1. AC Question's Avatar
    Hello, I am new to the world of android. I switched from iPhone to the Note 4 and insisted on keeping my unlimited data plan from AT&T. With my work related discounts it was the best option. I am not paying for tethering services. On my note it shows that I can turn the feature on and make it a hot spot for my laptop (its not grayed out). Before I "flip the switch" will AT&T ding me for this or change my plan?

    I don't want to pay extra and will need the laptop to access internet intermittently for a while. I'm cheap and cautious on most things LOL
    04-30-2015 03:23 PM
  2. wookiee2cu's Avatar
    I was also on an iPhone with grandfathered unlimited data with AT&T and the impression I was under was you could only keep that grandfathered unlimited data if you stayed with the iPhone (you could upgrade to newer versions of the iPhone and still be grandfathered). I could be wrong but I was told the same thing by several employees I talked to so you may want to call AT&T and verify that you still have unlimited data. I went to the AT&T Next plan when I got my Galaxy S5 about a year ago (changed to Note 4 a few months back) and have 10GB of data a month. Like I said it's best to phone AT&T with your questions and to verify your unlimited data is still intact.

    In regards to the tethering feature I have used it a handful of times and it has worked great, I was surprised as of to the connection speed and how fast pages were loading. Keep in mind if you are streaming something the speeds may not be that great and you will burn through data like crazy. I haven't done any tests regarding data usage vs time spent browsing as I was just hitting some work websites and not on for a long period of time. When I had the iPhone, if I wanted to be able to tether there was an additional package I had to add to my plan, I believe it was $50 a month but that was about 3 years ago that I looked into it so the pricing may have changed. I know if your iPhone was jailbroken you could download apps from the Cydia store that would allow you to tether without purchasing the additional package from AT&T. I do recall people posting that they were getting warnings from AT&T about it and if they continued they would automatically be signed up for the tethering package (some how they could tell if it was data being used by the phone or if the data being used was due to tethering).
    04-30-2015 03:40 PM
  3. nimshii's Avatar
    I def. still have unlimited data on my Note 4, I just don't know if they are still watching people that tether without paying them for it.
    the rep I spoke with over the phone with ATT strongly suggested I keep the unlimited plan and just have it applied to the Note 4. According to my billing its there too... I just don't want them to magically switch me off. Is there an app that can mask the fact that I'm sharing my data from my phone to my laptop? - if that is even needed at all?
    If I call ATT and ask them they will probably just change me and thats not what I want (i like my unlimited data)... **I had to register to post a reply to my anonymous question**
    04-30-2015 03:52 PM
  4. wookiee2cu's Avatar
    Weird, wonder why all the reps told me I couldn't carry over my unlimited data... honestly not a big deal for me as I don't go over 4GB's a month and I have 10GB to use. I would just call and ask that with your given data plan are you able to use the tethering feature of the Note4 with your laptop and not incur any additional expenses, they will not add the feature without your authorization but make it clear you are only inquiring and do not wish to add any features. Yes they will be able to tell if it's data being used by the phone or data being used to tether, they were able to do it years ago with the iPhone so I'm sure it's only gotten easier for them to be able to tell. You're better off knowing what's allowed then taking a gamble and getting charged for it. As far as apps being able to disguise the usage I'm not sure as the tethering has always been available to me so I never had to try.
    04-30-2015 04:21 PM
  5. freddyttt's Avatar
    keep in mind those unlimited data plans are worth 500.00 to 800.00 on flebay...
    04-30-2015 04:26 PM
  6. mountainbikermark's Avatar
    An app called Foxfi masks your tethering with its add on app. Your carrier will not know whether you're using your phone or tethered for data.
    Technically AT&T can force you to add on a tether plan but I've never read of anyone being forced to do so. It's a gray area that the feds stepped into a few years back and said carriers can't double charge for data (forced tether plan) and the carriers answer has been no tether plan on limited data plans but technically they can still charge it on unlimited plans without being in contempt of federal rulings.


    Support Our Troops !!!
    <><
    Beast Mode 4
    04-30-2015 04:41 PM
  7. mty msi's Avatar
    It used to be you could add tethering to a grandfathered AT&T unlimited data plan for $20/mo but they changed it maybe about a year ago. Now if you want tethering you have to give up the unlimited data plan and select one of the plans wookiee2cu is referring to. Depending on your data usage it could be less expensive or more expensive so you need to look at the AT&T plan costs vs. your actual/estimated data usage.

