What's the Difference Between Jailbreaking and Unlocking
There is a lot of confusion among noobies about jailbreaking and unlocking. One of our readers recently asked for a clear "non geeky"definition of both terms.
If you don't know what jailbreaking or unlocking means, then read on because you're just about to get a crash course on iPhone hacking.
What's the difference in a nutshell?
The difference between jailbreak and unlock is that jailbreaking allows you to gain access to files on your device that Apple wouldn't normally let you access, while unlocking is the removal of carrier restrictions allowing you to use your iPhone on any carrier. These are two very different things which we will explain in more details below.
What is Jailbreaking?
Jailbreaking is the process by which an iPhone firmware is modified to allow unsigned code to be run to gain access to files that Apple wouldn’t normally let you access. Jailbreaking adds unofficial application installers to your iPhone such as Cydia or Icy (I personally only use Cydia), which let you download many 3rd-party applications previously unavailable through the App Store.
Is Jailbreaking Legal?
Yes and no. The legality of jailbreaking is very unclear. Most iPhone owners including myself think that since we own the iPhone, we should be able to do whatever we want with it.
Apple's lawyers think differently as they consider jailbreaking to be a violation of copyright. To these days, I don’t think anyone has had legal issues with Apple due to jailbreaking.
How Do I Jailbreak My iPhone?
I wrote many tutorials on how to jailbreak your iPhone, depending on what iPhone and what firmware you have. Check them out, follow the instructions, and have fun.
More jailbreak tutorials, you can find on "Tutorials"-"Jailbreak" section from 3u website, or you can put your keywords to search.
What Is Unlocking?
Unlocking is the removal of SIM restrictions on the modem, allowing the use of the iPhone on any carrier. There are 2 types of iPhone unlocks:
software unlock: the iPhone is unlocked by a software
hardware unlock: modification have to be made to the actual hardware to unlock the phone
Software unlocks are safer because they do not modify your device and can easily be reverted back. Soft unlocks are mostly developed for free by the Dev Team, an international group of iPhone hackers. Hardware unlocks are a little tricky and usually cost money. In clear, if you want to unlock your iPhone, you can do it for free by with a safe software unlock. If you're good with your phone carrier and will not use your iPhone internationally, there is absolutely no reason for you to unlock your iPhone.
Is Unlocking Legal?
According to Wikipedia, “unlocking a phone without the permission or unlocking code from the provider is usually in breach of the agreement with the provider, though most countries do not make specific laws prohibiting the removal of SIM locks.
How Do I Unlock My iPhone?
Before unlocking your iPhone, you will have to jailbreak it. The unlock can either be done from a computer, or directly from the iPhone. We will write some tutorials about this, please stay tuned.
Let me put it in very simple words. Jailbreaking an iPhone means that 3rd party applications can be installed on it (ie. apps from other developers than Apple). Unlocking an iPhone means that any SIM card can be used on it.
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