The Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge make it easy to share the phone’s data connection, turning the phone into either a wireless hotspot to share the connection with other phones/tablets or using it as a USB modem for your desktop or laptop.
Unfortunately, some carriers and plans don’t allow you to tether your phone. These carrier restrictions can be a pain to deal with, but luckily there are ways around it.
There are two easy ways to bypass the tether restriction without rooting your phone (though it can be done on a rooted phone as well).
1. Enable Developer Mode
Go to Settings -> System -> About Device.
Scroll down to Build Number and tap it 7 times (you’ll see a countdown after around 3 taps saying you’re X taps away from becoming a developer).
Tap the back arrow, and you’ll see “Developer Options” as a menu item between “Help” and “About Device.”
Tap Developer Options and enable USB debugging.
Either download a tethering program like EasyTether from Google Play or write your own code if you’re savvy with such things.
You’ll need to download drivers onto the computer you want to tether, which, if you’re not online, can be accomplished by downloading it on the phone and transferring it to the computer through USB.
Using EasyTether on a Windows PC, you’ll need two drivers, a core driver and a Samsung-specific driver. Once these are installed, your computer will recognize the phone as a USB modem when connected.
This bypasses the carrier tethering restrictions by rerouting the data.
Be aware that most free tethering programs in the Play Store won’t allow you to use VPNs or visit https sites. I use EasyTether as an example because by registering the program (at a one-time cost of $9.99), you can enable https. Also, you can install the VPN on the Galaxy S7 instead of the computer to keep your connection secure.
2. Change User Agent String
The tether tracking software utilized by carriers is typically a simple program that filters web traffic based on a user agent string.
It’s possible to bypass these filters by simply changing the user agent string on your computer to match that of your smartphone.
Visit a user agent tracking website from your phone and carefully enter the user agent string in a text file on your computer. Double check it to ensure you have the correct syntax, as it’s important that it matches exactly.
Then change the default user agent string in the web browser on your computer to match the string from your phone.
Here’s how to update the user agent string for each browser:
Internet Explorer 11, Microsoft Edge
Press F12, select Emulation, enter the UA string and press Enter.
Type about:config in the address prompt, confirm the action, right-click on the list of parameters, select New → String, enter general.useragent.override as the preference name, paste the UA string, and press Enter.
Go to menu bar -> Safari -> Preferences, select the Advanced tab, enable the “Show Develop menu in menu bar” option then use menu bar -> Develop -> User Agent.
Press Ctrl+Shif+ I for Windows and Linux or Command+Option+I for Mac OS X.
Select the “Show console” icon, then select the “Emulation” tab.
If prompted with a message that says “Emulation is currently disabled,” click the phone icon next to the word “Toggle.”
Select “Network” on the left pane of the Developer console.
From there you can set the “Spoof user agent” box to the User Agent you wish to use.
Using one of these two methods will allow you to bypass your carrier’s tethering restrictions and use your Samsung Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge.
Brian Penny is a former Business Analyst and Operations Manager at Bank of America turned whistleblower, troll, and freelance writer. His work appears in Huffington Post, High Times, Fast Company, Hardcore Droid, and The Street.