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What is Jailbreaking? Benefits, Risks & Legality of Jailbreaking

What is jailbreaking? If you are a regular reader of Jaxov, you will know that a considerable chunk of topics we cover here concerns the matter of jailbreaking your iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. But what exactly is iOS jailbreaking? What are the advantages of jailbreaking your iOS device? What are the disadvantages to keep in mind with regards to jailbreak? At the end of the day, is it worth it to jailbreak your iDevice? In this post, we will try at the best of our abilities to explain What is Jailbreaking, its Benefits, Risks & its Legality.

Jailbreaking iPhone What is Jailbreaking? Benefits, Risks & Legality of Jailbreaking

What is Jailbreaking?

Jailbreaking is basically the process of freeing your device (thus the term jailbreak) from the limitations that are imposed by Apple. While the iOS is one of the most stable and secure mobile operating systems around, it can become too restrictive due to Apple's "closed" mantra. Jailbreaking will allow the user to have read/write access to the iOS operating system which allows them to download and install additional apps, extensions and themes that are all unauthorized by Apple and not available officially in the App Store. And this brings us to the next important topic which is Cydia.

Cydia

Cydia Jailbreak What is Jailbreaking? Benefits, Risks & Legality of Jailbreaking
Of course, you can't discuss about jailbreaking without mentioning Cydia. This is essentially the ultimate reason why you jailbreak your device. One can say that there is no point to jailbreaking your device if you don't even want to install Cydia. Jailbreaking your device will install Cydia into it which is a third-party digital distribution platform. To keep it simple, think of it as the "other" App Store or the "black market" version of the App Store because in a sense, all unauthorized apps and tweaks usually end up here. Much like the App Store, there are both free and paid apps (referred to as packages) available in Cydia.

Who's Who of Jailbreaking

Of course, you can't talk about jailbreaking without going over some prominent personalities that made the very concept possible in the first place.

Saurik

Jay Freeman Saurik1 What is Jailbreaking? Benefits, Risks & Legality of JailbreakingJay Freeman also known as Saurik is the father of Cydia. Saurik is almost synonymous to the word jailbreaking these days. Not only is he responsible for the development of Cydia, he has also single-handedly fostered the jailbreak community and made it strong over the years. There are instances as well that Saurik lent a helping hand in developing untethered jailbreaks. (@saurik)

MuscleNerd

MuscleNerd Photo What is Jailbreaking? Benefits, Risks & Legality of JailbreakingAnother world famous hacker who currently plays an important to world of jailbreaking. MuscleNerd is well-known as one of the core members of the iPhone Dev Team and acts as the frontman of the group. The iPhone Dev Team is known for releasing some of the most notable jailbreak tools available like Redsn0w, PwnageTool and Ultrasn0w. (@MuscleNerd)

P0sixninja

p0sixninja Photo1 What is Jailbreaking? Benefits, Risks & Legality of JailbreakingAlso known as Joshua Hill in real life, the infamous hacker with his team Chronic Dev is responsible for jailbreak tools such as GreenPois0n and the crash data recovery tool, C-Dev Reporter. P0sixninja is considered to be the leader of Chronic Dev Team which has developed a good deal of software and found several exploits that pave the way for the creation of many jailbreak tools. (@p0sixninja)

Comex

Comex Photo What is Jailbreaking? Benefits, Risks & Legality of JailbreakingHis real name is Nicholas Allegra and is certainly one of the most popular jailbreak hackers around. Comex has the distinction as the hacker who got features in Forbes magazine. His fame is quite well-deserved though as he is the one responsible for JailbreakMe 2.0 (Star) and JailbreakMe 3.0 (Saffron). Both of which are untethered jailbreak solutions and have been noted as some of the easiest jailbreak tools to use. Comex is now working for Apple but the nature of his work remains a mystery. (@comex)

