Hotspot on Straight Talk with Nexus 5

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Hotspot on Straight Talk with Nexus 5

Postposted on Fri Jul 11, 2014 8:43 am

So, as the subject suggests, I want to get wireless hotspot working on my Nexus 5 that runs on AT&T through Straight Talk. I've tried FoxFi, but that didn't work (maybe because I tried to hotspot, had Straight Talk shut it down, then tried Fox Fi only after). I'm willing to load a ROM to do this, but haven't been able to find one that lists "unreported hotspot/tethering" as a feature.

Any ideas?
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Re: Hotspot on Straight Talk with Nexus 5

Postposted on Fri Jul 11, 2014 8:59 am

Nexus phones should not be modded by the carrier. Does the stock hotspotting feature not work?
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Re: Hotspot on Straight Talk with Nexus 5

Postposted on Fri Jul 11, 2014 9:13 am

Flying Fox wrote:Nexus phones should not be modded by the carrier. Does the stock hotspotting feature not work?


No, but that's not surprising since Straight Talk doesn't want users hotspotting or tethering.
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Re: Hotspot on Straight Talk with Nexus 5

Postposted on Fri Jul 11, 2014 9:44 am

I have a stock Nexus 5 purchased directly from Google play and use Koodo mobile (Telus network) in Canada. Tethering works fine.

I recently traveled to Denmark, bought a pay-as-you go SIM with 2gb, and tethered my wife's iPhone the whole time we were there without problems.

Surprised you're having problems with this, but I have heard of some US carriers not supporting Nexus phones because they don't like to give people the freedom that an unlocked device can offer.... But this could just be unreliable bollocks read on a forum.
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Re: Hotspot on Straight Talk with Nexus 5

Postposted on Fri Jul 11, 2014 10:03 am

Straight Talk wants me using as little data as possible seeing as they rent their space from AT&T, so it makes sense they'd stop tethering and hotspotting. I'm just trying to figure out if anyone here has gotten around that successfully.

Back when I was on Verizon, before they started to allow hotspotting, I got around it by using a ROM that had unreported tethering. I'm hoping that someone knows about one for a Nexus 5 so I can just use that.
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Re: Hotspot on Straight Talk with Nexus 5

Postposted on Fri Jul 11, 2014 10:13 am

southrncomfortjm wrote:Straight Talk wants me using as little data as possible seeing as they rent their space from AT&T, so it makes sense they'd stop tethering and hotspotting.


Sure. But how do they stop tethering? Maybe there is something in the technology that I am not aware of. I would assume that tethered data looks the same as data coming directly from the phone.
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Re: Hotspot on Straight Talk with Nexus 5

Postposted on Fri Jul 11, 2014 10:17 am

It could look the same, but carriers put requirements on the phone manufacturers to let them differentiate between tethered data and phone data.
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Re: Hotspot on Straight Talk with Nexus 5

Postposted on Fri Jul 11, 2014 10:21 am

LASR wrote:Sure. But how do they stop tethering? Maybe there is something in the technology that I am not aware of. I would assume that tethered data looks the same as data coming directly from the phone.

Nope. On Verizon with Droids I had to go into the bowels of the software radio settings which were different based on the source of the data flow, which is how Verizon could block it. Before custom ROMs fixed this you had to use a very scary looking piece of Motorola tech software and if you goofed on one hex character you ran the risk of bricking the phone with no hope of recovery. Nothing like live-editing code on a running OS to make one nervous.
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Re: Hotspot on Straight Talk with Nexus 5

Postposted on Fri Jul 11, 2014 10:24 am

Forget "roms", just flash the stock Google image back on there. Problem solved.
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Re: Hotspot on Straight Talk with Nexus 5

Postposted on Fri Jul 11, 2014 10:27 am

Forge wrote:Forget "roms", just flash the stock Google image back on there. Problem solved.


