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No Caps

@74.198.9.x

Fido doesn't differentiate tethered data

Click for full size
This months data usage according to the online tracking tool.
Click for full size
Last months usage according to the bill. Note the cost of $0.00 for the tethered data.
A little while ago I discovered Fido doesn't differentiate between data you use on your phone and data you tether to your computer. If you have an unlimited data account with Fido (and presumably Rogers), it's a good way to get around caps. BitTorrent doesn't work all that well, but HTTP downloads are pretty solid.

Relevant proof of concept is attached. If this isn't news, my apologies!


elwoodblues
Elwood Blues
Premium
join:2006-08-30
Somewhere in
kudos:2
How grandfathered are you to have "unlimited" data on a moblile device from Robbers?


No Caps

@74.198.9.x
Haha it's Fido, so it's the cheaper brand. I'm tethering from a Nokia dumbphone, so it's technically not even a "data" addon. It's a "mobile browsing" addon. I got the unlimited browsing addon around 3 years ago.

randomzero

join:2010-03-25
reply to No Caps
So basically you're connecting to the internet using 2g because you have an unlimited mobile internet data plan, which doesn't work on any smartphone.

Way to cheat the system..


No Caps

@74.198.9.x
I'm actually connected via 3G, since most Nokia devices (mine included) support 3G. During off peak hours, you usually get around 3.1 Mb/s down. During peak hours, more like 1.5 Mb/s. This is ideal for anyone who has an unlimited mobile browsing addon on any 3G device. Unlimited data accounts may function differently, but I don't think it's likely.


elwoodblues
Elwood Blues
Premium
join:2006-08-30
Somewhere in
kudos:2
Reviews:
·VMedia
said by No Caps :

I'm actually connected via 3G, since most Nokia devices (mine included) support 3G. During off peak hours, you usually get around 3.1 Mb/s down. During peak hours, more like 1.5 Mb/s. This is ideal for anyone who has an unlimited mobile browsing addon on any 3G device. Unlimited data accounts may function differently, but I don't think it's likely.

Dem days is gone, unless I misread the Fido site .
--
No, I didn't. Honest... I ran out of gas. I... I had a flat tire. I didn't have enough money for cab fare. My tux didn't come back from the cleaners. An old friend came in from out of town. Someone stole my car. There was an earthquake.......


No Caps

@74.198.9.x
reply to randomzero
Even though Fido doesn't offer the unlimited browsing addon any longer, they still offer the $1 per 24 hours of unlimited mobile browsing.

If you have a 3G device, get the addon for 24 hours, and you can tether at roughly an average of just over 2 Mb/s for 24 hours.

You could do around 20 GB of data transfer for a dollar.

randomzero

join:2010-03-25
reply to No Caps
Having a 3g enabled device doesn't necessarily mean you're able to connect to 3g, and download speed isn't really an indicator as to what network you're connecting to.


No Caps

@74.198.9.x
The Nokia C6's home icon changes based on what network you're connected to. It is either 3.5G, 3G, 2G, EDGE, or X for no signal.

I can assure you that when I am tethering, the phone is connected to the 3G network. I'm not sure which 2G network you know of that allows data transfer at over 3 Mb/s.

randomzero

join:2010-03-25
reply to No Caps
Just saying, is all. A lot of people argue about data saying "My friend pays $10 for unlimited data, why do I have to pay twice that for a cap?!" when in fact, their friend has "mobile internet".


No Caps

@74.198.9.x
The $10 mobile internet is just as good as data when you're tethering, as long as your phone connects to your operators 3G network (which in most cases, if not all, it does so long as the phone is sold by your operator to you for use on their network).

That is the whole point of this thread -- to show that mobile browsing can be used for tethering without consequence at 3G speeds.

randomzero

join:2010-03-25
reply to No Caps
Some carriers do throttle after 5gb's though. Rogers/Fido appear to not be one of those, though.


Arthur Winsl

@rogers.com
reply to No Caps
Way to go dude, I'm sure everyone who has this is going to be happy you're bringing it to the public's attention. I won't be surprised if this gets fixed now.

freejazz_RdJ

join:2009-03-10
kudos:1
said by Arthur Winsl :

Way to go dude, I'm sure everyone who has this is going to be happy you're bringing it to the public's attention. I won't be surprised if this gets fixed now.

Exactly. Hasn't been a perfect secret but once it reaches a certain scale, you can bet someone will try and fix the revenue leakage.


Arthur Winsl

@rogers.com
Yup. I know about this too and am on the same plan. I won't use more than 30-40mb to stay safe and I see this idiot using over 8gb, he's just asking for it.

