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Sprint Nexus 5 free tethering (Solution)
Putting this out there to help others in the same boat.
Initial Problem: Originally, I had the galaxy nexus on sprint and I was able to get free tethering using PdaNet App for my laptop (I have the unlimited data family plan). This last month I upgraded to the Nexus 5 on Sprint, which I had been anticipating. However, upon setting everything up with the Nexus 5 I found that I was unable to tether my laptop to my phone's internet. Computer would connect both on usb and wifi, but internet would not get through to the laptop for more than 20 seconds. Upon examining forums I found that it seems the carriers (including Sprint) and Google are working together to limit tethering to people who have purchased the hotspot addition plans. (I'm of the mentality that I pay for unlimited data, hence I should get it no matter how I use the data.)
Solution's tried: I rooted my phone, installed many tethering aps (CWM tether, WiFi Tether, FoxFi, etc.), even changed rom to Cataclysm. Nothing was working. I eventually found some solutions for nexus 5 users on TMO. Essentially, the solution is the "tether_dun_required" hack which is becoming quite common on the this and other android forums. Nevertheless, the hack did not work. I still was unable to get more than 20 seconds of tether before it cut out for my laptop.
Solution: I just found a solution which worked for me on xda, from the user busstomper [xda Link]http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?p=48588280&postcount=18 [/URL]. His/her tether was not working after upgrading to Android 4.4.2. He/she decided to replace the current settings.db file with an older one from before the android upgrade (I assume it also had the "tether_dun_required" hack). Upon doing this his/her tethering capabilities were working. He/she didn't have a clue why it worked but he/she did mention that when replacing the settings.db file the settings.db-journal file (which is in the same folder) was erased. Well, I decided to erase my settings.db-journal file (after I backed the settings.db and settings.db-journal files, of course) and lone behold my tethering worked. For the more programming literate people out there, maybe you can explain why this works.
My free tethering is working now, so I'm happy. For all other Nexus 5 Sprint users out there, hopefully this helps.