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Friday, August 01, 2008, 03:00 pm PT (06:00 pm ET)

Ten step guide to sharing your iPhone's connection with NetShare

A tiny company called Nullriver today released what is arguably one of the most useful iPhone applications to date: NetShare. With a tiny bit of configuring, the $10 software allows you to share your iPhone's EDGE or 3G connection with your Mac notebook (or any computer in general). We've compiled an illustrated 10-step guide that we hope will simplify the configuration process and provide an overview of the software for those who may be considering it as a purchase.

For those who don't fully grasp the power of wireless tethering provided by applications like NetShare, think of it as instantly having 3G or EDGE Internet access on your MacBook anywhere you have 3G or EDGE access on your iPhone. If you were on a road trip, for instance, and suddenly received a call from your boss requesting a file residing on the MacBook sitting on the seat next to you, you could pull over, wirelessly connect your MacBook to your iPhone's Internet connection using NetShare, email the file from the side of the road, and then continue on with your trip. There's no need to search for a hotspot.

Alternatively, you could surf the web at a beach that has no WiFi hotspots, or provide live textual coverage of Steve Jobs' next keynote straight from the Moscone Center in San Francisco once the available wireless networks become over saturated and melt down. Of course, these are just some examples. For those considering NetShare (available from this App Store link), see the following configuration guide:

Configuring NetShare after downloading it to your iPhone

Step 1: Open "System Preferences" on your Mac and go to the "Network" section.

NetShare


Step 2: Locate your Wi-Fi (AirPort) interface and choose "Create Network..." from the Network Name drop down.

NetShare


Step 3: Pick a network name, such as "NetShare" and optionally provide a password.

NetShare


Step 4: Now click "Advanced" for the Wi-Fi interface.

NetShare


Step 5: Select the TCP/IP tab and enter a TCP/IP address (Using HDHCP with manual address) for your computer, such as 192.168.10.2

NetShare


Step 6: Now click the "Proxies" tab and select and enable the SOCKS Proxy option, specify your iPhone's IP (which you will configure on your iPhone later) for the Proxy Server and enter 1080 for the port field. If you used 192.168.10.2 for your Mac, you would want to use 192.168.10.1 for your iPhone (and the "SOCKS Proxy Server").

NetShare


Step 7: Now click "OK" and then click "Apply." Your Mac is now configured. Time to configure your iPhone.

NetShare


Step 8: Now, go to "Settings" on your iPhone and select the "Wi-Fi" option. Click the blue Arrow next to the Wi-Fi network you selected and choose "Static" for the "IP Address" option.

NetShare


Step 9: In the "IP Address" field enter the iPhone IP address you entered into your Mac earlier (192.168.10.1).

NetShare


Step 10: Now hit the home button on your iPhone, launch the NetShare app and try and access a page on your Mac in Safari. You should be all set.

NetShare


Tips for easier switching between Wi-Fi and a NetShare connection

If you purchase NetShare, chances are that you'll be using it only in the event that Wi-Fi or a faster Internet connection is not available. Therefore, you'll find it easier to switch back and forth between a standard Wi-Fi connection in your home and a NetShare connection if you create a separate network connection for NetShare in your Mac's Network system preferences before completing the steps above.

To to do, click the + button below the existing network connections in your Mac's Networks preference pane.

NetShare


Leave AirPort selected as the network interface and put "NetShare" for the service name.

NetShare


You should now see a "NetShare" network connection option in your Network preference pane. Select it. Choose "Create Network..." and then skip to Step 3 from above.

NetShare


Switching between Wi-Fi and NetShare connections

Once you have network configurations for both your Wi-Fi (AirPort) and NetShare, you can switch between them more easily by deactivating one and activating the other via sprocket-like button.

NetShare


Troubleshooting

We've found that NetShare won't function properly on a slow EDGE connection, even if configured correctly, if you don't establish a quick EDGE connection just prior to launching the NetShare app in the middle of Step 10. So just before launching NetShare, launch Safari on your iPhone and load any webpage. Once the iPhone has established an EDGE connection and is downloading the webpage, hit the Home button, launch NetShare, and then try and access the web via your Mac again. It should work this time.

iChat

When using iChat with NetShare, be sure to enable the "Use Proxy" option in iChat's preferences.