What Are the Advantages of Pairing the iPhone to a Computer?

By Avery Martin

Pair your iPhone with your devices and ditch the cables.
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Pairing your iPhone with your computer allows you to take advantage of hands-free technology such as Bluetooth-enabled headsets and trackpads. You can also use Bluetooth to share an Internet connection between your iPhone and computer. Bluetooth provides a simple way to connect to other devices without the need for a password. This makes it possible to quickly connect most devices with the push of a button.

Internet Sharing

If your cellular plan allows it, you can pair your computer with your iPhone to share the cellular data connection. This allows you to connect to the Internet on your computer when you can't access a Wi-Fi network. The connection uses the available data plan on your iPhone. According to Apple's website, an Bluetooth connection on an iPhone can work at a distance of up to 33 feet. Bluetooth pairing provides speeds of up to one megabit per second. If you need to keep your iPhone connected over longer distances, use Wi-Fi or a USB cable rather than Bluetooth.

Transferring Files

The iPhone Bluetooth connection does not support file transfers over a Bluetooth connections. Even though the Bluetooth technology does support the possibility for file transfers, your iPhone doesn't. However, once you connect to the Internet by pairing your iPhone with your computer over a Bluetooth connection, you can share files between your iPhone and computer using email. Mac users can use Messages or AirDrop to send files between devices.

Simplified Connections

Bluetooth connections don't need a password to connect to other Bluetooth devices. One of the advantages of using Bluetooth with both your computer and your iPhone involves reducing the clutter associated with wires and potential interference with other networks and nearby devices. Bluetooth also uses a low-energy profile that consumes less battery power; this comes as a considerable advantage over other technologies such as Wi-Fi tethering. Turning off Wi-Fi connections and using Bluetooth can extend the battery time on your iPhone.

Pairing Your Devices

Connecting to your iPhone using Bluetooth requires you to place the iPhone within close proximity of your computer. Although Bluetooth technology supports a range of up to 160 feet, keeping the iPhone close during the initial connection can help speed up the connection process. When ready to connect, you must first enable Bluetooth and Personal Hotspot from within the Settings app. Once enabled, you can connect to your iPhone using the Bluetooth connection options available on your computer.


Information in this article applies to iOS 7, Mac OS X Mountain Lion and Windows 8. It may vary slightly or significantly with other versions or products.