Against the loving wishes of the gestalt AT&T, there have been some enterprising young folk who have figured out how to enable tethering on the iPhone. In the U.S. Now.

Of course, realizing immediately it was foolish to not have computer tethering available just because I was using a crap mobile carrier, I decided to give this highly immoral iPhone mod a whirl. I must say, it’s surprisingly fast. Clearly reports of safari page rendering times on iPhone being bottlenecked by the phone’s processor – and not the 3g network – are spot on. In a pinch, I could use tethering and ALMOST not notice the speed. That’s saying a lot, since I consistently get ~7Mbps download speeds at home.

Please note: There is a simple way to do this, and a less simple way to do it. I’m linking to the simple way, mainly because *it’s simple*, but also because it’s how I did it, and I had no problems using this method.

DISCLAIMER: YMMV. AT&T may hunt you down and cut off your fingers or rip out your tongue. You might be charged $7,633.27 in data charges. You may void your warranty. AT&T may void your life. You might fill your void with some sweet out-of-wireless-range-tethering-goodness. In other words, PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK.

Go to this address (on your iPhone’s Mobile Safari browser):

http://help.benm.at/help.php

Scroll down to the spot shown in the screenshot below, then click on “download”.

Then scroll to the bottom of the list and select “USA”:

Choose your carrier:

Click install:

You will get a warning that the certificate is unsigned; that’s ok, click “install now”:

Now go to Settings > General > Network > Tethering:

(Note that you’ll probably see a warning that says something to the tune of “contact AT&T to enable tethering on your account”. Just dismiss the warning and click on tethering again. This should show you the tethering configuration screen):

Now for the fun part: setting up your Mac/PC to connect via bluetooth. Alternatively, you can plug in your USB cable and share the connection that way. Setting up the iPhone to connect via Bluetooth on the Mac is still a bit sketchy. I had to choose “Any Device” instead of the “Mobile Phone” option when choosing a device type. It seems that this process requires a few attempts before everything connects, so let patience and persistence be your friend. :)

Once you’ve got your connection set up, you should be able to turn wi-fi off (on your laptop/computer) and rock and roll with your newly tethered connection.

There are a few more steps to getting bluetooth set up, but they’re pretty intuitive, and I’m typing this on my iPhone. Let me know in the comments if you have any issues and I’ll try to follow up with any help I can offer.

Happy tethering, you rebel!

 

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