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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. MMIer's Avatar
      MMIer -
      Quote Originally Posted by SmartAlx View Post
      no offense intended but how do we know you aren't an ATT shill posting this to scare us into obedience? You are the only person who has said they were switched and you have two posts. That's just a bit suspicious.
      Good point, I've often wondered about AT&T employees posting false info here.
    1. cldipad's Avatar
      cldipad -
      Quote Originally Posted by MMIer View Post
      Good point, I've often wondered about AT&T employees posting false info here.
      Glad you guys said it because I was going to say the same thing. There are other people claiming they are ATT employees on other forums. There's an alleged quote from an ATT rep saying that ATT is just trying to make it fair for everyone. Fair? Charge a fair price for data. Don't charge people for nothing.
    1. jared24's Avatar
      jared24 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Moosestache View Post
      I think that is the best idea. Let someone else be the guinea pig.
      I'll be the guinea pig. They're starting to make me mad any way. I'll switch to Verizon if I have to.
      Here's what I got going on for those who haven't seen my previous posts.

      I just started tethering with MyWi March 2nd of this year. From March 2nd to April 19th I used 25 gigabytes of data. During this time period I heard nothing from AT&T. On April 20th, my cable at my house went out so I tethered my xbox to my iPhone so I could watch Netflix on my tv. I used 850 megabytes of data that day and received the e-mail about tethering from AT&T that evening. I called AT&T and the Representative said that if I didn't quit tethering my data plan would automatically be changed to one that supports tethering. Then I quit tethering for about 5 days. On April 26th I heard about PDAnet having the "hiding" feature. I started using PDAnet around 8 pm so, I have been using it for 27 hours with no problems.

      That's what has happened and where I'm at. I will keep this thread informed about whatever happens from here on out.

      -Jared
    1. jeffs64's Avatar
      jeffs64 -
      Cool Jared I installed PDAnet but haven't used it yet Haven't needed it yet but I will. Thanks for being the piggy. Jeff
    1. lele211's Avatar
      lele211 -
      Same here! I removed the TetherMe and MyWi installed the PdaNet and set it to level 2. Let's see Att gonna send me another txt or not!!

      Only 3G, No WiFi!!
    1. lamakaicos's Avatar
      lamakaicos -
      Quote Originally Posted by SmartAlx View Post
      no offense intended but how do we know you aren't an ATT shill posting this to scare us into obedience? You are the only person who has said they were switched and you have two posts. That's just a bit suspicious.
      Not offended at all... You have the choice to believe me or not; I'm just trying to share my unfortunate experience with everyone... I understand people are getting paranoid because we couldn't figure out how the hell they are doing it.

      ... Anyways, I'm far from being a Rep, I'm actually an Architect. ;-)
    1. Moosestache's Avatar
      Moosestache -
      Quote Originally Posted by lamakaicos View Post
      Not offended at all... You have the choice to believe me or not; I'm just trying to share my unfortunate experience with everyone... I understand people are getting paranoid because we couldn't figure out how the hell they are doing it.

      ... Anyways, I'm far from being a Rep, I'm actually an Architect. ;-)
      Perhaps you are an architect who works for At&t, can you prove to us that you are indeed an architect.. Hmmm perhaps a test.. Can you identify who I.M. Pei is, where he went to college and name three of the most well known buildings he constructed.

      Please hurry, if you don't get that answer correct certain members will verbally berate you for being an At&t employee sent here to spy on us and feed us misleading information. While you are at it, could you produce a copy of your passport so we can prove you are here legally.

      Also, have you ever used illegal drugs? We can't ever be too sure!!
    1. sirlance0505's Avatar
      sirlance0505 -
      Quote Originally Posted by lele211 View Post
      Same here! I removed the TetherMe and MyWi installed the PdaNet and set it to level 2. Let's see Att gonna send me another txt or not!!

      Only 3G, No WiFi!!
      So does it automatically remove Mywi when installing PdaNet via Cydia?

      When I was in Cydia to install PdaNet it shows:Install PdaNet
      Remove Mywi

      Also can anybody that is using PdaNet can you verify that it hides/changes your screen resolution,color depth and display size. Im using this site to check my info:
      Information by IP Address

      Sorry mods if adding this link is a violation.
    1. lamakaicos's Avatar
      lamakaicos -
      Quote Originally Posted by Moosestache View Post
      Perhaps you are an architect who works for At&t, can you prove to us that you are indeed an architect.. Hmmm perhaps a test.. Can you identify who I.M. Pei is, where he went to college and name three of the most well known buildings he constructed.

      Please hurry, if you don't get that answer correct certain members will verbally berate you for being an At&t employee sent here to spy on us and feed us misleading information. While you are at it, could you produce a copy of your passport so we can prove you are here legally.

      Also, have you ever used illegal drugs? We can't ever be too sure!!
      LOL... Funny guy... I'll answer your last question, YES...
    1. xhedgehogx's Avatar
      xhedgehogx -
      Any plans of MyWi getting this 'hide' feature? I can't imagine blowing another $30 on a Tethering program..

      Thanks!
    1. Moosestache's Avatar
      Moosestache -
      Quote Originally Posted by xhedgehogx View Post
      Any plans of MyWi getting this 'hide' feature? I can't imagine blowing another $30 on a Tethering program..