It only takes 1 person to ruin it for everyone else.


elwoodblues
Elwood Blues
Premium
join:2006-08-30
Somewhere in
kudos:2
reply to No Caps
Hold on a second, for the entire month of December, you made no phone calls, just used Data?


Paolo
Mr. Wireless

join:2004-05-29
canada
if the op continues this, he will get flagged. first of all, the system may only check it if it it becomes excesive and yes the system CAN determine if you are using a phone or your tethering. its called user agent string id. when you tether, you change this, to the one on your browser, so its recorded in the systems logs, that way if they have to back charge you, they can easily go back and see how much GB you downloaded and will send you a surprise bill, dont say we didnt warn you
--
Happiness is like peeing your pants... Everyone can see it, but only you can feel its Warmth!!


No Caps

@rogers.com
To clear up some confusion -- the portion of the bill I took a screenshot of only displays minutes, text, and data usage. Since all three are included in my plan, the additional cost is $0 over the plan rate (which is why it displays zeroes). I pay $32 + tax before any overages.

While I have tested my device to make sure tethering works using the Nokia drivers, this is not the way I utilize the connection on my PC.

In fact, I don't "tether" at all during my regular use (I do this every day, almost use it as my exclusive access to the internet since my job is as such, and I barely use the internet at home).

I run a Symbian application called JoikuSpot on my device. It turns the phone into a wireless router, which any wifi enabled device can connect to. All of the data is channeled to the phone before it is routed via wifi to the appropriate client device.

I don't know the technical details of whether or not Fido can detect that my mobile phone is serving me as a router. However what I do know, is that I will not be receiving any surprise bill of any kind. The worst they can do is terminate my contract.

I've been above the 5 GB mark for months now, and have been since before I renewed my contract. When I renewed my contract, I even let the guy on the other end know I would be tethering the unlimited browsing addon to my PC, since he tried to sell me an Android phone specifically on that feature (but of course, I would have to give up my unlimited plan, and it would bring my monthly cost up by another $20).

He said it wasn't possible, so I told him to check the usage stats, and he believed it was possible after that.

The point being, I've made Fido employee after Fido employee aware of how they are ripping off data customers. So far, I have not noticed any clamping down of any kind, and was even able to renew my contract and grandfather myself in to the unlimited browsing plan after it was discontinued.

To be safe, I would advise others to use a similar method for making Fido think you are using all the data on your mobile device itself. I doubt they can know the device is routing data to client devices.

I really think you guys are giving Fido employees too much credit. Honestly, the reaction I mostly get from them when I tell them of this little discovery is "Wow, that's cool! I'm going to tell other customers they can do that."

randomzero

join:2010-03-25
reply to No Caps
It's not the front line people you worry about. They couldn't give two shits what you do with your service.

It's the back-end people that actually monitor this sort of thing that you'll never speak to or hear from.

I remember this "glitch" on the network that allowed people with just Blackberry social networking to access the internet like anyone else. Lots of complaints when that was fixed..


Paolo
Mr. Wireless

join:2004-05-29
canada
The "unlimited" on device surfing plans was created because the phones at the time were literally impossible to consume large ammounts of data. now that phones are getting more and more data rich, the most fido can ever do is now put limits on the unlimited data plan, which they have already capped to 100mb for NEW customers. The next thing they can do is migrate people with the UNLIMITED on device browsing plans to the metered plans, and the third they can do, which is most likely, is remove your phone from the list of devices eligible for the unlimited on-device browsing, so keep abusing away at it, while it lasts.
--
Happiness is like peeing your pants... Everyone can see it, but only you can feel its Warmth!!


Paolo
Mr. Wireless

join:2004-05-29
canada
hmm, strangely the guy stopped posting after i posted the above? co-incidence? i think his hart panicking after he found out he can be back charged or screwed it for everyone else so ma ybe that y he hiding? hellu u there mr?
--
Happiness is like peeing your pants... Everyone can see it, but only you can feel its Warmth!!


No Caps

@rogers.com
To what would you like me to respond that requires near instantaneous addressing?

I've already stated my viewpoint that Fido doesn't care about this. The number of users on non-smartphones with unlimited browsing is miniscule. The number of people savvy enough to figure put how to tether a non-smartphone using the phones modem drivers is even smaller. The amount of bandwidth being used by these customers is likely so small, tracking metrics probably do not even regster it.

