How to bypass T-Mobile’s anti-tethering policy

T-Mobile instituted a hotspot plan in 2010, but many users were never charged because of technical limitations with the software. Recently T-Mo has been blocking users, after receiving Ice Cream Sandwich upgrades, and redirecting them to a sales page telling them that they can purchase the feature for an additional $14.95 per month. If you’re a T-Mobile user and experiencing this, you can bypass it, and it’s not too difficult.

First of all this is what’s happening now:

Their filtering is based on HTTP user-agents. If your user-agent matches a known user-agent that is not android it
will reject the traffic. Now there are two problems with this,

A.) If an unknown userAgent is passed or No user agent, your traffic is accepted.
B.) There are a bazillion TCP protocols that do not have user-agents.

So off the bat with no user-agent spoofing, all protocols work except HTTP, including HTTPS, HTTPS works out of
box because of its encryption.

So how do you get around this? All you have to do is change your user agent profile. If you’re using Chrome, you can download this add on or this one for Firefox users. These will allow you to spoof your user-agent profile. If you’re using another Browser, just search for an appropriate plugin. After you’ve installed the plugin, just change your user-agent to Android XOOM for example and enjoy free tethering.

source: benbuchacher
via: xda




About the Author: Robert Nazarian

Robert lives in upstate New York where he was born and raised. Technology was always his passion. His first computer was a Radio Shack TRS80 Color that used a cassette tape to save programs, and his first laptop was a Toshiba T1200FB that sported a CGA greyscale screen and two 720kb floppy drives (no hardrive). From the early 90’s through late 2011, he only owned Motorola phones starting with the MircroTAC all the way through to the Droid X. He broke that streak when he bought the Galaxy Nexus. Now he's sporting a Galaxy Note 4, and absolutely loves it. He has a wonderful wife and a 6 year old son. In his free time he enjoys sports, movies, TV, working out, and trying to keep up with the rapid fast world of technology.

  • Nudo

    Free the internet!

  • xxgemini

    Foxfi from the market works great for me

    • MZ

      I agree with you. The Foxfi app is awesome. I am using it on my Verizon phone and both my sister and her husband use it on their T-Mobile phones. Its easy to free, easy and great app.

  • Sandra Smith

    Can u do the same on a metro pcs phone?

  • Jim

    This app for Chrome works for me, but I have an application that I must use through Internet Explorer. Any suggestions for a solution allowing me to use IE9?

    • aqaxp

      Dev tools on IE9 let you change the UA easily but per tab

  • Marc S.

    I was so pissed off two weeks ago. My internet went down (again) and I thought well let me use my phone like I have been for the last 2.5 years as a tethering device. All the sudden I get this BS about $14.95 a month. I called them screaming. Fortunately I hacked my neighbors WEP instead of finding this but will try this when I get home later.

  • #tmobilerage

    Don’t know where you dudz are, but this just hit my Tmo account in the US. As far as I know, there was no prior notice that this change would take place and I’m supremely pissed about it. I would love to know if there indeed was notice about this change in the US.

  • anthony909

    Anyone know what will happen if you tether your iPad? Will Tmobile recognize it as a mobile device and let it tether without any user agent spoofing?

    • GazaIan

      It acts funny. It was working fine for me at first on my iPad, Galaxy Tab and my Windows 8 computer but it suddenly slammed me with “go buy tethering”. I’ve tried using ClockworkMod tether (that helps avoid it) but I need NET Framework which is a very large download, and it won’t work on Mac. FoxFi apparently works for some, and I recall an app simply called “WiFi tether” that worked great (it’s crashing my phone unfortunately).

      You can try out one of those apps if this method in the article doesn’t suit you for whatever reason.

  • Keith Tyler

    I wonder what happens if you have used Firefox for Android’s user-agent plugin set to look like a non-mobile browser in order to avoid being punted to mobile-format sites? Sounds like false positive city.

    • cb88

      You can remove the operating system specific parts of the normal user agent and it works fine since it can’t tell what you are for certain.

  • Keith Tyler

    Incidentally, I get the Wireless Hotspot blocking message even when I use USB tethering. That doesn’t make any sense. USB tethering != wireless hotspot. There’s no WiFi involved.

    • Blane McCracken

      still, the packets contain user-agent, OS, etc info. inet traffic looks the same regardless of usb or wifi.

