1. milleniumdroid's Avatar
    I'll be moving back to the US in August and have already started looking cell phone plans. Even on the unlimited plans there are these odd speed/traffic restrictions for tethering, video streaming, etc... Where I currently live cell providers do not do such stuff. Will using my unlocked phone that has no carrier bloatware mean that the tethering limitations won't apply for me? If not, how will they see that I'm tethering when it will just look like my phone is making the internet traffic? I need proper tethering (not 600kbps "3G speed") because the college I will be going to has been having issues with their WiFi for the past several years and I need a backup in case I get hit with an outage or something like that.
    06-27-2019 03:20 PM
  2. Rukbat's Avatar
    If your web browser user agent is one that doesn't run on cellphones, you're tethering to another device. If you're running a program that doesn't exist for cellphones, you're tethering. There are many ways of telling that you're tethering. (A web browser even tells the site what operating system it's running on. How else do you think that, if you go to, say, Firefox, you go to the Windows download page, or the Linux download page or whatever you're running? [I don't use computers with fruit, but I'd imagine it's the same thing for Macs, iDevices, etc.])

    Some carriers in the US allow you so much tethering that you'd never use it all, some allow almost none even with an unlimited plan. But choose your carrier by coverage. Having unlimited data and unlimited tethering - and no signal - does you no good. And there's no one carrier that's best all over, despite what you'll see in the TV ads. Verizon, which probably has the best coverage overall, does have some pretty bad dead spots. Sprint, which probably has the worst coverage, is great if you're getting -90dbm from them where you'll be. (And if you need a lot of data, it's going to cost - if it's not AT&T, Sprint, TMobile, US Cellular and Verizon, it's not a carrier, it's an MVNO, a mobile virtual network operator, that buys bandwidth from one of the 5 and sells you a small piece of it. They may be cheaper, but they're the first customers to get throttled when usage goes up [like at midterms in a college town], and they usually throttle at a much smaller amount of data.)
    kct1975 and milleniumdroid like this.
    06-27-2019 04:27 PM
  3. Almeuit's Avatar
    I'll be moving back to the US in August and have already started looking cell phone plans. Even on the unlimited plans there are these odd speed/traffic restrictions for tethering, video streaming, etc... Where I currently live cell providers do not do such stuff. Will using my unlocked phone that has no carrier bloatware mean that the tethering limitations won't apply for me? If not, how will they see that I'm tethering when it will just look like my phone is making the internet traffic? I need proper tethering (not 600kbps "3G speed") because the college I will be going to has been having issues with their WiFi for the past several years and I need a backup in case I get hit with an outage or something like that.
    The US doesn't want unlimited tethering because tons of people would use it versus WiFi.

    If you want unlimited hotpot you have three options -- Verizon prepaid carrier visible (5 Mbps cap), an AT&T Prepair plan, or get on T-Mobile and add the $50 Global Plus addon (not easy to do I don't think).
    kct1975 likes this.
    06-27-2019 05:01 PM

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