iPhone tethering and Windows 7

tetheringThis blog needs more tech posts. Here’s one. This time though, for your convenience, I’m offering a short version that cuts through all the bullshit:

For iPhone tethering to work on a Windows machine, you need to install iTunes first.

If you’re still with me, here’s the long version:

Like you all know, I recently moved into a new apartment. New place=new internet, which takes time because they always fuck up the order and send the cable modem to the wrong address and then charge you too much money for the first month and when you call them to complain about it they only answer after a 2 hour wait and then you get some guy from India trying to sell you the “Extreme sports TV channels package” in that awful awful fake New-York accent.

ANYWAY! I want to be able to check my email from my new place and I find the iPhone awkward for “real” internet use. Never really got used to the onscreen keyboard, the small screen feels claustrophobic, and you can’t run more than one app at the same time. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an awesome alternative to the real thing, but I can’t picture myself living with only an iPhone for a whole month. Which brings me to the main topic of this post: iPhone innertsnets tethering.

“But Daniel” you ask, “what is this tethering you speak of?!?!?!?” Well, in Wikipedia‘s own words, “Tethering is the use of a mobile device such as a mobile phone to supply Internet access for another device which is otherwise unconnected, using the connected device as a modem. This can be done through Bluetooth wireless technology or cables (such as USB).” When this feature was first introduced (in iPhone OS 3.0 I think…) I was like “man, that word is really hard to pronounce”. Then I forgot all about it. A few weeks later I found myself thinking “I wish there was a way for me to use my iPhone as a mobile internet USB key…” Well well well! Whaddaya know! All I had to do was to call my provider and ask them to activate the tethering feature. I tested it on my main machine and it worked perfectly. Everything was awesome, until…

My work laptop broke down. It was 4 years old, so they replaced it with a shiny new Dell E6400. “Yay!” I thought, “Finally a computer I can bring to my new place to check my emails and chat on MSN while I’m scrubbing the floors!” So I tested the tethering thing on it and it didn’t work. Usually, you plug the iPhone in through the USB port and windows detects a new network device called “Apple Mobile Device Ethernet”. But on my brand new laptop, nothing happened! Oh it detected the “camera” part alright, but nothing else. After googleing and testing everything I could think of, I finally found the solution; That’s right folks, for iPhone tethering to work on a Windows machine, you need to install iTunes first! As simple as that.

Hope this one was actually helpful to someone 🙂

-Dan

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