How To Turn The iPhone Into a Wireless Router

One of the coolest feature of the 3G iPhone is the high speed, always on, Internet connection. Having a constant connection to the Internet is pretty much a must have for any Dot Com Mogul. The main problem with the iPhone is the screen is too small to do any serious Web surfing. Yes, it’s great for Twitter or checking up on emails but blogging from it is an exercise in frustration. Fortunately, there is a way to extend that 3G connection onto your laptop by turning your iPhone into a wireless router.

Ed Lau and I were at Kam Do today for lunch and decided to do a video showing how to tether your iPhone to your Macbook so your Macbook can surf the Internet using the iPhone’s 3G Internet connection. You can do this with a PC as well. However, there are more steps involved because Windows like to add more steps. The setup works amazingly well. Just don’t exceed the limits of your data plan or you may end up with a huge cell phone bill!


48 thoughts on “How To Turn The iPhone Into a Wireless Router”

  1. Gary Lee says:

    it’s amazing how much you’ve guys are into apple now . . . . . i love it!

    1. Apple fan boys right there, folks!

      1. Eric Tan says:

        Fan boys for real… Steve Jobs the man! But that was pretty fast bloggable speeds! Thanks for the Video John… and Ed… and Sally: “Apple Rules!”

      2. Sorry to burst your bubble but the Samsung Instinct has much better functionality than the overhyped Iphone for a much better price..

    2. one more reason for me to buy iphone.
      Can any wifi phone can do this ?

  2. Gary says:

    Nice work…I love PDAnet…here’s instructions on how to set it up on your PC or Mac:

    http://www.iphoneincanada.ca/tips-tricks/how-to-setup-pdanet-and-tether-data-on-your-iphone-3g/

  3. tony dee says:

    That’s a pretty snazzy device there. That Iphone is nothing to be playing around with. I just wish I can get a few of you heavy hitters to submit a few sites to my directory for review. then and only then would i be able to play with such “toys”…lol

    http://www.113dir.com

  4. Michael says:

    It’s a wireless modem, not so much a router. The Mac creates the network, the iPhone is just the modem.

    Anyways, still very cool. I love NetShare on my iPhone (that i purchased from the App Store legally back in the day)

    1. John Chow says:

      Other computers can log onto the newly created network and surf the Web, so in that sense, it’s like a wireless router. But you are correct, it’s more wireless modem than router.

      1. Gabriel Lai says:

        I think it’s a modem to Mac through Wifi technology… normally we uses bluetooth or usb cable to dial to the ISP through mobile

  5. Dan says:

    For a minute I thought I would be able to swap my broadband wireless modem for an iPhone – would be sweet. 912 kbps isn’t bad, like you said you can work on it if needed, but seems a bit slow. My broadband modem does at least 1500/850 kbps in low coverage areas and that seems slow. Good to know that options exist!

    1. John Chow says:

      I have gotten as much as 1300 kbps down and 350 up. A lot things can affect the speed. Also the site that does the test can produce different results as well. Gary from iPhoneInCanada.ca did a test with Speakeasy.net and got 3210 down and 327 up.

    2. Ed Lau says:

      It depends on where you are. Obviously places with better reception may get better speeds. 3G is roughly equivalent to basic ADSL.

      1. Dan says:

        From what you guys are saying it seems that it could work ok, it just happened to be a suboptimal location when you did the demo
        Maybe I could swap my wireless modem for an iphone afterall, it would save me some space and a couple bucks/month
        Thanks for the post, it was a great idea

  6. Gabriel Lai says:

    Nice post John Chow…. indeed a power iPhone!

  7. Tyler Ingram says:

    Okay I head a rumour that Rogers allows you to tether the iPhone without incurring stupid separate data charges. Has anyone confirmed this?

    I know if I tether my blackberry to my laptop the unlimited dataplan my blackberry has with Bell is separate than if i were to tether.

    1. Gary says:

      I’ve been told by two Rogers employees that tethering the data plan is allowed. Even then I still am skeptical!

      Just be careful of overages! 6GB data equates to roughly 200MB/day of allocated usage.

  8. ahmike says:

    Great tools sir.. Can i use my SE P990i instead?

