What Are The Consequences of Extreme Tethering?

Discussion in 'Motorola Droid Bionic' started by Angelou22, Sep 13, 2012.

  1. Angelou22
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    Angelou22 New Member

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    So I upgraded to a Droid Bionic last May and was lucky enough to be able to keep my unlimited data plan with Verizon since 2009. I'm very happy with my phone and

    everything but, I could honestly say that in the past 2 months, about 80% of the time, I am tethering the soul out of my data. I do outrageous things like download full

    games on Steam (Skyrim updates, TF2 and the Crysis collection), watch entire TV shows like Mad Men on Netflix, browse tons on videos on YouTube, etc. Last month alone,

    from the 1st of August till the 6th of September, I had tethered 81GB of bandwidth. No, that is NOT a typo. I REALLY meant EIGHTY ONE GIGABYTES.

    My concern is, what could Verizon possibly do? My last bill was normal. Didn't receive a call from a Verizon rep or anything. Although, I am almost certain that Verizon has

    me on their 'bad customer' list since I've noticed a significant amount of download speeds decreased. I wouldn't be surprised if they already throttle the hell out of my data.

    What are your thoughts?

    View attachment 55974
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2012
  2. jcwilliams
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    jcwilliams Active Member

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    Keep using it. Its unlimited!
  3. Angelou22
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    Angelou22 New Member

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    I plan on doing just that! :biggrin:

    But why does my subconscious feel so... guilty? I don't know how to explain it. It's like I'm expecting something bad to happen!
  4. Dave12308
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    Dave12308 New Member

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    I'm going to assume he is on a grandfathered unlimited plan, and is NOT paying for the hotspot feature. In that case, he is stealing, plain and simple. Unless he is referring to the USB tethering built into ICS, in that case it seems to me that it would be allowed since the function is there and they give you no way to pay for using it. Even if that is the case, 81GB is extremely excessive.
  5. Dave12308
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    Dave12308 New Member

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    Although not likely, it very well could. Verizon has been known to send people HUGE bills for excessive tethering. I remember a thread on Howardforums where some kid cost his parents $3,500 doing just what you are doing.
  6. Dave12308
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    Dave12308 New Member

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    I don't like the fact that gas is almost $4 a gallon. Those godforsaken greedy gas stations. Still doesn't mean I can fill up and drive off without paying.
  7. Angelou22
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    Angelou22 New Member

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    Sorry, I should have been more specific. But yes, the Droid Bionic has a built in setting that allows you to tether via USB on Android 2.3.4. So how exactly is this stealing? I am not allowed to use a feature included on my smartphone? Seems unfair to me...
  8. bsweetness
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    bsweetness Moderator

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    You feel guilty because you're violating something you agreed to - your terms of service with Verizon.

    If you're on an unlimited data plan and you tether without paying for the hotspot feature, you're violating your terms of service, plain and simple. Whether or not you should have to pay for it is a different question entirely, and is something that has been debated to death and will continue to be debated to death. But the fact of the matter, according to the terms of service, is that with an unlimited data plan, tethering without paying for the feature is a violation of what you agreed to.

    81 gigs is an extremely large amount of data, and if that's something you consistently do, it's very likely that it can throw a red flag. Is Verizon going to do anything about it? They could try to get you to pay for it, and they could try to cancel your account, but in the end, it's difficult (if not impossible in most situations) for them to prove that you're tethering.
  9. jcwilliams
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    jcwilliams Active Member

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    This is def a opinionated thread....

