you use more than xx amount of GB. As stated by multiple other people, they can switch or change your data plan at anytime but if they do so without your consent then you are not liable for any termination fees if you choose to cancel your contract.

      I for one will argue with att if I were to ever receive such a text message or e-mail and ask them to prove to me that I tether. If they cant prove it to me and wont just let it go I will happily tell them to go to hell, hang up and then when they change my plan cancel my contract and go elsewhere. I have had problems with att in the past with drop call issues and they kept telling me there were putting up new towers in my area or fixing issues with current towers on multiple occasions.

      iPhone 4
      Firmware 4.2.1
      MyWi (newest version)
      5GB used with 12 days left on plan
    1. csglinux's Avatar
      csglinux -
      If I purchase a data plan with 200Mb, 2Gb or 5Gb per month, it should be nobody's business but my own what those bytes consist of, what I do with them or where they go. AT&T rely on the fact that most of the US population gullibly accepts ridiculous charges (e.g., SMS data rates, paying with your minutes for incoming calls). Additional tethering charges are something that, IMHO, should be contested in a class-action lawsuit. (BTW, AT&T aren't alone in operating this scam.)

      Right now, AT&T might only be going after heavy data users, but it would certainly be in their financial interest to sniff everybody's packet headers and automatically "upgrade to a tethering plan" anybody who has transferred even a single byte of data to a second device.

      I hope the Intelliborn folks can come up with some encrypted, tunneled SSH connection for tethering in the future. After all, there are privacy concerns here too. If you're checking your bank or medical details, you don't expect anybody to be scrutinizing your data.

      I suspect these SMS/email messages will eventually find their way to anybody using tethering via any type of jailbreak hack. Don't simply take this lying down and allow AT&T to bill you twice for data you've already paid for!!!!!
    1. warnera82's Avatar
      warnera82 -
      Quote Originally Posted by CompFreak07 View Post
      Ok, after reading all 12 pages I thought I would give some input. First, but kind of off topic, you can use MyWi to tether to your PS3 as I have done it multiple times to play Call of Duty. The thing of it is, you don't directly tether from your iPhone to the PS3. You tether it to your PC and share the internet connection your PC gets from MyWi to your PS3 through a Ethernet port. FYI about an hour of play COD I only used approx 40MB of data for those wondering lol. People who post things without proper research or common knowledge really irritates me!

      Second, I have to idea how they would be able to tell if you are tethering but there are many great theory's in the 12 pages that I have read here such as this one AT&T Cracking Down on MyWi Tethering? Also to those who say unlimited is unlimited are living in a dream world. If you check your contract I can almost guarantee, but don't quote me, in there somewhere it has a fair use policy that states they can throttle your speed if you use more than xx amount of GB. As stated by multiple other people, they can switch or change your data plan at anytime but if they do so without your consent then you are not liable for any termination fees if you choose to cancel your contract.
      Thanks for the info. I for one think that if you aren't being a data hog you probably won't run into an issue with this. Fly under the radar. I have an iPhone 4 w/unlimited data and I'm also running MyWi but I rarely run over 2gb a month anyway. If I do receive a message though, this forum will be the first to know.
    1. MrObatres's Avatar
      MrObatres -
      ok for the people asking how I use mywi to pay online on the ps3 I use a router that runs DD-WRT Linux firmware google that or look it up on YouTube payed 20 bucks for the router! after installing the firmware on the router I use it as repeater mode and connect to mywi and that it just turn on mywi and I automatically connect ally devices with the router witch u can password protect and name the network what ever u want I will do a tutiral later serch mrobatres on YouTube in few days
    1. hendon's Avatar
      hendon -
      Funny, as tether data shows 0
    1. CompFreak07's Avatar
      CompFreak07 -
      Quote Originally Posted by warnera82 View Post
      Thanks for the info. I for one think that if you aren't being a data hog you probably won't run into an issue with this. Fly under the radar. I have an iPhone 4 w/unlimited data and I'm also running MyWi but I rarely run over 2gb a month anyway. If I do receive a message though, this forum will be the first to know.
      Your welcome. I also agree that if you keep the data to a minimum and only tether when necessary and for short periods of time you should be OK. I have yet to read that someone has gotten the message who uses little data.

      Quote Originally Posted by MrObatres View Post
      ok for the people asking how I use mywi to pay online on the ps3 I use a router that runs DD-WRT Linux firmware google that or look it up on YouTube payed 20 bucks for the router! after installing the firmware on the router I use it as repeater mode and connect to mywi and that it just turn on mywi and I automatically connect ally devices with the router witch u can password protect and name the network what ever u want I will do a tutiral later serch mrobatres on YouTube in few days
      That is also a good way to go about things but is a little more for the technically inclined. For anyone interested in that method please look here http://www.dd-wrt.com/site/index and don't ask questions on this post. Please create a separate post in the correct section. I apologize for bringing up the topic again to begin with but I just had to call iliveudie out for being a ***** and speaking without proper research. If for some reason I misunderstood the original statement made by iliveudie I apologize. Thanks
    1. iPhoneThereforeIAm's Avatar
      iPhoneThereforeIAm -
      I guess this isn't an iPhone-specific issue.
      But it might be worth getting a micro-SIM adaptor and tethering through a non-iPhone, just to be sure it isn't.

      I understood tethering was always visible to the carrier, since O2-UK are said to have had similar tethering policy and practice since first carrying the iPhone 3G.
    1. iphone925's Avatar
      iphone925 -
      Quote Originally Posted by hendon View Post
      Funny, as tether data shows 0
      LOL did you get any text message or email yet ? for using 20 gb i got m text message at 12 gb hahaha but I have a question now So if next month i don't tether at all But use lot of data just on iphone itself through youtube / DISH SLING PLAYER and go over 10-15 gb will they still consider that is tethering cause they were saying that even dish sling is tethering this is BS ..