Finally, if I figured out how to benefit from something, then I'm going to share it, especially of out won't cost me anything. Never has a company in Canada even tried to sue someone for back charges pertaining to data usage on a plan advertised as unlimited use. Consumer protection laws prevent that kind of thing from happening.

They're within their right to terminate my service and fix the hole (if it can be fixed -- my readings have led me to believe most major networks in North America don't differentiate regular data from tethered data on non-smartphones.

If Fido calls me to talk about my usage, rest assured, you will be the first to know. Til then, go back to your spot under the bridge.

Any questions regarding how this is done and what dialling settings to use, feel free to ask.


potato

@wind.ca
reply to No Caps
As far as I know mobops can't really differentiate normal usage from tethering on smartphones either. If you tether on Android you automatically use the same APN as your phone uses. If you tether on BlackBerry you can set your own APN etc. How is the latency on your connection?


elwoodblues
Elwood Blues
Premium
join:2006-08-30
Somewhere in
kudos:2
reply to No Caps
It's not a matter of the amount of people doing this, it's how can they monetize it.

Personally it;s of no concern to me, I find that even with tethering, I rarely go over 4gb a month (and I'm not doing torrents or Usenet while tethering).


BliZZardX
Premium
join:2002-08-18
Toronto, ON
reply to No Caps
IMO if they were serious about monetizing tethering they would do what T-Mobile does. Ban any "user agent string" that doesn't match a known mobile browser/operating system. Obviously any savvy customer can work around that by spoofing their user agent to something like "Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_0 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.5 Mobile/8A293 Safari/6531.22.7". If they are trying to fight a technically savvy customer there is nothing they can do to win except terminate their contract. Termination isn't usually considered unless you are using obscene amounts of data.


No Caps

@rogers.com
reply to potato
It's about 200 ms to the first hop, which is why bittorrent doesn't really work on it. BT used to work quite well about a year ago (above 200 KB/s), so I'm assuming latency has gotten worse since then. Zero packet loss however means that HTTP and FTP downloads are safe.


Paolo
Mr. Wireless

join:2004-05-29
canada
The reason fido wont see it as tethering, is because tethering requires you to "DIAL" into the connection as a dialup connection dialing a special syntax.

The program you are using on your phone is simply "transferring" the data that your phone loads on its internal browser into a browser on your computer or laptop. All its doing is using an emulating an on-device surfing session but transferring the data back to HTML and loading it on another device, pretty simple concept if you ask me, the only thing fido will see is your using a different browser to access the data, and its still going through the Wap.fido.ca access point.

In my opinion its not really tethering, you may have some ports blocked so u may not be able to use certain applications with this method such as email or irc or even messaging programs.

So instead of you thinking your cheating them, your actually not, your using the unlimited surfing, on device, the data transaction is still being emulated by your device which is what your plan allows. and you will never be able to use other phones such as iPhone or blackberry or Google Android, so we know there is limitations to this setup that you speak so highly of. Well have fun before they cap it to 100mb max
--
Happiness is like peeing your pants... Everyone can see it, but only you can feel its Warmth!!


No Caps

@74.198.9.x
AFAIK, JoikuSpot doesn't load anything on the phones native browser. The application runs in the background and behaves like a NAT router. It runs a DHCP server to assign every device connected to it a valid IP.

I'm not certain why you're trying to discredit this method. Since it behaves like a NAT router, all incoming ports except the common ones are blocked by default, and I assume outbound ports are blocked as well. The application doesn't have any way of port forwarding, unfortunately.

In any case, connecting client device to phone via USB eradicates this issue, but it requires you to dial in. From personal experience, I've used over 5 GB in a billing period through that method without problems (when I was using a different phone that did not support the JoikuSpot application), so dialing in doesn't seem to be an issue.

Like I said, if there are any problems or any caps put on my account, I'll let you know before anyone else. I appreciate the warnings about back charges and caps, but if you have nothing to add to the discussion except warnings of impending doom, then please stop posting.


Paolo
Mr. Wireless

join:2004-05-29
canada
i know how it works, im not dumb, I explained to you how it works, its NOT tethering, it will appear as a browsing session on your device on the CDR records. but your user agent is being transmitted to us so we know about that too
--
Happiness is like peeing your pants... Everyone can see it, but only you can feel its Warmth!!


No Caps

@bell.ca
And once again, tethering with a USB cable works just as well over the 5 GB mark. The point you seem to be missing is that as of now, north american carriers don't care about tethering, even if they have means of knowing it's happening. And they don't seem to be showing any indication of concern in the future. It could change, but we don't need you telling us that.. it goes without saying.