    I use Foxfi and have for a number of years, the problem with it on AT&T is they have blocked the mobile hotspot portion of Foxfi so that means you have to physically tether your phone to your laptop to use Foxfi. It works fine but the problem is your computer is continually charging your phone so it decreases your laptop's battery life (assuming you're using the laptop in a mobile environment i.e. not plugged into power). Foxfi also tethers via Bluetooth however my connection speed isn't fast enough to use a browser on my mobile laptop so the only way I can use Foxfi is the physical tethering. Verizon I believe and perhaps some of the other carriers have not blocked Foxfi's mobile hotspot but AT&T definitely has.

    I'm going to call AT&T and see if as a longtime customer I can get the $20/mo tethering add on to the unlimited data plan but if not I'm probably going to give up the unlimited data and pick one of the plans that includes mobile hotspot.

    In my case I'm using a Lenovo Helix (i7 cpu) for a mobile laptop and it should have around 6 hours of battery life, using the physical tethering I get just under 4 hours.

    The other issue I've heard about but don't really know if it is an issue is the heat a N4 produces when used in the tethering mode. Since my phone is always in its Otterbox Defender case I have no way to know how hot it's getting when physically tethered or if that's really an issue. Perhaps someone else can comment on that aspect.
    05-01-2015 07:30 AM
  8. mountainbikermark's Avatar
    It used to be you could add tethering to a grandfathered AT&T unlimited data plan for $20/mo but they changed it maybe about a year ago. Now if you want tethering you have to give up the unlimited data plan and select one of the plans wookiee2cu is referring to. Depending on your data usage it could be less expensive or more expensive so you need to look at the AT&T plan costs vs. your actual/estimated data usage.

    I use Foxfi and have for a number of years, the problem with it on AT&T is they have blocked the mobile hotspot portion of Foxfi so that means you have to physically tether your phone to your laptop to use Foxfi. It works fine but the problem is your computer is continually charging your phone so it decreases your laptop's battery life (assuming you're using the laptop in a mobile environment i.e. not plugged into power). Foxfi also tethers via Bluetooth however my connection speed isn't fast enough to use a browser on my mobile laptop so the only way I can use Foxfi is the physical tethering. Verizon I believe and perhaps some of the other carriers have not blocked Foxfi's mobile hotspot but AT&T definitely has.

    I'm going to call AT&T and see if as a longtime customer I can get the $20/mo tethering add on to the unlimited data plan but if not I'm probably going to give up the unlimited data and pick one of the plans that includes mobile hotspot.

    In my case I'm using a Lenovo Helix (i7 cpu) for a mobile laptop and it should have around 6 hours of battery life, using the physical tethering I get just under 4 hours.

    The other issue I've heard about but don't really know if it is an issue is the heat a N4 produces when used in the tethering mode. Since my phone is always in its Otterbox Defender case I have no way to know how hot it's getting when physically tethered or if that's really an issue. Perhaps someone else can comment on that aspect.
    So AT&T has gotten around the use of a pin code to enable the tether?
    I haven't used FF in a while, I'm on a limited data plan with few tether, but last time I did FF had gotten around carrier tether blocks by making it so if you added a pin code lock screen it'd work. You're saying AT&T blocked that now? I wonder if/when FF will get around that block?
    Good to know.

    Support Our Troops !!!
    <><
    Beast Mode 4
    05-01-2015 08:18 AM
  9. mty msi's Avatar
    So AT&T has gotten around the use of a pin code to enable the tether?
    I haven't used FF in a while, I'm on a limited data plan with few tether, but last time I did FF had gotten around carrier tether blocks by making it so if you added a pin code lock screen it'd work. You're saying AT&T blocked that now? I wonder if/when FF will get around that block?
    Good to know.

    Support Our Troops !!!
    <><
    Beast Mode 4
    I'm not certain what you're referring to as a pin code lockscreen. Do you mean the phone's normal lockscreen or something else?

