Wireless Internet access is becoming more of a right to Americans than a paid privilege. In order to perform the most basic functions, look up facts, do basic work functions, and connect with people one needs a steady wi-fi or landline connection and a reliable security feature such as a symmetric key, which safeguards online data, including emails, usernames and bank account info. Unfortunately, while most smartphones are equipped with extensive 3G or 4G networks, homes across the nation are stuck with shoddy connections and unreliable security.
Software developers have always had a knack for making communication and information easier to access and large technology firms are finally starting to follow suit. Smartphone tethering, which was once a taboo practice which required the warranty voiding altercation of your phone’s operating system, is now taking off as a more acceptable way to hook into increasingly available Internet hotspots and protect critical information.
While in the past, people who wanted to tether their phones had to break into their operating system and use unauthorized apps in order to gain access on their computers—thus jeopardizing data security—the major companies now offer plans you can access for a monthly fee. According to PC World, AT&T and Verizon each charge $20 a month and Sprint charges $30 a month in order for users to turn their phones into portable modems.
Instead of forcing users to potentially damage their Droid phones by rooting or jailbreaking, the providers can make an instant monthly fee by offering their networks. Users can now rest assured with guaranteed service plans that won’t force them to purchase brand new $600 phones.
But what if you don’t want to pay for a monthly plan from your service provider? Smartphone app developers are still busy at work finding loopholes in the technology in order to keep tethering a free and inexpensive way to access networks.
According to MacRumors, the notoriously stiff Apple App Store has allowed Tether.com to start selling their iTether app for $14.99. Users only have to pay for the software once and have unlimited access to the Internet without having to pay providers a monthly fee. In order to retaliate, the big three companies have started charging extra for over usage of data packages. There is also a good chance that they will become even stricter with policies and start blocking access to anyone performing unauthorized tethering.
Coders, programmers, and developers are always looking for new ways to hack and modify software and hardware. New innovations like the Xbox, Kinect and Siri have started to receive hacks and mods that are blowing people’s minds. Hopefully, as more and more people get access to fast network connections and digital security features, the freedom of information will continue gain traction as a right and not a privilege.