Tether/hotspot in gsm mode travel

Discussion in 'HTC Droid Incredible 2' started by mbd4524, Feb 25, 2012.

  1. mbd4524
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    mbd4524 New Member

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    I am trying to use my phone as a hotspot for my tablet or laptop while I am traveling. I have a foreign sim which works perfectly fine for my phones internet. The problem is when I try to use for tethering I can not pull up the internet page (i do find the phones wireless on the list).
    I spoke to Verizon and they say they have no interest in blocking my tether ability while I am in gsm mode. The local carrier does not either block tethering.

    Anybody have any ideas?

    Sent from my ADR6350 using DroidForums
  2. goffredo
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    goffredo Member

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    I rooted my DINC2 and installed CyanogenMod, in order to use its idiot-proof WiFi tethering when I was in Italy using a foreign SIM. It worked wonderfully, and I would recommend this route.

    If you aren't in a position to root and all that jazz, you can use PDANet. It's been around so long that I used it on my Sprint Treo 600! It's here: PdaNet -- USB Tether/Bluetooth DUN for Android It lets you tether via a USB cable or Bluetooth. No rooting required, no special ROM, etc. I think it makes you pay after a while, but it's totally worth it.

    I spent a lot of time playing around with some other "wifi tether" apps (google it) but the CyanogenMod method is by far the most stable and is what I strongly recommend. There are apps that claimed to work without rooting (excluding PDANet, which worked great) but they all tended to be fussy / not work / be annoying. Then there are apps that require rooting, and these worked OK, but I figured if I was going to take the time to root the damned thing, I might as well install a 3rd-party firmware like CyanogenMod and go whole-hogger.

    Good luck!
  3. goffredo
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    goffredo Member

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    Forgot to mention... were you trying to use the "wifi hotspot" functionality that comes on your phone out-of-box for wifi tethering?

    If so, good try, but it ain't going to work. I forget the specifics, but I believe it will let you turn on a hotspot, it makes you think it's going to work, you can SEE the wifi hotspot that your phone is broadcasting, but then it doesn't actually work. It is just cruelly tantalizing you. I think it's set up to take you to a catch-page when you first try to browse out on the hotspot you create that says "Please call a Verizon representative today to active your Wifi hotspot feature. Charges may apply." This hotspot is otherwise totally useless.

    This might be why you say you saw a hotspot, but it doesn't work. The Verizon rep you talked to is clueless. They will happily activate the "wifi tether" feature on your Verizon account for $30/month (or whatever). It actually does work if you are in Verizon's service area (but it's still much cheaper, i.e. free, to use CyanogenMod instead; or, PdaNet, etc). You said you have some other carrier's SIM and so I assume you are not in Verizon's service area, so this account feature isn't going to work for you unless you switch back to Verizon's partnered Vodafone SIM that came with your phone, and roam internationally, using its data plan. So there you'd pay $30/month for "wifi tether" feature on your account, plus international data roaming which is like $3 per megabyte, more or less. I consumed 350mb/day as a remote software developer so that's $1000 a day. PdaNet is a lot cheaper. CynaogenMod is free.

    HTH.
  4. mbd4524
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    mbd4524 New Member

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    Thanks for the reply.
    According to verizon, they don't even have the ability to disable the hotspot being that I am not even on their carrier. They can only lock via sim card and not the phone itself.
    That is why I am so confused.

    Sent from my ADR6350 using DroidForums
  5. goffredo
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    goffredo Member

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    Your situation is kind of complicated so this is confusing. A couple of points for clarity.

    Strictly speaking, due to the anonymous nature of IP traffic, Verizon is not able to block tethering on your phone, because they are not able to detect when you are doing it. It doesn't matter if you're in GSM mode or you're on the Verizon network. I know this sounds like crazy talk when you consider they offer a $20-or-so/month tethering feature so how could they possibly not be able to control tethering on the phone ... but I promise you this statement is true. See below for details.


    This is pretty much universal for pay-as-you-go SIM cards you get internationally. The international carrier would love to have you tether to your phone's cellular internet connection and consume gigs and gigs of their data plan, so they can charge you for it. They would never block tethering even if they could. And they can't. Because, like Verizon, they are not able to detect when you are doing it. (unless your phone tells them)

    Back to your original quandary. The wifi hotspot on your out-of-box phone is never going to work unless you pay Verizon's monthly fee. That's the first thing. It might entice you by broadcasting a hotspot, but you will not get any useful IP traffic over it as you've discovered. Your situation is more complicated because you are not on the Verizon network and you are not roaming internationally on the Vodafone partner SIM that was pre-installed in your phone -- I am not an expert here but I believe the wifi hotspot could still work if you put the Vodafone SIM back in, call Verizon to enable international data, and activate mobile hotspot. That's the second thing. I am not encouraging this, I am only offering it up as solution, but one which will cost you about $1000 a day for internet.

    Your best bet is to download and install PDANet for the short term. It will get you up and running. For the long term, I strongly recommend rooting and installing CyanogenMod. Or rooting and installing Android Wifi Tether or somesuch. CM is mega stable and it has idiot-proof wireless hotspot (tethering). That's pretty much the bottom line for you, as I understand it.

    And as promised above, here are some details if you care to know.

    From what I know about network topology, though they would really like to be able to do it, Verizon is not able to differentiate between browsing the web directly on your phone, and browsing the web on a device connect to a wifi hotspot that your phone is broadcasting: It's all just anonymous IP traffic that counts against your data plan. The same is true for any international cellular data carrier. Unless your phone explicitly tells them you are doing it, the carrier doesn't know you are tethering. And unless your phone explicitly asks them for permission, your carrier isn't able to control (via monthly service plan) whether or not you can tether. Now most phones are designed to ask the carrier for permission to tether, and you have no control over this, and this way the carrier can extract their monthly service fee for "Mobile Hotspot" or however they brand it. This very popular and very profitable feature helps keep Verizon in business, and with competitive prices. But the DINC2 is a very high-end phone that provides robust access to its low-level OS framework for 3rd party applications to use and abuse.

    On the DINC2, you ask for permission to tether when you use the built-in, out-of-the-box mobile hotspot application. But that's not the only game in town. You are able to install a third-party application like "PDANet" (any device), "Android Wifi Tether" (rooted devices only), or CyanogenMod's "Portable Wifi Hotspot" (3rd-party firmware for rooted devices only). These apps work similarly to the out-of-box Mobile Hotspot application, except for the very important aspect that they do not ask Verizon for permission to tether. Furthermore, they do not tell Verizon when you do tether. Why should they? So without paying monthly for Verizon's Mobile Hotspot feature, you can use these apps to broadcast a wifi hotspot to which you can tether a phone / laptop. You are limited only by the amount of data in your monthly plan, or on your pay-as-you-go SIM card.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2012
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