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How to Tether With iPhone

Updated on January 8, 2016
Max Dalton profile image

Max holds a BS in Mass Communications from SIU and an MA in Communication from U of I, and is pursuing an MBA from Webster University.

A blue bar appears across the top of your iPhone screen that says "Internet Tethering" when an external device is using your iPhone's Internet connection.
A blue bar appears across the top of your iPhone screen that says "Internet Tethering" when an external device is using your iPhone's Internet connection. | Source

Turn on Personal Hotspot

  1. Tap the “Settings” app on your iPhone’s home screen. The Settings app looks like a gray gear.
  2. Tap “General” at the top of the second grouping in the Settings screen and then tap “Network.”
  3. Tap “Personal Hotspot.” If you don’t see Personal Hotspot and instead see Set Up Personal Hotspot, your iPhone hasn’t been set up to support tethering and you need to contact your cellular data provider to see what’s required for you to set up tethering on your device. The cost to set up tethering on your iPhone depends on your cellular data provider.
  4. Tap the “ON/OFF” toggle to the right of Personal Hotspot until “ON” appears in white lettering on a blue background. Your iPhone has now been set up as a personal hotspot so that you can tether devices to your iPhone.

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Set Up Personal Hotspot Password

  1. Tap “Settings.”
  2. Tap “Personal Hotspot.”
  3. Tap “Wi-Fi Password.”
  4. Tap the space to the right of password to bring up a keyboard on the lower half of the iPhone screen.
  5. Type the password you want to use as the password that’s required when other people attempt to use your iPhone’s personal hotspot.

Access Personal Hotspot with External Device

  1. After enabling the personal hotspot feature on your iPhone and setting up the password for access to the personal hotspot, open the list of wireless connections available to the device you want to tether to your iPhone.
  2. Select the name that is assigned to your iPhone. The name of your device can be found by connecting your iPhone to the computer you use to sync it with iTunes and then opening iTunes. The name of your device is listed on the left side of the iTunes program window beneath Devices.
  3. Enter the password you set up for your personal hotspot when prompted. You can now use your iPhone’s 3G network as a wireless network on your external device.

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  • You can only have up to five different devices connected to the personal hotspot at any one time.
  • You will know when an external device is tethered to your iPhone because a blue bar appears across the top of your iPhone screen that reads "Internet Tethering" when an external device tethers itself to the personal hotspot you set up on the iPhone.
  • You can only use the 3GS and newer models of the iPhone; models older than the 3GS don’t have the personal hotspot feature.
  • Tethering the iPhone to external devices drains the iPhone’s battery. Ensure you have a full iPhone battery before connecting external devices, and also make sure you have a charger nearby for your iPhone.
  • Be careful about how much data you access using the iPhone’s 3G connection. Contact to see if there is a limit for the amount of data you can use each month using your device. If there is a data usage limit and you exceed it, you’ll face additional fees from your cellular data provider. You can see how much data you’ve used by tapping “Settings,” “General,” “Usage” and then “Cellular Usage.”

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    • profile image

      Timmy 2 years ago

      Craig, I use BitPim too. I'm kinda bummed out beasuce I wanted to buy the Samsung SCH-u740 and it doesn't seem to be supported. I currently have the old SCH-a670 and BitPim works great. I could never get the free internet thing working. It would be a pain to browse the web on it anyway. At least the iPhone has an actual browser and works with normal web. Not that I really need it.Wikke I second that. You can actually buy a MacMini for the same price or a low end Dell desktop. Add another $500 to this, and you have yourself a new MacBook or a lower end Dell laptop. a0|a0

    • savingkathy profile image

      Kathy Sima 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thank you - this was exactly the information I was looking for!

      Voted "useful"!