Turning your iPhone into a personal hotspot, called tethering on the iPhone 3G, is the process by which another computer or mobile device can use your iPhone's Internet. You must enable personal hotspot with your wireless provider before you can use it, as there is a fee. If you have problems with personal hotspot, the reasons vary depending on your method of connection.
One of the basic causes of a problem with personal hotspot is not having up to date software on your computer or iPhone. In order to successfully use personal hotspot over Wi-Fi, the device you tether your iPhone with must have support for WPA/WPA2 encryption. When you are using personal hotspot over a USB connection, your computer must be running a version of Windows operating system that is Windows XP with service pack 3 or later, and have iTunes version 9.2 or newer. The iPhone must have iOS 4.3 or newer to use personal hotspot with Bluetooth.
In order for another device to use your iPhone as a hotspot over a wireless connection, the Wi-Fi function on your iPhone must be enabled. To check the status of Wi-Fi, go to the "Settings" application on your phone and tap the "Wi-Fi" line. Even if the setting is currently enabled, Apple recommends turning Wi-Fi off and then on again to fix any connection issues. Likewise, toggle the personal hotspot icon off and then on again. If your computer still can't connect to your personal hotspot, try toggling Wi-Fi off and on for the computer.
Diagnosing USB Problems
In order for your iPhone to provide a personal hotspot over a USB connection, you must use a working dock connector to USB cable. If your computer cannot pick up the personal hotspot, try using a different cable. For problems that are not resolved by using a different cable, you can have your computer diagnose the issue. Go to the "Network and Sharing Center" and choose "View Status." To run a diagnostic test, choose "Diagnose" and wait for your computer to check for problems.
A Bluetooth device cannot use your iPhone's personal hotspot unless it is paired with your iPhone. If you cannot connect the two devices, the first thing to do is check to make sure the Bluetooth device is active and set to discoverable. If, after you pair the Bluetooth to your iPhone, you still cannot connect, try turning off the iPhone and Bluetooth device and then turning them back on. If all else fails, remove the relationship between the iPhone and Bluetooth device and then repair them.
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