I am running stock straight from Google.
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Re: Hotspot on Straight Talk with Nexus 5

Postposted on Fri Jul 11, 2014 11:08 am

southrncomfortjm wrote:
Forge wrote:Forget "roms", just flash the stock Google image back on there. Problem solved.


I am running stock straight from Google.

Do you even see the tethering options from Settings?
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Re: Hotspot on Straight Talk with Nexus 5

Postposted on Fri Jul 11, 2014 11:18 am

Yes, but when I hit it, it says error. It worked the first time I tried it, but then stopped.
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Re: Hotspot on Straight Talk with Nexus 5

Postposted on Fri Jul 11, 2014 11:29 am

southrncomfortjm wrote:Yes, but when I hit it, it says error. It worked the first time I tried it, but then stopped.


Seriously, all it says is "error"?
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Re: Hotspot on Straight Talk with Nexus 5

Postposted on Fri Jul 11, 2014 12:03 pm

slowriot wrote:
southrncomfortjm wrote:Yes, but when I hit it, it says error. It worked the first time I tried it, but then stopped.


Seriously, all it says is "error"?

Stopped as in the option gets disabled or what? How about after a reboot?
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Re: Hotspot on Straight Talk with Nexus 5

Postposted on Fri Jul 11, 2014 12:13 pm

Ok, some basic background. If you're running stock Google image, tethering is handled in two parts. One part, your phone flips the wifi device from client to server/AP and turns it on using settings you've provided or defaults, and links the wifi to the 3G/LTE. That part is under Google's control or your control. The second part happens at your carrier, where the traffic is received and the internet flows back and forth.

If your carrier blocked tethering on your device, the second part would not work. On T-Mobile, if I use tethering without permission/payment, I get a walled garden page after a while asking me to pay. On some carriers, it might not work at all.

Your error is happening entirely in the first part, though. You're getting the error message before the Wifi shows up as an AP, and you're never even getting to the part where pages are requested.

Did you purchase your phone from ST? If so, I wouldn't trust that it's completely stock Google image. They likely tampered with it. On my T-Mobile S2, the stock rom has an app that specifically checks to see if I'm paying the tethering charge, and blocks the tethering option if not. That's literally the only thing one app did. Disable that app, and tethering worked great. Now I'm on a nice third party distribution and no longer have to play any games.

So in short, TL; DR - If you're toggling tethering and immediately getting an unclear error message, someone who isn't you is doing something on your phone to block it. That's not a carrier block via radio, that's software tampering.
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Re: Hotspot on Straight Talk with Nexus 5

Postposted on Fri Jul 11, 2014 2:24 pm

Forge wrote:So in short, TL; DR - If you're toggling tethering and immediately getting an unclear error message, someone who isn't you is doing something on your phone to block it. That's not a carrier block via radio, that's software tampering.


Except if it's carrier-side...
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Re: Hotspot on Straight Talk with Nexus 5

Postposted on Fri Jul 11, 2014 2:57 pm

StuffMaster wrote:
Forge wrote:So in short, TL; DR - If you're toggling tethering and immediately getting an unclear error message, someone who isn't you is doing something on your phone to block it. That's not a carrier block via radio, that's software tampering.


Except if it's carrier-side...

The error is not carrier side. Forge handled that in his description
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Re: Hotspot on Straight Talk with Nexus 5

Postposted on Fri Jul 11, 2014 2:58 pm

I have a Nexus 4 on tmobile. I was able to get around their tethering limitations after I moved into a new house without internet by using a Chrome extension to change my browsers user:agent to appear as a mobile browser.
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Re: Hotspot on Straight Talk with Nexus 5

Postposted on Fri Jul 11, 2014 3:42 pm

StuffMaster wrote:Except if it's carrier-side...

