Whether you should Jailbreak your iPhone is a question that has been debated for years. Some people say it’s a necessary step to unlocking the full potential of your phone, while others claim that it can cause more harm than good. In this blog post, we’ll explore the pros and cons of Jailbreaking and help you decide whether or not it’s right for you.
Jailbreaking is one of the vital test cases in our mobile application penetration testing methodology while performing security assessments. The biggest risk being allowing a user root access to the device.
What does jailbreaking mean?
The technical term jailbreaking implies that a locked-down electronic device has been changed to remove restrictions and allow the installation of unauthorised software. Although the term contains breaking, it doesn’t involve breaking anything physically.
The root access (highest privilege) of the operating system and access to all functions is obtained by jailbreaking a device. The term “jailbreaking” originated because it entails releasing consumers from what were thought to be impositions of restrictions.
Certain elements of the operating system are not open to app developers. When the OS is entirely opened to jailbreak app development, you may discover applications that can modify stock programs like Messages, add widgets to the lock screen, and more.
What does jailbreaking an iPhone mean?
Jailbreaking an iPhone means removing the limitations imposed by Apple and unlocking your iPhone so that you can uninstall pre-installed apps iOS offers, install apps from any third-party developers, jailbreak tweaks, or iOS themes without restriction. It also gives users access to Cydia on their jailbroken devices which offers thousands of new apps and jailbreak tweaks for free.
So should I jailbreak my iPhone? The answer really depends on what you want from your phone. If you want more control over how your device works, then jailbreaks will be beneficial for you as it removes restrictions put in place by Apple; you can even delete default apps on jailbroken iOS devices. However, if safety is a concern for you then jailbreaks may not be the best option as there are some risks involved with them such as malware and other security threats.
To view a concise version of this article, we invite you to watch our video on the same topic.
What is Semi Jailbreaking?
Semi-tethered jailbreaking refers to when an iOS user has jailbroken their iPhone, but cannot enjoy jailbreak apps such as Cydia. This means the device is able to start up on its own but won’t run modified code/jailbreak applications. Users can’t use jailbreak tweaks and themes because it’s not complete yet.
Types of iPhone jailbreak
There are different types of jailbreaking depending on the method you use to jailbreak your iPhone:
Jailbreaking iPhone using a computer that is tethered to the device. It’s different from a jailbroken phone meaning it requires you to reconnect your iDevice to the PC each time you reboot it due to security risks involved with jailbreaks so this isn’t really suitable for most users.
In tethered jailbreaking when your iPhone gets stuck in jailbroken mode after you reboot it. You will need to plug the device into a computer every time you reboot and use jailbreaking software, depending on which version of iOS firmware you are running. The jailbreaking process takes around 30 minutes at most and you’ll be jailbroken after that.
Semi-tethered jailbreak, which has been made available by hackers since iOS version 11 was released, allows you to reboot your device as usual without needing a computer or software.
Jailbreaking iPhone without having tethering problems. This jailbreak process has been automated and doesn’t require you to connect the device each time it reboots so this is much more suitable for most users especially if they reboot their iDevice often such as when playing games or using apps that need a lot of memory.
Semi-Untethered jailbreak has been made available by hackers since iOS version 11 was released. A jailbroken iPhone with semi-untethered jailbreak will not restart the device into a jailbroken mode, but semi-untethered jailbreaking enables you to run jailbreak apps. If your iDevice completely dies and isn’t responding when trying to boot up again then use Cydia Impactor software on Mac or Windows PC to bring your phone back alive. Then jailbreak it again and you’ll be able to enjoy jailbroken apps.
What is Bootloader?
Bootloader, also known as boot ROM or iBoot, refers to a program that loads an operating system into memory. It is the first program that runs when a jailbroken phone starts.
Is it the same thing to jailbreak an iPhone as it is to unlock it?
No, jailbreaking is not the same as unlocking.
Unlocking your phone means that you are able to use any SIM card and your iPhone can be used with other networks such as some prepaid phone plans which use pre-paid sims rather than monthly postpaid ones whereas jailbroken phones mean that you jailbreak your iPhone and install jailbreaking apps such as Cydia.
Is it possible to use Apple’s App store after jailbreaking?
Yes, it is possible to use Apple’s App Store after jailbreaking your iPhone. Jailbreaking your phone will not affect the ability to use applications on Apple App Store and jailbreak tweaks. However, it’s worth noting that certain applications, mostly banking apps, actively monitor whether you’re jailbroken and block you from using the app for security reasons. But for most applications, you may use a jailbreak modification to get around this safeguard.
How to use jailbreak apps?
