Sunday, February 27, 2011

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Tethering Your iPhone

iPhone and MacBook Pro
It's been a long time since my last post and a lot of things have happened.  Aside from the personal stuff that was going on in my life, I made the switch from my Blackberry to the iPhone.  It took me about a weekend to get used to not having a physical keyboard.  But after that small hurdle, I have found the capabilities of the iPhone to be far superior to my Blackberry in almost every way, except one: tethering.

T-Mobile was always good about allowing me to tether my Blackberry.  Sure, it took a little investigation and some trial and
error.  But I was never charged for tethering my Blackberry to my laptop and there were never any real software restrictions that prevented me from doing so.

AT&T, however, is a different animal all together.  They would have me pay $20.00 additional every month to tether my iPhone to my laptop and they would also impose a 2GB limit for the additional charge.  This does not seem like a reasonable agreement to me, especially since I am still grandfathered in under AT&T's iPhone unlimited data plan.  So what is a guy to do?  Answer: Jailbreak his phone.

I wrestled with the thought of Jailbreaking my iPhone for a while.  I like the idea of using the platform as it was intended & remaining within the support parameters.  But on the other hand, Jailbreaking allows me to exploit any number of features that otherwise would not be available.

I Jailbroke my phone using a simple Jailbreak app for iOS 4.2.1 called Green Poison.  Green Poison is a non-tethered Jailbreak which means you don't have to worry about plugging your iPhone into your computer every time you restart it.  I ran the program, followed the instructions and in about one minute, my phone was Jailbroken.  Upon Jailbreaking, a single additional app was installed on my phone called "Loader".  Executing loader simply loads Cydia, the unofficial Jailbreak iPhone App Store on my phone.

Once Cydia was installed, I opened it and went to Manage->Sources->Edit->Add and I added the source "".  Then I did a search for AppSync and selected the install option.  AppSync basically allows you to bypass the "is this app kosher" test that Apple has on the iPhone. If you are going to install cracked or non-Apple approved apps and you still want to sync with iTunes then AppSync is for you.  It's also free from Cydia.

Next I did a simple search for MyWi and installed the 3-day trial.  With MyWi I can tether to my iPhone without changing my AT&T contract and without paying the $20.00 additional fee.  I can tether by using USB or Wifi.  Honestly, it's a great little app and well worth straying away from AT&T and Apple's supported iPhone configuration.

The cost for buying MyWi is $20.00 and there are hacks available that allow you to extend your 3-day trail indefinitely.   But I did not Jailbreak my iPhone so that I could start pirating all of my software instead of paying for it.  I figure if a developer/company creates a good product for a fair price and you find that product useful then you should pay for it.  And I think $20.00 one time is more than fair for a product that would save me $20.00 every month.

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