Tethering is Back Through a Web App

iTether was one of those popular apps Apple disliked and killed last year, after it had been on the app store for no more than a few hours.

Now it’s back as Tether, having bypassed the Apple App Store altogether by being coded in HTML5. It does the same thing as its predecessor, allowing users to turn their iPhone into a mobile hotspot, and use its data connection to allow other devices to access the Internet. The way it works is fairly simple. All you need is an ad-hoc network that is shared with your PC. You point your iPhone to Tether.com and then it begins to function as a modem.

It is a very clever idea and short of legal intervention it would be quite difficult for Apple to stop. Theoretically, Apple could update iOS to block the website in question, but websites can always migrate. So it would seem that Tether.com will be around for longer than iTether was available in the app store.

The only problem with Tether.com is the price, which is $15 initially then moves up to $30 – a little steep for a service that may be forced offline, and more than a little steep for a service that essentially hijacks a carrier’s data services. There are other things to consider. Widespread overuse of tethering would put a lot of strain on cellular networks, which are under strain as it is. In the past, tethering users have come under pressure from AT&T; if it becomes more of an issue it might force carriers to pursue legal remedies – or begin introducing more stringent terms of service.