By Brandon Miniman | May 1, 2011 12:32 PM
In Android, there are several different ways to tether, both officially (through an app that comes on the device for which you must pay to use), and unofficially (on unlocked and rooted devices). The carriers obviously want you to pay a monthly tethering fee, which often comes in at around $20 for 2GB. For years, this has been protested by some subscribers who contend that since they’re already paying for a data plan, it should be up to them, and not the carrier, to determine how the data is used.
Many recent smartphones come with a carrier-sanctioned Mobile Hotspot app that only works if you’ve paid that extra fee to add tethering to your data plan. If your device is unlocked or rooted, you can use the built-in tethering function found in Android 2.2 and 2.3 settings. More commonly, rooted users use the free Wireless Tether app for Android, which does a great job at sharing your device’s connection with a variety of devices.
The days of the Wireless Tether app might over, though. Carriers have begun blocking the app, even if you’re rooted. We’ve checked for the app on a Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint device, and it’s not available on the former two. However, on an unlocked Sony Ericsson device without a SIM card, the app is available. After inserting an AT&T SIM card into the phone, the app disappears.