These days it seems that public wifi is everywhere. But what about those times when you discover you’re in a wifi-free zone. At such times, you may want to consider tethering your iPhone to your laptop to access the internet. Tethering allows you to share wireless connectivity with other electronic devices by turning your smartphone into a portable wireless modem or “personal hotspot.” In other words, you can connect any wireless device to the internet from any location as long as your phone can get a signal from your cellular carrier. (Note: Tethering options are different with various carriers and different plans, so you’ll need to check with your’s before trying this.) Here’s how it’s done:

What you will need:

tether your iphone

(Photo via Andreas Issieib on Flickr)

  1.  A carrier data plan that supports iPhone tethering such as Verizon, AT&R, or Xfinity (many carriers charge extra for tethering so make sure to contact them for details)
  2. You will need an iPhone 3G or later (older generations cannot tether)

On the iPhone:

tether your iphone

(Photos 1,2 via Daiji Hirata on Flickr)

  1. Turn on your phone–> click “Settings”–> click “Cellular”–> switch on “Celluar data” and “Personal Hotspot” will appear as an option–>click on the “Personal Hotspot” icon and slide the setting on.
  2. Select a wifi password, the one supplied will be difficult to remember.

On Your Mac:


  1. Click on the wireless connection icon on the task bar at the top right of your screen.
  2. Select your iphone’s wireless name (it usually appears as “iPhone”).
  3. Enter your iPhone’s wireless password and press “return”.

Turning off your Personal Hotspot:

To turn off the “Personal Hotspot” setting on your iPhone, go to “Settings”–>click on “Personal Hotspot” then switch it back to off.

(Featured photo via Steve Garfield on Flickr)

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