Tether your phone

What is it?iphone tethering

Tethering is the term for using your phone to provide Internet access to another device such as a PC. The phone uses its GPRS or 3G mobile network connection to supply data to another device using a USB cable or another radio connection such as WIFI or Bluetooth.

Why do it?

The main advantage is that you only need one account with a mobile network (one SIM card) - then this can supply voice and data for your phone in addition to data to your PC or Tablet. As well as being the cheapest option it maybe the most convenient as you dont need any aditional hardware such as a 3G Dongle for your laptop or Tablet PC.


Your mobile network operator may not like it (especially if you use it a lot) and your mobile phone battery will be drained as using mobile data will use similar power to making a phone call.

What you need

You do need to ensure you have mobile data enabled on your phone account and at a reasonable cost. As soon as you start web browsing and other PC based Internet services you will need much more data than you would expect to use on a phone or smartphone alone.

The best data plans are those which allow unlimited data for a small fee - either £5 per month or capped usage of £0.50 per day is typical in the UK.

The Politics

The operators don't really like tethering as they have calculated their pricing on the understanding that most users will require very little data for their phone - and get a little annoyed when their customers use 50-100MB surfing the Web on a very cheap plan. But considering that they often advertise these cheap deals as "unlimited mobile Internet" with no obvious restrictions, you can hardly blame anyone from making full use of them!

In the US AT&T have been sending text messages warning iPhone users to stop illegally tethering their devices for a month or so, and now Android owners are getting the same treatment. You can still tether legally, of course, but it's going to cost you at least $10 to $20 per month to do so, depending on your carrier.

How to do it:

Nokia devices: One of the easiest ways is to use Nokia's own free software - PC Suite (download from Nokia.com) installed on your PC. This will allow you to connect your PC to the Internet using either a USB cable or the phone's built in bluetooth. You can also set up many Nokia devices to use their built in WIFI as an wireless access point allowing any PC within wifi range to share its Internet connection - try the free JoikuSpot Lite. (The full version is currently €9.00 and allows you to also name your WIFI network (set the SSID).

Android users have much more choice and there are many applications available to convert them into WIFI access points. Some US carriers are also trying to stop the distribution of this software but as Android is an "open platform", they don't really stand much chance in blocking its download.

iPhones generally need to be jailbroken (unless you have an iPhone 4) to enable the download and install of tethering software, but once this is done there are plenty available such as the popular MyWi free application.

iPhone 4 users are lucky as these phones do not need jailbraking just configure as follows:

  1. Launch the webapp for MobileConfig from http://help.benm.at
  2. Scroll down and Tap to download
  3. Now you will see details screen, tap install, Tap “Install Now” while you see the install profile notice will pop up
  4. Go to iPhone’s preferences app, Tap “General” and “Network” thereafter, Tap “Internet Tethering”. Flip the toggle in order to turn it on. You will get option to turn it back on incase your bluetooth is off. You can save battery life using USB.
  5. The network interface notice will come up while connecting iPhone to computer. Choose  “Apply” & turn off your wireless.
  6. Restart your iPhone & you are done with tethering your iPhone 4 without Jailbreaking it.

DMC Firewall is developed by Dean Marshall Consultancy Ltd