How to set up BlackBerry smartphone USB Internet Tethering while using a Mac

HOW-TO / 06.12.12 / tywill1

The next time you need a network connection while exploring the great outdoors, hanging out at the local park or traveling for an extended period of time, consider using USB Internet tethering. This feature allows you to leverage your BlackBerry® smartphone’s network connection on your Mac.

All you need is your BlackBerry smartphone, a USB cable and few minutes to perform the initial setup. Following this, you can easily connect your smartphone and with a few clicks, you can surf the internet on your Mac using your smartphone’s wireless connection.

In addition to USB-based Internet tethering, you also have the option of using a Bluetooth® connection. Today I’ll be focusing on the USB-based method, but keep an eye out for a blog post on using Bluetooth in the future. For those that want to try the Bluetooth method now, check out KB18127 – How to configure a BlackBerry smartphone as a Bluetooth IP Modem on a Mac computer.

Learn how to set up USB Internet tethering after the break!

Before using Internet tethering, here a two things you should know about smartphone passwords and Internet tethering in general:

1. If your BlackBerry smartphone has a password, a password helper application (part of the BlackBerry® Desktop Software) is launched and prompts for the password when it is connected to your Mac. When this prompt appears, enter your BlackBerry smartphone password and click “OK” to initiate the Internet Protocol (IP) modem connection. If you do not enter your BlackBerry smartphone password, Internet tethering will not work.

2. If you are unsure about tethering your BlackBerry smartphone to the Internet, contact your wireless service provider for more information about tethered modem support and any form of fees you may incur as a result. You may need to contact your wireless service provider to obtain configuration settings that are specific to your wireless provider as well.

With that being said, let’s set up Internet Tethering on a Mac while using a USB cable.

1. Install BlackBerry Desktop Software on the Mac computer
2. Using a USB cable, connect your BlackBerry smartphone to your Mac
3. On the menu bar of your Mac, click the Apple icon and select “System Preferences”

4. Click “Network” and a dialog box stating “New Interface Detected” appears

Note: If this prompt does not appear, review the section “Manually adding a New Interface” below before proceeding further.

5. Click “OK” followed by “Apply” and select “Advanced” to complete the modem configuration
6. Verify the following information:

  • Vendor: Research In Motion
  • Model: BlackBerry IP Modem (GSM) or BlackBerry IP Modem (CDMA) – depending on the network type that the BlackBerry smartphone or SIM card is associated with.
  • APN: – by default, the “” Access Point Name (APN) is displayed.

7. Click “OK” to save the configuration changes followed by “Apply”
8. Verify that BlackBerry Desktop Software for Mac is closed
9. Click “Connect”.

Note: If the “Connect” button is greyed out, click the lock icon in the bottom left corner of the Network screen and enter your OS X password in order to light up the “Connect” option.

After making a successful connection, to disconnect when you are finished complete the following steps:

1. On the menu bar of your Mac, click the Apple icon and select “System Preferences”
2. Select “Network” and select your BlackBerry smartphone followed by clicking on “Disconnect”

Manually adding a New Interface

While setting up Internet tethering, if you do not receive a prompt after clicking “Network” that states a new interface has been found, complete the following steps after verifying your smartphone is connected to your Mac using a USB cable:

1. Click the plus sign that appears in the bottom left corner of the network list
2. Click the drop down for the interface and select your smartphone (i.e. “BlackBerry – ABCD1234”)

3. Click “Create” and continue following the instructions provided earlier in this article to start using Internet tethering.

Got a question about tethering your BlackBerry smartphone to the Internet? Leave a comment and let me know!

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