Turn Your Phone Into a Free WiFi Tethering Hotspot With FoxFi (No Root)

FoxFi WiFi Tether (No Root)

Ready…Set…Take #2 (This is my 2nd time around writing this post, because I fell asleep in the middle of writing it the first time and for some reason it never autosaved) Can you say FRUSTRATING!?!  Anyway, I’m hoping I can do my original justice, so here goes nothing.

For a small endangered species of smartphone users (those with unlimited data), coming across a free wi-fi tethering app that actually works is like finding the Holy Grail of smartphone apps.  To top it off, it’s even more exciting when you don’t have to root your phone to use it.  If you have no idea what the word “root” refers to, you can either A. click the little grey link above to find out or B.  Ignore it, and keep reading on, because it’s probably something you would not be interested in doing anyway.  I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say you’re going with option B.

Personally, I have searched high and low for a reliable tethering app, and the one that I keep coming back to is FoxFi.  No, I am not being paid to promote this application in any way by its developers in case you are wondering.  I like it so much, I paid for the premium version.  Here are some advantages of FoxFi, as taken from the developer’s site:

  • No rooting required, avoid hassle and risk of bricking
  • No need to install anything on the computer
  • Supports connection from any tablets including iPad, Kindle, Nook etc.
  • Supports connection from PS3, XBox, WII etc.
  • Supports multiple connections at the same time
  • Secured with WPA2. Avoids the security risk of enabling USB debugging.

FoxFi usage is covered under the same phone data plan you have and no tethering plan is actually needed.  So you can see why the unlimited data feature coupled with this app make for a grand old-time.  Currently WiFi mode may not support some phone models, and the developers are working to expand the supported list. However Bluetooth/USB mode will work for all phones. To check and see if WiFi mode can be supported on your phone visit http://foxfi.com/devices.

The app is completely free, but currently it has a usage limit that requires you to restart FoxFi to continue using free mode. I found this annoying and well worth the $7.95 that the full version costs, which has no usage limits.  You can also rename your network to something really uncool like “iheartJustinBieber4Ever” (I just threw up a tad in my mouth typing that) and then go on to create a security password to keep your pesky neighbors from hijacking your data connection.  Everyone has neighbors that get their electric, water, and cable turned off on a regular basis right?  No? Then again, maybe that’s just me.

Please note that some model phones running Jelly Bean have locked-down the WiFi hotspot feature, and because of this FoxFi will ask you to install a user certificate on those phones. The side effect is that the Android system will require you to set a screen lock first (and only allows Pattern, PIN or Password) when you install any user certificates. If you are 100% opposed to having to have a sreen lock on your phone, then use the app in USB mode.  To undo the screen lock you have to remove the FoxFi certificate first (simply click “clear credentials” in security settings).  Also, on HTC phones, you may require to use the app via bluetooth.

In case you are wondering, yes this app currently works for the Samsung Galaxy S3 and Samsung Galaxy Note 2.  I’m actually using it right now to write this blog post, because maybe just maybe, I’m speaking from personal experience when I talk about those “neighbors” who periodically get their utilities turned off.  Don’t judge me.


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62 thoughts on “Turn Your Phone Into a Free WiFi Tethering Hotspot With FoxFi (No Root)

  1. Chris

    I have Sprint (Galaxy S3), do you know if carriers can detect the app and charge you for tethering service anyway? I sort of don’t know why I care about tethering because I have enough problems trying to use data just on the phone. If I only had a nickel for every time I stared at a 2/3 loaded webpage while the 3G up and down arrows danced around meaninglessly with full bars of service, I’d be a very wealthy man indeed. No point in even trying to stream SD Pandora or YouTube without being on WiFi in my experience.

    1. Casey Post author

      Hi Chris,

      As far as my understanding goes, the carrier could most likely see that you are using your device to tether. The question is, are they going to go that far and do that? No, not in my experience. What carriers usually do is release software updates to block the use of 3rd party tethering apps. So, I THINK you are safe : ) Thanks for stopping by the site!

