17-year-old Jacob Ajit has confirmed what many people have suspected for a long time. Running internet connection speed test is not a reliable measure of the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) connection speed. ISP put speed test apps and sites connections on a whitelist of no throttle.
Thus, it is a big fallacy to expect your typical browsing to be at the speed given to you by speed test apps and sites. Your regular browsing connections are throttled while the speed test apps and sites connections are not throttled.
While Ajit’s hack was to some extent accidental and not hinged on proving ISP clever tactics of deceiving users using speed tests apps and sites. It makes that fact nonetheless truer.
Ajit primary concern was on how he could access more internet without raising his parents spending. After all, he is a teenager and dependent on his parents; perhaps for virtually everything. On Wednesday, Ajit made a Medium post giving an account of how he came to hack his free internet access on the T-Mobile network.
As it happened; Ajit had a T-Mobile phone lying around and with no service, but still able to connect to the network. At first, he was only able to access the T-Mobile portal, which was asking him to renew his prepaid phone plan.
Bored but still determined to play around with the phone, Ajit ran a number of apps trying to see if they will connect to the internet. As expected almost all apps did not work, except for the Speedtest app; it displayed a respectable 20 Mbps LTE connections. It dawned on Ajit that the Speedtest app was enabled by T-Mobile to fetch data [proving our assertion in the first paragraph].
Ajit discovered that the Speedtest app was picking a T-Mobile Speedtest server, and when he changed the server to a neutral 3rd party app, it still worked. Ajit drew the conclusion that T-Mobile must be whitelisting Speedtest-affiliated servers. It appeared that T-Mobile was granting access to all and any media under any folder named “/speedtest” and Ajit went to prove this theory.
He set up a “/speedtest” folder on his site and placed some media files inside; including some Taylor Swift videos. He then tried to access the content over the T-Mobile network without any mobile data subscription. Well, it worked!
Ajit wrote that he was able to create a proxy server that gives users access to any site using this hack. For more details on this hack, visit Ajit Medium post.