    When I try to use Foxfi in the mobile hotspot mode I get a "failed to activate" message. On other threads about Foxfi other AT&T users have also stated AT&T has blocked the mobile hotspot mode. I did notice on the below link Bluetooth didn't work on Kit Kat 4.4 but does on Lollipop so I'll have to test that, if it works my mobile laptop battery drain issue is solved & also that the mobile hotspot mode only works on AT&T phones using 4.2 & below. I did see something about a lockscreen for Verizon users but not AT&T.

    PdaNet+FoxFi Usage guidant

    PdaNet+ Help for WiFi Mode
    05-01-2015 08:34 PM
  10. dohlo's Avatar
    I would definitely call and check, or check your account online to see what it says. When I used to have unlimited data I would tether with a jailbreak app on my iPhone and it would supposedly hide the tethering but a couple times I received emails from AT&T stating that I was teetering without the feature in my plan and if I continued they would simply switch my plan automatically. Which could possibly happen to you.
    05-01-2015 09:41 PM
  11. mty msi's Avatar
    I just tried using Bluetooth and the Foxfi/PdaNet app tells me it doesn't recognize my phone has Bluetooth (the laptop however does recognize the phone in the Bluetooth mode). I re-installed the Foxfi app on my Lenovo to the latest version as well. On their website they only show Bluetooth working up to Windows Vista so that probably explains it as I'm using 8.1 Pro on the Lenovo Helix. But on my S3 Bluetooth worked on both of my laptops using Windows 7 & 8 Pro. Not sure if it was the 8.1 update or Lollipoop but I can't use the Bluetooth tethering. So the only way I can use it is the physical tethering & I don't think there's any way to stop the phone from charging. It looks like it's time to call AT&T & change plans if only for the convenience of not having to physically tether the phone to use Foxfi. Foxfi BTW is capable of hiding tethering & I've never had a problem with AT&T detecting it.
    05-02-2015 12:25 AM
  12. mountainbikermark's Avatar
    I'm not certain what you're referring to as a pin code lockscreen. Do you mean the phone's normal lockscreen or something else?

    When I try to use Foxfi in the mobile hotspot mode I get a "failed to activate" message. On other threads about Foxfi other AT&T users have also stated AT&T has blocked the mobile hotspot mode. I did notice on the below link Bluetooth didn't work on Kit Kat 4.4 but does on Lollipop so I'll have to test that, if it works my mobile laptop battery drain issue is solved & also that the mobile hotspot mode only works on AT&T phones using 4.2 & below. I did see something about a lockscreen for Verizon users but not AT&T.

    PdaNet+FoxFi Usage guidant

    PdaNet+ Help for WiFi Mode
    This is a bit shown in the description of the app


    Support Our Troops !!!
    <><
    Beast Mode 4
    05-02-2015 10:21 AM
  13. Kelly Kearns's Avatar
    Hello, I am new to the world of android. I switched from iPhone to the Note 4 and insisted on keeping my unlimited data plan from AT&T. With my work related discounts it was the best option. I am not paying for tethering services. On my note it shows that I can turn the feature on and make it a hot spot for my laptop (its not grayed out). Before I "flip the switch" will AT&T ding me for this or change my plan?

    I don't want to pay extra and will need the laptop to access internet intermittently for a while. I'm cheap and cautious on most things LOL
    If it doesn't tell you to call 611 and set it up, then it is good to go.
    05-03-2015 12:04 AM

Similar Threads

  1. Is rooting my Samsung Galaxy Note 4 worth it?
    By Wasimx in forum Samsung Galaxy Note 4
    Replies: 40
    Last Post: 11-10-2017, 10:50 PM
  2. Replies: 14
    Last Post: 01-14-2016, 11:40 AM
  3. How can I stop my Galaxy Note 4 from sending I need help messages?
    By AC Question in forum Samsung Galaxy Note 4
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 05-03-2015, 12:55 AM
  4. Something has disabled Recent Apps button, Galaxy Note 4
    By AC Question in forum Ask a Question
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 04-30-2015, 07:14 PM
  5. Has anyone noticed strange behavior with their Note Edge?
    By AC Question in forum Samsung Galaxy Note Edge
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 04-30-2015, 02:30 PM
LINK TO POST COPIED TO CLIPBOARD