      - Casey

    2. APirate Monk

      Confirmed that it DOES NOT work with the Sprint network (at least, not on my Samsung S3). It acts like it will. Installed it from their website (www.foxfi.com/bin). Followed the instructions. Turned it on, it worked for 5 seconds, then the network remotely turned it off. Guess I’ll be dumping Sprint soon. :(

    1. Casey Post author

      Hi Albert,

      Fox Fi DOES use your data, but it is a 3rd party tethering app (meaning…you do not have to pay extra for the mobile hot spot feature through your carrier). For you to be able to use this app in all its glory, you really need to have unlimited data though, as those are the people who are really going to benefit from it. You can still use it if you don’t, but it drastically diminishes its value if this is the case.

      - Casey

  2. nicole buttera

    I hv the note 2, Foxfi worked w my Wii when I did the trial… so I paid the $7.95 (or however much) 4 the upgraded version. All I want it 2 do is work w my Wii so I can watch Netflix. My Wii just keeps giving me error magazine. SO FRUSTRATING!! DO u think u can help? U can E-mail me @ my personal E-mail… nicb8330@aol.com…think u so much.

    1. Casey Post author

      Hi Nicole,

      The paid version should work exactly the same as far as I know. The only way it would stop working with your device is if you did a software update that specifically blocks the app – If foxfi is still working though, as far as other devices are concerned, then it is fine. I found this link as far as setting up a connection to your wii:


      You can also try uninstalling and reinstalling the app. Don’t worry cause you only have to pay once Your purchases are stored under your gmail.

      I hope this helps…if not I’ll go dig in my closet and break out the wii and try it for myself with my Note 2.

      = )

      - Casey

  3. Thea

    can you please send me an email with your phone number so I can call you and you can walk me through this process. I am an novice and I had before but then they upgraded my gs3. I work out of town and I need a lot of streaming data please help thank you

    1. Casey Post author

      Hi Thea,

      If you still need help, shoot me over an email, and I can send you some screen shots to walk you through it.

      - Casey

  4. Free Global News

    Too bad iPhone for Sprint is not on the list. Someday victory will be mine! If you know of a good program or app for iPhone, send it my way. I was stupid to have accidentally said yes to updating the IOS. What a fool I was.


  5. Free Global News

    Someday iPhone users will be able to use this service. As one of the many fools to have accidentally updated my IOS when I got a new replacement iPhone, it’s terrible I did not get to jawbreak it to tether it. Now I have to live with my mistake.

    If you know any app out there that can make me feel better about my absentmindedness,, let me know.


  6. Caleb

    Foxfi doesn’t work for the galaxy s3 on T-mobile because once you turn it on it also turns on the actually phone’s hotspot service and there isn’t a way to get around it.

  7. jack

    Hey guy great review and glad u have this blog so us users can tell our reviews to.
    Here’s a little on me and my review.

    OK I am going on 50yo and have been into electronics since I was 4 and sticking flat head screwdrivers into power sockets to see what I could make happen lol, well I was stuck to anything electric or electronic since.

    So as years went by I started working at a TV/VCR repair shop when I was 16 in which we did the regular TV antennas and commercial ones to atop from two story to 20 story and above in palm Bach fl. We also did the big c-band satellite repairs and installations. And during those days/years I was always dabbling with computers and many prolly don’t remember the radio shack/Randy corporations trs-80 computers back then but I do and remember the cost would easily empty you’re wallet of $1500 for a PC that knew nutton about windows but only D.O.S and to load say a 500kb file would mean you had to buy the optional cassette player that would plug in yur new pc and you put the 500kb file that was on a standard cassette tape in the cassette player and hit play.
    Now get this…..the casstte would be 90mins each side and when the first side was done u had to flip the tape over and hit play and continue to load the file lol and the program on the tape would be something so small like a small 100 page book.
    Some programs would comsist of several tapes lik five or ten hehe.

