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Tethering - Here's why I wouldn't do it...

Discussion in 'Android General Discussions' started by JFDroid, Apr 24, 2010.

  1. JFDroid
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    JFDroid New Member

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    Hi folks. I learned something this past weekend I thought I'd share quickly. This is in regard to rooting and in regard to tethering.

    I have a family member who works for VZW. He lets me use his employee account (he gets 5 lines, everything is 50% off), but as a result, I have to be more careful than the average person with what I do, what I say in text messages, etc., since upon my family member's hiring by VZW, they did an AOL on his account (Assumption of Liability) where essentially his account can be subjected to investigation by Verizon at any time (since they own the account due to the AOL). Anyway, this family member of mine is currently a Retail Sales Rep. He works for the direct/corporate side in a retail store in the NW region.

    Friday mornings they have store meetings every week, and when he came home Friday he asked me how my day was. I said how my school's internet was out, but I was able to use my Wired Tethering app (through Koush's 5.0.6.2 Cyanogen ROM) to give internet to my desktop to get some school work done. He said "you really shouldn't do that anymore, we had a meeting about it, in fact, you could have your contract canceled as a result and have to pay an ETF and not be allowed to have service with Verizon anymore."

    Obviously I asked what he learned to substantiate such a claim. He told me that in Friday morning's meeting, two things came up. First, his store manager gave an explanation to the team about what "Rooting" is, and that if a customer comes in with any Droid phone for troubleshooting/technical support, they are to ask to see the phone and to check the "About Phone section" to determine if a phone is rooted. If it is, the sales/customer support rep is to notate in the customer's account that they have made modifications to their phone which voids the warranty, and they are to refuse to help the customer with any tech. support and are to tell the customer to call in to customer care for further information (and customer care is supposed to let the customer know their contract has been canceled and that they owe an ETF and that VZW is dropping their service).

    In addition, the store manager also covered tethering. Tethering is going to be cracked down on by Verizon, especially on Android phones, and apparently they have ways of checking if someone is tethering or not. Anyone caught breaking the rules will have their contract canceled, and they will subsequently be charged an ETF (early termination fee) and will have their service then suspended.

    I know that most people know Verizon doesn't like tethering, and I know some have said if you don't go above 5GB/month you can't be caught, etc., but I choose to not follow that logic only because I'm on an employee account and I'm held to a different standard than most Verizon customers. You guys can do whatever you want, but I thought this was a fair warning to people who are rooted and who do tether - be careful what you do, Verizon certainly knows what's going on and they are now training their retail staff to watch for signs of these two activities. This isn't meant to be some fear-based message to get people to stop tethering. I wish I could tether, but I'm too afraid of being caught.

    So, if you're rooted, make sure to flash to stock before going into a retail store for help with your phone; and if you're tethering, you should really watch how much data you use, and try not to tether unless you really are prepared for the consequences.

    My family member who works for VZW said tethering was brought up since they were going over the Incredible and the fact that customers who want a Droid and who want to tether are to be sold an Incredible since it "officially" supports tethering (and it's going to cost an extra $30/month). I'm thinking of picking up an Incredible and paying the extra $15/month (I get half off) for the tethering just so I can do it when I need to (which is pretty often).
  2. gentlefury
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    gentlefury New Member

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    I seriously doubt they would ban you from service without so much as a warning.
  3. icculusX
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    icculusX Premium Member Theme Developer Premium Member

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    I agree, mostly because Verizon loves your money. As far as tethering and rooting, I say go for it with no fear... just don't be streaming hulu on tether for a while, and yes, don't give your phone to a Verizon worker if your rooted.
  4. LtKen
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    LtKen New Member

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    Not that I advocate excessive tethering or anything, but with the current apps, VZW has no idea if the 15gb I downloaded last month stayed on my phone, or was forwarded via WiFi Tether to a PC....

    It's just like how Bright House cable cant tell (easily) which PC on my network gets the most use, as far as they know, it's all going to and from my router.
  5. ldimick
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    ldimick New Member

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    If you really believe that you could be in for a rude awakening. They can access your router at any time and they can see exactly what each device is doing.
  6. justreboot
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    justreboot New Member

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    I was only gonna use it in the rare situation where my wife or son would be using the Mac in the car while I was driving - I expect maybe one or twice a year/ no biggie / never really saw the point to tethering otherwise. I mean, sheesh there are enough wifi hotspots...
  7. barbee
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    barbee New Member

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    It's been my experience that reps. Are pretty much clueless. No offense. Unless this actually happens I will be tethering.


    Sent from my Droid using Tapatalk
  8. Jim 777
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    Jim 777 Active Member

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    I know one thing, if THEY cancel me and is never going to provide me with service again, let's just see them try and get the etf out of me :r_c:

    I can't imagine that this whole open source thing is against their wants. I thought that's was a positive point to going with verizon and "their" phones.
  9. LtKen
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    LtKen New Member

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    Right. The cable company can look past my router password and violate all the rules of NAT, to view my routers logs (that expire every 2 days). Sorry dude, it cant be done.
  10. tktouch12
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    tktouch12 New Member

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    it would be really stupid for them to to cancel me forever. my line alone costs over $60 a month. and we have 4 of those. they should like that. also, in my experience verizon reps tend to be pretty dumb (no offense).
    i guess i wont just cuz i dont want to get caught, and i dont really need to that much
  11. LtKen
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    LtKen New Member

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    They wont up and cancel you without hitting you with fees first. It's far more financially lucrative for them to try and keep you on an an extra cost.
  12. ldimick
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    ldimick New Member

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    LOL! You don't think they have a root password that supersedes yours? Guess again. Call them and ask them to check your router. They will NOT asks for your password and they can get into it. I have called my provider before and listened as they did it. Try it. Tell them you are having dropped packets and ask them to check your event or error log.
  13. ldimick
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    ldimick New Member

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    That's true for you and me. But for an employee account they would do that because they could not only ding you for tethering but they can charge you for the retail rate on their plans.

