How to Connect a Computer or Laptop to the Internet With an iPhone

by Catherine Hewson

The Apple iPhone works on 3G and 4G LTE networks all over the world on carriers such as AT&T, Verizon and Sprint. iPhone users are able to share this 3G or 4G connection with their computers or laptops through wireless or wired tethering. You may need to pay extra for this service depending on the carrier or plan you currently use. The iPhone "Personal Hotspot" option can be set up either wirelessly or wired via USB on your iPhone.

Wireless Tethering

Contact your wireless carrier to activate the mobile-hotspot feature for your iPhone. Some carriers allow you to do this online via the "Features" option in your account. If you have Verizon's Share Everything or AT&T's Shared Data Plan, you do not have to contact the carrier to enable the mobile hotspot feature as it is already included.

Tap the "Settings" icon on your iPhone's home screen.

Tap the "Personal Hotspot" option under "Settings." Tap the toggle next to "Personal Hotspot" to set the option to "ON."

Tap the "Wi-Fi Password" box and type in a password for your tethered connection. Note that while this is not necessary, it is a good idea to have a password to prevent unauthorized users from connecting to your iPhone hotspot.

Click the "Network" icon on the bottom right task bar and then right-click your "iPhone Personal Hotspot" under the available networks. Click "Connect" and then type in the password you set in the previous step. Your computer is now connected to the Internet via your iPhone connection.

Turn off your mobile hotspot by tapping "Settings," then "Personal Hotspot" on your iPhone. Toggle the "Personal Hotspot" option to "OFF."

Wired Tethering

Contact your wireless carrier to activate the mobile hotspot feature for your iPhone. Some carriers will allow you to add the feature via "Features" in your online account, while others may require that you call them. Note that if you have Verizon's Share Everything or AT&T's Shared Data plan, the mobile hotspot feature is already available on your account.

Tap the "Settings" icon on your iPhone.

Tap the "Personal Hotspot" option under "Settings."

Toggle the option next to "Personal Hotspot" to the "ON" position.

Connect your iPhone to your computer via the iPhone USB sync cable. You can now browse the Internet on your computer through your iPhone's connection.

Turn off your mobile hotspot by tapping "Settings," then "Personal Hotspot" on your iPhone. Toggle the "Personal Hotspot" option to "OFF."

Warning

  • Check your wireless data usage regularly to ensure that you are not running over your monthly allotment. Tap "Settings," then "General," then "Usage," then "Cellular Usage."

About the Author

Catherine Hewson has been writing professionally since 2006, contributing to a variety of websites. She is also a technical writer with extensive experience in Android/iPhone development and PC repair. Hewson holds a Bachelor of Science in computer information systems from the University of Michigan-Flint and works as an IT project manager.

Photo Credits

  • Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images