How to Tether a Motorola Atrix 4G to its Laptop Dock for Free, without a Tethering Plan

March 11, 2011 by Lisa Oshima | Developers, Mobile, Review

As I mentioned in my last post, my biggest complaint about the Motorola Atrix 4G was AT&T’s requirement of a $40/month tethering plan to use it with the Motorola Laptop Dock.  Fortunately, I’ve found an easy to circumvent…

When I bought the Atrix 4G, the AT&T store salesman and his manager weren’t sure if I needed a tethering plan to use the laptop dock…  As an early smartphone user, I’ve been on AT&T’s “all you can eat” data plan for years.  Switching to AT&T’s 4GB tethering data plan from my unlimited plan would mean paying an additional $10/month and getting less data.

While the AT&T sales team couldn’t promise me that I’d be able to successfully tether the Atrix and Laptop Dock together without paying for the additional plan, they encouraged me to try… Apparently, I’m not the only one who thinks it’s ridiculous to pay $10 surcharge every month for using the Atrix Laptop Dock, which cannot even be turned on without being plugged into the Atrix, which already has a plan.

When I got home and first connected the Atrix to the Laptop Dock, I received a notification saying that I needed an AT&T tethering plan or a wi-fi connection for Firefox to work on Webtop, and I thought I might have to sign up for the data plan after all.  After a little online digging, I found a couple of forums that recommended I root my new phone to enable free tethering. That didn’t seem like a great option, given the potential longer term uncertainty of jailbreaking my phone.  So, I kept looking, and voila… Today, I found a video that showed me how to set up a free AT&T wireless Hot Spot on my Atrix 4G in less than 5 minutes, without rooting my phone. It’s incredibly easy:

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  • Nice thx!! Hope your doing well Lisa

  • Claytonstreet42

    i got all the way to last step wifi hotspot and when it tried to validate, prompt came back from att saying Account not set up for wifi hotspot. Please advise.

  • Jennifer60900

    did it Thank You! Works great

  • tin

    this was a great video! thank you!

  • Intel

    Works great, lets see if the carrier finds out?? lol anyways first time it said I was not set up for the hotspot, but after reboot it works fine

  • Liam

    I followed the above and easily set up a wireless access point.  I put my Atrix in the laptop dock and got the message “Verifying AT&T account status for webtop…”

    The message never disappeared, but I was able to access to web.

    I do not know if the message would persist indefinitely, but still allowing me internet access without a tethering charge.  I’d appreciate hearing from others who have tried this with the laptop dock.

  • AD

    What UI skin is on your atrix? i want it!

  • Ccandel001

    It was working fine for about 3 weeks then my at&t sales person called me to have my software updated from V2.2 to v4.6 and the phone now has these cool new apps and its faster but now my tethering is not working anymore. I deleted the apn and followed the steps again but it just does not work. Can you please help

  • Drm Lcohen

    Upgraded to 2.3.4 and got locke out of the hot spot. There is now a line, last line, “APN protocol choices are IPv4, IPv6 and Ipv4/IPv6.
    Any ideas on how to fix this. martydoc

  • joe rybka

    Any work around

  • guest

    Any hints to get a Motorola Atrix running 2.3.4 to tether?

  • CCLakeman

    Same issue here, ever since the GB update came out….this tethering workaround has ceased functioning.   Any new on an updated method?

  • Jennifer60900

    any updates with the new 2.3.4 version?

  • Chris

    As of Sept 8th 2011 is there any work around for 2.3.4 on the Atrix so you can connect it to the laptop dock for free?
    Please let us know.

  • Revdevev


    I’ve tried this twice and I don’t get the option to enter a MMS Protocol on my ATT Atrix and so I get the ” Account not set up for Mobile Hot Spot” from ATT.  Can you help?


  • ER Mcbroom

    If you do this, do you still get charged for the DATA usage?

  • The Mogos

    does this still work?



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