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What are all the different technical options that a carrier (i.e. T-mobile, Verizon, etc) has to prevent an Android device from sharing its cellular data connection with other machines over USB, Bluetooth, Wifi, etc?

What's the most commonly-used of these methods?

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closed as off topic by Izzy, t0mm13b, roxan, Flow Feb 13 '13 at 7:23

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The carriers look at the TTL field in the TCP/IP packet sent/from carrier's server...IIRC, that's how Koush (creator of ClockWorkMod Recovery) did it, by changing the TTL value to make it look a reasonable size, to get around the tethering block... – t0mm13b Feb 12 '13 at 21:04
Please note that your question falls into the section Android-independent phone questions, which is regarded off topic according to our FAQ. – Izzy Feb 13 '13 at 0:02

For the most part carriers use software and permissions restrictions to prevent users from sharing their Android phone's connection with other devices. With root a person can use a number of different apps to tether their phone to another device or create a WiFi hotspot. Different ROMs may even enable someone to use the built in tethering and hotspot features without any issue.

On the other end of the spectrum most carriers also look at the types of traffic that are coming across from your device and the user agent that is being used to conduct the internet traffic. I know that T-mobile after a short amount of usage will actually start forwarding your traffic to their hotspot plan webpage. Some hotspot apps disguise the user agent to try and prevent this.

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