Setting Up Your iPhone as an Internet Hub

Here’s a scenario you’ve probably tripped over a time or two when roaming around with both your iPhone and your notebook computer along for the ride. You end up somewhere where you have access to just a cellular network, with no Wi-Fi in sight. This means that your iPhone can access the Internet (using the cellular network), but your notebook can’t. That’s a real pain if you want to do some work involving Internet access on the computer. To work around this problem, you can use a nifty feature called Personal Hotspot, which enables you to configure your iPhone as a kind of Internet hub or gateway device — something like the hot spots that are available in coffee shops and other public areas. To do this, you connect your iPhone to your notebook (either directly via a USB cable or wirelessly via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth), and your notebook can then use the iPhone’s cellular Internet connection to get online. This is often called Internet tethering. Even better, you can connect up to five devices to your iPhone, so you can also share your iPhone’s Internet connection with desktop computers, tablets, other cell phones, and pretty much anything else that can connect to the Internet.

This sounds too good to be true, but it’s real, I swear. The downside (you just knew there had to be a downside) is that additional usage charges will apply. In the United States, for example, AT&T only offers tethering with its highest price data plan, which costs $50 ...

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