    Anyway now to phones…i was one of the few at that time to have a walki talkie phone..what these actually were was a motorola walkie talkie just like the cops carried at that time w the rubber ducky antenna but it had a dtmf push button keypad on the front of it and to make a call u would key the push to talk button and push the * key two times and release the push to talk button and two seconds later a dialtone would come blastin thru…then u pushed the push to talk button again and dialed the number and let go of the button and it would start ringing and when the person answered u would push the button to reply and then release and so on and when u was done u pushed the # button two times to dissconnect lol.

    Ok so much for my life storylol.
    On to the subject at hand.
    This app works absolutely perfect on my newly released back in june
    Hauwei plus phone running android 4.0 and which is being used on straight talks service which i have been w the past couple years and also use their straight talks home unit for home ph service which is a cdma base unit as the phone is using verizons towers here deep in the mountains here in tenessee. I will say that straight talk blocked wifi tethering in one of their updates from sept of 2012 so of course it dont work but using it wired is no bother for me but the reason im here and come accross this blog is i was trying to find out what was the limit on the free side of this app even though im going to go ahead and buy the paid version tomorrow.

    1. Casey Post author

      Well Hello there Jack,

      I’m glad the sticking flat head screwdrivers thing worked out for you!
      I have a liking for electronics as well. After all, my dad was an electrician, so 99.999% of my science fair projects were electricity related.
      Wow! DOS! What a blast form the past! I remember that. I never experienced the “cassette” that you mentioned. The only cassette I have ever used was for music. Kriss Kross – “Jump” is probably the last song I played vis cassette and walkman. lol
      I very much enjoyed reading your message, so thank you for sharing! As far as your question, to be honest before I purchased the full version, I never kept track of the usage limit of Foxfi’s free version. I did do some research and found some reviewers that averaged it to be around 300 MB. Again, I did not conduct this research myself, so I wouldn’t shout it from any mountain tops or anything. Thanks so much for stopping by the site!!

      - Casey

  8. Justine

    Sadly this doesn’t work with my galaxy s3 because I have T-mobile :( very disappointed I was excited when I came across this app and then u talked about it witch made me want to try it even more but t-mobile prevents me from doing so :( oh well!

    1. Mark

      Unlock your S3 and you would be able to use this apps. I have S3 from AT&T and tethering wasn’t allowed. But after I had it unlocked and downloaded the foxfi, it is now perfectly working. Unlock it and you would find out yourself.

      1. Casey Post author

        Hi Mark,

        Thanks for sharing that information with us so that other can use the app. THANKS AGAIN!

        - Casey

    2. Casey Post author

      Hi Jusine,

      Oh man that’s a bummer! Unfortunately, different carriers have different limitations as far as blocking tethering with 3rd party apps, but thanks so much for sharing that it does not work with T-mobile.

      - Casey

  9. Kelly

    Hi there! You probably already answered this question but with the sprint network, will i be charged to use my motorola photon as a hotspot? And if not i just check the box on foxfi to turn my phine into a hotspot, correct?

    Thanks for taking the time to help!,


  10. Tony Rogers

    Does June Fabrics / Pdanet own Foxfi? The reason I ask is because i discovered it in my Pdanet window. Also since I have a paid version of Pdanet, do I have to buy Foxfi too?

    Is this detectble with Verizon?

    Thanks, Tony

  11. Matt

    Please help me with the refund of foxfi I downloaded it and my phone does not surrprt it please help I tried using the receipt but the only thing on there just takes me to my order history on Google play but does not say refund. Google play says I had 15 mins to return

    1. Casey Post author


      Apparently you now have 7 days. This is quoted from the foxfi’s play store pag. ..”We have extended the refund period from Play Store’s 15 minutes to 7 days. Please use the contact link in the order receipt email to request refunds. We won’t be able to refund after 7 days, even if some features in PdaNet or FoxFi stop working due to causes we can’t control.”

