3g modems on a PC

Discussion in 'privacy technology' started by masod22, May 14, 2012.

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  1. masod22

    masod22 Registered Member

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    Hello

    I am looking for some info.

    If I owned two or more prepaid usb 3g modems and connected them at different times either directly to a PC or to a wifi router connected to the network card, would an ISP be able to know if they were used by the same person or on the same PC.

    Would they just see the modems sim card, IMEI and MAC address or would they be able to id the particular PC or person, I know they'd know the same mast was used but anything else?

    Thank you
     
  2. masod22

    masod22 Registered Member

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    Does anyone have any information on this?
     
  3. PaulyDefran

    PaulyDefran Registered Member

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    I'm no mobile data expert, but I would think the IMEI would be tied to your method of purchase (Credit Card info) and purchase location, and if it was used a lot from one location (not always, but just more than any other location) the cell tower hits would generally locate you. Think of it as a mobile phone. Now, if you paid for the modem in cash at a store in the next state, always bought pre-paid 'top up cards' (a'la' Virgin Mobile) in cash, applied them through Tor or a VPN, and never used it at home...

    PD
     
  4. masod22

    masod22 Registered Member

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    Thanks for replying,

    Its not really from an anonymity problem I'm coming from.

    I mean if I bought two prepaid modems, two sim cards, paid in cash never gave any real details, but at different times used both modems on the same computers and same router.

    Would the ISP know they were being used by the same person or on the same computers and router? Do they just see the IMEI and other details of the modems or would they also see for form of id from my computers and router?

    I know they'd know they were in the same area but would they know it was the same person or household, other than by browsing history.

    Thanks.
     
  5. PaulyDefran

    PaulyDefran Registered Member

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    I would think it would be the same info a cable provider would know: Cable Modem=3G Modem. That's with the modem plugged into a router like a Cradlepoint. I have no idea what happens when you plug it into a laptop USB port directly. Does it somehow transmit your computer MAC? Usually, MACs stop at the router...but you aren't using one when plugged directly. I don't know, sorry.

    PD
     
  6. masod22

    masod22 Registered Member

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    Thats okay, thanks anyway, maybe someone else might know.
     
  7. masod22

    masod22 Registered Member

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    Sorry to bring this back up but I'm still looking for information.
    It seems I can't find the answers to the above here so I was wondering if anyone knows any other site where I might find someone who would know?

    Thanks
     
  8. PaulyDefran

    PaulyDefran Registered Member

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    I would try the XDA Developer's Forum maybe. A phone is just a bigger 3G Modem version of the USB stick.

    PD
     
  9. jonw

    jonw Registered Member

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    As far as i know the 3g laptop sticks do not send your mac address to the network provider, but this also depends on would each of these laptop sticks be by the same provider like say tmobile or would it be different providers for each stick? Also depends on how you go about things, it even depends on if both providers share the same towers and or if they share the same company feeding the towers in that area. Here is an example of how it could be used to easily identify the same person on each laptop stick. You are at home switching between a tmobile and att laptop stick, both of these companies are sharing a 3rd party cell tower in your area. They can just watch the traffic, browser referrer, even if your using a vpn they can just watch and see if its the same ips connecting each time. Honestly there are so many variables to this I could just ramble on but my point is its possible but it really depends on how interested someone is in you.

    Usually all the cell towers in an area are going to mix into the same routers at some point in that area. Even if different company's provided the data links for those very towers. The reason I say this is because cell towers have such a short range. Its not like tower x is 20 miles away and tower z is 30, usually tower x is maybe 1 mile away and tower z is 2 miles away. Also rarely does each laptop stick connect to just a single tower in an area , They usually link to multiple towers so if your moving it can seamlessly hand off to the next tower. Long story short if you wanted to change laptop sticks and make them look different you would either need to changed vpns each time, or at the very least change the mac just to be safe even though I said I don't think they report it to the provider and change your browser referrer and completely change your internet activities. As for vpns even if you swapped vpns each time it could link it back to you just by the act of running a vpn. Your best bet would be 2 laptops with a split personality for each one lol. Even traffic on a cell tower could effect this whole thing. Sorry for me rambling on for so long and if anything I said turns out wrong please feel free to correct me.
     
  10. masod22

    masod22 Registered Member

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    Thank you both for the replies.

    I'm still looking for more information relating to my questions so I'll try XDA Developer's Forum but I'd also be grateful for any more help here.
     
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