You may not know this, but it is possible to take certain cell phones or smart phones that have a Wi-Fi or data connection and share that connection with a desktop computer or laptop. This act is called "tethering" and it can be a pretty handy trick when you're on the road away from home or the office and need to get online. Here I will show you how to tether using an iPhone. You have probably seen a multitude of articles on the Net about tethering with an iPhone-and are probably wondering what's going to make this article any different-well, most tethering articles only show you how to enable it on your iPhone and then stop there. I'm actually going to take you the rest of the way and show you what you need to do on your PC or Mac to get it to work with your iPhone.
- Keep in mind that we are trying to do here is considered hacking and is not supported by Apple (at least not as of this writing). We're essentially enabling a feature Apple has created, but is currently disabled-so, back up your iPhone first! OK, you've been warned-now let's get started!
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
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Things you need
- An iPhone with OS 3.0 or higher
- An internet or data connection
- The USB cable that comes with your iPhone
- iTunes 8.2 or higher
- A computer or laptop, PC or Mac
Before you take another step forward, back up! In case you didn't get the gist from the introduction, back up your iPhone now.
Open up the Safari browser on your iPhone and go to this address: http://help.benm.at>
Scroll down the page and look for the "Tethering & Internet Settings" section. Tap "Download."
Choose your country.
Tap what service you use. In this case it will be "AT&T."
Tap on the "Install" button on the "Install Profile" page.
A window will pop up warning you that the authenticity of the profile cannot be verified and that installing this will change settings on your iPhone. Remember, this is a hack!
Tap "Install Now."
When it's done it will say "Profile Installed" at the top. Tap "Done." You can also close your Safari browser. You have now installed the ability to tether on your iPhone. Wasn't that painless?
Configure tethering on your iPhone. Go to Settings > General > Network. You'll notice that a new option has been added called "Internet Tethering." Go ahead and tap it.
Slide the switch on the "Internet Tethering" page to "On."
How to Set Up Tethering on an iPhone
Now you're ready to test this out with a computer. The reason you would want to tether is because you're in a situation where you don't have an Internet connection (Cable, Wi-Fi or otherwise) for your computer or laptop. If you're at your home or office right now you more than likely have an Internet connection, so to properly test this out you're going to have to temporarily disable it.
To do this on a Windows PC, go to Start > Control Panel > Network Connections > right-click your connection > click "Disable".
On your PC you must have iTunes installed and it must be upgraded to version 8.2 or higher. iTunes 8.2 includes the tethering driver that Windows will need to recognize the iPhone.
Take the USB cable that came with your iPhone (yes, the one that you sync with) and connect your iPhone to your PC. Your computer will possibly try to open your iPhone in iTunes, but just close those windows now. What is important, though, is that Windows will prompt you that it has found and is installing a new piece of hardware called "Apple Mobile Device Ethernet."
Go to Start > Control Panel > Network Connections on your PC you'll see that a brand new Local Area Connection has been installed.
If you view the properties of that connection you'll see that it is for the "Apple Mobile Device Ethernet." You'll also notice that the top part of your iPhone is flashing blue and says "Internet Tethering."
No additional configuration is required at this point. You're ready to open up a browser on your PC and start surfing.
How to Tether an iPhone to a Windows PC Via USB
Just like with the PC, iTunes must be upgraded to version 8.2 and you'll want to use the iPhone's USB cable to plug into the Mac.
Tethering via USB only works for Macs with OSX 10.5.7 or later. If you have an earlier version of OSX, try tethering via Bluetooth (I got Bluetooth to work with 10.4). Basically once you're connected via USB, tethering should start instantly.
You can confirm your connection by going to Apple > System Preferences > Network and look for the Ethernet Adapter with parentheses after it.
How to Tether an iPhone to a Mac OSX Via USB
Just like with the PC, iTunes must be upgraded to version 8.2. First you have to pair the Mac with your iPhone via Bluetooth. Make sure Bluetooth is activated on your iPhone by going to Settings > General > Bluetooth. On your Mac, go to Apple > System Preferences > Bluetooth to make sure Bluetooth is "on" there also. Then under "Devices," choose "Set Up New Device."
In the Bluetooth device setup choose "Mobile Phone." It will search for your phone via Bluetooth. Choose it, and then it will give you a code. Your iPhone will automatically prompt you for the code. Enter the code into your iPhone and tap "Connect." You can also choose the option for it to use the address book. On the final screen of the setup note it lets you know you have the option to use the mobile phone as a "Personal Area Network."
You'll notice that even though your iPhone and Mac are paired, you're still not connected. The next step is to go to the Bluetooth symbol in the upper right-hand corner of your Mac's desktop, click it and choose "Join Network On iPhone." Yet again, your iPhone will flash blue at the top and say "Internet Tethering." You're ready to surf the net on your Mac! You can disconnect by choosing "Disconnect from iPhone" from the Bluetooth menu.
Once you're done tethering, be sure to go back to Settings > General > Network > Internet Tethering on your iPhone and cut tethering off. You don't want any surprise fees on your cell phone bill.
How to Tether an iPhone to a Mac OSX Via Bluetooth
Tips and warnings
- FOR USA iPHONE USERS: AT&T; has not officially released their tethering service as of this writing-but it is a well-known fact that when they do they will charge extra for it-so there is a risk you may get charged extra on your phone bill for doing this.