Can you share an iPhone hotspot with a wireless router?

The research I’ve done seems to indicate the answer is “no”, but I thought I’d float it here in case there’s some clever workaround I hadn’t come across.

I have an iPhone 13 Pro Max on the latest iOS. I have a robust, unlimited data connection with AT&T (four bars, 5G+). Due to an oversight on my part (and some obtuse communication from Frontier), I am without my regular (fiber) Internet connection for a few days. I have an Archer AX55 Pro wireless router. It appears from the manual that there are only two inputs to the device, both Ethernet.

Any other ideas to use my iPhone hotspot signal as an input to the Archer router?

I don’t believe there’s any way to do this wirelessly because the Wi-Fi router would need to accept a wireless WAN connection (wide-area network, basically, your Internet connection).

It’s not inconceivable that you could share the iPhone’s Internet connection via USB, but it would require your Wi-Fi router to have a USB port that could be used for the WAN. Your router does have a USB port, but it seems to be only for network-attached storage.

How many devices do you need to connect? I’m seeing conflicting information about the number of devices you can connect to the iPhone, but it should handle a few anyway.

A GL.iNet travel router may well be able to bridge your hotspot to a router and they’re pretty cheap.

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This article by Glenn Fleishman explains how to use a travel router as adieb mentioned in the previous post:

I am currently using the TPLink device mentioned in the article with my Synology router I just purchased and was previously using with an older Netgear unit. The only issue is that the connection sometimes is dropped but I think it’s because it’s too close to the Synology unit which is much stronger than my old Netgear.

By the way, the Synology AC2600 does support iPhone tethering to its USB connection but I haven’t had a chance to try it yet.

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Thanks for confirming my suspicions, Adam.

I have around 10 connected to the router. Using the iPhone hotspot, I’ve currently connected four of them, and performance has been great. But a single iPhone isn’t exactly a “whole-house” solution.

Thanks @adieb and @jk2gs. If this were more than a few days, I’d consider purchasing something like that. But I have to say from reading @glennf’s article I’m still unsure whether it would solve the problem. I guess if the travel router offers an Ethernet output, I could use that as the input to my main router?

iPhone hotspot to Mac, connect router WAN port to Mac over Ethernet, then on Mac share wifi to Ethernet? (making sure Mac doesn’t attempt to join router’s wifi)

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Hmmm. Clever indeed, and certainly plausible. Now where did I put that USB-C to Ethernet adapter…

I have occasionally fed my entire home network through a Rube Goldberg like method when our fiber is down!

It looks like ASUS has just added that capability for routers running suitable firmware:

The phone is plugged into the router’s USB port. Note that the port is not USB-C, so you’ll need an appropriate cable.

The TPLink travel router I use is this one:

The ethernet plugs into the WAN of your router. The travel router has five different modes but the WISP one takes the hotspot internet from your phone and outputs to the router. The speeds are decent as I’m lucky to get two bars on my phone, sometimes three through Consumer Cellular (which uses ATT’s network which I had previously with the same bars/speed).

I’ve done that also but then you need to leave the Mac on all the time which I tend not to do. Also, depending on where your Mac is located, you may not have the best spot for the main router. In my situation, the main Mac is on the far end of the house.

I have an older peplink router in my RV that supports WiFI as WAN, and can use an iPhone via WiFi as its internet source. They have lots of model, most of which are enterprise grade devices, but they do make a few smaller ones that are affordable for home (and RV) use.

That got me thinking, you could of course also connect that USB-C Gigabit dongle straight to an iPhone 15 (Pro). Not an option on your iPhone 13, but for sake of argument…

I know the 15 Pro will see Gigabit speeds but that’s using Gigabit as the WAN uplink. The question is if the iPhone can somehow in Settings be convinced to share its cellular data over its USB-C rather than expecting the USB-C/Gigabit to deliver the WAN uplink.

And if that works, obviously, you’d also need to charge over MagSafe (or use a USB-C splitter for power) since sharing cellular eats up iPhone battery big time.

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Bingo! Bought an adapter from Amazon, which came today. It works perfectly (well, other than my music server and my Mac are now on separate networks, so only local music in my office for a couple days). But Alexa, my lawn sprinklers, my garage door opener, and my Blink cameras, along with the music server and my Apple TV sprang to life instantly. Thanks again!