PdaNet updated to hide unauthorized tethering [Jailbreak]

PdaNet, the popular (and free) tethering app in Cydia, has been updated to mask unauthorized data tethering. This comes after carriers like AT&T have started cracking down on iPhone owners who use MyWi to tether without losing their unlimited data plan.

AT&T has been flagging any packets that appeared to come from a secondary device before sending out a notice to users. PdaNet prevents this by using a method of masking packets sent through the network so your carrier can't tell if the data is coming from a device other than your iPhone.

The app also includes features like USB tethering and basic Wi-Fi security in addition to controlling the broadcast channel and WiFi signal strength, just like MyWi. You can either use the free version, or upgrade to the full version for $15.95 (limited time deal, normally $29) to access secured websites.

Any readers out there using PdaNet? What do you think of it?

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Andrew Wray

Andrew Wray is a Salt Lake City, Utah based writer who focuses on news, how-tos, and jailbreak. Andrew also enjoys running, spending time with his daughter, and jamming out on his guitar. He works in a management position for Unisys Technical Services, a subsidiary of Unisys Corporation.

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PdaNet updated to hide unauthorized tethering [Jailbreak]


I downloaded the full version and it works very well but I had to go back to MyWi since my nook color couldn't pick up the PdaNet. It works great for my friend though since MyWi wouldn't connect with her gen 1 iPad.

People fail to realize that it's less packets from other devices, by means of tethering, and more data consumption in general that's causing AT&T to flag customers with these ridiculous messages.

That's a complete lie. I've used well over 12GB for the past few months and I haven't received anything from AT&T. I picked up MyWi's trial because we were not going to have Internet for 3 days and the day after I used MyWi I got dinged for tethering.
Learn your information before opening your mouth.

I've been using MyWi for several months, but only 150-200MB per month (much less than most people use with their device alone), and have never received a message from AT&T. If they weren't looking at data usage, I'd have been contacted by now.

I use approx 7gb a month but only 1gb on tether, just to download e-mails on the run, 15 minutes after downloading via e-mails via PDANET I got the text. Havent used it since but will upgrade now and start again.

Odds are strong that high usage throws up the initial red flag since that's the easiest thing to notice. After that they probably watch those flagged user for signs of tethering.

There is no guaranteed, to hide you by using tethering... But at&t they flag those hot and huge data usage specially for those have unlimited data plan for the following reason:

1. If you used too much data each month, AT&T will flag your account regardless of tether usage.
2. Your account is already flagged and marked as hot account.

Matthew, this is only a tech blog... no need for hostility. Second, I am speaking from experience. I was grandfathered with an unlimited iPhone data plan from the 1st gen iPhone. I too used incredible amounts of data, ranging from 5GB to 17GB, the entire time I've had my iPhone(s). It wasn't until 3 weeks ago that I received a message from AT&T saying that they were going to switch me to an appropriate tethering plan. Funny thing is – I’ve never tethered…. Moreover…. I’ve never Jailbroken my phone.

I'd agree to a certain extent, but remember that you can watch Netflix on your iPhone now. I've noticed data usuage of around 4gb on my phone just from watching a movie here and there. Maybe ATT is different, but no issues on Verizon.

I just spoke with a representative and she confirmed that they don't care about data usage, only the type of data usage. They are monitoring for the tethering data signature on accounts that don't pay for tethering. I hope MyWii comes out with a similar packet disguiser.

I has used it on a Moto Droid a while back, and was thrilled to find it on Cydia when I jailbroke my phone. It works great to connect to my iPad. Been using for a few weeks with no issues

I use MyWi and have not received any notifications from AT&T. I also have only gone over 2 gb in a month once since using it. I'm with those saying it's the amount of data usage that's triggering the notification. Also, it's been well over a couple of months since we heard people are receiving the notices. Has anyone actually been converted to a tethering plan against their will yet?

I'll let you know if it is MyWi in about a week. When stranded at the airport this weekend, I used MyWi on my iPhone to teather to my iPad. I then used my iPad to watch my DirecTV during the Osama news. I burned through 600MB in about 45 minutes.

How did you use direcTV to watch? The app that I have doesn't support watching live tv from iPad.

I got dinged by AT&T yesterday for the first time. The agent guaranteed that they did not use usage as a detection method and said he regularly uses >15gb per month without tethering. He also repeatedly said there are 240 people who have fought the accusation and AT&T was able to prove all 240 had tethered. I agreed not to tether in the future so as not to lose my unlimited plan. Not sure if this guy was full of it but thought I'd share my experience.

