Internet Tethering on the iPhone 3G

Internet Tethering on the iPhone 3G

Internet Tethering on the iPhone 3G

The iPhone 3.0 software is finally available and for me, one of the most important (and until now uncertain) features is the ability to tether - to use your phone as a modem for your laptop when you are out and about. Your laptop connects to your phone using Bluetooth and then your laptop is able to make use of the phones 3G or GPRS connection to connect to the Internet.

Every Nokia and Ericsson phone I have had since Bluetooth was invented has supported this out of the box but not the iPhone 3G and that was one of the few disapointments back when iPhone 3G was introduced. Now this has been fixed. Still, it was somewhat uncertain if Sonera (the operator I use here in Finland) would take the opportunity to block this ability in the iPhone since Apple offered them this option. In other phones here in Finland the ability to tehter just exists and operators can not block it, but in the iPhone it can be blocked by the operator. For example AT&T in the US has blocked tethering in the iPhone.

Fortunatelly, Sonera has not blocked tethering and it works beautifully. I just pared the phone with my laptop and chose "connect to network" under Bluetooth on my Laptop and I was connected to the Internet. The iPhone simply flashes a blue banner at the top of the screen indicating that tethering is in use. Compared to how incredibly difficult this was on a Windows Mobile device (see HTC Universal as a Bluetooth Modem), I have to say Apple has implemented this feature perfectly.

How did you get this working? I don't have any tethering option in the settings at all. I'm using 3.0 OS version so it should be there?

Tethering is disabled by default. It has to be enabled under Settings -> General -> Network -> Internet Tethering On. After this you pair your phone with your computer using Bluetooth and after this you can select "connect to network" from your Bluetooth settings (the Bluetooth icon in the upper right corner of OSX or the Bluetooth Network Connection icon under Network Connections in Vista).

It seems, however, that Apple has offered each operator the option to disable this completely in the carrier profile so if you are on, for example, AT&T then this option will simply not be available to you. On Sonera's network it is available.

I am just trying this for the first time. Getting the tethering link OK between Mac and phone but I have no IP assigned (Mac is getting self-assigned 169... IP). In network settings it appears I have no DNS assigned. What would be the DNS for Sonera? Or is this some other sort of problem?

Hello Philip (I guess you are the Philip from UIAH). That has got to be some other problem because you should be getting the DNS servers and a proper IP without having to configure anything. Have you unplugged the Ethernet cable and made sure you don't have any WiFi connection at the same time since that might be confusing your computer?
Only related settings I have even seen are under Settings -> General -> Network -> Cellular Data Network where Cellular Data APN should be "Internet" (and MMS APN, but the MMS settings should be irrelevant). And you are using an actual Sonera SIM card, tethering will not work with TeleFinland for example although it a Sonera brand.

I updated my iPhone within the first hour in June 17th, and tried tethering, too. I found the Internet option from Settings, turned it on, but couldn't succeed in Bluetooth neither USB connection with my Mac. And then, surprisingly, the whole option disappeared from my Settings, believe or not! I don't know if the reason was, that I had another (Sonera) APN that "Internet", first. I changed it to "internet" but the tethering option never reappeared in Settings -> General -> Network -> Cellular Data Network! My MMS APN is‚ but I think also that this is irrelevant in tethering.

That is very strange. Have you tried restoring your iPhone: selecting your iPhone in iTunes and on the Summary page selecting "restore"? And make sure you have the newest version of iTunes, it should be 8.2 now, otherwise tethering over USB will not work.