  12. Brent

    I Agree This App Rocks!!! (Please Forgive All The Caps In The Text. The March 2013 System Update To My Droid RAZR Broke Several Things About Texting, Especially In Web Forms.)
    I Disagree About ITs Usefulness For Those Of Us WithData Limits (1 GB , 2 GB, 4 GB, Etc.). It Is Perfect For Us. I Use It For A Laptop Or Tablet When Out Of Trustworthy Wifi Coverage Or When There Is A Power Failure But CertainOnline Work Has To Get Done. Foxfire Is A Perfect Backup Or Failsafe Wifi Connection!!!
    And I Heartily Recommend Pinning Down The $7.99 ForThe Full Version Key. GreatValue For My Money And A Great Way To Support The Developer.

  13. Brent

    That’s “Putting” Down $7.99 (Or Whatever) For The Key ForThe Full Version. Did I Mention That My Last RAZR SystemUpdate Seriously Broke My Text Functionality? :-)

  14. free itunes Download codes

    Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video
    to make your point. You obviously know what youre talking about,
    why throw away your intelligence on just posting videos to your weblog when you could be giving
    us something enlightening to read?

    1. powersproduce

      I was thoroughly enlightened by literally everything I read up until your dumbass comment. You obviously do not know what you are talking about, why display you lack of intelligence here?

      Begone troll! Go back to your moms basement

  15. joel

    I have the tmobile ulimated data plan along with the 2.5 gb hospot. If I get foxfi, does that mean I don’t need my 2.5 hotspot? And what is the foxfi add on I’m seeingin the google store?

  16. Larry

    I am having the same problem as Caleb and Tmobile. I have a Sprint Android. When I turn on the Foxfi my phone’s hotspot activates too. If I call Sprint and cancel the hotspot service will Foxfi work by itself? Any ideas? Larry

  17. Geeze

    I know that this app is not compatible with Samsung S3 and S4 for Sprint. This is why I have not upgraded and still use my Epic. I am really bummed and want to upgrade. Sprint had an All In Plan that gives you 5G’s of wifi but when I use my iPad, I can burn through that in one sitting watching movies on Netflix. However the tether does work for the S3 -not sure about S4. Fox Fi is working to get the wifi to work for Jellybean, sadly, it just hasn’t happened just yet :(

  18. Julianne

    Hi :) Great site!! Does anyone know if this will work on Samsung Galaxy S4′s? I looked at the list but there weren’t any S4′s on there so just curious if it hasn’t been updated? What I’m hoping to do is buy a Samsung Galaxy S4 either unlocked or unlock it myself, get the all unlimited plan through Straight Talk and somehow tether it so I can use my unlimted data on my Samsung Galaxy 7in Tablet. On a previous post “Mark” on July 21st said he unlocked the S3 and now can tether with Straight Talk so REALLY curious if anyone knows if I can do it with an S4? Thanks for any help :)

  19. Julez

    I’m just curious, I havent seen any comment on the Samsung S4 and FoxFi.
    I have FoxFi on my Droid Razr, I’m through Verizon, I have unlimited data, so I LOVE FOXFI! It is the only connection I use at home. My dilemma is, I have an upgrade due and I’m looking at the Samsung S4, but if FOXFI doesnt work on it or any phone for that matter, I DO NOT WANT TO UPGRADE. I need help deciding. I use FOXFI from my phone, my son in college who is on my verizon plan using FOXFI (we have the same Droid) and I DO NOT want to give up my FOXFI for any phone if FOXFI doesnt work on it. HELP???

    1. MM

      FoxFi was working with the Galaxy S4 on Verizon until today. Today I received a message from Verizon that I must purchase their hotspot plan. USB tethering does not work. At least I can’t seem to make it work. Both worked on my old phone. I’ve gone to multiple sites and no one has been able to tell me how to make the S4 work with tethering.

  20. carolyn

    I need help….I cant continue my nonlinear college. I have Pd pdanet.foxfi and I can do everything fine from kindle but on desktop cannot load Yahoo.com ir web pages. Loads facebook just find. I tried tethering and hotspot. I need help soon so I don’t get behind in school. Boyfriend moved out snx had Internet shut off. I have unlimited data galaxy s3. Thank you

  21. Bryan Eastwood

    I have bought the latest version of FOXFI and the 1st time I used it to tether my laptop I had a warning downloaded from 3 saying it was not allowed.. They also then made me reboot my phone before I could use it to access the internet again. Is there anyway to stop them detecting it. ?