Pod2g

Pod2g Photo1 What is Jailbreaking? Benefits, Risks & Legality of JailbreakingPod2g is a hacker from France who is known for his ability to find jailbreak exploits within the iOS. Pod2g rose to fame when he was able to locate the exploit that enabled the creation of the very first untethered jailbreak for the iOS 5. He also have made significant contribution to the development of the A5 untethered jailbreak which finally jailbroken iOS 5 into iPhone 4S and iPad 2. (@pod2g)

iH8Sn0w

iH8sn0w Photo What is Jailbreaking? Benefits, Risks & Legality of JailbreakingiH8sn0w is a young hacker who is responsible for some of the most useful jailbreak tools available. Perhaps his most popular tool is Sn0wbreeze, an alternative jailbreak tool for users of Windows. He also created the first ever SHSH blob dumper called iFaith, which enables users to save their SHSH blobs which comes in handy when downgrading. Most of his tools are geared towards Windows. (@iH8sn0w)

i0n1c

i0n1c Photo What is Jailbreaking? Benefits, Risks & Legality of JailbreakingAlso known as Stefan Esser in real life, i0n1c is widely known for developing the iOS 4.3.x untethered exploit which certainly catapulted him into jailbreak stardom. The exploit was then handed down to the iPhone Dev Team in order to be released in the form of a tool. He has the tendency to troll his Twitter followers at times though. (@i0n1c)

Geohot

Geohot Photo What is Jailbreaking? Benefits, Risks & Legality of JailbreakingDefinitely one of the most controversial personas in the jailbreak community, Geohot or George Hotz in real life is the first person to release a software unlock for the original iPhone. Some of his notable tools are purplera1n, blackra1n and limera1n. Geohot also succeeded in jailbreaking the Playstation 3 which eventually got him into a legal battle with Sony. Geohot used to work for Facebook but has recently quit due to unknown reasons.

What are the Benefits of Jailbreaking?

Cydia Icon What is Jailbreaking? Benefits, Risks & Legality of JailbreakingThird-party Jailbreak Apps and Tweaks. Probably one of the best reasons why you should jailbreak your device is the plethora of jailbreak tweaks and apps that are available to you through Cydia. Most of the apps and tweaks that are found in Cydia can't be availed through the App Store. Some of these applications can tweak certain aspects of your device while there are those that completely changes the look and feel of your device. Some of the most awesome jailbreak apps that you can download are SBSettings, 3G Unrestrictor, Springtomize, BiteSMS, Infinifolders, IntelliScreenX and more.

iPhone Unlocked What is Jailbreaking? Benefits, Risks & Legality of JailbreakingUnlock Your iPhone. Some folks buy their iPhones from another country and then bring it into their own. But since the phone is usually tied down to a carrier, one would need to unlock it first so it can be used for any carrier. If you jailbreak your device, you will be able to install a jailbreak app called Ultrasn0w and unlock your iPhone so you can use the carrier of your choice. Although there is another unlock method that requires you to purchase an interposer SIM and it doesn't require a jailbreak.

iPhone Customization Theme1 What is Jailbreaking? Benefits, Risks & Legality of JailbreakingFull Customization. By jailbreaking your device, you will be able to fully customize your iOS device. iOS simply isn't known for its customizability. There is a jailbreak app called Winterboard that allows you to completely change the theme of iOS or for a more advanced solution, you can try Dreamboard. You can also customize the look of your lockscreen, Springboard, music player, slide to unlock bar, Notification Center and so on. With a jailbreak, you will be able to customize your device to a degree where you can really call it your own.

Redsn0w Logo What is Jailbreaking? Benefits, Risks & Legality of JailbreakingThe Process is Quick, Easy and Reversible. As the years went by, jailbreak developers have working hard to provide the easiest jailbreak solutions. These days, it will only take a few clicks before you can jailbreak your device. The only tricky part is placing your device in DFU mode and even that is not that hard to perform. Even complete newbies can jailbreak their devices with ease. After jailbreaking, should you decide that it is not for you, you can always reverse the process by restoring your iDevice through iTunes.

Installous App What is Jailbreaking? Benefits, Risks & Legality of JailbreakingInstallous. Now this is a rather sensitive subject and is often a subject for intense debate. But I feel that this is rather an unavoidable issue and it should be safe to assume that some people might treat this as their sole reason for jailbreaking. With jailbreaking, it will allow you install an app called Installous which basically lets you download cracked apps for free. Not so sure if that $4.99 app from the App Store is worth your money or not? Well, you can sort of give it a free spin and see if you like the app or not. Unfortunately, this is also vulnerable to piracy.