After jailbreaking your phone you can install jailbreak apps by opening Cydia app, go to ‘sources’ section and select any of the jailbroken tweaks. Then search for an application that you want to use which is available on either BigBoss or ModMyi repositories. After installing it will appear in your device’s home screen within a jailbroken apps folder.
What jailbreak app should I use?
There are a lot of jailbreak apps to choose from each with different features and functions plus they’re updated regularly so it’s worth looking around for the best one that suits your needs. Popular jailbreak applications include biteSMS, iFile, SBSettings as well as jailbreak apps that provide additional features such as jailbreaking status and jailbroken app notification.
What do jailbreak apps do?
Jailbreaking allows the highest level of access (root access) to the phone user and allows them to install applications, extensions or other software that is not authorised by Apple. Same process in Android systems is known as rooting.
Is jailbreaking worth it in 2021?
Yes, as long as you know what you are doing, jailbreaking could be worth it.
Is there any jailbreak iphone 13?
No. There is no jailbreak available for iPhone 13 or iPhone 13 Pro as these devices are running iOS 15 or above. Since no jailbreak exists for iOS 15, these devices can’t be jailbroken.
What are the benefits of jailbreaking your iPhone?
There are a number of reasons why people jailbreak their iPhones, but one benefit is to get access to Cydia and its raft of free apps and tweaks that aren’t available in the Apple App Store. However, even with jailbreaks, it can be difficult to find what you want in Cydia. That’s where jailbreak alternatives come in.
The top 5 popular reasons to jailbreak iPhones are:
- Jailbreak tweaks allowing customisation and new features that you will not see offered by Apple
- Run new features on older devices
- Use activator, a popular tweak that enriches the iPhone user experience with useful shortcuts
- Record calls
- Running applications in windowed mode
Another reason to jailbreak your iPhone is so that you can easily install third-party apps on it, even if they are not available in the official app store or have been removed by Apple. The jailbreaking process will allow users to sideload apps onto their devices with complete ease.
What is Cydia?
Cydia is an alternative App Store for jailbroken devices. It allows jailbreakers to browse, download apps and install software packages on their jailbroken iDevice (iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad).
What are Cydia Tweaks?
Cydia tweaks are extensions for jailbroken devices that add new features and capabilities so you can personalize your jailbroken device.
What are Cydia Themes?
Cydia themes allow jailbreakers to change the look of their devices by applying a skin or redesigning jailbroken iPhone’s interface. Some people find that jailbreaking gives them more control over how their phone works, but there are some risks involved with jailbreaking iDevices, so it’s important to weigh up the benefits and disadvantages before jailbreaking your phone.
Is jailbreaking legal?
Is jailbreaking legal or not, is one of the most frequently asked questions. The answer to this question depends on where you reside. The jailbreaking process is legal in most countries, but there are some exceptions such as in China where jailbreaking an iPhone may violate digital distribution laws. Jailbreaks aren’t an illegal offence and you won’t go to jail for jailbreaking your iOS devices.
However, it can be treated like a crime if the authorities feel that criminal activities are being carried out with jailbroken iPhones. Jailbreaking is also illegal in the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia which can lead to fines or even jail time if you are caught jailbreaking your iPhone there so it’s best to avoid jailbreak phones meaning while travelling abroad!
Is it safe to use a jailbroken device?
If jailbreaking your device is carried out correctly, then it’s perfectly safe. However, jailbreaks can be exploited by hackers to plant malware on devices that will compromise your private data and security vulnerabilities. Furthermore, a jailbroken iPhone is not supported or endorsed by Apple; therefore if you experience problems with apps (e.g., they crash) then you will not be able to get them fixed by Apple.
What are some of the risks involved in jailbreaking?
There are some risks involved with jailbreaking your iPhone, but the risk varies depending on whether you are jailbreaking an iOS device using a tethered jailbreak or untethered jailbreak.
Risks in tethered Jailbreaks
The biggest risk associated with jailbreaking using tethered jailbreaks is that once you have finished jailbreaking and try to reboot the iDevice it will not reboot successfully. This is because jailbreaking using tethered jailbreaks requires users to connect their iDevice with a computer each time they reboot it, which increases the security risk of malware or other security threats being installed onto your device without you knowing about them; especially if you use untrustworthy jailbreak tweaks and apps from Cydia.
Risks in untethered jailbreaks
The risk with jailbreaking using untethered jailbreak is that it makes your iDevice less secure as you can’t uninstall jailbroken apps or tweaks without re-jailbreaking the device. This means malware and other security threats could still be installed onto your iPhone after a jailbreak, but this time there isn’t an easy way to uninstall the jailbreak apps and tweaks that are causing problems.
There is also a risk associated with jailbreaking your iPhone as it can make you more vulnerable to hacking attempts, but jailbreaks have been designed not to leave any traces behind on your device so there’s no need for users to worry about their data being hacked after jailbreaking their iPhone.
