Enable Internet tethering on iPhone 3.0 for free [Updated]

This article has been updated, please see updates below

In the UK o2 wants to charge nearly £15 a month just to tether your iPhone and use it with your laptop. In the US AT&T has not officially announced their charges or support but now a simple, easy and maybe not so carrier approved method has come to light.

The method does not require that you use iTunes to hack anything or jailbreak the phone but simply visit a website and download a settings file to update the device.

Thanks to Richard Lai there is a simple guide.

  1. Visit http://help.benm.at/ from your iPhone 3.0 device
  2. You will see the following screen, select "MobileConfigs"

  3. Next, select your provider and download the settings pack:

  4. You should now be able to enable tethering:

We are not sure whether a charge would be applied by your provider or whether this is totally legal but many sites are reporting success and I can confirm on a iPhone 3G 3.0 with o2 UK it works OK.

Update: The folks over at TechRadar have received an official response from UK provider O2. According to O2 "Any use of this particular feature without the purchase of the Bolt on is specifically prohibited under our terms of service. Under those terms we reserve the right to charge customers making modem use of their iPhone or disconnect them." Ouch, I'm not convinced that O2 could tell the difference between a web page loaded on the same APN via an iPhone or laptop so this might be a reactive response to put people off. Either way the company clearly needs to look at the option they are providing consumers, £15 a month is a disgusting price to charge consumers just to surf in the same way they would from their phone but on a laptop device.

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