Despite the overwhelming appeal of being able to tether your iPhone to your laptop via the Personal Hotspot feature included in iOS, the cost of doing so keeps many iPhone owners from getting the most out of their device. Tether, however, has a solution.
Back in November,. The $14.99 app allowed users to bypass the Personal Hotspot method of setting up a tether for their laptops and instead use a USB cable and Tether's software. The app, iTether, was quickly pulled.
Now, Tether is back, this time with a Web-based solution that bypasses all of Apple's (and the wireless carriers') restrictions for tethering your iPhone.
Tether's solution works on your iPhone running the full iOS, which means you won't have to mess with jailbreaking (though it will still work on a jailbroken device), and operates by using a specially designed HTML5 Web site to connect your iPhone to your computer. Essentially you'll be creating an Ad-Hoc network on your Mac or PC using an application that runs on your computer, connecting to that network with your iPhone, then logging in to Tether's patent-pending Web site to get your connection started.
That may sound like a lot of legwork just to connect your laptop to the Internet, but consider the cost savings: $30 a year for Tether's service (using your existing data plan) versus $20 a month (or more) to activate the Personal Hotspot feature in iOS, required by some carriers (AT&T requires the 5GB Data Plan, costing $50 per month). Over the course of your two-year contract that comes to $60 for Tether and a minimum of $480 for a wireless carrier ($1,200 for AT&T).
You can cut your costs down even more if you sign up for Tether this week, as iPhone tethering is just $15 for the year. Have you tethered your iPhone using the Personal Hotspot? Would you consider using Tether? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!