A few months ago AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon all started blocking wireless tethering apps in the Android Market, making them unavailable for download on their respective devices. At that time, Sprint was the only carrier still allowing tethering apps to be installed without limitation -- but that time has come to an end. That's right, the Now Network has begun blocking the installation of wireless tethering apps from the Market on any device attached to its network.

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While this is disheartening indeed, there is always a workaround. Sprint may be able to block specific apps in the Android Market, but it can't stop you from pulling an app directly from the web and sideloading it onto your device. So, if you still need to tether, go head and hit this link, install the app, eat, drink, and be merry. It's not so bad after all.

[Thanks, BigRickz10 and Anon!]

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • Zac

    I think Sprint is going to turn into an Apple Fanboy. Perhaps I'm going to stay on Verizon because they seem to be the only ones not reliant at all on the iPhone. First they complain about how Android uses more data(obviously) than iOS and now this?

  • Eric

    So much for Sprint being the one wireless network that doesn't restrict your data usage. Anyone else seen that commercial running recently?

  • Lanhoj

    Do tethering Apps get blocked on the Amazon Appstore for Android as well?

  • Me

    Idk I'm on T-Mobile and none of those apps are blocked for me....

    • Me

      Edited:note to self: never drink heavily and post comments ;)

  • Marshall

    And then there is always rooting and having it built into the is. Cyanogen Mod anybody?

  • Ryan S

    Yeah you CAN override it but its a sign of things to come. They will probably soon block the traffic like other carriers do, so if you use wireless tethering it sends you to a page to buy the plan.
    Unfortunately I rely on this service and I can get a structure where Verizon is the same price but has a vastly superior "4g" network to support it so if I am going to have to spend the extra money I might as well have LTE.

    Now they just need to hurry up and get the Nexus out so I have a phone to switch to.

  • hkman

    I had that problem in the Android Market about 2 weeks ago, so I went to Amazon at the time and downloaded the apps from there! Not sure if that still works now.

  • http://www.givemeapps.com Wayne

    These carriers just don't get it! Android is open sourced. Therefore it NEEDS TO BE OPENED! Don't they realize instead of receiving all that money for crapware, if they would allow their devices to be opened, they would in return sell more devices, which in return equals more money than CRAPWARE!!

    • Otto Khil

      Does open mean you can tether without paying the carrier for the data you are using on their network?

      • http://www.widgetslab.com/ deralaand

        The data is capped (except Sprint) so whether you use it on your phone or a larger screen, what difference should it make?

      • Don

        Like the "unlimited data" we pay for? the only difference is the screen size...well unless you dont have an HD phone...

  • Genjinaro

    Well this will stop Rooting newcomers, most of us go straight to the site to grab the .apk.

  • Roger

    I'm ready for nationwide wi-fi so tethering and the rip off artists known as cell providers in general will become a moot point. Infact, I'd pay a net tax to have it implemented. Much like we do now for roads, schools, etc.

    • steve

      that would be a great idea. everybody needs internet these days but not every1 can afford the extra $40-100 a month. the only problem i can see is wi-fi doesnt travel more the 500 feet. so they would need alot of transmitters, unless they could use the idea of wi-max that travels up to 30 miles, but wi-max is more expensive then wi-fi. thats the only problem i see, but good idea roger. maybe they could have satellites transmit the signal lol

    • boe

      Yes, because anything run by the government will save us all money! They can build the wifi tower with $200 hammers and the workers can use government toilet seats in the portapotties that only cost $400.


  • http://www.slipshft.com Slipshft

    Then they will start sending out the termination letters to those who tether without paying... will they never learn?

  • Taskman

    You can't tether.. Soon you can't even use the mobile to surf at all.

    They are blocking stuff they should not have the right to do..

    If I want to tether it should not be a carrier that decides this.. I have a certain amount of data on my plan.. How I use it is not my carriers problem.

    I'm glad we do not have this here though I don't think it is legal to block it here either.

  • steve

    I download the file from android tether's website like the article stated. it installed perfectly but it won't connect to my labtop, so i just download "open wifi garden tether" from the market and that works perfectly....so does any1 know how to get "android wifi tether" to work/connect?

    • Genjinaro

      If you have an HTC phone: Enable HTC Routing fix & MSS Clamping.

      • steve

        can you please explain how i do that? i have an htc evo, thanks!

        • steve

          ok i figured it out how to enable it and its still not connecting to the internet on my laptop...hmmm

  • mark

    i hate it when companies get greedy. this act of censorship does not conform to what google android stands for.

    companoes like this should NEVER BE PATRONIZED.

    • Tiger

      Oh noes they're greedy! Well, of course they are. They're a business, their objective is to make money.

      Besides, how is this 'censorship'? Android is open, open to carriers and end users alike. Besides, the Market where these apps are hosted is proprietary.

    • Nocturnhabeo

      this censorship in the same way taking a peace of cardboard and sticking it in front of someones TV is... not very effective

  • http://dubqnp.dk dubqnp

    so. whats the alternative? - do you have to follow what the tele-industry tells you?

    is this legal? and why?

  • waazzupppp

    Seriously, tethering I'd not a part of "open source", it is about impacting network conditions and trying to keep their "unlimited" plans as long as possible. Android fans are quick to point the blame at the iPhone, but Android officially passed the iPhone as the largest data consuming OS. The torrent users and people that replaced their home internet with a rooted Evo are to blame, not the iPhone users.

