Have you ever needed to connect to your iPhone when you don’t have a wireless network available?

Probably not, but I had to a few weeks ago, here’s why:

While on vacation I took a video using Cycorder on my iPhone. I needed to move the video to my MacBook to edit and upload it to the web. Unfortunately, the only way to get a video off the iPhone (that was taken with Cycorder) is to wirelessly connect to the iPhone and copy the video (I avoid the Terminal and just use Transmit to connect via ssh).

The problem was that even though I paid $15 for internet access at my hotel, it would only work for one device at a time (either the iPhone or the MacBook). Rather than spending another $15 to connect my MacBook and iPhone to the same network so I could copy the video, I set out to find a better (read: free) solution.

The easy 3-step solution I discovered was right under my nose:
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OpenDNS just saved the day once again:

I had two computers on the same network. One was able to browse the Internet, the other wasn’t. They both had good IP addresses from the router and they could both see each other over the local network. What’s the problem??

BAD DNS! Changing to OpenDNS nameservers instantly fixed the problem.

In a rush? Jump straight to the 20 second setup.

What is DNS?

DNS or Domain Name System is your computer’s way of translating hostnames (i.e. google.com) to IP addresses ( Behind the scenes, every easy to remember web address like “www.google.com” has an equivalent numerical address on a web server somewhere ( You can actually type into your web browser and go straight to google’s page.

For more technical info, check out Wikipedia’s DNS entry.
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