    1. John Chow says:

      I have no idea! I only know it.works great with the iPhone. πŸ™‚

      1. ahmike says:

        No problem john. You are my role model in blogs =)

  9. Alex Kim says:

    Thanks for sharing this info…

  10. Can we use iphone as a modem using bluetooth?

  11. Mike Huang says:

    I heard that ATT could track these type of “usages” and may charge you extra money.

    -Mike

  12. John Creek says:

    holly molly i wanna a macbook air!!!!

  13. You can do this with about any Internet enabled smart phone can’t you? I don’t think it is a new concept, but it is still very cool.

    Thanks John for showing how it’s done.

    Adam

  14. River Girl says:

    Can’t use iPhone because it is not Verizon, which we need for business and coverage. However, I was able to tether my Blackberry Curve -which Verizon says is not possible πŸ™‚

    Very happy that I can tether my Curve to MB Pro when traveling!

  15. I will have to try this with mine! Very good idea indeed.

  16. John,

    Did iphoneincanada.ca have any tips for extending the sub-six hour battery life of your iPhone 3G?

    For my iPod Classic Video version 5, I purchased an external battery with belt-pack and leatherette case made by a company called iRecharge.

    This unit provides 16-hours of iPod use, and charges from USB just like iPods.
    It also features four led’s. which indicate the remaining charge on the battery.

    It is slim enough to throw in a briefcase, or wear on your belt for Ultimate Fighter Workouts at your local gym.

    It also came with a cell-boost module that provides an emergency one-time, eight hour talk-time battery for your cell-phone.

    Maybe it would help Michael Kwan with a bit of CPU-voltage so that he does not crash his scooter or Segway v2.0?

    Respectfully,

    Nicholas Chase – ‘the video guy’ at BlogWorld Expo 2008

  17. John,

    Did iphoneincanada.ca have any tips for extending the sub-six hour battery life of your iPhone 3G?

    For my iPod Classic Video version 5, I purchased an external battery with belt-pack and leatherette case made by a company called iRecharge.

    In the USA: http://www.FrysElectronics.com $23.95 + Tax and shipping.

    This unit provides 16-hours of iPod use, and charges from USB just like iPods.
    It also features four led’s.which indicate the remaining charge on the battery.

    It is slim enough to throw in a briefcase, or wear on your belt for Ultimate Fighter Workouts at your local gym.

    It also came with a cell-boost module that provides an emergency one-time, eight hour talk-time battery for your cell-phone.

    Maybe it would help Michael Kwan, with a bit of additional “cerebral-cortex-CPU-voltage” so that he does not crash his scooter or Segway v2.0?

    Respectfully,

    Nicholas Chase – ‘the video guy’ at BlogWorld Expo 2008

  18. Debo Hobo says:

    You guys never cease to amaze me…

  19. good thing i have unlimited data plan. thanks for the tips. I have a 3g card for the macbook pro alread and i love it. in fact it is all that i use. However, I am going to be interested to see which is faster, the phone or the card that I already have. If the phone is laster then once this contract is up then I think that im going to have to ditch the card and only use the phone.

  20. Salwa says:

    Thanks John for showing how it’s done.

  21. That is a spanktacular deal for the iPhone. I wonder if the G1 can do that? Anyone know about the capabilities of the Google phone through Tmobile.

    Best regards, Matt Thompson | Mattheosis.com
    Original Orthodox Hubby @ Home Dad

  22. Been using the AT&T Tilt as a connection to the internet for my laptop since I got it (about a year ago). I’ve got the unlimited media net plan, which works like the data plan but it’s cheaper. They just don’t like you knowing that media net is the same.

    Using my phone as a wireless modem for the laptop is the best thing in the world. I use it all the time when I’m traveling. I’m never without internet access.

    This is also a great tool when going to blog events and conferences, just in case you can’t pick up and other wireless internet connections. And the 3G service is alot faster than dialup, just a little slower than dsl.

  23. Karen Lapitan says:

    Yet another reason to purchase this device! This suits people who’s always on the go like me. πŸ™‚

  24. Hmm. John, have you tried using a Blackberry?

  25. Allan says:

    Apple Rocks! Nice video guys

  26. Goldie says:

    This is a great option and is something I’ve recently started doing, great post!

  27. Great post John, cool trick.
    Let us know if ATT gets mad at you…lol j/k

  28. Now my wife will have to let me have one. How else can I work to make the money to feed her shopping addictions?

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