Can someone suggest an adapter to connect to iPhone hotspot through Ethernet data cable?

Wireless hardware in my laptop has stopped working and I am using Ethernet cable to connect to Internet. But once in a while, I want to use it outside and I am looking for some kind of hardware to connect to iPhone HotSpot.

I looked at IOGEAR Universal Ethernet to Wi-Fi N Adapter and it could have worked but their customer support said they have had problems to connect to hotspot and they haven't tried iPhone hotspot yet.


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    What kind of laptop do you have? With a Mac, just plug the phone in to a USB port with a lightning cable. – bjbk Apr 19 '17 at 22:56

How to Use Your iPhone’s Personal Hotspot to Tether on Windows and macOS

First of all: not every cellular carrier includes this feature in every plan. If your cellular data plan doesn’t allow for tethering, you may not see the Personal Hotspot option at all on your iPhone’s settings screen. You may have to pay extra to gain access to it.

Second, it’s important to remember that when you use your iPhone as a data connection, you are using your mobile data plan and as such, if you have a data cap, then it will count towards that. If you have unlimited data or a large cap, then this might not trouble you, but you’ll otherwise want to be mindful of what you’re using you computer for when connected to your iPhone as a hotspot.

Even if you have unlimited data, there’s a good chance you have a limited amount of tethering data — or, at least, high-speed tethering data. Your carrier may charge you extra if you need more tethering data. Check your cellular plan for more details about your plan’s hotspot, or tethering, capabilities.

Lastly, Wi-Fi tethering will also drain your phone’s battery more quickly. I recommend connecting your iPhone to a power source–or plug it into your laptop via USB cable–while tethering. Be sure to disable the hotspot when you’re not using it, too.

How to Turn On Your iPhone’s Personal Hotspot

As the wireless hardware in your laptop has stopped working, there are two ways to connect to your iPhone and use its data connection: Bluetooth, and USB. When you turn Personal Hotspot on, it will allow you to use any of these three options–you don’t need to alter any settings.

  1. Open the Settings app and tap Personal Hotspot to access the Personal Hotspot settings.
  2. Turn Personal Hotspot on using the switch along the top of the Personal Hotspot settings.

Next, it’s time to connect to your hotspot on your laptop using Bluetooth, or USB.

Connect to Your Hotspot via Bluetooth

USB is faster than Bluetooth, but if you’d prefer to use Bluetooth to connect to your hotspot, you can do that too.

On Windows

To connect via Bluetooth from a Windows computer:

  1. Click on the Bluetooth icon in the system tray and select Join a Personal Area Network.
  2. Click “Add a Device” in the upper-left corner.
  3. Choose your iPhone from the resulting screen and click Next to continue. (Like any other Bluetooth connection, you’ll be shown a pair code on your computer and your iPhone.)
  4. Compare the two passcodes, and if they are the same, tap Pair on your iPhone’s screen and Yes on the Windows pair screen. (Allow your Windows machine to install the necessary files on your system.)
  5. Right-click on your iPhone to connect it as an access point. You’re ready to surf the Internet, check e-mail, chat, and so on.

On macOS

  1. Head to System Preferences > Bluetooth, find your iPhone in the list, and click Pair next to your iPhone. (You’ll be shown a pair code on your Mac’s screen and on your iPhone.)

  2. If the codes match, tap the Pair button to confirm the connection.

  3. From your Mac’s menu bar, click the Bluetooth symbol, then highlight your iPhone in the list, and click Connect to Network.

    You’ll now be able to access the Internet through your iPhone’s Bluetooth connection.

  4. When you want to disconnect, click the Bluetooth symbol once more, highlight your iPhone, and then Disconnect from Network.

Connect to Your Hotspot with a USB Cable

Connecting via USB is by far the easiest method to tether your phone. As long as you have your Personal Hotspot turned on, all you need to do is:

  1. Plug your phone in with a USB cable and you should be good to go.

On Windows

On our Windows’ network adapters, we can see we’re connected via Apple Mobile Device Ethernet.

On macOS

On our Mac, we can see in the Network settings that our iPhone is connected through our USB connection.

Which Method Is Best?

USB is the fastest but most inconvenient, requiring your iPhone to be physically connected to the computer. Still, it’s super simple to set up, requiring zero configuration.

Bluetooth is the slowest of the two, also requiring the most configuration, though once it’s done, you don’t have to worry about it again.

  • I've 15GB from AT&T and I have used it several times to connect my laptop to Internet. I haven't thought about connecting to hotspot from USB. My work computer is old but I will give this a try. – RedFox Apr 20 '17 at 3:38
  • How did this work out for you @RedFox ? Did my answer solve your problem? If so, could you please mark it as accepted? :) – iamchriswick Oct 4 '17 at 10:00
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    It did help. Sorry, It slipped my mind to make this as an answer. – RedFox Oct 20 '17 at 20:19

Just for grins and giggles, I thought I'd give this a try and I could not get it to work.

Hardware was an iPhone 8 running iOS 13.3, Apple Lightning to USB 3 camera adapter, power from a third party power brick, Apple USB to Ethernet adapter, with an Ethernet cable to an older MacBook with built-in Ethernet. Cellular service is from AT&T if that matters.

I was able to get a hotspot working fine with a Lightning to USB cable to the same laptop so I know the hotspot function works. To set up the test I disabled WiFi and Bluetooth on the iPhone and MacBook to avoid either device from looking elsewhere for the internet. I verified a live Ethernet connection between the two by pinging the iPhone from the laptop.

After verifying that the hotspot function didn't work I wanted to check that the Ethernet would do more than a ping. I set up the laptop to share WiFi internet on Ethernet to the iPhone and the iPhone was able to load web pages, with airplane mode enabled to assure it didn't connect by other means.

When enabling the hotspot function on the iPhone it did report that it was sharing the internet by USB-only, Ethernet was not mentioned. Checking the settings on the Ethernet port I saw no IP address configured when left as auto-configure. Internet sharing still did not work when I tried manual configuration.

I don't know if anyone cares about this anymore as I am resurrecting a zombie thread. I was looking on if others tried this and I found this thread. My intention on doing this was to ditch my poorly performing cable internet and instead use an old iPhone 7 for internet, to avoid having to tether my iPhone 8 every time and wanting Ethernet so I can share it on multiple wired computers without having to dedicate a computer for routing the internet. It looks like if I do go with cellular internet at home then I'll have to stick with WiFi and USB from the iPhone, and anything on a wire would have to be connected by USB to the iPhone directly or have a computer in the middle to route from the iPhone to Ethernet.

Unless I missed something important somewhere I guess I have my answer. I just thought I'd share my experimental results since so far it looked like educated guessing, and some time has passed which may have changed the result. So, thanks and I hope this helps.

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