Digital Sharing for Apple Users: A Take Control Crash Course
by Joe Kissell

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Share Your iOS Device’s Internet Connection

If you have an iPhone, or an iPad with a cellular connection, it can access the Internet even when there’s no Wi-Fi. But what if your Mac (or Wi-Fi–only iPad, or other Wi-Fi-only device) also needs Internet access? No problem—you can tether your iOS device to your Mac, which means sharing your Internet connection over Wi-Fi. (You can also use tethering over Bluetooth or USB, but I don’t cover those options in this book.)

I’ve used tethering many times with excellent results. For example, I’m a member of a community planning group that meets in a location without Wi-Fi, but I need to take notes using my MacBook Pro and access files in my Dropbox. So I share my iPhone’s Internet connection over Wi-Fi and connect to that with my laptop. It’s just like any other Wi-Fi connection, only a bit slower.

Personal Hotspot

First, on your iPhone or cellular-enabled iPad:

  1. Go to Settings > Cellular (iPhone) or Cellular Data (iPad) and tap Personal Hotspot (if you’ve already turned on Personal Hotspot once, go to Settings > Personal Hotspot ).
    **①** Turn on Personal Hotspot here.
    Turn on Personal Hotspot here.
  2. Make note of the Wi-Fi password.

Then proceed with the following steps.

Connect from a Mac Using Personal Hotspot

  1. From the Wi-Fi menu, choose the device that you just set up. The Wi-Fi icon changes .
    **②** Personal Hotspot devices appear on this menu along with other Wi-Fi networks.
    Personal Hotspot devices appear on this menu along with other Wi-Fi networks.
  2. If prompted, enter the password shown on your iOS device (per Step 2 above). To avoid having to enter it again, select Remember This Password in My Keychain.

To disconnect, choose a different network or Disconnect from Device-Name from the Wi-Fi menu.

Connect from a Wi-Fi iOS Device Using Personal Hotspot

  1. Go to Settings > Wi-Fi.
  2. Select the device you just set up.
  3. Enter the password if prompted.

Instant Hotspot

As long as you’re using iOS 8.1 or later on a device with a Lightning connector (and Yosemite or later, if connecting from a recent Mac; see Apple’s list of supported Macs), you can use Instant Hotspot to skip all the setup steps and password entry.

The only prerequisite is that both devices are already signed in to the same iCloud account. Assuming that is the case…

Connect from a Mac Using Instant Hotspot

  1. From the Wi-Fi menu, choose the device you just set up (which should be listed, counterintuitively, under Personal Hotspot ).
**③** Devices using Instant Hotspot appear, oddly, under Personal Hotspot.
Devices using Instant Hotspot appear, oddly, under Personal Hotspot.

That’s it. There’s no Step 2!

Connect from a Wi-Fi iOS Device Using Instant Hotspot

  1. Go to Settings > Wi-Fi.
  2. Select the device you just set up.
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