  22. Patricia

    I have att service and galaxy phone
    This app work perfect
    But please can you tell me if

    I will like to replace my galaxie for a new iphone
    I will be avaible to download this foxfi ? Will work on iphone ?

  23. T.A. Baretta

    I was at home tonight doing homework on-line for my college class when my Internet & cable from Comcast went out. Now I pay a pretty penny for the Comcast bundle (phone,Internet, and cable runs about $170 bucks a month) but I still lose service? I called immediately and they said my area is having what they called- ‘technical difficulties” and it could be 5 hours before my services are restored. 5 hours huh? Something had to be done…
    So I jumped on my smart phone and began researching someways to get a backup router through my cell phone company. It was then I came across the idea of tethering from your cell phone and using the data plan you already pay for; and seeing as I have unlimited data and use only about 5-10 MB’s per month you can understand why I wanted to figure out how I could do this. A Google search on my phone produced FoxFi on the Play Store, and after reading reviews I downloaded it. Had a little trouble getting my phone to enable it, since it does not have a tethering plan, but soon after some adjusting to my settings, the icon came up at the top and said it was working. I did a WI-FI scan on my laptop and found the signal coming from my cell phone. I was waiting for something to go wrong, or just expecting it to simply not work, when I opened Google and did a search just to test it- and there it was- A light shining in the darkness, my soul warmed by the glow of…The Internet!!! I felt like William Wallace in Brave Heart yelling: ‘FREEDOM!!!’ My dog barked and we danced, a festival was held and… okay, you get the point, it was cool. It was working and working just fine. Not the speeds of cable but surprisingly fast, considering my phone is slow.
    I got back on my college class site and the rest is history. I couldn’t believe it. Instead of having to wait 5 hours for Comcast to fix my service, within 5 mins I had the Internet again. It makes sense though, I pay for my phone to have Internet so I should be able to use the data I pay for on my computer too. I plan on buying the premium version of this app just to show support for the creators. It is hands down the best app I have ever downloaded. Now I can get more use out of my unlimited data plan, but I won’t be using it all the time or anything, it is just nice knowing I have a back up and I feel better knowing I am not so dependent on one provider. Great post here, I never write on these but this made my night so I felt I had to express my feelings, lol. :) Go FREEDOM and God bless the USA!

    P.S. Kinda crazy but just as I finished typing this my regular Internet came back on :?) Crazy world we live in my friends, just plain crazy.

  24. Sam

    From everything I’ve read, the WiFi will not work on the Galaxy s3 if Sprint is the carrier. What I can’t determine though is if its supposed to work with the Bluetooth or USB tethering. I’ve tried the Bluetooth, but my iPad can’t connect to it. As far as tethering goes, I need to install software on the other device as well, correct? Does this work with the iPad? Sorry for the bombardment; I’m just at my wits end and would really prefer not to root. Thanks for any help you can give.

  25. Kaelem Gaen

    Do you have to do a Factory Reset to get back your default Mobile Hotspot stuff back if you decided to uninstall PDAnet+/Foxfi? Even though I removed PDANet and Foxfi from my phone, the Wireless Hotspot still shows up as “FoxFi86″

  26. David

    So let me get this straight. If I have n IPhone 5s with an unlimited data plan with Verizon, I can’t do anything to make it a hotspot. I read Somewhere i could jail break it but Verizon can detect it. If I jail break it does it affect the performance of the phone?
    Is this correct?

  27. Pingback: 25 Blogs Featuring the Best Places to Get Free Wi- Fi

  28. Ryan

    I have downloaded foxfi on to my HTC Evo 4G LTE and I am able to connect to the WiFi hotspot on my laptop and surface, but they both say limited access, no network access? Can you help me?

  29. israel

    I have a note 2 on tmobile…everytime I try to use this app…it sends me to the buy tethering screen on any device I connect to wifi with.

