International, T-Mobile, and Verizon customers all share something in common—their carriers provide unlocked Wi-Fi tethering for free. Of course, you still pay for the data used, but they don't charge you extra simply for using your Samsung Galaxy S4 as a wireless hotspot.
However, AT&T and Sprint customers are a completely different story.
While it seems that AT&T is engaging in a money grab, Sprint does have a legit reason for charging extra—their plans offer unlimited data, so in theory, they offer unlimited tethering, hence the justification for charging a monthly fee for the service.
Of course, just because the carriers lock us out doesn't mean we can't find another way in.
For softModders, this process should be old hat by now.
- Download the correct file for your device and place on your internal SD card. Make sure to select the proper file! You must use the correct software update (ie. MDC or MDL) and the right system type (Odexed or De-Odexed). If you are unclear, ask away in the comments.
- Go to Recovery by powering down the device and back on by simultaneously holding the Power and Volume Up buttons (release the buttons when you see "Recovery Booting" on your device). Alternatively, you can mod your GS4 to restart into Recovery mode directly from the Reboot menu, if you're tired of pressing all those buttons.
- Clear both Cache and Dalvik Cache.
- Make a Nandroid backup, just in case.
- Flash the .zip file you downloaded for your device.
AT&T users have a little more work than Sprint users, but it's still very simple.
- Download the modified tethering file.
- Download Script Manager from the Play Store.
- When you first run the app, select "Browse as root" and hit "Allow" when the Superuser prompt comes up.
- Now browse to the /system/app directory and find the files labeled "TetheringProvision.apk" and "TetheringProvision.odex".
- Rename these files so that the system no longer will recognize them. I change "apk" and "odex" file extensions to "apk2" and "odex2". That way, if I need them again, they are easy to find.
- After you rename the files, you'll confirm the action by selecting "Brick". It sounds harsh, but the developer of this app wants to make sure you are fully aware that you are making modifications to the core system.
- Now navigate to your Download folder, or wherever you saved the file from Step 1, and copy it.
- Navigate back to the /system/app directory and paste the file there, and select "Brick" when prompted.
- Reboot your device.
Go into Settings -> Network Connections -> Hotspot.
Now, just hit the "On" switch, and look for the connection on your computer, tablet, or whatever device you want to tether to.
You can change settings for security and even set up an allowed devices list to prevent unauthorized access.
Boom! Now your new Samsung Galaxy S4 is a mobile internet provider for all your devices.