    • Amanda

      T-Mobile will block any form of tethering if they catch you doing it. A while back they were blocking my Bluetooth DUN tether.

  • Aragon

    Yess way to stick it to tmobile. If I am paying for unlimited data theres no way in hell I will pay an extra 15 bucks to tether.

  • San

    Foxfi worked for me for one day and T-mo started blocking… I tried anchorfree hotspot vpn with it and it worked. free download with ads, pay to remove them

  • Slobodan Cekic

    i just installed wifi tether app on my galaxy nexus and it is working while native tethering was giving me that message about 14.95 per month (of course i am rooted)

  • DarkOne_PR

    Hi I Played PS3 online with my cel internet but now im blocked… i know u can cheat this over the laptop…. but what about other devices such as a ps3?

  • jas

    you are awesome thanks

  • Yonis Gonzalez

    Ok so i have an iPhone 4s jaibroken and when i use the internet tethering it gives me the t mobile error not letting me navigate the internet can some one help me pls i hear allot of android solutions can something be done on iPhone 4s?????

    • st p

      Gonzalez, if U haven’t resolved the block tether issue! ! The simple solution is PDANET+ FOR IOS SYSTEM!!! install properly, if u have difficulty re-install! After installed on DEVICE & PHONE! Connect USB TETHER & use LEVEL 1 settings! 99.9% guaranteed to work! Only options besides this simple 1 CHANGE USER AGENT, or SET UP VPN.

  • Griffin O’Connor

    So how do I download this app if all my websites are blocked? Download on my phone and transfer via usb?

    • Amanda

      I’d suggest using an app from the play store. If you’re not using the built-in tether app it sometimes takes T-Mobile a day or so to catch and block you, so you should have time to get the extensions for your browser. I used Guardam’s SuperTether to get past the tether-block initially, because it changes your UA string automatically, then switched to Wireless Tether for Root Users app for a more stable connection. Or, if you’re using firefox, you can change the ua string offline via about:config.

  • Shelley Brinson

    This is perfect! Thanks so much for sharing this!

  • A Wilson

    I’m on a nexus 4w/ usb tethering via T-mobile, and every 2 gigs, i have to restart the tethering. I bought clockwork tether mod, and it bugs out hard…programs connectd, while other arent, torrents seeding up to 700kps while they down 5kps…so i installed this add-on, but don’t know how to configure it…i added a new agent and just named it “Android XOOM” but i feel i need to change the user agent parameters themselves…it still says “firefox, mozilla, yadda yadda, win32, windows, and all…” what do i need to do? where do i find instructions? am i suposed to import a android xoom switcher file?

  • Randy

    What about an ipad. Im trying to use my HTC one as a hotspot for my ipad. How do I switch a user agent in a ipad. I have a chrome browser install or is there a better way.

  • Jessica Marr ʚϊɞ

    I was so pissed when they first started doing this. don’t they make enough fucking money off of us?!?! greedy fucking bastards but I started using the Chrome User Agent Switcher.

    • Corey Bryant

      Exactly. And their bullshit lame ass sales people will do anything for a sell. I specifically asked about using the hotspot and she said “$5 a month for the hotspot option” I get home and it doesn’t work, why? Because now Metro/TM both will not allow the hotspot option if you subscribe to an unlimited plan.
      Dumb asses could have let me know that when I was spending my money. Sprint, here I come! At least I can use what I pay for with them, albeit more expensive.

  • Tom Sweeney

    Big thanks, had been using pdaNet+ for months, and just today ran into this issue, this workaround fixed the problem instantly, w00t!

  • eddie

    I started using this workaround a couple months ago and it has worked flawlessly. But, a couple of weeks ago, it stopped working! Even with the UA switcher, I get redirected to the upsell page. Any idea what could be the matter, or how I can get around it??

  • edet

    What about for Xbox? I can’t get around it.

  • Gable Ratchet

    I’d like to know if there is a possibility of masking or hiding the user-agent without actually changing it – I don’t particularly want mobile view on my laptop. If this can’t be done then pdanet’s ‘hiding’ claims are misleading…it might hide CPU, platform and app version, but without hiding the user agent it’s worthless.

  • rock

    Hi.. NetFlix dont work with this User agent change.. any idea how to make it work?