Disclaimer: Even though what I will be recommending in this blog post isn’t necessarily illegal, US Cellular might not appreciate it. I am writing this blog post just after completing the tasks mentioned in this blog post, so I have yet to hear how US Cellular feels about it, or if they even care at all. Also, androidjunkies.com is not responsible for anything that you might do to your phone while hacking.
The Inside Scoop
So here’s how this story begins. I has just traded in my Samsung Galaxy Mesmerize for a Samsung Galaxy S3. The Samsung Galaxy Mesmerize had a Wifi Hotspot app built in, and I could tether freely on my 5GB data plan without any complaints. Then, I got the Galaxy S3 and attempted to tether, all of a sudden I get a message (on the same day as previously tethering on my mesmerize) that I had to have a modem plan in order to use tethering. I tried a wide variety of apps and solutions, and there was no way to get around this.
Legal Nutballs, Close Your Eyes!
The only way you can tether with your Galaxy S3 on US Cellular that I know about is by rooting your device. I already know how to root my device from previous experiences, but I did need access to a file to do it with, I found one in this video. If you don’t know the process please do watch the video and follow ALL instructions. It’s very simple to do though, takes a couple of minutes and that’s all. Less if you have Google Fiber
But It’s Not That Easy
Once I had rooted the device, i wasn’t just all of a sudden able to tether freely. There is only one app I know of that will allow you to get past the strict US Cellular pay wall for tethering, and that’s Wifi Tether. It’s able to do this because it runs with superuser permissions, similar to administrative privileges on your Windows machine. All of the other Wifi tethering applications I know of run off of the regular un-elevated privileges.
I have heard only a few horror stories of people ending up getting charged for tethering when they tried to get past the paywall, but it was never after they had rooted the device. It should show up to US Cellular as just data usage, because it never turns on the tethering feature built into Android. Obviously, if you want to be extra protected, you would go with installing a custom ROM. I still can’t guarantee that US Cellular won’t find out, I can only use my best judgement