The Simple, Secret iPhone Tethering Fix

As Apple's music event draws closer, there's plenty of speculation that a new version of iTunes might be nigh--and with it, a pwn-resistant version of iPhone OS 3.1. So with a healthy fear of Apple's anti-hacker scheming, it bears mentioning that not all iPhone workarounds involve offending the Cupertino gods. And not all involve downloads, or Terminal commands, or actual work. This is one such workaround.

iphone tethering

This dead-simple iPhone tethering fix isn't new, but with all the flotsam of Apple coverage surrounding MMS and new iPods, it seems to have been lost in the mire. Three reasons you should care:

1) It works flawlessly via Bluetooth or USB, giving you mobile 3G anywhere.

2) It incurs no extra charges (that I've found with my AT&T account)

3) It takes 10 seconds to enable, no computer needed, and

4) AT&T knows of the fix, and they're tolerating it, according to PC Magazine.

Alright, so that's four reasons--but let's get to the tethering.

Here's what you do. First, go to this Australian blogger's Web site using Mobile Safari on your iPhone: help.benm.at/help.php

iphone tethering

Then, scroll down to "Tethering and Internet Settings," and click the download button next to "Mobileconfigs". (You'll have to select your country first.)

iphone tethering

After that, enter the Network Settings menu inside your iPhone (Settings --> General --> Network). You'll now see an option for "Internet Tethering. Go ahead and turn it on.

Once your phone is set up, pair it via Bluetooth or USB, and set up it up as a Network Interface. (On Macs, the Bluetooth wizard will present this option automatically.) Once enabled, your phone will register as an Internet connection every time it's near (or plugged into) your computer, so you don't have to go through the pairing process each time. Instead, each time you connect to your phone, you'll see a message like this.

iphone tethering

If you'd like to see a video tutorial, check out this one.

Correction: this post originally incorrectly identified an article above as coming from PCWorld.

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23 Comments

  • Jane Weems

    Can you help a newbie! I followed your directions but I'm not able to get Tethering to show up in my settings. I'm running 3.1.3 and iTunes 9.

  • Adele Arlitt

    I've been tethering my iPhone for months. But just a few weeks ago it quit working. I still have 3.0 as an operating system. My phone lets me turn on tethering, but my Mac doesn't recognize it. What gives?

  • Jeremy Johnson

    Wow, I have 21 voicemails! Whoever mentioned that this hack breaks voicemail on 3.1 was right. Time to search for the UNDO instructions.

  • Don Wilson

    NO GO ON MY 3gs with the new 3.1 version. The "Tethering" option never appears in the General>Networks section. Any ideas anyone, or is this tethering thing looking like jail-broken satellite dishes and back and forth working and not working

  • Kirk Hayes

    This article is completely wrong and obviously is just a re-post of an older article when this technique actually did work.

    I have used this technique both with 3.0, 3.0.1, and 3.1. It will not work on 3.1 and as a result I downgraded my phone back to 3.0.

    If you go to help.benm.at on your iphone you will see that they do not have a tethering solution for 3.1.

    It would be nice if internet authors actually took the time to do research and testing being claiming to be an authority on the subject.

  • Jaco Kaloki

    I hope that AT&T wont charge me. Tether works great on 3.0 I haven't had any problem so far. I try to install it on Iphone 2G but I keep having setting issues and probably it will be very slow therefore I'm not sweating it no more as of 3G users jailbreak your phone and down grade to 3.0 pretty much follow instructions from there.http://www.quickpwn.com/2009/08/jailb... save money by tethering and cancel comcast/at&t/verizon ...have a saving day wont you?

  • Patrick Tierney

    I have the iPhone 3G with 3.1. I downloaded the Mobileconfigs but the "tethering" option doesn't show up in the network folder of my phone.

  • Mike Withe

    Hey Stuart Cracraft,
    Your problem is Snow Leopard, after updated to 10.6, my "flawless" connection to my iphone 3.0.1 started getting glitchy.... randomly giving me the message in network preferences "Has a self assigned IP and will not be able to connect to the internet" or something along the sort... I tried cleaning with onyx, reseting the network settings to default, nothing worked... so i re-installed snow leopard, and now its back to working... but im pretty sure as soon as i try to change ANY network settings it will go back to its glitchy self (WiFi and Ethernet giving me same errors as well).. my macbook is having major network issues after updated to snow... even the wifi is glitchy...

    as for tethering... IF YOU ALREADY UPGRADED TO 3.1, and you want to still tether, THERE IS A WAY...

    TETHER YOUR iPHONE 3G (S) 3.1 using cydia app called "Tether", you need a jailbroken iPhone 3.1 and a Mac computer that you will be tethering to...

    I was about to downgrade to 3.0.1 when i lost tethering... but the app is simple enough and as long as you have a mac, you can TETHER iPhone 3.1!!!

    other apps like "MyWiFi" that use the carrier hack will not work, the WiFi generated connection will, but the tethering itself is broken...

    BUT "Tether" app works from cydia on 3.1

    Hope this can save a bunch of people headaches from downgrading

  • Dick Roe

    Ok, just found this post after trying a couple of different methods to enable tethering on 3.0fw on 3GS. followed the instructions. went to mobile configs, then to USA as my locale. I then select AT&T as they are my current carrier, I am then presented with Install Profile page. So I Install the unsigned profile. Now (after re-booting) when I go to the network settings and the tethering section, as soon as I select it, I get a pop-up saying "To enable tethering on this account, contact AT&T" anyone else experiencing this or know another work around?

    Cheers

  • Stuart Cracraft

    My issue is an odd one. I've been tethering on
    an iPhone 3G device for some time, no changes,
    worked great.

    I woke up today, tried it out. No luck.
    Downloaded via help.benm.at/help.php
    on Safari on the iPhone.

    It installed - I activated tethering
    via Settings/General/Network/Tethering/On/USB.

    No problem.

    However, the USB-connected MacBook running
    Snow Leopard (10.6 Mac OS X) isn't connecting.

    It used to be completely seamless and tethering
    would appear in the iPhone interface. Now, nothing.

    Anyone seen the above?

  • Marlene Pfeifle

    I have the second generation iPhone - not the 3G but the one just before it. It is upgraded to version 3.0 however, when I followed the directions downloading and then going to General -> Network I do not have the option to to turn on internet tethering. It only has Data Roaming, the VPN and then Wi_fi. What can I do to make this work?

  • Guest

    I just started using it and it works great but I'm a little worried that it will incur costs from AT&T. I haven't upgraded to 3.1 yet for this reason, but feel free to post a comment if you've tried it.

  • Joseph II

    I've been using this hack since 3.0 came out, but 3.1 doesn't allow it to work any more. benm says they're working on a 3.1 version though....

  • Gary LaPointe

    Eric,

    There has been a fix for that. I think it's settings -> general -> reset -> reset network settings.

    I think that's it, but google to be sure.

    Gary

  • Eric Pender

    Hi Chris, do you know if this still disables Visual Voicemail? I tried this a while back, and it stopped my voicemail from working. Thanks!

  • Chris Dannen

    @Gary: they may actually implement that data-counter before the service is ready, which might mean that the fix will go un...fixed.