I’d never really been that interested in tethering until very recently, when I realised it would be quite handy when I’m away from home on business. So, I decided to try and set it up.
First off, as I’m jailbroken, I thought getting an app from Cydia might be the most straightforward route. I investigated MyWi, which sounded ideal, but it requires the RockApp, and I don’t want that anywhere near my iPhone. Next, I thought PDANet would do the trick – and it probably would have done, had my iPhone established a proper ad-hoc wireless connection with my laptop. Unfortunately, I have limited connectivity (it works for SSH, but not for anything else) and that was a no-go. USB connection would have worked… except I neglected to bring my USB cable with me. Nothing but fail, then.
The next time I was away from home, I decided I would give the native tethering a shot. I’m currently still on firmware 3.0, so the mobile configs method at help.benm.at enabled the tethering option on my iPhone. Plugging it into my laptop, however, did nothing but bring up the photo wizard – no sign of any network connectivity on the laptop. A bit of further research uncovered that, for USB tethering on Windows, iTunes must be installed. What? I just want to plug my iPhone in and have it work, thanks! I don’t want to install a 70MB+ program that I’ll never use on the laptop just to enable tethering! Plus, the whole point of needing to tether is that I don’t have the internet on the laptop – so how am I supposed to download iTunes?
Fortunately, a bit more research on my iPhone turned up some very handy information on the Whirlpool forums. It seems that some clever chaps had worked out they could extract the necessary iPhone drivers from the iTunes installation package, and only install those! The file was still 15MB, but that didn’t take too long to download on my iPhone. I SSH’d it over to the laptop, installed it, and (after sorting out a few peculiar networking issues particular to my laptop) bingo! Tethering worked! 😀
Here’s a direct link to the installation file, just in case the thread on Whirlpool disappears.
Another way I could have achieved tethering was via Bluetooth – that doesn’t require any drivers at all on the laptop. However, I had forgotten my Bluetooth adapter as well.