Slow Teathering With PinePhone
#1
Shocked 
Hey all. I'm not sure if this is an issue with Verizon being asses, Verizon's coverage in my area, or the Phone itself. I have a PinePhone Beta running Postmarket. Aside from this, I maintain an Android phone for those family members that refused to leave Facebook Messenger (baby ducks are more stubborn than mules). I tether this Android phone off of the PinePhone most of the time, at least until I get to some other WiFi. Now, the coverage in my area is spotty, with all major carriers having miles of dead spots with tiny slivers of coverage between them and I have always attributed this to poor connection on my Android phone while tethering, but I've noticed that I can get perfect performance on the PinePhone, even when the Android phone is saying that I can't get a connection. I've confirmed that this isn't my VPN, as the issues are there whether or not it's turned on.


There are three possibilities that I can think of. One, Verizon is throttling tethering on my "unsupported" device. I doubt this. It hasn't always been that way and I don't know why they'd just throttle tethering without throttling the phone itself. Two, there may be an issue with either something in software or hardware on the PinePhone bottlenecking the connection. The issue is intermittent, so I don't know about that one. I'd expect to have the issue either all the time or never if it were an issue with the PinePhone bottlenecking it. Three, I may have been in a poor coverage area while using the Android device, but when I switched to the PinePhone, I had just so happened to have moved into an area with coverage...every time that I had this issue. This seems really unlikely because I don't walk that fast and it's not the same place every time.

I'm really kind of stumped on this one. Please let me know if anyone has any suggestions as to what this might be.
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#2
For me, tethering (and hotspot) never work properly.  They will allow a small amount of data through and then the connection times-out.  For example, using wget to fetch a web page will quickly download 20KB of the page but no more.

I don't think it can be a Verizon issue as I don't think they have any idea what traffic is from a tethered device, and I have this issue even when I have a good cell signal.  I don't have a lot of insight on this issue yet but it's something I'm researching.
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#3
(09-28-2022, 09:04 AM)treebeard Wrote: For me, tethering (and hotspot) never work properly.  They will allow a small amount of data through and then the connection times-out.  For example, using wget to fetch a web page will quickly download 20KB of the page but no more.

I don't think it can be a Verizon issue as I don't think they have any idea what traffic is from a tethered device, and I have this issue even when I have a good cell signal.  I don't have a lot of insight on this issue yet but it's something I'm researching.

Glad to know I'm not alone.
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#4
(09-14-2022, 04:45 PM)kujo_marble Wrote: There are three possibilities that I can think of. One, Verizon is throttling tethering on my "unsupported" device. I doubt this. It hasn't always been that way and I don't know why they'd just throttle tethering without throttling the phone itself. 

I'm really kind of stumped on this one. Please let me know if anyone has any suggestions as to what this might be.

My vote is for you to check your Cell Phone plan. I just ran a hot spot all day with no issues. Cell companies can tell the difference between hot spot data and regular cell data. 

Phone: PinePhone 32G (Not Pro)
OS: Arch Linux Arm with Phosh

   
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#5
hotspots don't work for me on some distros -mainly manjaro based ones. works well on Pmos  tho'. Make sure you don't have automatic suspend switched on. because tethering doesn't seem to inhibit it.
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#6
I did some more testing with Mobian (bookworm) & Verizon today. I do have hotspot service on my plan, though my last successful use of it was several months ago with my old flip-phone so that's something that warrants follow-up.

Tethering seems to be basically just a NAT/forwarding scheme. I don't think there's anything new or Mobian-specific or Pinephone-specific here so it seems like it should Just Work.

Test #1: Tethering through wifi instead of cell connection worked perfect.

Test #2: Used tcpdump to capture packets when tethering through cell and using wget to retrieve a single html file (via https). There aren't any unusual delays in the packet exchange. I see the transfer start and I get almost 5000 bytes then responses from the cell connection just stop (for this transfer).

I'm no TCP/IP expert but I don't see how Verizon could know which packets were forwarded. I see no difference in tcpdump output for forwarded versus non-forwarded packets but maybe there's something tcpdump isn't showing. More research needed.
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#7
https://android.stackexchange.com/questi...fi-hotspot gives a few of the methods used to detect tethering.
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#8
(10-03-2022, 10:27 AM)mikehenson Wrote:
(09-14-2022, 04:45 PM)kujo_marble Wrote: There are three possibilities that I can think of. One, Verizon is throttling tethering on my "unsupported" device. I doubt this. It hasn't always been that way and I don't know why they'd just throttle tethering without throttling the phone itself. 

I'm really kind of stumped on this one. Please let me know if anyone has any suggestions as to what this might be.

My vote is for you to check your Cell Phone plan. I just ran a hot spot all day with no issues. Cell companies can tell the difference between hot spot data and regular cell data. 

Phone: PinePhone 32G (Not Pro)
OS: Arch Linux Arm with Phosh

So, I've been doing some A/B testing and I'm coming around to the phone plan side of things. If I run my Android phone through a VPN, I get much better performance, so I think it may be some kind of de-prioritizing going on. I've also noticed other problems, as well. The modem isn't discoverable from mmcli, even after I flipped the hardware toggle off and on again. I don't know. It's all really frustrating.
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#9
EU here, I almost always use the hotspot/mobile data on my PP, as my work places filter/block  websites. 
I’m on Mobian, kernel: 5.15-sunxi64 and it works fine, if you are going to do it for awhile, the PP needs to be plugged in & it may get warm/hot.
With that said, I also have an additional mobile data plan with my carrier & we are doing classwork, not streaming videos or anything like that.
Sent from my Pinebook Pro.
Thank you PineTeam for your outstanding work!
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#10
(10-06-2022, 05:24 PM)wibble Wrote: https://android.stackexchange.com/questi...fi-hotspot
gives a few of the methods used to detect tethering.

Many articles point at TTL sniffing and that seems pretty plausible.  Tcpdump does show TTL with the -v switch and sure enough, I see packets coming from the tethered laptop at 64 and going to the cell carrier as 63.  There are various posts suggesting some nftables magic can change the TTL to evade the sniffing but I haven't been able to get that to work.  I guess it's time for the last resort - calling Verizon. Undecided

I tried a Ting (T-Mobile) SIM in the Pinephone and tethering worked fine & fast.
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