If it was carrier-side it'd send him to the walled garden and ask him to authorize an additional monthly bill for the "privilege" of tethering. A straight fail on app launch implies altered or broken software.
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Re: Hotspot on Straight Talk with Nexus 5

Postposted on Fri Jul 11, 2014 5:10 pm

Straight talk isn't a traditional carrier, so they are handling this a bit differently. There is no setup where they allow tethering, so there's no walled garden I could go to.

The phone was purchased from T-Mobile, but was carrier unlocked, then bootloader unlocked and rooted and has since been wiped a few times, and has since been returned to stock android and received the latest system update straight from Google.

Based on Forge's description, it seems like ST altered my phone somehow. Going to get around to wiping the phone, loading Fox Fi and seeing what happens. If ST never detects the tethering, then it may never get the chance to alter my phone. Thanks for the great explanation.

Overall, 3GB of LTE data on AT&T's network for $45 is a really sweet deal, except for this one limitation.
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Re: Hotspot on Straight Talk with Nexus 5

Postposted on Fri Jul 11, 2014 5:17 pm

southrncomfortjm wrote:Based on Forge's description, it seems like ST altered my phone somehow. Going to get around to wiping the phone, loading Fox Fi and seeing what happens. If ST never detects the tethering, then it may never get the chance to alter my phone. Thanks for the great explanation.

Rooting will help there (I think) in that you should be able to block carrier OTA updates. They're not supposed to do this to Nexus devices (part of the reason Verizon won't sell them or let them on the network; the transmission band issue is easily fixed), but they might have rolled the dice and done it anyways.
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Re: Hotspot on Straight Talk with Nexus 5

Postposted on Fri Jul 11, 2014 6:02 pm

Captain Ned wrote:
southrncomfortjm wrote:Based on Forge's description, it seems like ST altered my phone somehow. Going to get around to wiping the phone, loading Fox Fi and seeing what happens. If ST never detects the tethering, then it may never get the chance to alter my phone. Thanks for the great explanation.

Rooting will help there (I think) in that you should be able to block carrier OTA updates. They're not supposed to do this to Nexus devices (part of the reason Verizon won't sell them or let them on the network; the transmission band issue is easily fixed), but they might have rolled the dice and done it anyways.

Yes, but definition Nexus phones are required by Google to be untouched by anyone other than stock ROMs.

Since the bootloader is unlocked though, all bets are off now.
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Re: Hotspot on Straight Talk with Nexus 5

Postposted on Fri Jul 11, 2014 6:12 pm

Flying Fox wrote:Yes, but definition Nexus phones are required by Google to be untouched by anyone other than stock ROMs.

Since the bootloader is unlocked though, all bets are off now.

Based on what I've read so far, Straight Talk and Google might soon be having an Adult Conversationtm.
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Re: Hotspot on Straight Talk with Nexus 5

Postposted on Fri Jul 11, 2014 8:52 pm

I'm just a somewhat-educated bystander, but based on my understanding of Android and Nexus, there is no way for Straight Talk to directly alter any of the software on your device, with some rather large and indistinct gotchas.

They certainly do not have any custom apps running to detect and block tethering activation.

What they may have are APN-based restrictions, and these are probably accidental. When a cell phone signs on with a network, and starts sending and receiving data, the carrier sends a bunch of configuration information, including APNs (named endpoints where cell phone data turns into internet traffic). Given that this phone is originally from T-Mo, and T-Mo uses dual APNs in their stock config (one for phone traffic, another for tethered devices), this may be part of things. In the ideal world, flashing stock images should have updated the radio with an unlocked version, and should have reset APNs to carrier default, but if this wasn't done, it'll still be trying T-Mo's default APNs (Straight Talk is an MVNO, or reseller, for both T-Mo and AT&T, and for a phone that was previously T-Mo, they will leave it on T-Mo only). If you're on T-Mo's network, using T-Mo's APNs, but you're on an MVNO that just plain NEVER resells tethering, it's entirely possible that your phone is trying to handshake with the tether APN and is failing. That usually takes a few seconds, but it fits the symptoms you're describing. It usually produces more useful error messages, though.

