The term jailbreaking refers to system-level modification of a device to evade the restrictions or barriers created by the device manufacturer. The term is commonly used for smartphones, however, it is applicable to other devices like gaming consoles such as PlayStation and other electronic devices with restricted features. A jail-broken device can easily bypass the manufacturer limiters and access restricted features or even install unauthorized software. Jailbreak works as an exploit that boosts your device privileges by replacing built-in operating system with mods. Jailbreak is not confined but certainly infamous among the iOS users.
Apple loves restricting its users’ privileges. They usually dictate user experience and tell you how a device should be used – a device that you just purchased. Let’s explore a few of these restrictions, iPhone’s memory cannot be upgraded, iPods need to sync with iTunes to play music, Mac parts cannot be swapped and most of the decent apps on AppStore are paid. Of course, there are users that don’t appreciate restraint and hence opt for jailbreak since it allows them to bypass restrictions and overclock their iPhone, iPad and any other iDevice.
The mods or custom kernel replace your built-in operating system and enables you to overclock your device, access restricted features, install apps for free and access unauthorized content. Further, iOS jailbreak allows you to customize the user interface which is not possible with stock OS. Jailbreaking sounds fascinating, but, the question is whether you should do it. With jailbreak, you get extra privileges but at the cost of your device’s security. Yes! Jail-broken devices are vulnerable in terms of security and more susceptible to hacking, unauthorized access and information theft. Still, 1 out of 3 iOS devices you come across might be jail-broken and running Cydia.
The terms jailbreak and root can be used interchangeably, nevertheless, jailbreaking is mainly associated with iOS devices. On the other hand, rooting is commonly associated with Android devices. Jailbreaking or rooting is a process that identifies vulnerabilities in stock operating system and replaces it with mods – giving users access to restricted features. A point worth noting here is that jailbreaking is not to be attempted by newbies as the process does not guarantee 100% success. And there is always a risk of bricking the device, if executed incorrectly. Further, there are times when you need to jailbreak your device time and again on every reboot.
Rooting on the other hand is less complicated as compared to jailbreak. This is because of the openness of the operating system. Android as an operating system is more liberated as compared to iOS. Though Android manufacturers do no appreciate or encourage rooting, executing the process on an Android device is much less troublesome as compared to iOS. It is safe to say that rooting an Android device is a little permissible compared to jailbreaking iOS. If things go south, reverting a rooted device to stock OS can be considered a last resort. Nevertheless, unwanted glitches in jailbreak can leave you with a faulty or bricked device that is impossible to restore.
Jailbreaking a device nullifies its warranty. Your warranty claim flies off the window if something bad happens to your device. Even though you have pulled off a successful jailbreak, you now have a device with unlimited access. And it is human nature to explore how deep the rabbit hole goes – we will always choose the red pill. There are good apps and bad apps; apps that crash and also malware. There is a reason those restrictions are there in the first place. Jailbroken device lets you install APIs even from unauthorized and often unsecure pages – leaving your device security vulnerable.
Jailbroken devices are more susceptible to the phone crashing. Also, some apps might not work as intended or used to. Official updates are a disaster for jailbroken phones. An official update, if it does not brick your phone, would either make your phone glitch, break your phone or make some features inaccessible. Further, the updates might also accompany malware. The only solution to this is the updated version of jailbreak and it often takes weeks, even months to be available.
No matter how cool a customized iOS device sounds to you, we recommend not to attempt jailbreak. When you attempt a jailbreak, your days as a carefree user are over. Your warranty is nullified. Not Apple, you get to decide whether an app is safe or not, you are no longer their concern. Jailbreaks often accompany security threats as the jailbreak might have a backdoor built-in. The moment you root your iOS device with the firmware, you might accidently give access to all your data and information stored on the phone.
One of the notorious jailbreak hacking incidents happened in 2015 when Chinese hackers gained access to iCloud login information of 225,000 individuals that attempted jailbreak. The hack was facilitated by backdoors created in jailbreak tweaks which helped hackers infiltrate users’ devices.
You might have known by now that jailbreaking a device is not safe and can compromise your device’s security. Jailbreaking not only invalidates your device’s warranty but can leave you with a bricked device if executed incorrectly. Official updates become a disaster and accompany annoying glitches – causing your device to experience unnecessary halts. You are practically left at your own mercy as you are no longer the company’s concern. You might have to differentiate between a good app and a malware on your own. Frankly, if things go sideways, no one is coming to your rescue. So, if you are a newbie, we strongly recommend not to attempt a jailbreak or ask someone to do it for you. Sometimes, it is sufficient to unbox a new device that is working as it is supposed to. However, if you are an avid tech enthusiast, go break a leg. It is fancy to test new things, customized iOS device sounds cool and all but be safe, always!