How To: Tether the iPhone or G1 To Your Laptop For Free 3G Broadband

Illustration for article titled How To: Tether the iPhone or G1 To Your Laptop For Free 3G Broadband

If you read Gizmodo, the odds are good you're carrying one of these two pieces-they're among our favorite 3G smartphones right now. Today let's learn how to tether 'em up to your laptop.

Note: while data tethering is possible on each phone without any additional tethering plan, you'll want to be careful that you're not accidentally seeding a bunch of torrents or something when you're connected via your cellphone. While we're pretty sure you'll be OK doing standard surfing, we can't guarantee you won't get slapped with some charge, somehow.

So let's get started.

What You'll Need
• For G1: USB cable, Tetherbot App, Android SDK, Firefox
• For iPhone: iPhoneModem app, Jailbroken phone


G1 Tether
This guide is based on the instructions and Android app written by Graham Stewart. Many huzzahs to Graham for figuring out this easy tether setup. This one, however, is a SOCKS proxy instead of a true modem tether, so it's limited to Firefox browsing-you won't be able to use any other apps unless you can configure them to connect via a proxy yourself. We've tested with Firefox though, and it works great.

1. Go here on your G1's browser and install the Tetherbot app. If unknown sources are not enabled on your phone (under Settings -> Applications -> Unknown Sources) do that first.

2. Turn on USB Debugging under Settings -> Applications -> Development and connect your phone via USB.

3. Get your Android SDK set up. If you're on Windows, you'll need to download and install a driver.


4. On your phone, fire up the Tetherbot app and tap the "Start Socks" button.

5. Now, the SDK incantation. In a terminal window on Mac or a run window on Windows, navigate to the "tools" folder within your SDK directory and then type the following:


./adb forward tcp:1080 tcp:1080


adb forward tcp:1080 tcp:1080

6. Now, in Firefox, go to Options -> Advanced -> Network, and click to configure how Firefox connects to the Internet. In the window that pops up, choose "Manual proxy configuration" and clear out everything that might be there. Under SOCKS host, type "localhost" and change the port to 1080. Hit OK, and you should be in business. Easy right?


iPhone Tether
For this, you'll need to jailbreak your phone. All you need to know to do that can be found in this post on the iPhone Dev Blog. If you're running OS X, I STRONGLY recomment using Pwnage Tool instead of QuickPwn to manually create a jailbroken software image and install it via iTunes-I have yet to get QuickPwn to work with my phone, and I have no idea why.

One caveat: there are two iPhoneModem apps-one, found at is free, and comes with a utility that makes tethering on a Mac easy. That's the tutorial we're following here. They claim it's possible to use on Windows, but there is no companion app and, unfortunately, no Windows instructions.


The other iPhoneModem is nagware ($10 to get rid of the nags), and does include a Windows config app, which we have not tested. If you're running windows, try that one, and let us know how it goes in the comments. There is also another method using an app called 3proxy that requires lots of manual configuration, but that one may also be worth a try. Update: Commenters are also recommending PDANet for Windows tethering, which is in Cydia as well.

1. Once you're jailbroken, open up Cydia and install the package called "iPhone Modem zsrelay" - you can find it by searching "modem." Also install OpenSSH - find it by searching "SSH." BossPrefs is also recommended, so you can make sure SSH is running.


2. Download the helper app and run it, and go to "Settings..." under the little iPhone icon that just appeared in the status bar.

3. Fill in the following fields:

IP-Address of Mac: Leave the default value (
Password of Mac: Your admin password
WLAN Name: The name of the ad-hoc network that will be created - your choice
WLAN Password: It must be 13 characters-your choice as long as it's 13
SOCKS Port: Leave default (9999)
iPhone root Password: alpine (as long as you're running 2.x firmware)
iPhone Mac Address: Found under Settings - General - About - make sure you use the wi-fi MAC address.


4. Once your config is saved, go to "start connection" and follow the prompts. Your Mac will create an ad-hoc network, which you will then join with your iPhone (make sure you get an IP address on your iPhone before continuing). Everything should go smoothly, and voila, you're tethered!

Hope you enjoyed our how-to. For more on iPhone jailbreak apps, see yesterday's essentials list, and more how-to guides here. Enjoy the weekend!


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I used PDAnet on my jailbroken iPhone and I kept getting disconnected every 5 minutes, did someone run into this annoyance? I tried everywhere in my city full 3G reception and always kept disconnecting?