I don't doubt for one minute that they're flagging packets from other devices. But, maybe once they find them, they then look at that customer's data usage. Perhaps those who are tethering with well below normal usage are being left alone (maybe not). I've never used more than 200MB total per month in three years with any iPhone. If some of that is from my tethering, I don't see a problem when others are burning through 15GB with their mobile devices alone.
I guess time will tell.

yes, lipe, you are correct. in fact i have forwarded your comment to the CEO of AT&T and he said they will be shutting down operations first thing Monday morning.. Happy Now??

Putting your sarcasm aside, he has a point.
iPhone isn't exclusive anymore. If this ends up pissing off enough AT&T iPhone users that they move to Verizon, AT&T's policy will change.

What iOS is everybody on? I am jailbroken on 4.1 and tether my iPad to iPhone 4 with MyWi. No death threat so far.

I'm starting to think it has something to do with the firmware. I tether everyday on a JB 4.0.1 (MyWi) and haven't received any messages. I'm thinking something was implemented in a later firmware that allows AT&T to check tethering.

I have been using this new PDANET version with hide for a few weeks... but I still got the email and text from AT&T. I was even using the "Level 2" hide function. AT&T's method of detection appear better than the block. My typical usage was around 3Gb, so amount of data is not the primary gauge. There appears to be no option for just "a little" tethering.

Have you been in contact with the PDAnet developer? It would be interesting to hear their take on your report.
TIPB- it would expect the developer to withold info on their technology, but perhaps this report would be worthy of a followup interview with them. Have they made changes in recent days that would have pevented Clayman's problem?
Clay man- when was the last time you updated your PDAnet?

So this doesnt necessarily mean that it wont use the 2gb, meaning it WILL use the 2gb, but just not tell ATT that youre tethering right?
so its not like i can use all this data and it wont reflect my bill right?

Apple already doesnt like Jailbreaking and now apps are enabling jailbreakers to steal service from the carriers. This could elevate jailbreaking from an annoyance to something apple will be justified in shutting down.

How is it stealing service? My Mom is on the 3 GB plan for $30 dollars a month. She was tethering using MyWi and only was using 2.5 GB of her 3GB data cap. But she still got the text, and email from AT&T saying they were going to switch us to a tethering plan.
With that being said, how is it any different than putting say 3 Gallons of fuel in my car and Shell, or Exon, or BP telling me I can only drive a certain distance....DOES NOT MAKE SENSE!!! Its data that I have paid for, if i was abusing it by going over then charge me for the overage, but if I am staying within my limit of my 3 GB cap whats the freaking problem AT&T?????????!!!!

How is it theft? The service is paid for, what difference does it make what device was used to access the service. That'd be like the cable company charging you per TV in your house. If anything, multiple surcharges for the sane service is illegal. That said, AT&T does reserve the right per the user agreement to charge for enabling tethering. But really there is no legal backing to support their double tariff practices.

So if an all-you-can-eat buffet is already paid for, it doesn't make a difference whether you fill up a dish with food or fill up a wheel barrel with food?
Unlimited data for iPhone is intended for iPhone use only.

I think most people realize that those on the unlimited plan who are tethering (especially things like laptops) are abusing their contracts. However, it seems crazy to me that those on a metered plan, ie 2gb etc, would be forced to by ANOTHER 2gb, just to use tethering, regardless of how much they actually use. If I've bought 2gb of data, I should be able to use that however I like since I'll have to pay for overages regardless since it is not costing AT&T anymore. If I've bought unlimited iPhone data, it seems reasonable to require it be used on that device, since every byte I use reduces AT&T's profit.

I agree. I probably tether for ten minutes, a couple of times per month, just searching the web when I'm with clients. I haven't been contacted (yet), and I believe it is because I don't abuse it.
Why would AT&T want someone like me, who never even gets near 300MB per month, to switch to Verizon just for using a tethering app for 100MB a month?

I agree. If you are paying for 2gb you should be able to use it as you wish. Unlimited is a different story. Just my 2cents

I'm surprised no one has taken AT&T to court to challenge this crap. Come on, someone has to have more spare time and money than I do to handle this. lol


You cannot take ATT to court because your contract states that you will not use the ATT data plan for any service other than your phone. However, it is possible that some of us who were grandfathered in to unlimited data plans, never signed such a contract. In either case, the ATT contract also states that if ATT decides to increase or add services to your ATT monthly Bill, you will have the option of cancelling your account, without paying for the early termination fee, plus you can keep the phone. Its in your contract, read it.
I tether, I do not pay for tethering (I think ATT is the worst company in the world and would love the chance to switch wireless services). I use PDANET with the hide feature and have not had any issues. I use anywhere from 2GB to 8Gb per month.