    It would be fairly easy for them to see who is using tethering. All the have to do is look for links that are not going to a mobile site, when there is a well established mobile presence, such as Google.
  14. LtKen
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    LtKen New Member

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    ldimick, none of your arguements for anything are making any sense. I'll start with the one that's on-topic first. Visiting non-mobile sites and using that data to determine who's tethering is absolutely bogus. If this were the case, then anyone downloading torrents on their phone would be caught. Think it through.

    Second the NAT arguement. You should read up on how it works. Without some serious traffic analysis and ARP attacks, the ISP has no idea how many computers are behind a router. As for your "password" arguement, I run a custom firmware on all my routers, to which I am certain there is no "master password". There is no way to ask a router (residential gateway) running NAT about the packets that happen behind it.

    I dont disagree that with some serious traffic analysis, they could determine anything they want, but it's not worth the time unless you're causing DoS on their networks. IPv6 is different, so I'm talking IPv4.
  15. iPirate
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    iPirate New Member

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    Rooting isnt required to tether I thought?
  16. christim
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    christim Super Moderator

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    So many things have pages of fine print.
    I have not read the entire contract I have with Verizon.
    If rooting your phone violates your warranty and if that means they don't have to assist you anymore, then you already have been warned. If tethering violates the term of your contract then, again, you already have been warned. That being said, if someone wants to post those relevant terms of the contract and share with us all, please do so.



    It depends. If you tether and visit some webpages when your internet is down they most likely can't tell.

    If you tether, visit Hulu and stream down some shows they can tell. Your phone can't generate that traffic and can not use that traffic.

    If you tether your xbox and play some games your phone also can not generate nor use that traffic. ISP's most definitely can track the type of traffic and the protocols used.

    Now, that being said nobody knows if they will do anything. However if it is impacting their traffic and they terminate the contracts for the first 50 people they catch tethering I bet it alters the behavior of a bunch of other people who are doing the same.

    Odds are you won't be the one caught so we can all sit back and keep an eye out on things and either some random people get nailed, or they don't. Then we each decide what we want to do in the future.
  17. verian
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    verian Guest

    the person who started this thread shouldn't be making claims on Verizon's behalf.
    1) there are people employed by Verizon whom are members of this community and or troll the forums. (everyone has know about the tethering scene the begining)

    2) they can vary easily tell if your tethering by the information in the packets going threw your 3g connection. (if your dumb*** is playing farm ville on facebook on your verzion account they know. don't think your slick.

    3) If they were unaware of the want for such and ability it wouldn't be coming as a service provided by them with a fee on fresh and upcoming android phones.

    4) If everyone would shut up talking about it and quit spouting bull crap.

    and number C) why would they cancel service on a breach of contract when they could just make you pay more money.

    I went threw this with us cellular they accused me of tethering. they said my phone's browser couldn't us as much data as I was burning threw. Holy crap they were right. They busted me. I told them to prove it they said legally they can't. Its against the law to be tracking someones internet usage so closely. They accused me of using torrents to d/l hd programing. They were right again. they had me nailed but couldn't touch me. you know what i got out of all of this. I FING Dorid they had no choice but to let me out of my contract with no penalty or restore service. contracts provide protection both ways user and provider. If people would stop tethering to play MW2 none of this would be up for consideration. don't believe me search it there is a thread in DF witch should be called how to be a dumb *** but instead is called how to get XBL to work with the droid. I'm sorry ban me if you need to but all the people doing stupid crap are ruining it for everyone.
  18. verian
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    verian Guest

    Sorry to hijack the conversation but you legally get 5Gb to use as you wish Verizon has been kind enough to turn and look the other way as we all reach upwards of 10 or 15Gb thank you Verizon thank you. they don't have to do that unlimited data doesn't me unlimited it means 5Gb a month. but they get it 5Gb isn't enough any more.
  19. Hugh Jass
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    Hugh Jass Well-Known Member

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    I think if they started to really crack down on this the bad PR would be at the worst time imaginable, Apple is trying to gear up as much as possible and is taking ATT with it. They need all the support they can get to stay ahead. If they go crushing contracts and charging fines it holds that in jeopardy, IMO.
  20. bullhonkie
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    bullhonkie New Member

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    Wow. Really? Just wow.

    You should just stop because every post you make makes it clearer that you have absolutely no idea how packet routing works and what the basic functionality of a NAT-performing router is.

    The only way what you're claiming could even be remotely possible is if you used a router that was provided by your ISP. Even then it would be ridiculous because it would be such an enormous security risk to have a single password that would grant access to any and all routers from that ISP. Do you realize how silly that would be? If anyone were to leak that password, then every single customer of that ISP could have their routers hijacked and used for botnets, DDoSes, or other nefarious purposes. Ask any security expert and they'd tell you that has to be one of the worst ideas ever.

    A root password that supersedes all others. Even on custom firmware like DD-WRT or Tomato. That just makes my day.

    Actually on-topic:
    As others have stated, Verizon can't tell if the traffic originates from or goes to a device other than your phone. However if you visit certain sites (Hulu streaming was a good example) or transfer certain types of packets (gaming over XBL, online PC gaming, etc) that your phone obviously can't go to or generate on its own then all bets are off. As long as you're smart about it, only do things while tethering that your phone could do and don't consume unusually high amounts of bandwidth, I don't see that they would have any reason to be suspicious.
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