<<<For OP's use ONLY, NOT RECOMMENDED, VERY RISKY PROCEDURE:>>>

You can try this trick, which unlocks, modifies, then re-locks the APNs, this sends both phone traffic and tethered devices over the usual T-Mo phone data APN. IF YOU ARE CAUGHT ABUSING THIS, T-MOBILE WILL SEND YOU A NASTYGRAM AND BE DIFFICULT. THEY MAY EVEN END YOUR SERVICE AND REFUSE TO SERVICE YOU. Sorry for the all-caps, but this is Very Important.

http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthr ... ?t=1962752

<<<Again, DANGER, READ COMPLETELY, NOT RECOMMENDED.>>>

But yeah, Google don't care, ST isn't tampering with the on-phone software, they're most likely just innocently getting jammed up by T-Mo baseband/firmware/low level network info. Since you're basically trying to get a service that isn't advertised or sold to you, you're on your own, but you can try. Good luck.

Sources for above, in case anyone wants my bone fides: Owner of a Samsung SGH-T989 (Gal SII T-Mo edition) that has completely forgotten it's past life and doesn't really know what it is anymore, running a self-compiled build of AOSP, with Nexus bits Franken-built back on, with a mildly custom/haxx0red firmware/radio (Such hax, so confusion, many spoof! Wow!). I like to call it my Google Nexus SII. I'm no longer doing such low level hackery on my phone anymore, but I travelled pretty far down this rabbit hole.
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Re: Hotspot on Straight Talk with Nexus 5

Postposted on Sat Jul 12, 2014 7:40 am

Based on the latest post, this definitely appears to be an APN issue.

For clarification:
-I bought the phone from T-Mobile
-I went through the T-Mobile process and had the phone carrier unlocked.
-I switched carriers to AT&T, but I access AT&T through the MVNO called Straight Talk - I have an compatible SIM
-To get data and MMS to work on straight talk, I had to change the APN settings


Based on that, I think the APN restrictions are 100% on purpose - they don't want tethering or hotspotting.
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Re: Hotspot on Straight Talk with Nexus 5

Postposted on Sun Jul 13, 2014 1:17 pm

With that additional information, I'd say that's almost certainly the case. If you were dealing with AT&T directly, they would probably insist on an AT&T handset, to make things simple, but would provide full APN settings otherwise. Straight Talk doesn't even acknowledge that tethering is a thing, so they just avoid the whole mess by providing only basic APNs.
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Re: Hotspot on Straight Talk with Nexus 5

Postposted on Tue Jul 15, 2014 4:49 am

Tethering limitations just annoy the hell out of me; I've paid for 3GB of internet data this month, if you won't let me use it then I don't want to pay for it.
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Re: Hotspot on Straight Talk with Nexus 5

Postposted on Tue Jul 15, 2014 9:47 am

To be fair, or to play the devil's advocate, depending on POV, Straight Talk actually isn't doing anything to prevent tethering, and with a different phone (mine, for example), tethering would likely work fine. They just actively don't support it, which isn't really the same thing.
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Re: Hotspot on Straight Talk with Nexus 5

Postposted on Thu Oct 16, 2014 2:28 pm

I just registered to recommend an app called Wifi Tether router on the Play Store ( https://play.google.com/store/apps/deta ... uter&hl=en ). I have a Samsung Galaxy S4 zoom from AT&T and took it to Straight Talk and I rooted my phone, and tried all sorts of apps to bypass the tethering entitlement check, and none worked except for this. Well worth the 3 dollars. I have used it and checks out fine. I'd recommend keeping it down to 100 megs a day though, as it will flag Straight Talk, and if you are tethering your computer, download a plugin/extension for your browser called "user-agent" changer. Put it as an android browser, then turn on tethering and connect to it. If you don't, you will most definitely be flagged.
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