No iPhone Tethering or Dial-Up for Laptop Users

Boo! One of the most popular things to do with a 3G smartphone is to "tether" it, which is to attach it to your laptop and use it as a modem so you can get online anywhere your phone has service. Windows Mobile and Treos have multiple options for doing this -- some even via some sneaky software that works in a kind of "proxy mode" so you can avoid paying the extra costs associated with a full-on "Phone as Modem" plan (which usually runs in the neighborhood of $50 a month). Sadly, AT&T has let the official word out -- you won't be able to do this with the iPhone 3G:

However according to AT&T spokesman, Mark A. Siegel, who spoke with iPhone Atlas earlier this week, AT&T will not be supporting a PAM plan for the iPhone 3G. The only available data plan for the iPhone will be the new $30 consumer unlimited data and visual voice mail plan and the $45 business data plan. The latter is charged when a person makes an enterprise type connection to Exchange or a Blackberry server for email or messaging. -- [iPhone Atlas]

Of course, this has already been done for Jailbroken phones and we hope it will be done again -- just don't expect to be able to purchase something like this from the App Store when it rolls out.

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Dieter Bohn

Dieter Bohn is former editor-in-chief of Smartphone Experts, writing across iMore, Windows Phone Central, Android Central, and more. You can find him on Twitter (and everywhere else) @backlon.

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Reader comments

No iPhone Tethering or Dial-Up for Laptop Users


So that means that if you try to set up an Exchange account and connect to one of those hosted Exchange services, you'll automatically be bumped up to the 45 dollar plan? The only way to get Push on the 30 is to use the Yahoo! or MobileMe stuff?
I hope that's wrong. Otherwise, this entire iPhone debacle is looking like a Bait and Switch. "Here, it'll work one way. And then when the new iPhone comes out, business as usual for AT&T and all you suckers are gonna go for the ride since you already drank the kool-aid!"

Tethering will be a good reason for jailbreaking the iPhone 3G. I never jailbroke my iPhone 1, but I will considering doing my 3G if a good tethering solution appears.

This is a deal breaker for me. I would love to get an iPhone. My Centro doesn't seem to impress anyone on its appearance, although it amazes co-workers when I send faxes and e-mail from my laptop out in the field.

Deal Breaker for me - I was ready to switch to AT&T for a slimmer phone (my ppc6700 is on its last legs). Guess I will stick with Sprint after all.

What is the benefit of 3G if you can't tether??? Edge speeds are more than sufficient if you are just surfing using the iPhone or checking e-mail.

SO, with the 3G iphone, you can't connect it to your laptop and use yourlaptop to browse??? That sucks. I don't want to pay extra to do this.

Could they make it any more challenging to want and iPhone. I was finally hoping to ge ta decent phone with decent speeds and throw away my Verizon usb data card. So now I'm still stuck with my verizon card and a non-iPhone.
Is there some logic behind not allowing a phone to be tethered? And please don;t say the iPhone has everyhitng you would ever need, why would you want ot use your laptop.
Ug, first make registration a pain and then no tethering. I guess I'll await iPhone the next generation.

I bought Iphone 2 weeks ago, switched to At&T from TMobile without even THINKING this would be an issue. Last week in Washinton at hotel, went to connect phone to laptop and COULD NOT BELIEVE this so called "wonderful" device would not tether to my laptop. I remain shocked and amazed. WOW. What a huge disappointment.

This is a 20 year old phone in a new gadget body. No SMS forward, can not SMS contacts, can not set individual call forward / diverts (such as CFB,CFNR) and now this ! I wish I had bought a phone that had applications attached rather then applications with an old phone attached.

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