I am regularily tethering from my phone to my iPad. Basically this works fine -- except that, being on wifi, the iPad or various apps treat the data connection as if it was a flatrate. The same would probably apply when being in places, that apply a narrow data usage limit to their connections.

Is there some way to tell and iPad (mini) to consider certain Wifi networks as mobile data connection?

Update: I strongly prefer non-jailbreak solutions. if you know a jailbreak-only solution, please still state it for completeness, but I probably will not use it.

2 Answers 2


I know from personal experience as an iOS developer and having researched this topic before that it is not possible.

If the developer was savvy enough they can write code that differentiates a tethered connection from real Wifi.

That, however, would be app specific and furthermore unfortunately there is no blanket setting.


Not easily. Jailbreaking would allow various options for on-phone fire walling but that could get complicated pretty quickly.

There are proxy or vpn services like Onavo that could lead to a solution, but I've not known any that allow you to selectively limit your outbound traffic. These types of service basically route all your network traffic through their servers. Generally done for traffic measurement or security or anonymity. It would be technically feasible to then block some traffic.

Setting up your own proxy or vpn server and then configure outbound limits would be possible, but again, not easy.

  • From those server solutions I'd expect undesireable side effects, such as having to manually change the proxy whenever using an actual flatrate wifi or extra recurring costs (which I wanted to avoid by using tethering). Jailbreaking is explicitly undesired, I'll update my question accordingly.
    – kdb
    Aug 8, 2013 at 16:19
  • The more I think about it, the server solution is "too late". The traffic would have already crossed the mobile data link. So the only way is to run a proxy/outbound firewall on the iPad or on the hosting iPhone. Either way, Apple does not allow those sorts of deep system utility apps. Jailbreak or Android as the host device is your only way. Sorry.
    – 8None1
    Aug 8, 2013 at 21:23

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .