How to Tether an iPhone to a Laptop

By Joshua Duvauchelle

If you are an iPhone user and need to get your laptop online but don't have an Internet connection, you're in luck. Tether the iPhone to your laptop to turn the smart phone into a portable modem. Your laptop will automatically acknowledge the iPhone as a modem and connect to the Internet through the iPhone's Internet data plan, giving you a mobile Internet connection.

Things You'll Need

  • iPhone 3G or 3GS
  • iPhone USB syncing cable

Step 1

Press the home button on the front of the iPhone to turn on its screen. Slide your finger from left-to-right on the bottom of the screen to unlock it.

Step 2

Tap the gray "Settings" icon. Scroll down and press "General." Click "Network." Tap "Internet Tethering" to switch it on.

Step 3

Connect the iPhone to your laptop computer using its included USB syncing cable. Plug the thin end of the cable into the bottom of the smart phone and insert the opposite end into your laptop.

Step 4

Setup Internet on your laptop. The laptop will recognize the iPhone as a modem and typically connects to it automatically. If it does not, set up the Internet connection manually on a Mac. If you're on a Windows laptop, skip to Step 5. Click the wireless Internet icon in the top right of the screen. Select "Open Network Preferences" from the drop-down menu. In the resulting window, click the iPhone network in the left column of Internet connections and press "Assist Me." The Mac OS will automatically confirm and connect to the iPhone's Internet.

Step 5

Setup Internet on a Windows laptop if connection was not automatic. In Windows XP, double-click the network icon in the taskbar. Click the network that's labeled, "Apple Mobile Device Ethernet," to connect to it. On Windows Vista, open the "Network and Sharing Center" in the Control Panel and click "View Status," then "Diagnose" to have Windows identify and use the new Internet connection.

Step 6

Surf the web using your favorite Internet browser. All data will be streamed through the iPhone.

Step 7

Monitor how much information you're using through your iPhone's data plan. Press "Settings" on the iPhone. Click "General" and tap "Usage."