Monday, October 3, 2016

Tether an iPhone to router for Internet access

The ISP providing internet to your office/home network (wired and wireless) is unavailable and you need internet to work again.  The method described here will allow you to have multiple connections through your iPhone's data plan using your existing SOHO router.

To use your iPhone with your router, you will need to utilize a computer that will host the connection between your iPhone and your router.  You can still use this machine for internet access, however it will have limited access to your LAN resources since it is 'outside' the network.

(Mobile Network Data) <-> iPhone <-> Host Computer <-> Router <-> (wired/wireless LAN)
  1. On the host computer, (tested on windows 7 and 10), plug your iPhone into it with the USB cable.
  2. Enable Personal Hotspot
  3. When prompted with this message, select USB ONLY
  4. After 30 secs or so, windows SHOULD recognize this as a device in your computer network settings.
  5. Now select the "Apple Mobile Device Ethernet", hold down the CTRL key and click on the Local Area Connection that coincides with the Ethernet port of your host computer.

  6. Right click on this and then select BRIDGE CONNECTIONS.  You'll see this message appear.
  7. Then you'll see a new network device show up....
  8. Give it a minute or so, but eventually you'll see this:
  9. You'll see the new Ethernet device show up as "iPhone"
  10. (On the host computer, you'll see that the iPhone has provided the new "Ethernet 2" connection an IP of, and the iPhone itself has the ip of  )

  11. Now plug in the host computer into your router's "WAN" port
  12. Depending on the router model/design, you may have some due diligence to allow it to accept this new connection.  The router has to obtain a proper WAN side ip, in our example, it would be an IP of 172.20.10.X

Once your router has obtained the IP from the host computer/iPhone bridge, then your machines that are connected to this router through a wired and/or wireless connection will now have internet access.

Your router LAN IP structure will stay exactly the same, so all your local users should still have access to the same local resources they are used to.  The router will automatically make the internet available to these users.

Remember, all these machines will be using your data plan, so be cautious of usage!

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