John's Musings

Yeah, Me Neither

iPhone Tethering with Router with DD-WRT

Suppose you are a very low usage internet person. Check email and read FoxNews once a day. You probably have a smart phone that has a Hotspot. My phone plan is Unlimited Data with 10 GB's of hotspot per month. That's so you don't share with 90 people and everybody rides for free. I know many people who don't use 10GB of data a month. Also I have an iPad that gets 20GB a month so that's 30GB's a month I can use that I seldom do use. I could almost fire the cable internet company.

Or lets say you want to surreptitiously run a wifi network at the office so you can check which you know you aren't supposed to do on the work network. Or lets say you're somewhere and don't trust that network but you need to hook up multiple devices or you need a little better range than what you get with the phone or iPad.

You can also add an ad-blocker, run a VPN server, block web sites........stuff that you can't do on that phone or iPad.

I've found a good solution that is inexpensive, lightweight and not too obtrusive. We're going to hook our iPhone or iPad to the router and use it as a WAN connection so we can hook up to the wifi of the router.

The D-Link DIR-860L version B1 goes for about $40. It's very lightweight and about the size of couple of coke cans. Probably more suitable for a suitcase than a big rectangle with antennas sticking out all over it.

First in order to pull this off we need to install DD-WRT. Open a browser and type "" On Mac it asks if you want to open in finder. You can do that or just navigate via the webpage. Go to Betas > 2017 > the newest one > D-Link DIR-860 and grab the factory to dd-wrt file. Make sure you get the correct version. I have version B1.

Now log in your router interface and flash the file you downloaded. Sorry, no screenshot here. It takes 5 minutes or so but the address of the router will change to and you'll have an open wifi network called "dd-wrt"

Once you go to the main setup page after setting a password you set your WAN connection type to "iPhone Tethering".

No go to "Wireless" and "Wireless Security" to change your SSID (if you want to) and to enable a password.

Go to Settings on your iPhone and turn off wifi and personal hotspot. Now plug your iPhone into the USB port on the back of the router. It will ask you if you want to Trust the Computer. Click yes.

Now turn on Personal hotspot and it should ask you to turn wifi on. Click yes.

Now in DD-WRT do this:

Next on the top bar click the tab that says "Status" and then "Site Survey"

Your phone will be listed in there somewhere and you may have to click the "Join" button (not depicted) Once you do that it will show up as a wireless node.

At this point you should be connected and you'll see a blue bar at the top of your iPhone page indicating a connection. After the site survey you may have to turn off wifi and personal hotspot and then pull the plug from the iPhone and start again with "Trust this computer". It takes a time or two maybe the first time you do it but after you get the blue bar you are using your iPhone as a WAN device on the router. Now you can connect to the router with it's wifi.

Yer doing it! You have successfully used your phone to provide internet to a router. Your telephone is acting like a cable modem. Depending on where you are you'll top out at 4G speeds.

Remember the data you use from hooking to the wifi on the router is part of the Hotspot data. Don't watch Netflix unless you have an unlimited hotspot plan.

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