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Tethering and 4G Routers

Hooked
Posts: 9
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎09-07-2020

Tethering and 4G Routers

I've always understood that I could tether with a PN SIM-only rolling contract, and have never had any problems creating a hotspot on my Moto G6+ phone and providing an internet connection to other devices - tablets, laptops, etc.

I'm now looking at the possibility of using a 4G router to provide an internet connection to a property where there's a good 4G signal but no landline. An online chat with a PN 'agent' suggested that it was not allowed to use a PN SIM for this purpose. If this is so, I want to understand why!

The clue may be in para 11.3 of the Acceptable Use Policy but, if so, it's possible to interpret this in a way which prohibits ANY sort of tethering. For example, 11.3.3 excludes use with "mobile Wi-Fi devices that use our service to provide internet access to other Wi-Fi enabled devices". Isn't that what a phone does when providing a hotspot for tethering?

So what, precisely, is wrong with using a SIM  "with any device that routes, re-routes, forwards, or diverts calls, data, text messages, multimedia (picture) messages or other services from or to our network, to avoid charges, make money or for any other purpose. These types of devices include a 'GSM gateway', a 'SIM box' or a 'repeater';" - which is prohibited in 11.3.2, seemingly even for personal use rather than financial gain or cost avoidance? Is a 4G router considered to be one of these devices, or can I use a PN SIM in one for the purposes I have described above?

If I CAN'T use a SIM for this purpose, will some kind soul please explain the rationale behind the prohibition. Since the SIMs all come with a finite amount of data which, when it's gone it's gone, why on earth does it matter whether other devices are tethered off a phone or a router?

16 REPLIES 16
Grafter
Posts: 55
Thanks: 2
Registered: ‎05-02-2011

Re: Tethering and 4G Routers

Hi, there is a 2018 Ofcom Net Neutrality ruling that allows you to use any sim in any device. This article has more info https://kenstechtips.com/index.php/sim-cards-for-your-tablet-dongle-router-or-iot-device

 

The Ofcom details are here https://www.ofcom.org.uk/about-ofcom/latest/bulletins/competition-bulletins/all-closed-cases/cw_0121...

 

Having said that, it would appear that O2 at least, are seemingly breaking the ruling. ''...in, or connected to, any device other than the one which it was supplied with or the type intended by us for use with (for example our Pay As You Go SIM cards are intended for use in a mobile phone not a modem);...'' See section 1.4 (d) i. https://www.o2.co.uk/termsandconditions/mobile/our-pay-as-you-go-tariff-terms

 

I have been using a Smarty (an offshoot from Three) sim in a 4G router since leaving PN several months ago after 10 years because of the 65% price increase in 2 years, and haven't had any problems. In fact, the speed on average, is almost double PN's on ADSL, at around 25mbps, but that will depend on how near you are to a base station.

 

Hooked
Posts: 9
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎09-07-2020

Re: Tethering and 4G Routers

Hi Scribe,

Many thanks for your helpful reply. From the references which you cite, it appears that Section 11.3 of PlusNet's Acceptable Use policy (quoted in my my original post) is also in contravention of Ofcom's Net Neutrality ruling and therefore not valid. Do you agree?

You mention that you are using a Smarty SIM in a 4G router. I am thinking of doing the same - but am also considering a PlusNet SIM - hence the original question. Either of these would enable me to get rid of the landline and ADSL service (both PlusNet) at my holiday flat - saving me quite a lot of money. I would still retain my PlusNet FTTC service at my main home, thus qualifying for "mates rates" if I use a PlusNet SIM in the router.

I have bought a D-Link DWR-921 4G router, and am currently experimenting with it. I have a few spare '3' 1GB data SIMs and currently have one of those installed. I shall need remote access to the router from my main home, which means that it needs to have a fully routable public IP address. I have found that the default APN of three.co.uk doesn't provide a routable address (it provides a private address of 10.xx.xx.xx) BUT when I change the APN to 3internet I DO get a routable address. Can you tell me whether Smarty allows you to have a routable address.

When you replaced your PlusNet ADSL with a 4G service, did you ask to retain any email addresses associated with the PlusNet account? If so, are you able to send and receive emails with the PlusNet addresses when using the 4G Router?

Many thanks,

Roger

Grafter
Posts: 55
Thanks: 2
Registered: ‎05-02-2011

Re: Tethering and 4G Routers

Yes it looks to me as if PN's terms may be contravening the ruling, although whether you can just use it anyway, I don't know; they might need to be told definitively by Ofcom before they will comply, or maybe they are just trying it on, but I really don't see why they would object since they are making money out of your usage.