Pros and Cons of jailbreaking your iPhone
What are the advantages of jailbreaking your iPhone?
There are a number of advantages due to which people jailbreak their iPhones and other iDevices.
- Installing apps that aren’t available on App Store (iFile, iBlacklist, SiriToGo…etc.)
- You can remove apple’s default apps (Maps, Music)
- Installing jailbreak tweaks and themes on your iPhone
- Bypass jailbreak detection on older tweaks
- Get jailbreak apps that can be used alongside Cydia (iTransmission, BiteSMS)
- Using free paid apps by jailbreaking.
- Installing cracked apps on jailbroken iOS devices.
- Tweaks allow you to make your iOS device more user-friendly.
What are the disadvantages of jailbreaking your iPhone?
Jailbreaks can be dangerous. If you don’t follow instructions properly, you could end up with a device that has been compromised by malware or other terrible problems. It’s important to know that jailbreaking is not without its drawbacks, and some users have reported a number of issues after jailbreaking their devices. The main disadvantages of jailbreaking iPhones are mentioned below.
- It may reduce battery life (this is because it requires more power than usual)
- Jailbroken phones can be hacked more easily than non jailbroken ones.
- Jailbroken iPhones immediately void the warranty of the product.
- Some jailbreaking softwares are buggy which can cause crashes.
- Addictive to jailbreak your phone for tweaking it but you may end up with issues if not careful.
- It may cause security problems (as it is an open door for hackers to attack your phone)
- Jailbreaking can be a very time-consuming process and there are many tutorials available online which shows how to jailbreak the latest version of iOS but most of them do not work or take a long time,
- Can cause problems with your jailbroken iPhone. For example, if you use an app that isn’t compatible then jailbreak it could make the device unusable or unstable.
How much does it cost to jailbreak?
The jailbreak process for iPhones varies according to the model of your iDevice, iOS version and jailbreaking software. The prices are different depending on which jailbreaking service or jailbreak tools you choose (i.e., jailbreak iPhone using Pangu or PP). Generally, jailbreaking services cost around $20-$30, but this price can vary depending on where you live.
How to jailbreak iPhone?
To jailbreak your iDevice the first thing is that you need a jailbroken device (i.e., jailbroken ipad or ipod touch). There are different ways of doing it and some require different versions of iOS.
- Jailbreak iPhone using jailbreak tools like Pangu
- Jailbreak iPhone on Mac or Windows, jailbreaking software available for both platforms.
Time of process: around 30 minutes to an hour depending on the speed of your internet connection and device model.
What’s the best jailbreak tool?
Pangu jailbreak is the best jailbreak tool available for iOS as it’s compatible with all versions of iPhones and iPads. It supports jailbroken devices including those running on the latest operating system.
What is a package manager?
A package manager is an app that has been jailbroken to allow the installation of apps other than iPhone apps that are not available on the App Store. It also makes Cydia easy to install, upgrade and remove packages on your jailbroken iOS devices.
Is jailbreaking worth it?
Jailbreaking is definitely worth it. You jailbreak your phone because you want to get rid of the regular restrictions imposed by Apple and jailbroken iPhones can offer so much more than their regular non-jailbroken counterparts. However, it is not for everyone. If you don’t want to run the risk of jailbreaking your phone and potentially voiding its warranty or if it slows down your device then it may not be worth it.
Should you jailbreak your phone?
The answer to this question is up to the user; however, it’s recommended that people jailbreak using untethered jailbreaks as these are much more stable and don’t leave any traces behind on your device as tethered jailbreaks do. However, jailbreaking using the untethered jailbreak is a much more complicated process and can leave your iDevice open to security threats if it’s not done properly.
Jailbroken iPhones have been around since 2007 when the first jailbreaks were released for jailbreak iOS devices. Since then, jailbreaking has become far easier and less risky than it was in 2007 but that doesn’t mean jailbreaks are completely safe to use as they still have their risks associated with them.
How to fix a jailbroken phone?
There isn’t an easy way to uninstall the jailbreak apps and tweaks that are causing problems; however, you can always restore your device through iTunes. To do this, plug in your iPhone using its USB cable then open iTunes on a computer (make sure you have updated it beforehand)
Click ‘restore’ from the Summary tab. This will wipe your jailbroken phone and restore it back to its factory settings, removing all traces of jailbreaking from the device (although any jailbreak apps and tweaks that you had installed before jailbreaking may still be present).
Shahrukh, is a passionate cyber security analyst and researcher who loves to write technical blogs on different cyber security topics. He holds a Masters degree in Information Security, an OSCP and has a strong technical skillset in offensive security.