Disadvantages? Risks of Jailbreaking?

Bricked iPhone What is Jailbreaking? Benefits, Risks & Legality of JailbreakingBricking. The term suggests a software error that rendered the device completely unrecoverable without some hardware replacement. Now with regards to iOS devices, I feel that this is a rather loose term. In my experience, I haven't heard of a device that has been legitimately bricked. A device that was deemed to be bricked can be recovered through DFU mode and iTunes restore. If there is indeed a chance for bricking, the percentage is very, very low.

Apple Warranty1 What is Jailbreaking? Benefits, Risks & Legality of JailbreakingWarranty Void. Jailbreaking is a perfectly legal act but the folks over at Cupertino thinks otherwise. Any attempt to jailbreak an iDevice will void your warranty. So with that said, Apple has the right to deny you with any service repairs in case your device is damaged or malfunctions. So just a little tip: you might want to restore your device prior to taking it to Apple for repairs since they won't be able to detect it.

Bugs and Glitches Icon What is Jailbreaking? Benefits, Risks & Legality of JailbreakingBugs and Glitches. While the iOS is a fairly bug-free experience, the same doesn't apply to jailbroken devices. Jailbreaking itself will make your device less stable. So you will experience issues like some apps will crash or stop working altogether, faster battery consumption, noticeable slowdowns, freezing, loss of data and other errors. Simply put, don't expect your device to work as smooth and stable as a non-jailbroken device.

iOS Update What is Jailbreaking? Benefits, Risks & Legality of JailbreakingUpdates Will Break Your Jailbreak. Apple and the jailbreaking community is on a continuous cat and mouse game. If a certain firmware version has been jailbroken, you can trust that the exploit will be plugged in the next update. If you update, you will surely lose your jailbreak and all your jailbreak tweaks and apps will stop working. As a rule of thumb for jailbreakers, do not ever update your firmware version unless there is an available jailbreak solution for it.

Security ICon What is Jailbreaking? Benefits, Risks & Legality of JailbreakingMay Compromise Security. The iOS's closed nature enables it to be one of the most secure mobile OS available. While jailbreaking does open your device for a new world of possibilities, it does render it susceptible to malicious content such as viruses and malware that can steal personal information or damage your device.

The Legality of Jailbreaking

Is Jailbreaking Legal What is Jailbreaking? Benefits, Risks & Legality of Jailbreaking
As of July 2010, the act of jailbreaking and unlocking iPhones has been ruled by the U.S. government to be legal. According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation or EFF, "reverse engineering is a fair use when done for purposes of fostering interoperability with independently created software". So no, you won't get yourself in trouble with the law if you jailbreak your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. But as stated earlier, Apple isn't exactly a fan of jailbreaking which explains why the company is so vocal with regards to opposing it. Apple may use technical countermeasures that will stop jailbreaking or prevent jailbroken devices from working but they will not be able to sue users over it. And as stated previously, your device warranty is void once it is found that has been jailbroken.

Final Words

As you can see, jailbreaking does have its pros and cons. So before you jailbreak your device, you need to weigh in the advantages and benefits. Do you want to maximize the potential of your iOS device through jailbreaking? Or are you perfectly happy with what Apple has to offer? Hope we were able to answer your questions with regards to what is jailbreaking.

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  •  
    Jimbob6 months, 1 week ago

    Great article. I’m undecided on jailbreaking my iphone 4s (6.1.3) or upgrading to ios7. I jailbroke an iphone only once before (iphone 3) way back in 2010. Though it was exciting to try something that seemed borderline rebellious, the end effect on my already slow 2yr old iphone was that it made most apps so slow, that it became almost unusable. There was some cool control over the apperence, but little more worked well for me. Would jailbraking my current 2+yr old 4s have the same effect? Maybe ios7 would also?Any advice appriciated.

    •  
      Patrick Gumban6 months, 1 week ago

      My advice if you indeed decide to jailbreak is to keep your tweaks and themes on a minimum. If you already have tons of apps and other files on your iPhone, you might want to consider deleting some of them to free some resources. Then before you jailbreak, restore your iPhone to iOS 7 (be sure to BACKUP first) for a fresh install and less errors. As far as I know, the iPhone 4S works good on iOS 7 in terms of performance. I’d say, give it a try. :) Hope this helps!

