Last Updated on August 29, 2022 by Filip Poutintsev
At some point, all Apple users have seriously considered “jailbreaking” their devices. Jailbreaking involves the process of removing software restrictions that Apple has placed on your iOS device. This gives you complete control of your device.
Jailbreaking your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch is currently legal in the United States. But Apple considers jailbreaking a violation of its warranty. So if something goes wrong when you’re jailbreaking your Apple device, then you have to fix it yourself.
Bypassing these restrictions offers endless benefits, but can also breach the security and have a negative effect on the usability of your phone. In this article, we explore the pros and cons of jailbreaking an iPhone.
Pros and Cons of jailbreaking an iPhone at a glance
- It’s easy
- Access new apps
- The range of customization options
- Access the iOS file system
- Change wireless providers
- Free tethering
- Bypass restrictions
- It could go wrong
- Vulnerable to security risks
- Lose access to content
- Voided warranty
- Dangers of unscreened apps
- Unable to receive firmware updates
Pros of jailbreaking an iPhone
Jailbreaking an iPhone is very easy and doesn’t take much time. All you need is a computer and an iPhone, and after a few minutes, your device will be jailbroken.
You can easily jailbreak your iPhone yourself by following the correct tutorials. You don’t need professional help.
There are several upgraded tools for the latest versions of Apple products available, which make jailbreaking a simple process. It’s important to note that there are four different types of jailbreaking: tethered, semi-tethered, untethered, and semi-untethered.
Access new apps
Once you jailbreak your iPhone, you can use Cydia to download apps that are not available on Apple’s App Store. Cydia is an unofficial app store for Apple devices. You can download any kind of software, from things that change the appearance of your device to apps that are not available anywhere else.
Cydia offers both free and paid app downloads. Unlike with other app stores, you do not pay through Cydia; you directly pay the app developer. This is beneficial for developers because they don’t have to pay Apple’s fees.
App development has significantly increased as a result of successful jailbreaking methods. Developers don’t need to get their apps approved by the official App Store, which can save them time and money.
The range of customization options
A jailbroken iPhone allows you to customize your device without any restrictions. You can alter your keyboard, home screen, and lock screen, and add software updates to the UI that aren’t already available.
You can change the iOS experience so that it is suitable for your taste. There are limitless possibilities which makes it a great option for people who are moving from Android to iOS.
If you want to tweak your iPhone’s feel and look, then check out Cydia. You will find a wide selection of themes available that you can use to change your wallpaper, icons, status, and dock.
WinterBoard is another efficient customization app that allows you to not only change the look and feel of your iPhone, but also customize sounds.
Access the iOS file system
Jailbreaking exposes the file system of an iPhone to its user, which can prove to be very helpful. If you install a secure shell (SSH) client, you can securely transfer data between two devices on a network.
You can use a secure shell client to connect your jailbroken iPhone to your computer to repair corrupted files or install third-party apps that are not available on the Apple App Store.
As a secure shell client allows anybody to remotely connect, the first thing you need to do is change the admin password. The default password is “alpine.” Everybody knows this, so if you don’t change it, then anybody can access your phone.
Change wireless providers
You can unlock your jailbroken iPhone so that it jumps from one cellular provider to another whenever you want, as long as they are both carriers that use the LTE and GSM wireless standard.
To do this, you need to change the Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) card. The iPhone 5 and later models are compatible with both LTE and GSM.
Big cell carriers require your phone to be completely paid for before they will unlock the handset. However, they will unlock an iPhone for overseas travel or if the user is a U.S. military service member being sent internationally.
Tethering is when you use an iPhone or iPad that has been cellular enabled as a broadband modem or Wi-Fi hotspot to connect your laptop to the internet.
Cellular carriers offer tethering but at a fee, or include it in expensive contracts or plans. However, jailbroken devices offer tethering for free through unverified apps like MyWi, which is available on Cydia.
By jailbreaking your iPhone, you can change your device’s behavior and even add-on extra features. You can also remove some of the restrictions that managel the use of your iPhone.
For example, you can change wireless carriers for free. This means you can use another data plan with a different carrier on the device, even if it is locked.
Other smaller changes you can bypass include being able to see more in-depth information about your connections and adding the battery percentage back to the status bar at the top.
Cons of jailbreaking an iPhone
It could go wrong
If you’re trying to jailbreak your iPhone and something goes wrong, you could end up with a bricked phone. This means your iPhone will be unusable and unable to load the springboard.
Several users have reported that it is easy to recover your device if something goes wrong, but there is still a slight risk that you may never be able to recover your iPhone again.
If you brick your iPhone, then Apple won’t help you because you have voided your warranty by jailbreaking. If your device can be recovered, it will need to be wiped and you will have to start again.
Vulnerable to security risks
The risk of downloading altered firmware on an iPhone should be taken into consideration. Third-party apps, bugs, and potential security holes can put your data at risk.
The reduced security updates for a jailbroken device are also dangerous, because your iPhone becomes vulnerable to horrible exploits that hackers may engage in.
All iOS devices using firmware with a security error should be updated immediately to protect against the error. The problem is that most users may prefer to keep their jailbroken device rather than install Apple’s update.
There are also certain apps that will detect a jailbroken device and won’t work effectively. Apps that generally do this are mobile banking applications, which are important to have on your device.
Lose access to content
There are rare situations where jailbreaking has worked against itself. Usually, people jailbreak their iPhones to access more content, but can unknowingly lose access to other content in the process.
Apple does not actively block jailbroken devices from their services, but third-party providers have blocked jailbroken phones. This is not a major concern right now, but it is something to be aware of if you are thinking of jailbreaking your iPhone.
When you decide to jailbreak your iPhone, you not only risk your phone turning into a brick, but you also risk voiding your warranty.
It is impossible to undo a jailbreak, so if something goes wrong and your phone does not switch on, then you will need to pay for the repairs from your own pocket.
In this case, it doesn’t matter whether your phone stopped working as a result of jailbreaking or because it slipped off a table. Apple won’t help you if you have voided your warranty.
Dangers of unscreened apps
Jailbreaking makes your Apple device a more vulnerable target for malware. It removes the walls that Apple created in the iOS and iTunes App Store. Reports of malware for Apple devices have only happened to those which have been jailbroken.
You can install any app you want onto your iPhone, but it may contain hidden malware that could really affect your device.
Unable to receive firmware updates
Usually, after a jailbreak release, Apple will send out firmware updates to cover up the jailbreak process. While you should update your Apple device for increased security and additional features, it could reverse your jailbreak.
You would need to jailbreak your device for the second time once it is jailbreak compatible to restore your phone’s potential. It may take months for new software to be jailbroken, and even then, sometimes it doesn’t happen.
Is it worth jailbreaking an iPhone?
Jailbreaking an iPhone is worth it because you bypass all the restrictions Apple has created, and you have access to a world of new apps. Jailbroken iPhones offer so much more than non-jailbroken ones.
Is it safe to jailbreak your iPhone?
Jailbreaking an iPhone does come with its fair share of risks. You can experience a variety of malware, including viruses, spyware, and other malware disguised as quality apps. You could also get your phone hacked in the process.
After looking at all the pros and cons of jailbreaking your iPhone, you can see how much more a jailbroken device has to offer. You can do so much without Apple’s approval.
But if you are content with your Apple device and are not interested in the features that a jailbreak unlocks, then it’s best not to bother.