iPhone Internet Tethering feature allows you to share the iPhone’s cellular internet connection with your desktop or laptop computer using the iPhone’s USB cable or a wireless bluetooth connection. This guide will work for both Mac and Windows computers.
If you don’t know what Internet Tethering is or which iPhones and which carriers support it officially please read our other guide: What is iPhone Tethering and which iPhone Carriers Support it?
How to Enable iPhone Internet Tethering?
On your iPhone, Go to Settings > General > Network and select Internet Tethering
Once you set the switch to On you will be asked whether you want to enable tethering on USB only or USB + Bluetooth. If you select the second option Bluetooth will be turned on in case it was off. A bluetooth icon will appear in your status bar at the top.
In case Bluetooth was already On, tethering will be enabled automatically on Bluetooth and USB. Whether you use tethering over Bluetooth or USB tethering the speed will be the same. If you are travelling use Bluetooth as it consumes much less power.
Now that you have enabled Tethering on your iPhone either connect it your Mac or Windows laptop using the USB cable or just pair it over bluetooth to start accessing the internet.
Bluetooth Pairing Instructions:
Mac: Go to Bluetooth menu in top status bar and select Set up bluetooth device to pair iPhone. Once pairing is done. Select your iPhone from list of devices and click on Connect to Network.
Windows: Right click on the Bluetooth icon in your taskbar and select connect to Bluetooth PAN network. These options may vary depending on the manufacturer or your Bluetooth software.
Once your computer is connected you will see a new blue bar appear on your iPhone screen at the top stating that iPhone Internet Tethering is active. You can just disconnect tethering from your computer and do not need to disable it every now and then.
In fact, while travelling I don’t even need to take out the phone from my pockets. I keep the bluetooth radio On always since it doesn’t consume much power. Whenever, I need to access the internet on my laptop I connect it from the laptop’s bluetooth menu in a one click process.
Wi-fi tethering in the form of Mobile Hotspot is coming to iPhone in March when iOS 4.3 is released. Read more about it here.
Let us know if you found this tutorial useful and if you have any questions or difficulties with internet tethering on your iPhone.