There is little in the world that provokes the fury of smartphone consumers more than when one of the major carriers institutes a data cap, eliminates tethering or makes customers pay an exorbitant rate to use their smartphones as hotspots. Users want to be able to use their mobile bandwidth unhindered by any restrictions.
Prominent mobile developer Koushik Dutta has an answer. He created an app that allows users to tether their Android smartphones to their computers and use the data connection as a mobile hotspot. The greatest part, it is nearly untraceable by the carriers.
The app, known as ClockworkMod Tether Alpha, does not come with installation instructions. Dutta's goal (he is known in developer circles as Koush) has been to make the app as easy to use as possible. It does not require the user to root the phone and should work on any Android smartphone regardless of carrier.
Dutta said on his Google+ page: "To get around the root requirement on your phone, Tether will need to install a virtual network adapter on your computer; so there is a PC side install."
Dutta notes that the user interface and design of the app are not final and it is definitely a work in progress. Users that want to try out the tethering app have until Jan. 7 to download the setup to Mac, Windows or Linux machines. Users that want to get the Android APK directly can find it here.
"It functions as a proxy, and not as a NAT/masquerade solution that other tether solutions use," Dutta wrote. "Though carriers can still check for http user agent string, but I have an idea to work around that. They typically check the TTL for desktop values. All usual carrier data charges and quotas will apply, but you will not need a separate tethering plan."
All Dutta asks for in this release is feedback. He wants to know if users had any problems installing it and getting it to work and how fast the download speed is once it is up and running.
Dutta says that he is working on creating a Bluetooth option for hotspot tethering as well. He also notes there is no UI for the Linux interface. While Dutta says he would prefer not to use a PC side installation, it is not possible without rooting the device.
If you install the app, make sure to let Koush know how you found the process. Also, let us know in the comments here what your experiences are with the app.