updated 01:50 pm EST, Mon January 2, 2012
ClockworkMod Tether Alpha arrives
ClockworkMod developer Koushik Dutta has posted a test version of what he claims is a potentially undetectable tethering app. ClockworkMod Tether Alpha lets Linux, Macs, and Windows PCs borrow an Android phone's 3G or 4G connection as though it were a proxy, not a router. The technique theoretically makes it "not blockable," as carriers are checking for the TTL (time to live) of data coming from a desktop OS, which would be masked by a proxy.
Unlike Dutta's own ClockworkMod Recovery and similar tools, the alpha version doesn't require root access on the phone itself. Instead, a computer app installs a virtual connection that understands how to speak to the proxy on the phone.
As an alpha version, the app is rough and isn't guaranteed to perform reliably. Dutta has a deliberate expiry on January 7 for the current version to encourage adoption of later builds. He plans on supporting Bluetooth tethering and warns that the Linux version is just a command-line app.
The software isn't likely to be welcomed by carriers, many of whom in the US charge $20 or $30 more per month for tethering on the assumption that computer use drives the costs and activity up considerably. The app is less vital outside of the US, where carriers in Canada and elsewhere often consider tethering included with an existing data plan.