Can I Hook My iPhone Up to My Laptop & Use It As a Modem?

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Can I Hook My iPhone Up to My Laptop & Use It As a Modem?
Laptops use more data when browsing the Internet than iPhones do. (Photos.com/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images)

Your iPhone can connect to the Internet anywhere it receives a cell phone signal. You can share this Internet connection with a computer of laptop through a process called "tethering," which uses your iPhone as a portable modem. There are several methods for tethering your iPhone to a laptop, using both wired and wireless connections.

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USB Cable

The iPhone can be tethered to your laptop using the USB cable that comes with the handset. The benefit of USB tethering is that the iPhone's battery will be charged by the laptop's USB socket while in use, prolonging the length of time you can tether the two devices. It also provides a very stable connection, but does require you to have the iPhone physically connected to the laptop.

Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi tethering is a popular method of connecting the iPhone to a laptop as it does not require any drivers or a physical connection. This method essentially turns your iPhone into a portable wireless router, allowing the laptop --- and any other Wi-Fi-equipped devices you might have --- to share the iPhone's Internet connection as if it were a standard wireless network connection. You can set a security password on the iPhone to prevent unauthorised access, and your iPhone can be kept out of sight while remaining in use.

Bluetooth

Bluetooth tethering is a combination of both Wi-Fi tethering and USB cable tethering. It provides your laptop with an individual Internet connection as if it was tethered by USB cable, so no other users can share the same signal. However, no cable is actually required, allowing you to use the iPhone while keeping it out of sight. Bluetooth also uses less power than Wi-Fi, helping the iPhone to maintain its battery. The laptop must be Bluetooth equipped in order to use this method.

Tethering Information

The iPhone has built-in functions to provide tethering. USB and Bluetooth tethering are activated through the "Tethering" page in the iPhone's Settings application, while Wi-Fi tethering is achieved using the "Personal Hotspot" feature. All these methods require you to have a bolt-on tethering data package from your network provider before the device will share its Internet connection with your laptop. These tethering packages are available with varying amounts of allocated data usage, depending on your requirements.

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