  •  
    bh24158 months, 3 weeks ago

    cheers

  •  
    bh24159 months ago

    plzz tell me desperate to know

  •  
    bh24159 months ago

    can u jailbreak i pad 1

  •  
    H.J.1 year, 3 months ago

    I’d really love the benefits, but I can’t back up all my stuff correctly and I’m worried I might lose stuff. Would I lose any music, or would it be things like photos?

    •  
      Patrick Gumban1 year, 3 months ago

      Your music and photos can all be backed up using iTunes. Yes, you will likely lose them if you don’t back up as you will have to restore your device. Just backup using iTunes or iCloud. :)

  •  
    Fanie Nel1 year, 3 months ago

    Great article, thnx. One question though, I want to download content but is unavailable in my country. I know I can change my store to USA, but then only free apps are available as credit card verification pics up that I’m not from USA. Will it be possible to download the out of territory apps once my ipad is jailbreaked? Thnx a lot!!!

    •  
      Patrick Gumban1 year, 3 months ago

      Yes, when you jailbreak you can download cracked iPhone apps which may not be available to your country. :)

      •  
        Fanie Nel1 year, 3 months ago

        Awesome thanks, now just to wait for the 6.1.3 crack. 

  •  
    SssM1 year, 4 months ago

    Is it possible to jailbreak ipad 3 ios 6.1.3???????please i need to know the exact answer!!!!……if YES then how…….l

    •  
      Patrick Gumban1 year, 4 months ago

      Nope, there is no jailbreak for iOS 6.1.3 for the iPad 3. The only devices that can be jailbroken in iOS 6.1.3 are the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, and iPod touch 4G, and that’s a tethered jailbreak. You’ll just have to wait for another major jailbreak release. :\

  •  
    Something1 year, 4 months ago

    Thanks a lot for this post. But I still don’t know if I really should….. And again, thank you so much

  •  
    Something1 year, 4 months ago

    Is it possible to jailbreak iOS 6.1.3 on iPod touch 4g?

    •  
      Patrick Gumban1 year, 4 months ago

      Yes, but it will be a tethered jailbreak. You can use the latest version of Sn0wbreeze or Redsn0w.

  •  
    Nathaniel1 year, 4 months ago

    This sucks cuz I can’t jailbreak and what will happen if your warranty is voided.

    •  
      Patrick Gumban1 year, 4 months ago

      Voiding warranty is one of the risks of jailbreaking. If you jailbreak, in theory you void warranty. However as far as I know, if you jailbreak, restore to factory settings and erase all signs that you have jailbroken your device, folks at Apple won’t be able to tell unless you specifically tell them.

  •  
    Chris1 year, 5 months ago

    True, when I allowed my device to be jailbroken, I installeda multitude of Apps through Cydia, went to town really :)Then a few apps caused it become “bricked.” I was devastated! :OThankfully, miraculously, it was able to be recovered like this article says.I lost all my cool apps and the jailbreak-including my app that allowed meto have more apps-but my IPhone still works to this day :)I may just have it  jailbroken again..

  •  
    Cristian Ojeda1 year, 5 months ago

    So is it really worth it?

  •  
    AL -Gibran1 year, 6 months ago

    can I download this for free if my ipad is Jailbreak’ed??? please help.https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/2010-handbook-emergency-cardiovascular/id561484805?mt=8

    •  
      Q'd1 year, 6 months ago

      Well there are certain repo’s that allow you to download third party apps such as vshare (vv) that will allow you to download apps for free. By the way the repo to get that app is: http://repocydia.com/  at least I think it’s that. Just look up vShare on this site and you will find the repo and how to add them.

  •  
    Tejas Patel1 year, 6 months ago

    Jail break is available for iOS 6

  •  
    Jack K.1 year, 6 months ago

    Does an iOS 6 jailbreak work with 6.1?

  •  
    Alan Cheung1 year, 6 months ago

    Will the FBI come after u when u download a distributed source.And if yes,then will u still be targeted after u delete that source.

