iPhone app: iPhoneModem2 turns your phone into a wireless modem (for jailbreakers only)

| February 23, 2009

We know that jailbreaking an iPhone can open up a bold new world (and potentially a can of worms ? see below).

Still, it seems like iPhone's hardware limitations are nowhere near as great as the software limitations imposed by Apple. So while we dutiful, rule-abiding customers ponder the fairness of it all, the bad boys among us have already rushed to the fore of the rebellion, jailbroken their phones and shaken hands with Cydia, the unofficial App Store for non sanctioned apps.

Is it a deal with the devil? Who knows, but one thing's for sure ? These rebels have been enjoying video capture, call recording, motion graphic wallpapers and more, while the rest of us are relegated to counting the growing number of fart apps in the official App Store.

I've tried (REALLY, REALLY tried) to follow the rules and not give in to temptation for the sake of the PhoneDog readers (so I can install and review App Store apps without hiccups), but this last tidbit may be the last straw that breaks the camel's back:

PCWorld just released a step by step 'tutorial? on how to use a jailbroken iPhone as a wireless laptop modem! (Oh, how unfair?)

Here's the gist:
If you have a solid 3G signal, but no Wifi access, you can grab Addition's iPhoneModem 2 (free trial, $9.99 to buy) via Cydia to get your laptop connected to the Interweb.

Here's how:  
Before you proceed, just know that jailbreaking your iPhone voids your warranty. (But, I have to admit, it's also fairly simple to restore the phone to factory settings with iTunes.) In any case, what you do from here is at your own risk.

ONE LAST NOTE: You might be asking yourself if this app is worth the hassle. Well, maybe, maybe not. 3G is awesome on a phone, but not so much for laptops. And though it may work with most browsers, it doesn't work with all of them.  

Okay, now here are the goods:
1) On a jailbroken phone, use Cydia to find and install iPhoneModem 2 by Addition. You?ll also need to install the helper app on the computer.

2) On the laptop, run the helper app and press ?Connect.? The default network, ?iPhoneModem,? has no password. (You can change that in the helper app's preferences if you want.)

3) Turn your iPhone's Wifi on and choose the ?iPhoneModem? network. (If you created a password, put that in.) Then, hit the Modem iPhone app on your handset. That's it.

After PCWorld ran this item, commenters chimed in recommending the PDANet app as a Wifi router for adhoc wireless networks. Like iPhoneModem 2, PDANet is also free to try for jailbroken phones only. (Ugh, of course it is.) But this alternative, which costs $19.99 full price, boasts much higher speeds and also works when the phone's charging or plugged in via USB ? which rocks, since 3G and Wifi are both energy hogs. PDANet also supposedly boasts an "insomnia" feature, so users can shut off the phone (when the app's active in the foreground) to spare the battery power without losing the active connection.

(I say 'supposedly? because, as you know, I haven't jailbroken my phone and therefore cannot try this! Talk about pouring salt in the wound?)

Neither apps are available in the App Store, and won't be in the foreseeable future.  :-(

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