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How can networks tell if you're tethering?

How do networks know your tethering and not just using data normally??

Most Useful Answer TheBoss00  Apr. 26, 2012 at 22:31

Well ok for a on topic answer to this question.

Your phone has wireless cards in them. These are referred to as interfaces. For example. Interfaces are WLAN0, WLAN1, WLAN2, WLAN3.

WLAN0,1,2 are what your phone connects to on a cell tower reason for three cards is different frequencies(800,1100,1400MHz are common cell freq for data the higher frequencies are used for what is known as 3g and 4g)

However some devices have WLAN3 in them which is capable of 2.4GHz allows you to connect to Access Points at your house aka Wifi. With this card you can also turn it into a Access Point that you can connect to and using NAT and Routing you can do what is known as Tethering. However the only legitiment way of them knowing you are tethering is by looking at your device and what is running on it, because you are behind a NAT and MAC filtering. So as far as your provider is concerned by just looking at a packet tracer or touch. Through Layer 2 or Layer 3 the traffic would look the same as if it was going to your phone not anything behind it.

So there you go. Sources I am a Network Administrator of a Wireless Internet Service Provider.

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18 comments

allan1954  Jul. 10, 2011 at 06:21

i have wondered that to i do not think they know unless you are downloading large files.

JanSt / MOD  Jul. 10, 2011 at 10:22

It depends on the networks, the APNs they use etc etc
Bottomline, the networks know what your phone had for breakfast. And if you google a lot they know what you will have for tea ;)

Thing is, should they care? No imho!
If BP sold petrol and then they block the nozzle of your lawnmower's fueltank cause it.s the wrong 'access point' cause it's car fuel and you need to pay double for gardening fuel, we'd all be up in arms..


The telecoms - especially the non-tax paying ones WINK - get away with stuff no other branch of industry would get away with. ld they care? No imho!
If BP sold petrol and then they block the nozzle of your lawnmower's fueltank cause it.s the wrong 'access point' cause it's car fuel and you need to pay double for gardening fuel, we'd all be up in arms..


The telecoms - especially the non-tax paying ones WINK - get away with stuff no other branch of industry would get away with.

princessrisi  Jul. 11, 2011 at 21:31

It may change the user agent id, and various other things they can track. iPhones and such supposedly report back which app you are using, so if you are using a tethering app they know that!
Most contacts say it is not allowed, but no one I know has ever been caught for it, unless they went crazy with the downloads, and then they just get their data allowance restricted.

pachy69  Jul. 14, 2011 at 15:14

JanSt, I don't know where you live but I live in sunny UK and we DO pay double for petrol for lawn mowers in fact we pay about 5 times more because our fuel has a road use tax applied to it.
About 80% of the price is a tax for using it as Road fuel so we should ALL be up in arms when using that in a lawn mower at £6 a gallon.

(JansT wrote; If BP sold petrol and then they block the nozzle of your lawnmower's fueltank cause it.s the wrong 'access point' cause it's car fuel and you need to pay double for gardening fuel, we'd all be up in arms..)

CTPAHHIK  Jul. 15, 2011 at 08:21

I think UK has the most tax schemes than any other country in the world. I never imagined that it's possible to come up with so many different taxes.

CTPAHHIK  Jul. 15, 2011 at 08:26

Browser, streaming ang tethering traffic looks different to provider, that's how they can tell a difference. There are apps that can hide thethering from provider and apps that hide phone type too.

JanSt / MOD  Jul. 15, 2011 at 08:51

peachy,
I wasn't aware off that. I don't live in the UK :p
why don't you just buy petrol and oil and mix it yourself? and what's the topic again?

pachy69  Jul. 15, 2011 at 10:55

JanSt/mud.
Answers, My lawnmower does not use oil mixed with petrol. It used straight petrol.
The topic is Tethering.

JanSt / MOD  Jul. 15, 2011 at 11:02

true

pachy69  Jul. 15, 2011 at 11:09

Orange UK internet use one APN for internet another one for MMS messaging & another seperate APN for Tethering called Consumer Broadband.
Its obvious that any data traffic through these shows as three seperate types of usage because while tethering you are also able to use internet independantly on phone.
Orange UK have no specific policy on Lawnmowers ;-)

pachy69  Jul. 15, 2011 at 11:19

CTPAHHIK, UK Tax system is more of a fun game than a serious thing, the polititians make the rules on tax & then if you watch the news you will see that by thier own personal behaviour they also teach us how not to pay tax !

JanSt / MOD  Jul. 15, 2011 at 11:22

amen to that

drv64  Jul. 15, 2011 at 12:04

JanSt you are obviously alluding to Vodafone and its supposed tax evasion when it bought Mannesmann the German telecom company. The allegations are a load of rubbish, if anyone bothers to look into them which you obviously havent- just jumping on the bandwagon. Vodafone is a rare British success story- its the largest mobile phone company in the world by revenue- and pays billions of pounds of tax a year. Leave them alone- criticise someone who deserves it.

pachy69  Jul. 15, 2011 at 12:14

Vodafone should seriously consider a prize draw each month to determine which customer gets a signal :-D

JanSt / MOD  Jul. 15, 2011 at 14:07

drv,
FUNNY how I didn't say 'Vodafone', but you did.
MY point was that telecoms do get away with a lot. They do.
Now back to tethering, folks :)

allan1954  Jul. 18, 2011 at 09:56

i think janst is from ireland if not janst correct me.

TheBoss00  Apr. 26, 2012 at 22:31

Well ok for a on topic answer to this question.

Your phone has wireless cards in them. These are referred to as interfaces. For example. Interfaces are WLAN0, WLAN1, WLAN2, WLAN3.

WLAN0,1,2 are what your phone connects to on a cell tower reason for three cards is different frequencies(800,1100,1400MHz are common cell freq for data the higher frequencies are used for what is known as 3g and 4g)

However some devices have WLAN3 in them which is capable of 2.4GHz allows you to connect to Access Points at your house aka Wifi. With this card you can also turn it into a Access Point that you can connect to and using NAT and Routing you can do what is known as Tethering. However the only legitiment way of them knowing you are tethering is by looking at your device and what is running on it, because you are behind a NAT and MAC filtering. So as far as your provider is concerned by just looking at a packet tracer or touch. Through Layer 2 or Layer 3 the traffic would look the same as if it was going to your phone not anything behind it.

So there you go. Sources I am a Network Administrator of a Wireless Internet Service Provider.

CTPAHHIK  Apr. 27, 2012 at 07:49

Use TTL on packets, it would be always -1 original value for each NAT/Switch your traffic goes through.

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