How to Activate Internet Tethering on the iPhone

Need to take advantage of the internet connection on your iPhone to get access on your computer? Find out how...Read more
Need to take advantage of the internet connection on your iPhone to get access on your computer? Find out how.

Steps

Mobile Carrier Method
  1. Update your iOS. For best results, make sure you have the latest iteration of iOS installed on your iPhone. Learn how to update here.
  2. Make sure a hotspot is on your mobile plan. Most carriers will charge you more to enable your iPhone to be a hotspot. Before proceeding, find out if a hotspot option is already included on your mobile plan; if it's not, decide how much it's worth to you to alter the plan.
  3. Check the system requirements. Apple lists system requirements for Personal Hotspot here. The iPhone 3GS can tether via USB or Bluetooth; the iPhone 4 can tether via USB, Bluetooth or WiFi.
  4. Open up the Personal Hotspot menu. Access the menu via Settings -> General Network -> Personal Hotspot. Turn the hotspot on. The screen will provide you with information on how to connect your computer to the hotspot.
    • Set up a password. If you're connecting via WiFi, Apple will prompt you to use a password to secure the network. A randomly generated one will appear in the dialog box automatically; it will look like [word][2-digit number][word]. You can change it if you want, but the one Apple provides is safe and will prevent anyone else hacking into your connection.
    • Make sure your AirPort device is compatible. A WiFi hotspot connection runs on WAP2 encryption, available in all AirPort bases in Apple devices from 2003 onward. If you're using an old, pre-2003 iBook, you won't be able to connect to the hotspot via WiFi.
  5. Manage your connection. The Personal Hotspot screen should show you all the devices its currently connected to. Note that the hotspot will search for acceptable devices for 90 seconds after you turn it on; after that, it will "hibernate" to save battery power. To turn it back on, simply open the Personal Hotspot menu again, or turn the Personal Hotspot off and on again.
  6. Shut down the hotspot. When you're done using it, turn the Personal Hotspot off.
Jailbreaking Method
  1. Be aware of the risks. Most wireless carriers have blocked apps or downloads that allow unauthorized tethering without adding a Personal Hotspot fee to your mobile plan. If you do purchase such an app, be aware that it might not work or that you may end up being charged for a Personal Hotspot add-on anyway.
  2. Download an App. Some people have reported success with PdaNet or TetherMe. New apps for unauthorized tethering pop up on the App Store constantly, but Apple generally takes them down quickly. Keep your eyes peeled for something new.
  3. Download a Mobileconfigs file. One can be found at the benmat website. Download the file or email it to yourself and retrieve it on our iPhone. You'll be required to note your country and your mobile carrier when you open it.
  4. Activate the tether or hotspot. Once you've downloaded an app or a Mobileconfigs file, go to Settings->General->Network and turn on the hotspot.
  5. Connect your computer. For an iPhone 4, this can be accomplished via USB, bluetooth, or WiFi. For an iPhone 3, only USB and Bluetooth are available.
  6. Manage your connection. The Personal Hotspot screen should show you all the devices its currently connected to. Note that the hotspot will search for acceptable devices for 90 seconds after you turn it on; after that, it will "hibernate" to save battery power. To turn it back on, simply open the Personal Hotspot menu again, or turn the Personal Hotspot off and on again.
  7. Shut down the hotspot. When you're done using it, turn the Personal Hotspot off.

Video

Tips

  • Connecting the hotspot via USB is the most efficient use of battery power.

Warnings

  • Consider carefully before you jailbreak your iPhone. Your warranty will be voided completely.

Related wikiHows

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