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Author Topic: iPhone USB Tethering to Pfsense ($150)  (Read 10117 times)

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Offline Strider3000

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iPhone USB Tethering to Pfsense ($150)
« on: September 18, 2011, 11:48:00 am »
I'd like to use my iPhone 4 to tether to Pfsense 2.0 via USB, then have the iPhone show up in pfsense as a WAN. From there, I could share the iPhone WAN to all my LAN clients as an internet connection.

Here's how I see it working:

a) Download iPhone USB Tethering package for Pfsense 2???
1) Plug the iPhone USB cable into a USB port on the pfsense box
2) Enable USB tethering on the iPhone
3) See an iPhone WAN interface show up

I need a quote as to how much this might cost to develop. I've seen interest in iPhone USB tethering FreeBSD before:

http://forums.freebsd.org/showthread.php?t=16935

It's worth it to me because my normal cable connection here is so flaky, while my iPhone's 3G signal is fantastic (like .25 miles away from the tower). I routinely get 400-500KB downloads off my iPhone's 3G connection. I'd love to be able to use it on pfsense as a primary or failover WAN.



« Last Edit: September 23, 2011, 09:05:14 am by Strider3000 »

Offline ermal

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Re: iPhone USB Tethering to Pfsense ($???)
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2011, 02:27:36 pm »
Yeah it can be done.
The hours needed are a quite more than you can buy a 3G modem i can say?!


Offline marcelloc

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Re: iPhone USB Tethering to Pfsense ($???)
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2011, 02:43:28 pm »
You can also try something easier, install a  wifi device compatible with pfsense and start a wifi tethering on iPhone.
 Wifi thetering is native after iOS 4.3.

 

Offline Strider3000

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Re: iPhone USB Tethering to Pfsense ($???)
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2011, 08:02:29 pm »
I've tried the wireless tethering route before:

1) You'd still need to plug the phone into a power source anyway (eats battery fast)
2) The pfsense box would need a wireless card

3G modems require separate data plans, and costs are high.

Can I get an idea how much USB iPhone tethering would cost for pfsense?

Offline Strider3000

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Re: iPhone USB Tethering to Pfsense ($???)
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2011, 09:58:18 pm »
Bumpity-bump. Still looking for a quote.

Offline LostInIgnorance

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Re: iPhone USB Tethering to Pfsense ($???)
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2011, 11:45:04 pm »
The issue that I am aware of is that with tethering a phone, verizon and att charge differently once your tether.  Both of those providers give you a little (usually 2 or 4 gigs) of data once tethered.  When you go over that usage, the price per MB sky-rockets.  The unlimited data that they give you is in respect to using your phone to access the web/email/etc, not tethering.
There are ways around the system, but I don't suggest them since they'll catch on sooner or later and then bill you.
Running 2.0 Full i386 on a Soekris 5501-70 with a 80G HD

Offline ermal

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Re: iPhone USB Tethering to Pfsense ($???)
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2011, 06:40:28 am »
Well start from what you are willing to put on it.

Offline Strider3000

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Re: iPhone USB Tethering to Pfsense ($???)
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2011, 02:58:19 pm »
I've been tethering with the iPhone for two years now on and off. Subscribers do have to watch data usage pretty closely.
I still have my grandfathered unlimited data plan. With the advent of the iPhone 5, Sprint will be offering the phone with an unlimited data plan. Possibly in the future, data plans may be tweaked more. In a year or two, the iPhone may finally have LTE connectivity, which would be another reason to support it on pfsense.

Anyway, the idea is to use it as a backup WAN, not the fulltime WAN.

I'll start at $100.

Offline GoldServe

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Re: iPhone USB Tethering to Pfsense ($100)
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2011, 04:01:42 pm »
I'd put $50 into this so the community could benefit. I'd just plug in my phone if all my connections are down. Emergency home network wan connection.

Offline databeestje

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Re: iPhone USB Tethering to Pfsense ($150)
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2011, 12:57:21 pm »
in .nl a prepaid USB dongle is 20 euros. And you get about 400MB of data on it too.

I tried a huawei dongle and it just worked for em, needed some fiddling to find the correct serial port but it does work.

Offline cicero44bc

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Re: iPhone USB Tethering to Pfsense ($150)
« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2012, 10:16:17 am »
This might help if you haven't seen it already. http://forums.freebsd.org/showthread.php?t=19995

This would have some practical applications. I've had a think about how needed it is vs. putting a compatible wireless NIC in place (which I've seen for ~£5 on eBay) and connecting to an iPhone in AP mode (Android user speaking, not sure if iOS offers that) and plugging the phone into a USB port for power also and I am interested in what situation it would be the ideal solution for? This is not to criticize, just to understand.

Offline rneily

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Re: iPhone USB Tethering to Pfsense ($150)
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2012, 03:46:26 pm »

Saw this and thought I would reply...

I have recently just tried this, as I have tethering available on my iPhone.   Seems the iphone requires ADHOC connection to connect the native IOS Wifi Hotspot.   In Pfsense 2.0.1, if I configure my wireless interface as ADHOC, the machine reboots and I get a kernel panic over and over again upon reboot until I physically remove the card.  I've tried this multiple times, not sure if it's my on WRAP having issues, or maybe my Artheros card.

Anyone gotten an ADHOC connection working in Pfsense 2.0.1?  This is probably not something that is used/configured all that much.

Offline wallabybob

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Re: iPhone USB Tethering to Pfsense ($150)
« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2012, 03:17:56 pm »
My Android phone connects to at least a few different APs. I have never had to try it in ad hoc mode. :-)

Some time ago I did try adhoc mode on a number of devices with distinct RALINK chipsets and got kernel panics very quickly after enabling them. I agree with your conclusion that adhoc mode is probably not configured/used very often with FreeBSD.


Offline cicero44bc

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Re: iPhone USB Tethering to Pfsense ($150)
« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2012, 04:55:59 pm »
My android phone works without an issue too, not that this helps you, I'm mentioning for anyone else that comes across this post. You can get dirt cheap android devices that support AP mode, could be a cheap work around in the mean time. I may be getting an iPhone for work and I shall give it a go if it happens. What iOS version did you try on by the way?

Offline Strider3000

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Re: iPhone USB Tethering to Pfsense ($150)
« Reply #14 on: September 15, 2012, 12:18:39 pm »
I too have never been able to get the wireless AP mode on the iPhone to connect properly to a wireless adapter used by pfsense. My offer of $100 still stands for a true USB-tethering solution for iPhone to pfsense. This would be especially nice now that the iPhone 5 is coming with LTE support.

On a side note, I have an iPhone 4S (CDMA Sprint, unlocked outside of US). I'll probably upgrade to an iPhone 5 around the end of this year. If I can get a pfsense developer to commit to giving pfsense users an true USB-iPhone tethering solution solution, I will gladly donate my used (jailbroken) iPhone for that cause.