  30. Dano

    I was wondering if you know of anyway to unlock the WIFI Tethering option on a Virgin Mobile Galaxy S3 phone. I have rooted it and installed WiFi Tether TrevE Mod but i cannot get any of my devices to recognize it as a connection point. Do i need to flash it? Is there another app that will allow me to use the tethering option? Will Jellybean 4.3 take care of my agony? Will you follow me on twitter? Do I ask too many questions? Oh my head is spinning now….

    Thank you in advance for your time in this


  31. Jason

    Hi Casey!!

    I am/have been an avid iPhone user for many years now (I am “grandfathered” in on my plan with truly unlimited data), AT&T by the way… but, I am strongly considering giving up my iPhone and getting either a Galaxy S4 or the Note 3. I have got different answers regarding this FoxFi app, AT&T assures me that it won’t work with either of the above mentioned phones along with my unlimited data plan; they told me that I would have to change my plan. But if this app works like described then I am highly interested seeing as how I don’t have internet at home. So, basically my question is: if I get one of the phones I mentioned above and install the FoxFi app will I be able to use it as a wifi hotspot (considering my unlimited AT&T plan) and be able to connect my wifi capable laptop at home to it???? Thank you in advance!!!

  32. Gabriel Ramirez

    i have a T-mobil note 2
    with a 69$ plan that has everithing unlimited
    + a 500mb hotspot thing
    i want to know if using this app will allow me to go around this 500mb
    because i dont want to get over chardge :/

  33. Wes

    Hi, i installed foxfi on my zte valet. (android 4.1) it doesnt work! sigh..verizon….
    and i downloaded the new version. it doesnt ask to install any certificates? what am i doing wrong? or…..

  34. StressedJellyBeanUSer

    I have A ZTE Valet running 4.1. i can download foxfi+pdanet. but nothing works? also when i download it. it never ask to install the certificates? what am i doing wrong? or……
    also, i try and use the usb mode, and i have it installed on my laptop and phone, and it detects my phone. but it says to start pda net on my phone. when i do. i try and connect, it doesnt make a connection. always ask to turn it on my phone. can anybody help?
    i used the galaxy centura and it detects and connects thru usb.

    1. Casey Post author

      Hi “TheJMan,”

      If you are talking about your usage through the FoxFi app? I’m not speaking on behalf of any wireless company, but I wouldn’t worry about that. I have used the app for over a year with no problems. What is this critical storage you speak of (what menu are you seeing it in)??

      - Casey

  35. Erasmuss

    I have been using FoxFi successfully for over two years now on a old Samsung Ultra Transform on the Boost network.
    Problem is Phone is on its last leg and I must upgrade.

    Looking at the LG Mach …. it runs Android 4.0 .. but not certain of exact version which I believe could be a problem.

    Is anyone running LG Mach on Boost w/ FoxFi?
    Any supportive information will be greatly appreciated!

    Is anyone running the LG Mach on Boost with FoxFi successfully?

    1. Casey Post author

      Hi Erasmuss,

      Thanks for stopping by. Sorry but I do not know the answer to your question off the top of my head. You can always try emailing the developers of the app though. Different carriers release patches for the purpose of blocking tethering apps, so keep that in mind as well. As a side note, it’s always a gamble to go through with those software updates. Wish I could have answered your question. Good luck!

      - Casey

  36. derek

    I have an s3 through tmobile. I have unlomited data and my phone plan allows usage of my hotspot. But my hotspot data usage is NOT unlimited, only my normal data usage on my phone is. So the question is with this app allow me to get around that? Like will it use my unlimited data from my phone or will it run off my limited amount of data alloted for the hotspot?

    1. Casey Post author

      Hi Derek,

      You will want to make sure your actual phone included mobile hotspot does not go on. You will know this because you will probably be prompted. Make sure you only check the box in the app itself. I know on my phone this works. I can not say 100%, because I am not on the same carrier as you, but my guess is it should be fine based on prior experience.

      - Casey


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