    •  
      Q'd1 year, 6 months ago

      No they won’t unless you add the repo and install like over a thousand dollars worth of apps that are on the App Store themselves. So you should be ok.

  •  
    Zubin Butt1 year, 6 months ago

    I wud rather buy an android device instead, no such thing is reqd. To install apps frm outsode plus its open source, tat means fullly customisable frm tip to toe!!

    •  
      Alan Cheung1 year, 6 months ago

      Will the FBI come after u when u download a distributed source.And if yes,then will u still be targeted after u delete that source.

  •  
    Nadine1 year, 6 months ago

    Can I play flash games on my iPad if I jail broke it, farmville2 for example. Thanks for any responses…

  •  
    Asifue Iqbal1 year, 6 months ago

    I have an iPad2 with iOS6. Will I be able to jailbreak it with Evasi0n? Also let me know whether it is possible to download the paid games for free…

  •  
    AMIT ARORA1 year, 6 months ago

    I don’t know even the ABC of jaibreak,But after reading this article i can say thati know almost everything about jailbreaking..

    •  
      Q'd1 year, 6 months ago

      Yeah it isn’t that hard to understand.

  •  
    Ineedjailbreaknowforfriend1 year, 6 months ago

    Wats d best website to jailbreak iOS 6.0.1

    •  
      Patrick Gumban1 year, 6 months ago

      As of now, there is no best jailbreak for iOS 6.0.1, just tethered ones for pre-A5 devices. Just wait a few more days and we should get the jailbreak soon. :)

  •  
    Buzz1 year, 7 months ago

    Thank you, greatly explained..

  •  
    jpalaba1 year, 8 months ago

    nice post, it gives me the idea not to jailbreak my ipad 3 anymore..

  •  
    John1 year, 8 months ago

    Very well explained.  Practical, fundamental, thorough and easily understood even by this first time “jailbreaker”.  Much thanks.

    •  
      Jaxov Team1 year, 8 months ago

      Glad you liked it ;-) Share it with your friends!

  •  
    Julio1 year, 9 months ago

    nice post thanks well explain

    •  
      Tyler (Jaxov Team)1 year, 9 months ago

      Thanks for the comment!

  •  
    Choiinx1 year, 9 months ago

    Thank You so much for the info :D now I know what is a jailbreak and its Benefits, Risks & its Legality.. :D

  •  
    mich1 year, 10 months ago

    helpful info. thanks

  •  
    BlackXS1 year, 10 months ago

    Thanks to the author. Very correctly!

  •  
    Liz1 year, 10 months ago

    Nicely stated!

  •  
    Kdbty1 year, 10 months ago

    Thank you so much! I don’t feel like such an idiot now! Trying decide whether to jail real bc I’m having so many problems with iOS 6 update…

    •  
      Q'd1 year, 6 months ago

      If you want to jailbreak and iOS 6.01 or iOS 6.1 device use evasi0n by going to http://www.evasi0n.com/ and download the program for the corresponding OS you have.

  •  
    Ednihs1 year, 11 months ago

    Well explained…was easy to understand.,didnt find the need to search another article on the same topic  :) … thanks and keep up the good work

  •  
    AJ2 years ago

    The best comprehensive note on Jailbreaking !! You were able to keep the whole article informative as well as entertaining, right upto the last words !!! kudos to you, keep up the good work :)

  •  
    resistanceee2 years ago

    “they won’t be able to detect it”… How true is this statement? My school has recently implemented iPads into the curriculum and they have handed out iPads to my year level. They have said that we are not to jailbreak but I am wondering as to how they intend on catching someone who does. Could the jailbreaker not easily restore the iPad upon suspicion?

  •  
    rush2 years, 4 months ago

    very nice…. very well explained… even a grade school pupil will understand it… thanks guys for the hardwork….

  •  
    Anoliefo2 years, 6 months ago

    Thanks to you guys jailbreaking community….by the way very well explained.

  •  
    Rnesh2 years, 6 months ago

    Well explained:):) thanks!

    •  
      carles1 year, 4 months ago

      can i get my jail broken  device again in unbroken  form?

      •  
        Patrick Gumban1 year, 4 months ago

        Yes, jailbreaking is reversible. You simply need to do an iTunes restore. :)