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[HOW-TO] Enable Wifi and USB Tethering on AT&T Samsung Galaxy S4 with Android 4.3 MK2
After some research on various forums including this one, I got both Wifi and USB Tethering working on my AT&T Samsung Galaxy S4 with Android 4.3 (build MK2). Figure others may look for similar solutions so I put together the steps I used in this post.
I have been tethering with SVTP (paid version) since acquiring the Galaxy S4 in June 2013, with my unlimited data plan. Then it stopped working after a week when AT&T pushed out the software update. Furious, I googled around and found the "Click the home button when the checking popup appears" trick, and had been happily tethering, until AT&T push another update (MK2) two weeks ago. It defeated that trick and none of the tethering apps work. Oh man, not again!
I googled again and found FoxFi. The wifi tethering didn't work (it only work on Verizon as reported(), but the USB and Bluetooth tethering do work. I am relived as I had a temporal solution. However, both the USB and Bluetooth tethering drop and resume the internet connection every minute. Very annoying when downloading a bigger file, or playing online games that require constant connection. Finally can't stand it anymore. I keep googling around and found there's no other solution except rooting the device. And I decide to take the risk and give it a shot.
After following the steps, I was able to get all tethering apps works. Specifically all these works;
ES File Manager
And, the native Tethering from the phone also work. This give me the hint that probably most, if not all, tethering apps should work.
Furthermore,the built-in USB tethering also work! Unlike the one from FoxFi, this one work continuously without dropping/resuming the connection every minute. This can be handy as you can charge your phone while tethering. Pretty cool, uh?
Last but not least, I disable the AT&T Software update, so I don't have to do this again
Here's the steps I used. I piece them together from various sources. Many thanks to the folks who put them together, and to the folks who tried before me and post the positive result. Basically you need do to a few things:
a. Root the device
b. Modify the tethering file
c. Turn on tethering and verify it works
d. Disable the AT&T Software update (Optional)
Please see the next post for details.
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a. Root your device
Scary, isn't it? I was in the same boat and really hesitated to do it. However with no other option available it may worth a try. It does work well and give you good control of the phone. Worthy in my opinion, especially when it allows you to do what you want to do.
a1. If you are new to rooting your phone like me, some background reading may help:
a2. Watch this video as a preparation and confidence building:
a3. Root your device using the steps here. It echoes the steps in the video. Even though it is made for the Verizon model, it works on AT&T too:
b. Modify the tethering file:
b1. Follow the steps in the post. It works:
b2. Pay attention to the mount /system as RW mode step. It is missing in the original post:
"I was not able to rename files or copy until I change 'Mount R/W'.
To do this, you click on globe/phone on top left corner.
Scroll down to "Root Explorer" and hold for a second or two.
When you let go, a pop-up screen appears. Click on Mount R/W,
and change "/system" from OR to RW."
c. Verify tethering works
c1. Use your favorite tethering app, it should work. Just disregard the AT&T Popup (click OK).
And if you don't use any tethering app before, rest at ease. Your phone's native Wifi and USB tethering also work. That maybe the best part as you don't need to purchase any "unlocked" version of those apps. Just go to "Settings->More networks->Tethering and portable hotspot". Turn on Mobile Hotspot and you can use Wifi tethering as usual.
c2. Or while at the same screen, connect your phone to the laptop with a USB cable and enable "USB tethering". Your laptop will automatically install a USB driver and you will be connected to the internet via USB. This option works especially well when all you need is connect one laptop to the internet. It not only saves the battery of your phone by not using Wifi, but also charge your battery while tethering!
c3. Stil not enough? How about make your laptop a wifi hotspot? Follow the steps here:
This way, you charge your phone while tethering using USB, your laptop is on the web, and others can connect to the internet via the Wifi hotspot on your laptop. It is a win-win-win situation
d. Finally, if you don't want to be annoyed in the future and redo all these again (which may or may not work anymore as they may close the door), turn of AT&T Software update. Follow the steps here:
Stopping AT&T Auto Software Update
Download and install "App Quarantine ROOT/FREEZE" from Play Store.
Open the app and go to settings by tapping on the wrench icon at the top right of the screen.
Uncheck the "Hide system services" option.
Go back to the app and select "AT&T Software update".
Tap on the lock icon on the top right of the screen.
It may ask you to enable the USB debugging.
Feel safe from AT&T's new attack
Again, many thanks to those who put the information together, and to those who tried it and proved it worked. You guys are great! Happy new year and happy tethering!
- 04-06-2014, 05:27 AM #3
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Re: [HOW-TO] Enable Wifi and USB Tethering on AT&T Samsung Galaxy S4 with Android 4.3 MK2
ps. the configure wifi dialog doesn't popup. However you can download portable wi-fi hotspot to configure the hotspot and setup encryption and and name. also hotspot toggle widget is awesome to make one touch wifi available.
- 05-19-2014, 09:07 PM #4
- 09-22-2015, 01:28 AM #5
- 09-22-2015, 01:28 AM #6
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