Many iPhone users wonder if there’s a way to use the 3G connection of their iPhones as a way to connect to the Internet with a laptop. This can be very beneficial to laptop users who travel. It’s a process called “tethering,” and the iPhone 3G and 3GS support the functionality for European users.
Unfortunately, as of yet AT&T has not offered American iPhone users a way to tether their phones to a laptop. However, some iPhone fans have found a makeshift way to trick the iPhone 3G and 3GS into allowing tethering.
Please note before attempting this that tethering isn’t officially supported by Apple or AT&T yet. It’s possible that AT&T could cancel an iPhone owner’s service agreement for tethering. They might also charge an iPhone user for data used while tethering. With that being said, there’s nothing illegal about tethering an iPhone to a laptop. It simply may be in violation of your contract with AT&T.
Here’s a quick guide to tethering an iPhone 3G. It’s a very simple, very fast process that you can do with just your laptop and an iPhone.
Tethering an iPhone to your laptop works by making the laptop think that the iPhone is a wireless network. Really, once you’ve finished, it is.
The steps to tethering the iPhone 3G are extremely simple. The iPhone 3G and 3GS actually have the ability to tether built in, and all this process does is unlock that ability. First, update your iPhone 3G to the 3.0 software.
Take your iPhone 3G out and open up the Safari app. In the browser bar, type in: http://help.benm.at/help.php. This website is set up to exploit the iPhone’s code in a way that allows tethering, even though it hasn’t officially been allowed yet. All you’ll need to do is to follow the simple guide on the site. Once the tethering is set up, connect the iPhone 3G to your laptop via a USB cord. You’re done. You should now be able to connect to the 3G network through your laptop.
Again, I want to warn that this is not endorsed by AT&T or Apple, and you could be putting yourself at some sort of risk. Some iPhone users have received angry letters from AT&T regarding their tethering.
You can diminish your chances of catching AT&T’s eyes by limiting your 3G usage. Don’t download any large files while tethering an iPhone 3G. Don’t use torrents, or go to websites with a ton of video or graphics. The less bandwidth you use up, the more you’ll be able to stay under the radar. Be careful, and chances are decent that you should be fine. Tethered data shows up differently on AT&T’s side, so know that if they review your account, they’ll see what you’ve been up to.
If you don’t want to exploit the iPhone 3G, just wait. Within a few months, most industry analysts believe that tethering will be offered on the iPhone 3G. There will probably be some charge from AT&T, but it won’t risk a violation of any terms of agreement.