Hack Your iPhone To Allow Personal Tethering, No Jailbreak Required

HotSpot

One of the features that still differentiates various iPhone carriers is the ability to tether your laptop or tablet to your iPhone’s data connection without paying an extra fee. Some carriers let you do this, some don’t… and if you want to avoid tethering charges, your only option is a jailbreak, or find an app that enables the functionality somehow before Apple inevitably pulls it.

Now you have another option. From the same hacker who found ways to improve network performance on AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Moble, as well as hack in HD voice for a few networks, you can now turn on personal hotspot on any carrier… no jailbreak required.

The tweak is by the clever minds at iTweakiOS, who explain:

So you want free hotspot on your iPhone or iPad but don’t have a jailbroken device, huh? Well, I come with good news for a lot of you today. Many of you may remember a story I put out awhile back talking about how CommCenter blocks edited carrier.plist files and I may have found a work aroun to get things like personal hotspot enabled. Well, I’ve found the solution, but first, let’s talk about why CommCenter blocks plist editing. This happens because of the very thing we’re doing right now, which i suspect will likely be patched quickly by iOS 7 GM release time.

People were enabling tethering by modifying the original carrier.plist files and this stopped entirely when Apple implemented signatures into the carrier.plist files and creating what we all know as CommCenter which is the process that checks these signatures. So, the challenge was finding a way to enable hotspot without CommCenter checks and verifications. After months of research and digging, I’ve finally found a genuine workaround to enable this great feature and its quite simple, really.

Right now, iTweakiOS is only vouching that the method works on GSM networks, and you should obviously backup your iPhone before trying any of this: it isn’t for beginners. But if you’ve been looking for a way to tether your device without ponying up more cash, this might be your ticket.

  • cflorez6768

    i have an iphone 5 fully legit. hate the idea of jail breaking a beautifully developed software like ios6. studied and even downloaded this software but then decided to not go through with it. Would hate for something stup**d to happen and my iphone starts controlling my microwave or something. good luck to anyone who get is successfully.

  • MrsCleaver

    i have an iphone 5 fully legit. hate the idea of jail breaking a beautifully developed software like ios6. studied and even downloaded this software but then decided to not go through with it. Would hate for something stup**d to happen and my iphone starts controlling my microwave or something. good luck to anyone who get is successfully.

    Not to address your concern about the tethering workaround, but rather jailbreaking, a few thoughts: as an adult user rarely given to hacking, etc. I can attest that the evasi0n jailbreak for iOS 6 is absolutely fantastic. If your iPhone is already updated past 6.1.2 it hardly matters (until there’s a JB for iOS 7), but believe me it’s not so much about messing with a beautifully developed OS, as it is about adding TO it with wonderful features. I can do things much faster, with very little button pressing, and in seamless ways that have already been adopted by Ive and team for iOS 7. Nearly every feature I’ve seen in iOS 7 previews comes directly from the jailbreak community, already available on a jailbroken iPhone. Even still, there are many more things one can do with a jailbroken iPhone of iPad on iOS 6 that will never come to iOS 7.

    Be not afraid of offending the Apple designers or their intent. A jailbroken iPhone or iPad is amazing… and incredibly stable. I have had very few minor issues, and each was almost immediately solved.

    For what it’s worth, a jailbroken iPhone is fully “legit.” Jailbreaking is not a crime, but rather allowed by law. True, Apple wouldn’t be too keen on replacing a jailbroken iPhone, so you’d simply wipe the jailbreak and reinstall the latest iOS before seeking their help.

  • rigit_digit

    Am I missing something? I have an iPhone 5 on verizon. I have a wifi-only iPad – no jailbreak here. If you go to settings, right there at the top is an option to enable your personal hotspot. I use it all the time and there is no extra fee for this. It must be an ATT thing or something. It still uses my iPhone data of course, but I only use the hotspot in a pinch.

  • MrsCleaver

    Am I missing something? I have an iPhone 5 on verizon. I have a wifi-only iPad – no jailbreak here. If you go to settings, right there at the top is an option to enable your personal hotspot. I use it all the time and there is no extra fee for this. It must be an ATT thing or something. It still uses my iPhone data of course, but I only use the hotspot in a pinch.

    You’re correct. It’s an ATT thing… and probably other carriers as well. If Verizon gives you free tethering, consider yourself lucky. The Death Star sucks up every last penny they can, regardless of the customer’s years of participation or anything else. Why they should care how one uses the data they have is beyond most of us, but that’s the way it is.

  • grelca
    Am I missing something? I have an iPhone 5 on verizon. I have a wifi-only iPad – no jailbreak here. If you go to settings, right there at the top is an option to enable your personal hotspot. I use it all the time and there is no extra fee for this. It must be an ATT thing or something. It still uses my iPhone data of course, but I only use the hotspot in a pinch.

    You’re correct. It’s an ATT thing… and probably other carriers as well. If Verizon gives you free tethering, consider yourself lucky. The Death Star sucks up every last penny they can, regardless of the customer’s years of participation or anything else. Why they should care how one uses the data they have is beyond most of us, but that’s the way it is.

    Older Verizon plans (from before everything was Share Everything) did not including tethering. There are plenty of people who still have those older individual or family plans.

    For the record, AT&T’s Mobile Share plans include tethering, too.

  • MrsCleaver

    “For the record, AT&T’s Mobile Share plans include tethering, too.”

    Yeah. I’m fortunate to have an original unlimited data plan, but would lose it when changing to any other plan that includes tethering. And from what I’ve heard, when trying to tether using a jailbreak, ATT still knows, and will charge or shut you down. Oh well.

  • JacksMacintosh

    So I’ve got an iPhone 5 on Sprint (running iOS 7b3 if that helps)
    Using this, what would happen?
    I assume I would get the option to turn on mobile hotspot… But then what?
    If I turn it on, will Sprint start charging me the $40/mo or whatever they charge for hotspotness?
    Or will it just kinda let me use my phones (unlimited) data plan on more than just my phone?

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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