Tether iPhone with Verizon

In case you were unaware as I was, Verizon customers can tether their iPhones without jailbreaking.

Apparently Verizon pressured Google to block apps designed for tethering from Google Play. However, Free Press filed a complaint against Verizon with the FCC. As it turns out, Verizon bought a portion of its cellular band from the government and agreed to a the Open Access Rule. The key is a clause found in the purchase agreement: Verizon “shall not deny, limit, or restrict the ability of their customers to use the devices and applications of their choice on the licensee’s C Block network.” Thus, Verizon settled for some fees and penalties and now all customers can tether for free.

The downside is that Verizon now includes the cost of tethering in their “Share Everything” plans. In other words, you are paying for tethering, you just don’t see it show up on the bill because it’s included in the price. If you aren’t on a Share Everything plan, then I believe you have to pay for the hotspot capability separately. Android users can download apps from Google Play, but as far as I’m aware, Apple is still prohibiting tethering apps from being distributed in the App Store. Regardless, converting your phone into a personal hotspot is possible through Settings.

To enable tethering (aka personal hotpost) navigate to Settings >> General >> Cellular >> Personal Hotspot. Once there, flip the switch to “ON” and you should be good to go. The name of the network will be the name of your phone. For some reason, I couldn’t get my MacBook Pro to recognize my hotspot at first, so I turned the hotspot on and off again and then it recognized it.

You can customize the password and you can tether via wi-fi, bluetooth, or USB. Pretty cool!

3 Comments

  1. You can no longer do this, Verizon has it blocked. You will get a message saying to call Verizon or go to their website

    Reply

    1. Thanks for sharing. With a little research I found this forum which might hold some answers for some folks: https://community.verizonwireless.com/thread/783767

      Looks like their are at least 2 common solutions: One is to call Verizon and have them remove and re-add hotspot provisioning. Your final receipt may look something like this when all is said and done:

      Added Service :
      MOBILE HOTSPOT 4G PROVISIONING
      Removed Service :
      BLOCK MHS/PRE-PROVISIONED MHS

      Alternatively, some folks said they simply disabled wi-fi before trying to enable the hotspot in settings and somehow that made it work for them. No need to call Verizon or visit a store. Your mileage may vary.

      Reply

  2. I was able to enable this on my iPhone 5s very easily, without calling tech support:

    http://support.verizonwireless.com/support/devices/knowledge_base.html/64837

    You’ll find setup for iOS 6 and 7 there.

    Essentially, there are 2 places to enable this: one switch under ‘cellular’ and another on the top level settings. I had to enable the switch under ‘cellular’ before my top level toggle would work.

    Reply

Comments, questions and feedback welcome.