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iPhone NetShare & Proxifier: tethering HTTP access and more

Aug. 5th, 2008 09:38 by sdelucaPermalink | TrackBack: http://boursomac.com/trackback/839 — exists for 9 years & a week ago

Despite evident quality and superiority of the Apple iPhone family over the rest of the world mobile phone models, there are rooms of improvement.

I mean, in the downside, many things are not so obvious to Apple as it is for the rest of the manufacturers. As a consequence iPhone users suffer from a lack of common features which I dare to call, must-have feature.

Among the list, one is the ability for iPhone users to share their preferred device internet connection with their Macs (or PC). This tethering operation is simply impossible for out-of-the box iPhones.

NullRiver hopefully have recently published the NetShare application on the iTunes store. As Apple did withdraw the app from the store a couple of times, its availability in the future is uncertain. But for those of your - lucky guys - who got a chance to buy it in time, I propose a small tutorial -- based on Nullriver's instruction and on my own experience of this sort of things.

First of all, let's start with a legal thing: NullRiver licence agreement states that its software is for people having a data plan that explicitly authorizes tethering. As you must know, most of carriers -- including AT&T -- prohibit you from tethering.

When NetShare is available again, you should be able to buy and download it straight from iTunes, here

Preparing your Mac

Setting up a new connection: the following step will only be performed once. As a result one gets a new connection that one use anytime we want to access the internet thru the iPhone.

  1. Open preferences, network
  2. Create a new connection to ease connexion switching: click on the pluse sign on the bottom left of the panel, a dialog box appears
  3. Select Airport from the drop down list and enter a name for this new connection; I suggest you enter NetShare. Click OK.
  4. Click on the NetShare connection we just created, and press on the Advanced button.
  5. On the TCP/IP tab, choose static IP from the drop down box wher you likely currently have DHCP.
  6. Enter 192.168.10.2 as the new IP address of the connection and leave all the rest empty as it is.
  7. On the Proxys tab, tick Proxy SOCKS and enter 192.168.10.1 as the Proxy IP and 1080 as the Proxy port.
  8. Click on OK and click on Apply button to validate your modifications.

Switching to the connection: this is the step one need to perform anytime we want to access to the internet thru the iPhone

  1. Click on the Airport icon from the top of the screen
  2. Click on Create a network
  3. Enter the name: NetShare and leave the channel drop down box to automatic
  4. The system should choose your NetShare connection automatically.

Once this is done, you've been given an ad-hoc connection to NetShare WIFI network.

Preparing your iPhone

  1. Enable WIFI access from the Preferences icon in the Network tab
  2. Choose the NetShare WIFI network -- this is the network we have created on your Mac
  3. Tap on the related blue arrow on the right
  4. Tap on Static and give the IP address the following value: 192.168.10.1
  5. Press the home button
  6. Run the NetShare app.

You now should have NetShare showing 192.168.10.1 as the IP, 1080 as the port and should give you realtime statistics: number of proxy connections, and downlink and uplink bandwidth.

Not that you get access to the net as long as NetShare still runs. That mean that if your iPhone gets to sleep mode, your internet access will be stopped. This is why I advise you to select Never as the preferred value for the iPhone sleep mode.

Enjoy your tethering

On your Mac, launch Safari and enjoy Web browsing.

What's about other applications?

Alas, this app only works for Safari, or any app you may have that supports SOCKS proxy.

Skype, MSN, iChat etc. won't work then.

But you could be lucky today. There exists an application that you can buy which makes its best to route all TCP traffic to your SOCKS proxy. This application is Proxifier

Setting up Proxifier

  1. Launch Proxifier
  2. Open Options menu and select Proxy settings (shift-P)
  3. Click on Add button
  4. Enter 192.168.10.1 as the Address input field and 1080 in the Port input field
  5. Select SOCKS version 5 radio button
  6. Click on OK button.

From now own, Proxifier routes all your traffic to the proxy. You can monitor this by opening the monitor window (Window|Show Monitor or shift-L)

Conclusion

So now, what we have? I tested many applications with that configuration. Most of them works as expected, but some do not.

Among those that work we have:

  1. Safari
  2. iChat
  3. Twiterrific

Among those that do not work we have:

  1. ssh with the terminal
  2. Skype
  3. Cyberduck
  4. Transmit
  5. TextWrangler

Still to be tested:

  1. MSN



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