How AT&T Recognizes Unauthorized Tethering from Jailbroken iPhones

In case you didn't know, AT&T has started cracking down on unauthorized tethering, specifically for jailbroken iPhones on a grandfathered unlimited data plan.

If you've gotten AT&T's "text of death" relating to your tethering usage, you're probably utilizing free tethering through jailbreak apps like MyWi. Understandably, AT&T doesn't want its users to have a free broadband connection through tethering hacks, and the carrier has started moving users over to its DataPro plan for $45 a month.

So, how is AT&T targeting unauthorized tethering on its network?

PdaNet Updated to Mask Tethering Usage, Great News for MyWi Users

Talk about good timing. Alex just shared his experience lamenting AT&T's strict tethering policies, and not so much as an hour later we learn that PdaNet has been updated to mask tethering.

While a lot of you may be more familiar with MyWi when it comes to tethering, PdaNet is the forerunner to MyWi, and still has quite the loyal following today.

Even if you are a MyWi user, this is wonderful news, because it means that the developers of MyWi shouldn't be too many steps behind when it comes to implementing similar features in their tethering app...

AT&T iPhone Tethering Plan To Be Announced This Week

A couple of months ago, I wrote a post about how an iPhone tethering plan was officially on its way, and it seems that we are getting very close to an announcement, most likely this week at MacWorld.

According to TUAW:

It's been under the rumor banner for some time now, but we've been told by a trusted source that the long-awaited AT&T iPhone-as-modem tethering plans (preliminary details in MacBlogz' post from November: 5 GB data cap, $30/month supplementary cost) may be ready for prime time during Macworld Expo this week. The tethering announcement might not rise to a keynote-worthy level; it could simply be publicized as a press release during the show.

I stick to my guess of a $40/month plan for this. Given that PDAnet already tethers your iPhone for free, I'm not signing up for this plan anytime soon.

iPhone 3G tethering officially on its way

After several rounds of rumors about an official iPhone 3G tethering plan, it seems that AT&T finally decided to offer a tethering plan for 3G users. In an interview today with Michael Arrington of TechCrunch, AT&T Mobility President and CEO Ralph De La Vega said the company is working with Apple to let the iPhone serve as a tethered wireless modem for laptops "soon".

What does "soon" mean exactly? I don't know but I think it's about time that AT&T offers such a plan for business users that had been requesting this since the 3G came out a few months ago. Also unknown is the cost of this future data plan. I can't imagine it being under $40/month.

Our jailbreaker friends out there know that there are a couple alternatives to tether your iPhone. The first on is iPhoneModem, which I haven't tried myself. The second option is PDAnet, which I reviewed before. Both apps are free but are against AT&T TOS.

I am very curious to see what the adoption rate will be for this tethering plan.

Photo Gizmodo Via Technologizer

How to get free wifi at AT&T’s HotSpots

So it's finally official: you can get free wifi at AT&T HotSpots, all over the US. Starbucks lovers rejoice. Now you have one more reason to spend hours in your favorite coffee shop (side note: I hate Starbucks). But if you thought you could just walk in and get on the wifi right away, well, think again.

In order to enjoy free wifi from AT&T, you will have to authenticate your connection. What does that mean? To understand better, let's have a look at what AT&T says about how to get started:

Activate Wi-Fi from the settings icon on your iPhone Select "attwifi" from the list of available networks Enter your 10-digit mobile number and check the box to agree to the Acceptable Use Policy. Tap 'continue' You will receive a text message from AT&T with a secure link to the AT&T Wi-Fi hotspot. You will not be charged for the text message. The SMS link will only be valid for 24 hours at the location it was requested. Another request must be submitted when using another hotspot location. Open the text message and tap on the link for 24-hour access to the AT&T Wi-Fi hotspot

Basically, you have to "ask" to use their wifi and wait for a confirmation.

Now my question is: do you think there's a way to "hack" this and enjoy free wifi on your laptop? Maybe PDAnet will work on such a feature. Think about it: you access free wifi on your iPhone, you connect your iPhone to your laptop and BAM, you get free wifi on your laptop, using your iPhone as a modem.

I'm sure there has to be a way. If you're aware of any hack, let us know in the comments.

Tether your iPhone with PDAnet

[digg-me]According to PhoneScoop, "tethering is connecting your phone to a laptop or similar data device using a data cable, usually for the purpose of connecting to the Internet on the laptop, via the phone's wireless connection to the cell phone network. Carriers usually charge more money for accessing the Internet via tethering, as opposed to on the phone itself. Sometimes this is enforced via technology in the phone, although often it is simply the honor system and not strictly enforced".

In our case, AT&T clearly doesn't want you to tether your iPhone. Strangely, they don't even have such a plan you could subscribe to in order to use your iPhone as a modem. So to make it clear, tethering your iPhone is against AT&T Terms Of Services.