 

Routable addresses are over my head, but since Smarty is part of Three (not a MVNO) and has the same registered address, I would imagine they are the same. The Smarty settings are https://help.smarty.co.uk/en/articles/1155220-using-the-internet-after-you-ve-joined-smarty

 

I never used a PN email address so can't help with that one. I'm actually surprised that I can still log in to this forum!

 

 

Hooked
Posts: 9
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎09-07-2020

Re: Tethering and 4G Routers

Thanks again. I was told this morning by PlusNet Mobile Sales that it's ok to use their SIM in a 4G router. They seemed totally unaware of what their T&Cs say! I've got a PlusNet SIM in my phone, so I'm going to try that in my router and see what happens.

Thanks for the info about setting up a Smarty SIM. Although part of '3', they use different APNs - so other things could be different too. 

Any chance that you could log on to your router and find the WAN IP address. It will probably be on a status page. It's four 1-3 digit numbers separated by dots. I'd be interested to know the first number. For example, mine is 94.197.225.xxx (with the last octet redacted), so the number of interest is 94. This is routable, but anything starting with 10 wouldn't be. [Watch our for addresses starting with 192.168   These are internal IPs and not what I'm looking for.

Cheers,

Roger

 

Grafter
Posts: 55
Thanks: 2
Registered: ‎05-02-2011

Re: Tethering and 4G Routers

OK, the I.P. is 92.40. etc. So I guess that's what you want to hear.

Hooked
Posts: 9
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎09-07-2020

Re: Tethering and 4G Routers

Thanks. that sounds promising.

I've not had any joy yet with getting the 4G router to work with the PlusNet SIM out of my phone. I'm missing some settings somewhere, but can't find them listed anywhere.

Roger

Pro
Posts: 257
Thanks: 82
Fixes: 2
Registered: ‎21-03-2020

Re: Tethering and 4G Routers

Hi Roger,

This may help

 

https://www.plus.net/help/mobile/mobile-phone-and-voicemail-settings/

 

Scroll down to APN settings 

 

HD

Hooked
Posts: 9
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎09-07-2020

Re: Tethering and 4G Routers

Many thanks for that. I managed to get the router to connect to the internet by using an APN of "anywhere", username "eesecure" and password "secure".

A major step forward, but it gives a non routable WAN IP address in the form of 10.xx.xx.xx but I really need a routable address so that I can access it remotely using Dynamic DNS.

Anyone know of any alternative APNs which would work with the SIM but provide a routable address?

Thanks,

Roger

 

Community Veteran
Posts: 558
Thanks: 57
Fixes: 4
Registered: ‎26-09-2015

Re: Tethering and 4G Routers


@Scribe wrote:

OK, the I.P. is 92.40. etc. So I guess that's what you want to hear.


Can I ask what APN you use?  I'm using Smarty and have always got a CGNAT address.

Grafter
Posts: 55
Thanks: 2
Registered: ‎05-02-2011

Re: Tethering and 4G Routers

@aesmith. Now that I've left PN I hardly ever look at this forum so have only just seen your post. My APN is 3internet which was auto setup when I originally inserted the sim - I haven't changed anything from the default.

Hooked
Posts: 9
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎09-07-2020

Re: Tethering and 4G Routers

Is that with a Smarty SIM or a 3 Data SIM?

Grafter
Posts: 55
Thanks: 2
Registered: ‎05-02-2011

Re: Tethering and 4G Routers

Smarty.

Hooked
Posts: 9
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎09-07-2020

Re: Tethering and 4G Routers

Sorry, I should have realised because you'd already said you were using Smarty.

That's very good news that it works with the 3Internet APN.

At the moment I'm using a '3' 24GB data SIM, whose data lasts for up to 24 months. I don't yet know at what rate I will be consuming the data (it's at my holiday flat) but if the 24GB gets used up fairly quickly, it may well make economic sense to switch to Smarty. The ability to get a routeable IP address with Smarty - so that I can monitor the router remotely - makes this completely feasible.

Community Veteran
Posts: 558
Thanks: 57
Fixes: 4
Registered: ‎26-09-2015

Re: Tethering and 4G Routers

With my gear it doesn't seem to make any difference which APN I use.  Smarty tell you to use mob.asm.net, but it seems to work exactly the same with "3internet" or "three.co.uk".