Your Cellular Personal Hotspot and OS X Yosemite

By Mark L. Chambers

Yosemite includes yet another method of connecting your Mac to that Internet thing — this time, you use your iPhone or iPad’s cellular (4G/LTE) service, using the new Personal Hotspot feature!

Here’s the scenario: You’re on the road with your MacBook, and you need to check your email and share a few photos on your website, but there’s no Wi-Fi service in range. If you don’t have a cellular connection for your Mac, you’re up a creek (at least until you pull into the next hotel, convenience store, or restaurant that offers free Wi-Fi).

Ah, but Yosemite has you covered, even in the absence of Wi-Fi. If your iPhone (or 4G/LTE iPad) is running iOS 8 or later and has an active 4G or LTE signal, your Mac can “piggyback” on that cellular signal, with no complex setup required!

Make sure your iPhone or iPad is turned on, and click the Wi-Fi icon in the Yosemite Finder menu — your iPhone or iPad should appear in the list of available connections (complete with a battery indicator and a relative signal strength meter). Click the iOS device entry, and a secure connection is automatically made.

Now your MacBook has an Internet connection, and you have scored points as a high-tech Mac power user. (And, like a good family member, your Mac automatically disconnects from the Personal Hotspot whenever you’re not using the Internet, just to save you from draining your phone’s data allowance.)