One of the most talked about features of the new iPhone 3.0 software update is internet tethering, or being able to use your iPhone as a mobile modem for your laptop. Both Optus and Vodafone have announced they'll support the service, although Optus has stated that they'll be charging you for the privilege. Telstra, Three and Virgin are all yet to publicly announce support for the feature, but thanks to some enterprising people, you can get your iPhone tethered to your laptop for free, today, regardless of carrier. Here's how.
Before we begin, it's worth noting that online reports are saying that both Vodafone and Virgin iPhones can tether without requiring any special effort, so it's probably best to try doing it that way first. All you need to do is select the the Settings —> General —> Network buttons on your iPhone, then choose 'Set Up Internet Tethering' and follow the prompts. If you get a message saying you need to contact your provider (which is what happens for Optus customers), you can try the solution below.
Also worth noting: This solution is not endorsed by the carriers, and in some cases may in fact be in breach of contract. Therefore, it's very much a case of "Do it at your own risk" – in the UK, O2 has publicly stated that they "reserve the right to charge customers making modem use of their iPhone or disconnect them," so don't come crying to us if Optus or Telstra decide to add a little fee to the end of your next bill.
In any case, here's how you get tethering on your iPhone, without jailbreaking, for all Australian carriers:
1. Open Safari on your iPhone and navigate to help.benm.at 2. Have a read through all the warnings so you know what you're in for, then select the Mobileconfigs option. 3. Select Australia 4. Choose your network 5. When the option to Install Profile appears, press Install 6. You'll get hit with a message saying that the authenticity of the profile can't be verified and that installation will change settings on the phone. Select Install Now. 7. Once it's done, exit Safari, go back into Settings —> General —> Network and try to set up tethering again. Follow the prompts and everything should just work.
With this solution, you may need to restart your iPhone to get MMS working again – although some people are saying that it kills MMS completely. And there's no telling what Optus and Telstra might do once they discover your cheating them out of a monthly tethering fee, regardless of how ridiculous the fee is in the first place.
If you are game to give it a go, let us know how it works for you in comments... And remember – do this at your own risk!