ISP problem enabled me to set up USB tethering to macOS

Set up USB tethering to macOS

Happy New Year! Ironically, I wasn’t happy on the first day of 2020. Near noon on January 1st, 2020, when I was working on AWS Cloud9, it’s getting slower and slower. Finally, it’s disconnected. When I checked on my router, the green light had turned into flashing red light. That meant, the router had lost connection to the network.

After waiting for several minutes and got back my mobile signal, I connected my macOS to Android phone through its Wi-Fi tethering. Then, I contacted my ISP through some of their social media presence. 

Some minutes later, one of their representatives says one of their technicians will come to fix the problem tomorrow. They don’t give a clear answer when I ask if it’s possible to fix it today.

So, I’ll have to rely on my mobile phone to get online in the meantime. I have no choice but to run Wi-Fi tethering from my Android phone to macOS for a long time. It’s not good because of:

  • It consumes my phone’s battery faster, much faster.
  • It makes the phone’s getting warmer.
  • The connection is not stable and slow.

In Ubuntu, I can connect it through USB-tethering and Ubuntu will recognize it as a cable connection or LAN. But macOS doesn’t work that way.

I’ve tried to set up USB-tethering on macOS in the past but it’s not working yet. But this time, I get no choice but to wage on this option: set up USB-tethering on macOS Mojave.

I take a deep breath and fire up a Google. It loads slowly to the point where I must disable the image on the browser. 

This time, I find HoRNDIS: https://joshuawise.com/horndis. I decided to give it a try. Download the package and install it. As its instruction, I only need to connect my Android phone to macOS using USB cable and turn on the USB-tethering on the phone. The result is nothing happened.

My macOS is still offline. 

But I haven’t given up yet. I try to re-install, restart this MacBook, connect the phone again with its USB cable and still nothing happens. 

I almost give up on the idea until I notice the project has a page on GitHub: https://github.com/jwise/horndis. This means it’s an open-source project.

I open to its GitHub page and see there’s an option to install it through Homebrew. 

It’s working. Installing through Homebrew solves the problem. My macOS Mojave is online. Now I can use the mobile internet on macOS Mojave through USB-tethering. The connection is faster and more stable. My phone isn’t getting warmer. It’s much better.

The next day, the ISP technician comes and fixes the problem. My router works again. So, I don’t need to use USB-tethering again. However, the knowledge about setting up that HoRNDIS will come in handy when the trouble comes again.

Updates for this set up USB tethering to macOS

It turns out that even on Mac OS Catalina, this set up for USB tethering to macOS, is still working well.

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