We sign a contract for unlimited Data,text,and calls,now they are gonna cut I service speed down after 3G to try to weed the unlimited plan out cause they didn't think of how much DATA was gonna be used in time to come.Now it's costing them money for unlimited uses.We are the ones that AT&T are try(No they have already started) to make us pay for poor service(low speeds) that isn't what we sign a agreement (contract) We auh to be offered some kind of deal,are keep our agreement. We the 5% Can we sue for a greet price for just doing this to us?As long as we made our payment for service.there got to be some way we can make them pay,they are making us pay now.please comment.All of us can together can make something happen.

What's the difference btween filling up a wheel barrel with 20 plates and carrying 20 plates 2 at a time to my table? It's still 20 plates to me.
Im on VZ and feel ATT users' pain.

I pay for unlimited data, how is it stealing if I tether? Sure I'm using it on another device, but I pay for UNLIMITED DATA - that means without limit. So if I want to let my phone run netflix all day out to hundreds of gigs, that's ok but to use 2mb of tethering to check email is stealing? The very assertion is puerile and stupid. ATT are giant tools and I am sure will face class action soon.

Hey guys I know this sounds ridiculous but I actually use about 40gigs a month reason being that besides using my laptop for netflix, you tube, and among other things, I also connect my laptop to my Xbox and play a lot online so...I'm guessing for that my usage goes up high and yes I got my text of death from AT&T about 3 weeks ago...

I have used MyWi for about 1 year. Used 6g & got my tether death threat letter & text. Paid the 15.95 for pdanet. Does pdanet really block your tethering usage from sister AT&T's eyes? Has anyone tested it?

I got the text yesterday for the third time only this time I was being told that my account has now been "upgraded" to the data pro plan and to expect a change in my billing soon. Btw (iPhone 3GS/iOS 4.1/jailbroken/mywi/5-10gb-pr month) I called and told the lady I would have no choice but to drop my plan and she then went and checked my information( I had called and argued once before that I use alot of data just on my phone) then the lady comes back after checking and says she sees nowhere where my account has been changed and says text was prob sent to you because they figured you wanted to tether your phone. I say no and she says well the text was sent in mistake and to disregard it. Are some Att reps just thT niave or is it reAlly just fishing by Att? She also they would never change my plan without first consulting me. I'm at a loss. Seems more like a fishing expedition against hi bandwidth + grandfathered users. They wAnt you off that plan so bad cause 15$ more a month with a data cap is their new gold mine right now.

I have been using pdanet on my iPhone 4 with the hide usage feature selected and I still received the warning email from AT&T about converting my account to a tethering plan. Anyone figure out how to really hide tethering usage from carriers?

Really? Which level protection were you using? I too almost lOst my unlimited plan, and I was really hoping pdanet was the answer!

I really hope this works. I just got the JB tethering threat too. As far as I've heard Jayhonda, AT&T is sending the message to anyone with high data usage. I've read claims of people arguing that they stream netflix and hulu 24/7 and backing AT&T down with this argument. I'm wondering whether AT&T and Apple are within their legal rights to demand that we only use their products (jail breaking was upheld by the Supreme Court after all). Maybe (hopefully) AT&T is just being a greedy bully and data jacking anyone who rolls over for the man. I've paid for my unlimited data plan since the very beginning, and it doesn't seem right to me that AT&T can just demand that we only tether with their inferior yet more expensive tethering plan, which I believe is used by iPhone browsing & tethering combined. What a rip-off!!! I hope they lay off, or I will be literally forced to terminate my plan and head to another carrier. My bill is already $240 dollars a month, I wouldn't be able to afford the inevitable overage charges that AT&T is counting to extort from me. Is losing a long-time, well-paying customer (and $240 dollar account receivable) more lucrative than a few extra 20 spots a month AT&T?

No recent posts, but how is PDANet working out? Any new info out there regarding PDANet or other tethering devices that are working?

Here is my issue and I really appreciate if anyone has a solution...
I installed PDAnet to my iPhone then I installed air video to my iPad (as I have a big collection of movies to watch on the go).
My iPad works fine with all Internet apps using PDANet including YouTube but not working on Air Video.
Does anyone know how I make it work??