by Joe White
February 10, 2011
Today, the Verizon iPhone went on sale to the general public. And, with it, comes iOS 4.2.6 - a new version of the iOS that is only available to Verizon iPhone users. It features "Personal Hotspot." Personal Hotspot is essentially Internet tethering, albeit a far superior form than what we're used to. Before, I've found Internet tethering to be troublesome, slow, and buggy - very often, my iPhone has frozen while tethered to my MacBook, which is inconvenient (to say the least). When I first tried out Personal Hotspot in a beta version of iOS 4.3, I expected it to be the same. However, in the name of fairness, I gave the feature a fair shot, and attempted to connect to the Internet via Personal Hotspot. Setting up my own "hotspot" was a quick and easy task. All you have to do is turn on Personal Hotspot, and set a password. Once you've done this, your iPhone will appear as a Wi-Fi network (as you can see in the screenshot). You can connect to your hotspot the same way you would connect to a Wi-Fi network. Simply select your hotspot, enter the password, and you're good to go. Every time I've used Personal Hotspot, it has worked like a charm. Most importantly, it hasn't crashed. And, while the speed of the connection obviously cannot match that of an actual Wi-Fi network, Personal Hotspot is definitely the next best thing. For Verizon iPhone users, the Personal Hotspot feature will cost an additional $20 per month, for 2GB of data. If you go over this limit, every subsequent gigabyte downloaded will cost an extra $20, so be careful. As mentioned, Personal Hotspot comes pre-loaded with Verizon iPhone handsets. For other iPhone users, iOS 4.3 (which is due pretty soon) will bring the feature. We expect Personal Hotspot to be available worldwide very soon depending on your carrier.