      Thanks!
      It looks like at&t is starting to change people who are tethering, I would certainly wait until we find out that these programs are actually hiding it before you dump any money into them and still get your plan changed.
    1. lele211's Avatar
      lele211 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Moosestache View Post
      It looks like at&t is starting to change people who are tethering, I would certainly wait until we find out that these programs are actually hiding it before you dump any money into them and still get your plan changed.
      F! u! C! K! Att!! They better show me the proof of me tethering before change my plans!! I am little tired of this ********!!
    1. JohnGaltJr's Avatar
      JohnGaltJr -
      Quote Originally Posted by Moosestache View Post
      It looks like at&t is starting to change people who are tethering, I would certainly wait until we find out that these programs are actually hiding it before you dump any money into them and still get your plan changed.
      I've only seen one person who has said this, and people are doubting his veracity.

      More proof?

      This is too serious to leave to "looks like" if you'll forgive me.
    1. Koji00's Avatar
      Koji00 -
      Just got an iPad 2 this weekend. Wifi-only model, since I saw no point in paying for 2 data connections when only one is truly needed. I've been an AT&T customer for 7 years now, back when they were still Cingular. Most of the time I underused my data connection (only 800MB last month for instance, which is actually high for me), so if AT&T really wants to be fair, then they owe me money for my paying for more than I actually used. But of course nobody's going to ever win with that. So, it's time I started making up for my overpaying for all this time.

      Thing is, I still have no intention of "abusing" it. I'm basically going to do on my iPad what I've been doing on my iPhone all along - read my RSS feeds on the train and stream 24kbit AAC+ streams with Pocket Tunes (no need to tether for that, I'll just let the iPhone handle it still). First off, do you think AT&T could tell if one iOS device is tethering to another iOS device? The user-agents should be pretty much the same, and I'm only going to be hitting the same sites that the iPhone would anyway (i.e. no windowsupdate.com or whatever).

      Furthermore, I decided to use both the iPhone and iPad to VPN to my office network. There's no split routing there, all Internet traffic goes through the VPN. And with both devices using VPN (basically one VPN tunnel inside another VPN tunnel), wouldn't that be an extra layer of protection? All AT&T should be able to see at that point are IPSEC packets going to my company router, which is something the iPhone can do all on its own. I can't see myself going over 1GB a month even if I wanted to....so, do you guys reckon I'd be safe?
    1. Taylor.Durden's Avatar
      Taylor.Durden -
      PDAnet Hide Usage.

      Does anyone know what the difference is between the level I or level II?

      And does anyone know wether this does the job hiding tethering from ATT?

      That would be AWESOOOOOOOOOOME!!!!!!!

      GO PDA NET!!!!
    1. Moosestache's Avatar
      Moosestache -
      Quote Originally Posted by JohnGaltJr View Post
      I've only seen one person who has said this, and people are doubting his veracity.

      More proof?

      This is too serious to leave to "looks like" if you'll forgive me.
      Ok go ahead and tether I don't give a crap, some people are just plain stupid.
    1. davesnothere11's Avatar
      davesnothere11 -
      The hide usage feature on PDAnet is intriguing but it would be nice to know that it works.
    1. Taylor.Durden's Avatar
      Taylor.Durden -
      Anyone gotten bumped to tether plan on their May bill?

      If so how and how much did you tether?
    1. jared24's Avatar
      jared24 -
      Quote Originally Posted by sirlance0505 View Post
      So does it automatically remove Mywi when installing PdaNet via Cydia?

      When I was in Cydia to install PdaNet it shows:Install PdaNet
      Remove Mywi

      Also can anybody that is using PdaNet can you verify that it hides/changes your screen resolution,color depth and display size. Im using this site to check my info:
      Information by IP Address

      Sorry mods if adding this link is a violation.
      Yes it removes one when installing the other and here is infobyip:

      HTTP headers
      Connection keep-alive
      User_agent Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_1 like Mac OS
      X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko)
      Version/4.0.5 Mobile/8B117 Safari/6531.22.7
      Accept application/xml,application/xhtml+xml,text/html;q=0.9,t
      ext/plain;q=0.8,image/png,*/*;q=0.5
      Accept_encoding gzip,deflate,sdch
      Accept_language en-US,en;q=0.8
      Accept_charset ISO-8859-1,utf-8;q=0.7,*;q=0.3
      Client Properties
      Screen resolution 1280 x 720
      Color depth 32
      Screen DPI 96 x 96
      Display size 15"
      Operating system Win32
      Cookies enabled yes
      Taint enabled no
      Java yes
      Flash 10.2.154

      So the hide function on pdanet only changes the HTTP Headers. It still looks like your using a computer. Although I've been using it for 6 days and no problems. We will see.
    1. suae2's Avatar
      suae2 -
      Well, I finally got the dreaded email too. I use MyWi to tether only very occasionally (a few hundred mbs a week) and usually consume around 1gb of data a month. Last month I went on vacation, tethered like crazy, and managed to peak at just over 2gb of data. I'm wondering if this spike is why I got flagged. Now for the interesting stuff....

      As others have done I called and played dumb with the ATT rep. She was nice, and said she would make a note on my account that I was not tethering. Strangely, she would not admit that it could be mistake and insisted that I "don't tether in the future to avoid charges."

      But, she made an interesting remark that I haven't seen posted on this thread. She said, "don't worry because even though the email says it will automatically change your plan it won't actually change. Sounds a little fishy to me....and she made that comment even before she asked me if I had ever tethered or knew what it was. She went on to say that if it did ever get changed I could call back and they could resolve the issue and move me back to my unlimited data plan.

      I plan on continuing to tether as others have committed to doing. I will report back with any news of course.