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

in iPhone edited January 2014
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.

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

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

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

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

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 for your Mac, you would want to use for your iPhone (and the "SOCKS Proxy Server").

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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.


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.


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


  • Reply 1 of 55
    irelandireland Posts: 17,799member
    Apple needs to make this type of thing easy for all. Creating networks should be piss-easy, even for computer illiterate. This is 'slightly' different, but you get the point.
  • Reply 2 of 55
    I need intructions on how to do it with my PC... I tried a few random things I thought were similar to the MAC but I cannot get it to work. Anybody have it working on a PC? lol I know everyone in this forum hates Microsoft I personally have no problem with them. So any help would be fantastic! I am not very computer savey and I need help! Thank you
  • Reply 3 of 55
    columbuscolumbus Posts: 282member
    It just works…

    What a lot of faffing about for something many other phones achieve with a but more ease.

    C'mon Apple, make this easier!
  • Reply 4 of 55
    Originally Posted by columbus View Post

    It just works…

    What a lot of faffing about for something many other phones achieve with a but more ease.

    C'mon Apple, make this easier!

    Except that the App has been pulled from the App Store because, if what others say is correct, AT&T does not allow tethering of the iPhone.

    Edit: Doh!

    One must read everything there is to read on a minute-by-minute basis in order to have half a clue what is going on in this business.

    The app apparently made a re-appearance on the App Store, which AppleInsider no doubt took into account before posting this in-depth review of the process required to get the app working.

    I'm sure this will be easier with successive iterations of the software.
  • Reply 5 of 55
    I am actually quite surprised how lax apple is about the apps on the App Store. I think Apple is pushing the legal limits of ATTs tethering rules. I wonder if this is not actually considered tethering since it is essentially moving data (backwards) over a virtual tunnel that the iPhone connects to. This is different then the computer actually connecting to the iPhone as a host. Sneaky stuff....I like it.

    Oh and by the way people, chill out about it being hard to use. How hard is a one time spoon fed step by step process. Given the circumstances you should be impressed this software even exists. Good job Apple and NetShare.
  • Reply 6 of 55
    zunxzunx Posts: 620member
    Great tutorial. Thanks!
  • Reply 7 of 55
    I'd bet the farm AT&T will pressure Apple to remove this app -- permanently. Then comes the class-action suit against both.

    I'm not putting away my 3G USB dongle just yet...
  • Reply 8 of 55
    freediverxfreediverx Posts: 1,424member
    Thanks for the instructions, very helpful.

    It's great this app works and all, but setting up and switching back and forth could be a lot easier and more efficient. I'm wondering why it's necessary to make one network service inactive and the other active every time you want to switch between connections. I would have expected to simply select one service or the other from my Airport menu and have the rest happen automatically.
  • Reply 9 of 55
    thebumthebum Posts: 58member
    Originally Posted by jcassara View Post

    I'd bet the farm AT&T will pressure Apple to remove this app -- permanently. Then comes the class-action suit against both.

    A class-action lawsuit would likely never get legs. If you tether without a tethering plan, you're in violation of your contract. Quoting from the wireless terms of service:


    Furthermore, plans(unless specifically designated for tethering usage) cannot be used for any applications that tether the device (through use of, including without limitation, connection kits, other phone/PDA-to computer accessories, Bluetooth® or any other wireless technology) to Personal Computers (including without limitation, laptops), or other equipment for any purpose.

    Here's a link to the document:

  • Reply 10 of 55
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Wow! Making your Mac into a gateway is as easy turning on Internet Sharing in System Preferences. I would think they would make the app work the same making your Mac (or PC) only needing to connect to the WiFi hotspot that is now created.
  • Reply 11 of 55
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,953member
    It seems pretty silly to not offer a way to tether, just at a higher cost, just like many other internet-enabled phones.

    As an aside, I'd love to find a plan that I could affordably use my iPhone as a fall-back when my main internet goes down. My main internet service is down maybe one or two days every three months. An occasional outage isn't so bad on its own, but if I need to do shipping, it would be worth $5 for even a half a day's worth of tethering.
  • Reply 12 of 55
    ...but it sure seems like a complicated setup. And for easier switching, wouldn't it make more sense to use a separate location for NetShare, so you can switch quickly via the Apple menu, instead of having to open Network preferences and enable/disable interfaces?

