[Poll] Your Phone’s Portable WiFi HotSpot & Tethering Feature: Pay The Carrier to Unlock the Feature, or Use a Rooted/Custom ROM?

Posted Dec 20, 2012 at 9:27 am in Threads > Opinions

When I pay for a data plan that has a limit, I really don’t think the carriers should be allowed to decide how I use the data i.e. no tethering for certain plans.

What is your opinion for data plans that have limits (whether throttling or hard)?

A – you would pay the carrier for the privilege of tethering in their branded ROM.
B – you would use a rooted or custom ROM to allow tethering without any additional cost.
C – you don’t really use tethering.

  • http://about.me/LuisOTorres taz88ny

    B. If 4G is available. Rooted with a teathering app, no need for a custom ROM.

    C. If I only have 3G available.

    • Dradien

      I agree with the poster above. I pay for Unlimited on Verizon. WHY does it matter HOW the data is used? Data is data is data, end of story.

      • TheVoodoo

        Precisely my point. Even though with unlimited plans I can understand it somewhat, since the pricing is based on average use.

        However, the one that I do not understand is non-unlimited plans. For example, if I get 4 GB of data, why would the carrier care how I consume that 4GB.

        If anything, they should allow tethering on limited data plans to get people to consume beyond their limit.

        • WlfHart

          Haha, you’d think that would be how a business would operate if it wanted more cashflow. I am curious as to why that isn’t the model… charge for tethering (or just not offer it, which I think T-Mo is currently doing) for unlimited plans, and allow tethering free on capped data plans.
          While I still feel slighted by the fact that I’m being told I need to pay more for a feature I was previously receiving as part of the package at no additional charge, I am coming to terms with it by just pretending it’s inflation and prices for a plan just went up but they are offering a discount if you are willing to sacrafice the option of tethering (without a rooted phone and a VPN).

  • JonJJon

    D. Live in the UK so can use tethering at will

    Though I don’t use it much myself.

    • mr 1338

      i usually live in germany, so i have the same fortune :)
      Unbranded Phone and 10€/month contract with free tethering :D

      Fingers Crossed all you US people get cheap wireless plans soon! (Y)

  • MagikalTrev

    Definitely B, although its tough to want to use it at any point since I have a harsh restriction on data I am trying to remedy at the moment.

  • theha9

    It’s crazy how companies here in the US can get away with making you pay for something that you’ve already paid for.

    Unlimited data is unlimited data. It is reasonable I think though, to bump ppl down to 3g if they’re hogging the data all the time with tethering multiple devices.

    • TheVoodoo

      It is reasonable, but I the throttling apparently bumps one down to almost 2G speeds for T=Mobile, I’ve heard.

  • sonicdeathmunky

    I’m assuming that carriers preventing users from using their device as a hotspot is a USA (and similar) thing? Here in Australia we don’t have anything NEAR unlimited plans, and data is hugely expensive. It does mean that tethering doesn’t require anything but a single press though :)

    • TheVoodoo

      Yes, however we have tethering disabled for metered and limited plans as well, except for high-limit ones.

      This is what I don’t understand, since for a non-unlimited account, it would be almost better for the carrier to allow tethering which consumes data heavily in most cases.

  • Shoon

    I’d rather have it through a custom Rom. I just got my first smartphone and quickly learned how carriers are unjustifiedly charging more to share network. I thought Straight Talk to be the “messiah” of cell service providers. I was wrong. They don’t tolerate tethering/hotspotting. At&t and Verizon are just robbing people and getting away with it. I do believe it can change, but people have to want that change, the power is in our grasp.

  • mattplaybass


  • jonstle

    Never had a reason to tether but I think I would lean towards the B group.

  • fenlon

    How about an option D. There are several paid apps that allow you to tether with out root.

    FoxFi WAS completely free for a long period. Unfortunately, the dev has crippled the free version and only allows 30 mins of free tethering. I needed to use it this weekend, and 30mins was suffice. If I needed it more often, I’d rather give a few bucks to a dev than a greedy carrier.

  • Kaote

    I dont think twice about tethering without paying an extra fee to do so. Carriers get enoughas it is, I should be able to use my data anyway I see fit.

  • SGB101

    All the uk carriers offer a tethering plan, but even with out the plan, all stock roms have ‘WiFi hot spot’ so youd need to be daft to take that offer up. Especially when I (most) peeps these days have unlimited data.

    My home bb has been down for two months and I used tethering (wifi) for the period, and done 12gb first month and 16gb the next. T-Mobile didn’t throttle me at all, and no extra charges, so I’m happy.

  • Puzzled by Choice

    B. You pay several hundred dollars for a feature rich phone that has the hardware present that allows hotspot sharing, why on earth should we have to pay an additional charge to share the tunnel we’re already paying for?

    Motorola built my phone, not Verizon. I have unlimited data through Verizon and it’s not cheap. I don’t use the Verizon hotspot feature, I use another app to turn on my hotspot radio and share my data w/my tablet or laptop.

  • thymeless

    I think my Galaxy Nexus hotspot is broken. Hasn’t worked from day one. I bought it via google and operate it pre-paid on T-Mobile. But I’ve never been able to connect to it, even with rooted tethering apps. With most of those apps, I can’t even see it as broadcasting wifi. With the built-in tether tool, I can see it but I never connect. Sits in la-la land saying it’s negotiating an IP address.

    Nothing will connect. But on XDA, many users use it just like I would and they have no trouble. So it never even gets to T-mobile to sniff packets or anything and shut me down. I’ll have to try a ROM one of these days. and see if that fixes it.

    I suspect, my phone is faulty though. Not a big deal to me if it won’t tether, even though I think I’m still covered under warranty.. Would be a major hassle to be without it for warranty work.

    • scottryan78

      I have a Galaxy Nexus too and the WiFi hotspot works great on it and has from day one. I’m rooted and running codename android for the rom but it worked with stock and other ROMs. Strange that it doesn’t seem to be broadcasting.

      • thymeless

        That’s what I thought, just a faulty bit in my phone it seems.

  • leemy

    Definitely B

  • Laurel laurel25

    I use an app to use the hotspot feature on my phone when I occasionally need to tether my laptop or tablet. I don’t root my phones because, frankly, I’m a scaredy-cat about it, but if I had more time/guts that’s what I’d do.

    • TheVoodoo

      What app and phone?

  • klcow92

    I don’t really use tethering but if the need actually arises, then I might as well use option B :P

  • Ezy03


  • Linda Kuhl

    Tesco and T-mobile have blocked it

  • HumbertoH

    You should never pay for something it’s FREE. Said.

  • Wayne Winkler

    I am grandfathered in with Verizons unlimited data plan. I can’t responsibly pay another fee to use a connection I already have.

    So, my answer is B.

  • yankeesusa

    I will go with root and tether or get an an app that works without root and tether. I still believe that as long as your not abusing the data you should be able to do what you want with your data including sharing it with another device. I’m a firm believer in net neutrality for both hard lines and mobile.