Just the other day, the internet was abuzz with reports of how Verizon had killed off FoxFi on its network. Now however, multiple new user reviews on Google Play and comments on websites seem to suggest that the tethering app is back up and running, meaning Verizon customers with grandfathered unlimited data plans can once again heave a sigh of relief after a weekend of anxiety. For the uninitiated, FoxFi is an Android app available on the Google Play Store that allows users to share their allotted cellular data with other devices through either USB, Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. The app’s claim to fame is that users do not need root access for it to work, which is more than what can be said for most other tethering (hotspot) apps available today.
While Wi-Fi tethering through the app doesn’t work on all models of smartphones universally, USB and Bluetooth tethering works on almost all Android devices, meaning, users don’t have to pay the extra ‘mobile hotspot’ charges that carriers often charge their subscribers for the ‘privilege’ of using their own paid-for data the way they choose to. Understandably, FoxFi has often been targeted by carriers and a few years back, Sprint even allegedly got Google to remove the app from the Play Store, if idle internet chatter is to be believed. Wi-Fi tethering through the app has also stopped working from time to time on Verizon’s connections but the developers, FoxFi Software Communications, have almost always managed to bring the app back from the dead by finding workarounds to bypass the lockdowns that carriers have tried to enforce every now and again.
The one thing that does seem a bit curious at this stage though, is how can the app suddenly start working again, if it had indeed stopped working a few days back? Especially, seeing as nothing happened from the developer side, between now and then. The app was last updated as far back as in June last year, so unless Verizon is willfully withdrawing its alleged lockdown attempt fearing adverse reaction from subscribers, the whole situation seems curious, to say the least. Anyways, whether the Wi-Fi tethering feature is working or not, Bluetooth and USB were reportedly working for most, even through the whole ordeal. So users wanting to tether their legacy unlimited data connections on non-rooted devices at least have some options irrespective of the situation with Wi-Fi tethering.