Aren't you stealing if you hotspot for free? Cuz the carrier charges for it if u didn't root.
I'm usually againts piracy and stealing and although I don't tether myself (no use for it) I support those who do.
If you want a smartphone you are forced to get a data plan for it, if you are forced to pay for data you should be able to use it however you want.
People who tether might be doing something illegal but it's Verizon who's doing something wrong.
And don't get me started on all that crapware they preinstall on almost all phones.
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Using the Rooted WiFi or the non root Tether without adding the Mobile BroadBand Connect feature to your account is not "illegal" but it is against the Terms and Conditions of your service agreement with VZW.
If for some reason your account get flagged for review and it turns out you are tethering via a third party app or with Rooted WiFi then your account could be disconnected due to violation of the T&C agreement you entered with VZW.
Does this happen? Not often but it can happen. If your average data useage is 1-5GB per month on your handset and then jumps to 50-100GB a month you should not be surprised to get a call/email/letter from VZW.