    Sprint has held out longer than anyone, sans T-Mobile who will cut your speed after your paid allotment, and is desperately trying to keep their value but it probably won't make it much longer. They continue to lose money, raise prices and cut services. Sounds like their prepaid partners are the way to go now...

    • Scott

      As much as it pains me to say this, I think you're right. As a diehard Android fan and Apple basher, I don't see the sense of entitlement from iPhone users that I do from from Android users. Yes, Android is open source, but that allows the providers to do whatever they want with it.

      Whether we have the right to tether (via means other than paying for it) is moot, as it's against the TOS on any contract. Those who do abuse it are the ones who cry the loudest and ignore the fact that they're the problem, not the provider.

      • Tim

        That's because apple fanboys are tools/sheep and never question what they are told. They have no sense of entitlement because they are used to being told what they can have and that's that. Also we all know for a lot of people holding that iphone is purely a status symbol and they'll never question their purchase because to do so would lose some of its luster, they do not want to feel that they paid a premium for a #2 device so you have to practice blind faith.

        Most advanced android users probably come from Windows environments, and while the OS is not open source the environment provides limitless possibilities. there have been great free programs,games,mods, themes, etc for years - and android follows in those footsteps; if you have the know how to do something you can do it.

        Now for the immature users this does create a sense of entitlement, they want everything free and now, which im not defending just giving the reason why.

        as for the hate over tethering its about punishing the 95% because the 5% go overboard. They want to complain about heavy users who use absurd amounts of data but instead of throttling them to horrible speeds (which i would be all for) they want to cap everyone at 2gb. These heavy users are probably going 100gb+ (easy) if they are replacing their home connections. They should offer about 25Gb caps and i think everyone would be mostly happy since they like to claim most people use under 2 anyway and 25gb is not enough for heavy data home users to abandon their home ISP but it still lets mobile users who enjoy streaming radio/netflix, or a multitude of other streaming services, have a reasonable amount of bandwidth to burn every month.

        • http://atechstory.com atechstory

          Why so angry?

          Also, way to generalize. And be wrong. Loudly.

          Ever think that someone doesn't question, not because they are sheep, but because what they are using works for them? We have to stop with this idea that we are better than others just because we tinker and toy with our electronics, or because we possess a little more knowledge than the next guy.

          It's posts like this that give people the impression that Android users are pretentious self-entitled geeks.

          Not saying you are. :) Just explaining how it comes across.

          • Samus Arin

            Face it, hipsters are idiots with money.

      • http://www.widgetslab.com/ deralaand

        " as it's against the TOS on any contract"

        Are these the same TOS that keep changing in the middle of the Two Years?

        Things like redefining 'unlimited' , stealing earned upgrades and restricting access to certain apps are where the 'entitlement' attitude comes from. And I wouldn't necessarily define it as 'entitlement' so much as 'I keep feeling like I am getting screwed somehow' attitude.
        iPhone users...yeah. They didn't care about choice when they settled on the iPhone and for the most part, they don't care when an app goes missing. Because Apple has my best interest in mind!

  • fins1771

    Lol. The Rom I use has the Sprint hotspot unlocked and a tether built in. I can use either of them and they work fine. Who needs the appstore if you have a great Rom.

  • GraveUypo

    pretty stupid if you ask me.

  • http://atechstory.com atechstory

    Well...you sign the contract and you pay the cost. If you don't like the way your carrier does business then don't sign the contract. Use contract-free prepaid if you must. Use Skype. Vote with your wallet.

    People try to circumvent the system, the people in power try to stop them. It's always been this way. Apply that to phones, computers, whatever. Sprint does have a right to control its revenue stream whether we like it or not. When you sign that 2 year deal, you sign off on their ability to do that.

    It's not even about punishing the 95%, because your average person doesn't know or give a damn what tethering is. Your average user will simply pay for the hotspot feature just because it's easier that way.

    • Rayisprince

      you and idiot...

  • http://www.3for.tv 3for.tv

    This, and the death of sprint premier, is making me question the necessity of renewing my contract.

  • http://www.leperkhanz.com rhY

    I was just about to switch to Sprint, too. Bad move Sprint.

  • http://unlockworldwide.com John UWW

    Sprint is going to loose a lot a business this way. They might have gotten the iphone, but it was all the niche differentiators like tethering that drew customers their way.

  • Tee

    So the carrier has some kind of dictatorship status in the US? Strange indeed from a European point of view.

    Have they given any reason for the ban? Potentially lost customers perhaps..? Still, silly.

  • http://www.widgetslab.com/ deralaand

    I think it ultimately boils down to the fact that we people keep getting squeezed financially. So we get pretty hotted up when what we view as a good freebie...gets taken away because someone thinks they can make another buck off of us.
    Those 'bucks' are rapidly running out.

  • Mr-X

    Great insight to tethering here. Although I have not used tethering I do have some input is it relates to SPRINTS blocking of tablets using WiFi.
    I have SPRINT as my cell phone service provider, and I pay for both of my tablets service.
    While I'm connected to WiFi, on my Samsung Galaxy Tab 3, and I attempt to connect to "ANY" HTTPS I receive a message "This webpage is not available". I then turn off my WiFi connection and my tablet uses 3G or 4G to connect and I'm able to go to any web site. Blocking use just because I'm using WiFi and forcing me to use DATA time - WOW!