    But in my opinion unlimited data is just that and doesn't matter how you use it. Yea your suppose to pay for wifi but usb don't cost so i say rack those gbs up lol
  10. grgguy
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    grgguy Member

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    I think 5-20 gigs is ok with unlimited data . But 81 gigs is just outrageous and out of control! You must have a lot of free time? I dont think I have used 81 gigs in a year be it through my phone or my home internet or even combined.
  11. Dave12308
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    Dave12308 New Member

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    I forgot that 2.3.4 had USB tethering built in, so my apologies there. Like I said though, if you are using the built in USB tethering you are NOT stealing since the function is there and they give you no way to sign up for a USB tethering plan these days. 81GB is still excessive though, you are most likely correct that they are throttling you. However, if they tried to CHARGE you for using a built in feature with no plan existing for it I doubt it would hold up if they were to take you to court. In this case, I honestly think the worst that can happen is throttling; although IIRC they will throttle you for the next billing cycle as well.
  12. jcwilliams
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    jcwilliams Active Member

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    Well said.
  13. skennelly
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    skennelly Active Member

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    I wouldn't worry. Although 81 gb is a lot, there are people who use more. I wouldn’t worry until they contact you in some form, which will likely never happen


    Sent from my GT-P3113 using Tapatalk 2
  14. jcwilliams
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    jcwilliams Active Member

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    I bet 9/10 ppl on this forum tether/break contract. I mean they have the apps available in the market for pete sake lol
  15. Angelou22
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    Angelou22 New Member

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    You're telling me I agreed to have limited use of features integrated in my phone free of charge? I'll definitely make sure I read the agreement next time!
  16. Dave12308
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    Dave12308 New Member

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    I use the built-in USB tethering feature once in a great while when my FIOS connection is down. However, I do it very sparingly. And like I said, I don't see that as a violation since they provide the feature and give you no way to pay for it. If it came down to it, I think THAT argument would stand up in court. On the other hand, I doubt the use of a 3rd party app would stand up in court, and the database hack to use the built in hotspot function would definitely be a no-no. IMHO, USB tethering is fine as long as you take it easy and don't use it excessively.
  17. Angelou22
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    Angelou22 New Member

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    I sense a small amount of bitterness in your tone. That's okay, though. I have as much free time as the US Army allows me to have so I use my time and bandwidth as I please.
  18. Dave12308
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    Dave12308 New Member

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    This should clear this up. I just read the entire TOS, and it would seem that as long as you are using the USB tethering function you are fine, however they may be able to get you on section (e) of the following. On the other hand, most of us on these forums are guilty of (d) since many of us run custom ROMs or leaked OSes, and I don't think ANYONE has gotten terminated for that:"What Are Verizon Wireless' Rights to Limit or End Service or End this Agreement?

    We can, without notice, limit, suspend or end your Service or any agreement with you for any good cause, including, but not limited to: (1) if you: (a) breach this agreement; (b) resell your Service; (c) use your Service for any illegal purpose, including use that violates trade and economic sanctions and prohibitions promulgated by any U.S. governmental agency; (d) install, deploy or use any regeneration equipment or similar mechanism (for example, a repeater) to originate, amplify, enhance, retransmit or regenerate an RF signal without our permission; (e) steal from or lie to us; or, if you're a Postpay customer, (f) do not pay your bill on time; (g) incur charges larger than a required deposit or billing limit, or materially in excess of your monthly access charges (even if we haven't yet billed the charges); (h) provide credit information we can't verify; or (i) are unable to pay us or go bankrupt; or (2) if you, any user of your device or any line of service on your account, or any account manager on your account: (a) threaten, harass, or use vulgar and/or inappropriate language toward our representatives; (b) interfere with our operations; (c) "spam," or engage in other abusive messaging or calling; (d) modify your device from its manufacturer's specifications; or (e) use your Service in a way that negatively affects our network or other customers. We can also temporarily limit your Service for any operational or governmental reason."
  19. bsweetness
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    bsweetness Moderator

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    I started typing up that post before you said that you were using USB tethering. Generally speaking, when someone talks about tethering, they're talking about using their phone as a wireless hot spot, which is why everyone, myself included, assumed that's what you were talking about.

    The question of whether or not the USB tethering is a violation of the terms of service is something that's somewhat up in the air. Most Android devices have the capability to tether via USB built natively into the device, but normally carriers block this or route it through a portal where they ask you to pay for it (like with the wireless hotspot). Since this isn't the case with the Bionic, it definitely leaves a bit of a question about it.
  20. Dave12308
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    Dave12308 New Member

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    On that note, a heartfelt Thank You for your service to our Country!
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