If you have an iPhone you can turn it into a WiFi hotspot very easily. This lets you wirelessly connect any other computer or hardware to the iPhone and use its cellular connection as your primary internet access. Without a doubt this is the easiest way to tether your iPhone wirelessly, and use an iPhone as a wireless router.
How to turn an iPhone into a WiFi Hotspot
This is easier to do than you might think. You’ll need to jailbreak your iPhone and then install a popular third party application, here are the steps:
- Jailbreak the iPhone – You can do this several different ways depending on what iOS version and iPhone you have. Here’s how to jailbreak an iPhone with iOS 4.2.1 using redsn0w (ignore the unlock part), you can download redsn0w 0.9.6b6 if you need it, note that some iPhones will require a tethered jailbreak for now.
- Get MyWi – MyWi is available through the Cydia Store, after you have jailbroken your iPhone, launch Cydia and then search for “MyWi” where you can purchase and download the app. It costs $19.99 which is a steal considering you’re about to get a full cellular modem for just $20.
- Launch MyWi and Configure – Launch MyWi by tapping on the icon. Tap “On” next to ‘WiFi Tethering’ to enable the iPhone WiFi hotspot. You can also further configure things here, like a WEP key, network name, etc.
- Connect your Mac, PC, iPad, etc to your new iPhone WiFi Router – Now all you need to do is connect your hardware to the iPhone, you do this the same as you would connect to any wireless network, just find the newly started iPhone WiFi hotspot SSID and connect to it. Enjoy!
Remember that this is going to use your iPhone’s data plan, so unless you have a grandfathered unlimited plan you will want to keep a close eye on data usage and consumption. The MyWi app keeps track of data use for both upload and download, but you’ll want to watch it through your carrier as well. Checking iPhone data usage is easy on AT&T and I’m sure it’s similar on other cell providers too.
Note that MyWi will drain your iPhone battery faster than usual, but you can also use the app to tether your iPhone via USB so that you can keep the iPhone powered or charging while still using its cell connection.
A few final notes on using MyWi and jailbreaking: You can download MyWi and use it in demo mode to get a free 3 day trial before buying the app, this lets you ensure that everything works before buying. Using an app like MyWi may violate your agreement with your wireless carrier, and although jailbreaking is not illegal, it may violate your warranty with Apple.