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How to Tether a MetroPCS - T-mobile Phone 4G Unlimited Hotspot with Windows

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The $60 MetroPCS plan allows unlimited 4G, but blocks tethering.

This post has been updated for 2015 at this location:

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We show you how to use your $60 plan to get that unlimited 4G on your laptop using your phone to tether or as a wi-fi hotspot

As of this writing, MetroPCS service in the Detroit market blocks tethering your CDMA (older Samsung S3 and similar) MetroPCS phone directly to a Windows seven computer with just a few website exceptions. The way the block works is that it looks to see what operating system you're running, and if it's windows, it will block you. The new 4G T-Mobile phones that use GSM / SIM cards are heavily guarded against tethering, so your only option is #4.

At this point, you have four options:

First Option (CDMA Only): Buy a Mac or run a linux flavor. I run Xubuntu 13.10 on my personal laptop so this was never an issue for me when I'm working on my own projects. Since my work computer is a Windows 7 laptop, I have to settle for one of the following below:

Second (BEST) Option (CDMA Only)Change the browser user agent. If you are using Google Chrome, go to the Play store and search for "browser switcher". you will find a few options, but ultimately you want your browser to send out the header saying its one of the following:

Safari, iOS / Android Phone or Tablet.

When your Chrome browser sends the information that it's an Android browser, it won't get blocked because MetroPCS / T-Mobile sees Android and think the activity is coming directly from a phone and not a tethered tablet so it doesn't do anything. Unsure why it works using either the safari or iOS user agents, but just does.

Third Option (CDMA Only): Secure, Private Browsing option

Setup a VPN and after tethering to your windows laptop, connect to the VPN. On my work laptop, I connect to www.justfreevpn.com and use the USA VPN. While on the VPN, you will have unrestricted internet, and can browse freely. Aditionally, you will not need to deal with browser switching as the VPN nagates the need.

Fourth Option (CDMA and GSM): Run a custom ROM rather than the stock one that comes with the phone. It will run faster, have no bloatware (Metro loaded apps) and has open tethering.

MetroPCS Samsung Galaxy S3 CDMA

MetroPCS Samsung Galaxy

This is the phone that I use, and can easily be used to tether. These Older MetroPCS Samsung S3's were issued before they put the tether lock on the phone. All three ways of tethering will work with this phone, but there's not too many of these left. 

Pick Up A MetroPCS Samsung from Amazon.com now

Here's how to  Configure Free PPTP VPN account in Windows 7

Open Network Connections – First, Open Network and Sharing Center from Control Panel. Then choose Set up a new connection or network.
In the next window – choose Connect to a workplace.
In the next window – choose Use my Internet Connection (VPN).
Now Type in “xx.justfreevpn.com” as the name of VPN server.
Then enter xx.justfreevpn.com as the name the connection in the destination name box, click Next.
In the next window, enter your user name and password for the VPN access. And click Create. You’re all set now. Click the “Close” button to return to the “Network and Internet” screen.
In the Connect to a network screen, you should see the xx.justfreevpn.com connection that you have just set up.
The connection is now ready to use. In order to connect/disconnect to xx.justfreevpn.com right click on the connection icon (viewable at Change adapter settings) and select connect/disconnect.
Disconnect From xx.justfreevpn.com – To disconnect from a VPN connection, right-click the icon for the connection, and then click “Disconnect”.

JustFreeVPN.com provides you with a four digit password on their homepage. These passwords change once daily (at least during the work day) so if you  drop the connection, check back with JustFreeVPN.com to see if they updated the password.

On the same note, If your computer drops the connection, obviously you wont be able to use the laptop to browse to justfreevpn.com -- you'll have to use your phone's browser, so I recommend that you book mark the homepage the first time so it's quick to find and get back to when needed throughout the day.

JustFreeVPN.com will not allow SSH or FTP or any port through the browser other than 80 and 443. If you're a developer, this might hamper your style a little, but there are ways around this too. You could set up a web based FTP and SSH for yourself (make sure to put them behind a .htpassword or something).

More info on the Metro PCS Tethering / Hotspot block:
http://www.howardforums.com/showthread.php/1802853-bypass-hotspot-charge

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