Which Carrier Really Has 'America's Best Network"?

· · Link

Every carrier at one point seems to be crowned “America’s Best Network” but which one is actually the best? It turns out that the companies that perform these tests use different methodologies and so reach different conclusions.

In recent weeks, three key studies have reached conflicting conclusions about the top four nationwide carriers, which includes Sprint. But reports by RootMetrics, OpenSignal, and PCMag that, respectively, gave top honors to Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T aren’t wrong—not if you understand how they were put together.

Comparing Android Security Versus iOS Security

· · Link

Keiran Dennie tweeted an interesting chart that compares the security of various smartphone operating systems.

Wondering about Android and Apple phone security? Here’s an objective chart to help you decide.

It’s a well known fact of Android that people have to rely on their carrier to push out security updates. This can take weeks, months, and sometimes they don’t get released at all.

What Phone Tethering is, And How to Use It

· · Link

You might have heard of the term “phone tethering” before. In case you didn’t know what it meant, David Nield put together a guide explaining the term and how to use it.

We’re going to focus largely on wifi tethering here—creating a wifi hotspot from your phone or tablet—but you do have other options. If you’ve got a spare USB cable you can create a more stable connection between laptop and mobile device, or you can tether via Bluetooth, which is significantly slower but less taxing on battery life.

I’ll put an addendum here. Tethering depends on your carrier, and some carriers don’t allow it, like prepaid carriers. I used to use Net10 and I couldn’t use create a Wi-Fi hotspot.

Bounty Hunter Successfully Tracked Down a Phone

· · Link

AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile sell access to customers’ location data. As an experiment, Joseph Cox paid a bounty hunter to locate a phone, and it worked.

The bounty hunter did this all without deploying a hacking tool or having any previous knowledge of the phone’s whereabouts. Instead, the tracking tool relies on real-time location data sold to bounty hunters that ultimately originated from the telcos themselves, including T-Mobile, AT&T, and Sprint, a Motherboard investigation has found. These surveillance capabilities are sometimes sold through word-of-mouth networks.

The technology apparently works on all mobile networks, but there was some issue with Verizon. Shady practices like this are why we need an American GDPR, as well as a better FCC.

RCS, Successor to SMS, Could Come to Apple Devices

· · Link

RCS is a technology touted as the replacement for SMS. It will bring rich, iMessage-like features to texting, and major carriers support it. And it sounds like Apple is interested.

According to the purported slide from the conference, Apple has “engaged in discussions with the GSMA and Operators about including RCS in iOS.” This is inherently vague and doesn’t offer too many details about the extent to which Apple is involved, but the pitch seems to center on three things.

I find it unfortunate that RCS seems to only support encryption during transport, and not end-to-end encryption. Governments around the world would probably not let end-to-end encryption become so widespread.