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Is there a comparison of networks and their cost for the new Personal Hotspot feature?

Also, how does the hotspot feature differ from internet tethering in previous iOS versions?

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FWIW New Zealand has no extra fee for tethering via usb, bluetooth or wifi - you just use your existing data bundle / pay as you go data. It's shocking how much U.S. networks make you guys pay for something we take for granted (but your iPhones are quite a bit cheaper!) –  glenstorey Mar 10 '11 at 3:13
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Yeah, remember that different carriers have different rules for tethering and such. –  David Pearce Mar 10 '11 at 5:29
    
also iphone's battery will probably not be able to handle tethering for 3 devices even if connected directly to the power. when I'm using just skype on my 3GS, be it with cable or bluetooth, the battery runs out after some hours. –  Cawas Mar 10 '11 at 14:18
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3 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

The hotspot feature is, in essence, very similar to the Internet Tethering feature. The differences are that a) there's no cable required and b) you can connect up to 3* wifi-capable devices, so you're not restricted to tethering only devices that have USB or Bluetooth.

*See the below comments for the correct answer.

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Apple's website seems to say that you can have 3 wifi connections, 1 bluetooth connection, and 1 usb connection to make 5. –  ughoavgfhw Mar 9 '11 at 22:30
    
That's strange: my Verizon Pre Plus can host 5 devices; I wouldn't think Apple would hobble the iPhone more. –  CajunLuke Mar 9 '11 at 22:33
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I just checked (apple.com/ios) and it says up to 3 on wifi, up to 3 on bluetooth, and 1 on usb, with a maximum of 5 at a time. –  ughoavgfhw Mar 9 '11 at 22:40
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Jeff Carlson, writing in TidBITS, has a comprehensive comparison of the Personal Hotspot fees in the US for AT&T and Verizon. Even for non-US users, I think the article will be useful for its discussion of how the feature works.

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Just jailbreak it and do it for free like most people have been doing for a few years now. MiWi works great!

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This doesn't answer the question. Some people (1) Don't have the technical inclination to install the jailbreak (2) Prefer not to open up their iPhones to another vector of possible trojans etc. (3) Don't want to worry if future updates may break the jailbreak, or be continually behind in software updates –  ghoppe Mar 10 '11 at 15:29
    
Or I need to keep my phone unjailbroken for development. Although I am tempted to jailbreak more than ever. –  Jonathan. Mar 10 '11 at 15:49
    
Yeah and just submit to apple's following locking you out of hundreds of features and useful things in iOS –  Split71 Mar 11 '11 at 14:20
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