    Personally, I think AT&T is just greedy for charging extra for tethering. Bits are bits, why does it matter which device is pulling them down? I wish Apple would add/enable Bluetooth PAN on the iPhone. I have it on my existing S-E phone and it makes tethering a breeze-- if the phone and computer are paired, it's literally one mouse click in the Bluetooth menu, no setup required. I'm not even sure the carrier could tell you're tethering, because via Bluetooth PAN the phone seems to behave like a NAT router, not a modem-- to them, all the traffic should appear to be coming from the phone. If anyone knows better, please correct me.

  • Reply 13 of 55
    On a Mac, I think it's easier to just use a Location profile for your iPhone or other mobile connections rather than enable or disable. Just create a new location, make its settings, then select the pulldown as needed for your location from the dropdown menu where it says Automatic in the preference pane they show in the article.

    Each location profile lets you set various settings differently as necessary for your location. That's how I set up my proxy tether with the old jailbroken iPhone EDGE. Works like a charm, should work with this iPhone app as well.
  • Reply 14 of 55
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Originally Posted by PhillyMJS View Post

    Personally, I think AT&T is just greedy for charging extra for tethering. Bits are bits, why does it matter which device is pulling them down? I wish Apple would add/enable Bluetooth PAN on the iPhone.

    Bits are bits, but a PC/Mac typically uses considerably more bits per month than a cellphone. I have an Sierra Wireless 3G USB card from AT&T on my account. I pay $60/month for the unlimited/unlimited use for this card. To make things equal AT&T could charge everyone $60/month for cellphone data. While I do use several GBs on my iPhone per month I do consider myself a heavy user and a frequent user of the iPhone. I only use the Sierra Wireless card about 5 days a month but I somehow manage to use twice the bandwidth so I don't think this decision is unfounded.
  • Reply 15 of 55
    First off, this is very cool. I'm tethered right now while I play with setting everything up. It does seem like there would be a better way of switching or pairing but I'm sure better apps will come if the law suites don't get too bad.

    When my iPhone goes to sleep, so does my connection...any way around that? Having your phone completely lit up while browsing sort of blows.
  • Reply 16 of 55
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    I think this app is a boondoggle. It should be as simple as this...
    STEP ONE: Click on NetShare app on iPhone.

    STEP TWO: Dialogue box pops up asking you if you want to make your iPhone an internet gateway. Choose Yes.

    STEP THREE: On your Mac(s), PC(s), iPod Touch(es), et cetera choose the NetShare hotspot that is now showing up in your Airport list.

    STEP FOUR: Use the internet on your tethered machines.
    The processing power is there. The OS is there. Mac OS X can do this with one click in sharing which I use often when meeting up with friends in bookstores/coffeeshops/wherever and I'm the only one with a network connection. I don't understand why there is such rigamarole for a $10 app. Encryption, permissions and port forwarding can be applied in the settings.

    PS: If you can do all that to teher your phone then you have more than the requisist skills to Jailbreak your iPhone and do it for free. If your iPhone's already jailbroken then this process is easier than the $10 App Store app process.
  • Reply 17 of 55

    Just tried to purchase this really useful app.

    Looks like iTunes US took it down again!!!!!

  • Reply 18 of 55
    It's gone again. I guess Apple and AT&T were having a discussion. Funny how it takes them 24 hours to figure out what to do. Reminds me of AT&T's indecisiveness regarding the free iPhone hot-spot access. Now they have even more incentive to offer their phone customers wifi access on the phones as well as their laptops. It isn't just about a total limit, it's about maintaining a positive experience for the average phone-data user throughout the day.
  • Reply 19 of 55
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

    PS: If you can do all that to teher your phone then you have more than the requisist skills to Jailbreak your iPhone and do it for free. If your iPhone's already jailbroken then this process is easier than the $10 App Store app process.

    Yes, you're right, you can do this easily with a jailbroken phone; I chose to purchase this anyways.


    As a way of making a donation to NullRiver for all their jailbreaking activities. They never asked for direct donations, just that if you wanted to donate for the jailbreak stuff that you check their apps and buy one.

    Time to pay them back a little for all their efforts to bring you all that free stuff you have with the jailbreaks, don't you think? This app cost less than a few lattes...
  • Reply 20 of 55
    hujibhujib Posts: 117member
    I have been trying for the last few hours to get this setup with no luck. I've been over the instructions many times and I'm sure I've got both the iPhone and my MacBook configured correctly. I'm on Fido's network in Canada and the phone is fine on the 3G network on it's own. Any idea what I could be doing wrong? I don't get any connected users in NetShare and I see no activity. NetShare also likes the crash.

    ... btw, with the iPhone set to use Wifi rather than the cellular network how does it use the cell network when this is working properly? \
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