Tethered vs Untethered Jailbreak: What’s the Difference?

There are many, many different jailbreak methods that are available online. These jailbreaks are divided into two types of jailbreaking procedures.

The first type of procedure that can be used to jailbreak an iPhone is the tethered jailbreak whereas the second type of procedure that can be used to jailbreak an iPhone is the untethered procedure. The following is a description of both of these types of jailbreaking procedures:

Tethered Jailbreak

A device entails a tethered jailbreak has to be connected into a computer while booting up. This is to ensure that the jailbreaking program, such as redsn0w can aid the device boot up process. It’s known as a “tethered” jailbreak because your device has to be linked to a computer to boot up correctly. Tethered jailbreak is annoying and unsatisfying because they involve a computer connection to boot a jail-broken iOS tool. The notion of a tethered jailbreak has been exercised for a while, but basically it means that each and every time your iPhone or iPod touch battery croaks i.e. reboots, you have to tether or connect your iOS device with a computer. This allows the hardware to boot with the assistance of the jailbreak application tool.

Untethered Jailbreak

On the other hand, untethered or unconnected jailbreak is the favored jailbreak because it entails no connection to your computer apart from for the original jailbreaking procedure. This means that one can reboot his or her iPhone as you like without having to tether to your computer to boot. If the charge on the battery dies on a device that has an unconnected jailbreak, there is no big deal as you just charge it normally without having to connect to a computer and it will boot normally. When using and booting an unconnected or an untethered jailbreak, there is no need to worry; you just need to boot your iOS hardware as normal. It’s worth noting that an unconnected jailbroken device operates like the iPhone, you can reboot it at your own will.

Advantages and disadvantages

An untethered jailbreak is the favored jailbreak since it involves no connection to your computer except for the preliminary jail-breaking procedure. The tethered jailbreak involves a connection which is very annoying and frustrating. Jailbreak though offers the advantage of obtaining a cool device, change of carriers. However, jailbreaking a device offers you no guarantee on the device as it’s using the system in a way that it wasn’t initially anticipated, same with Android if you root that device there are counters entrenched in the system but the point being that there are methods of showing that it’s been altered and run separate from the approved software state, hence out of the permit. There is also the possibility of reduced firmness of the device, possible letdown of application features, failure to receive Apple support, odd behavior after iOS upgrades among other disadvantages.

Many people would argue that there are no disadvantages to either jailbreaking or unlocking a device. To expand the functionality of your phone can only be a good thing, right? And the carriers themselves can unlock your device if need be.

Well, if the carrier decides that you don’t need your device unlocked, than they will not do it. There may be a moral issue involved here, as going against their wishes may not sit well with some people. There have been very few cases where the carrier has relocked the device, although this is incredibly rare.

Jailbreak treads into a totally different moral grey area. It is technically subverting Apple’s programming to gain unrestricted access. Many people would call this ‘hacking’. But on the other side of the coin, Apple is the one that decides what programs and applications are approved for their devices. Some people would argue that there should be no restrictions, and that any application should be able to be run, regardless of what it does.

This of course raises safety and security concerns as well, as these unapproved apps may be damaging to the iOS itself.

Regardless of what side of the argument you are on, it doesn’t change the reality of the situation. As the iPhone’s continue to become the leader on smartphones, there will always be people out there who will want their devices unlocked and jailbroken.

And as long as that service is in demand, there will always be a supply. Do the advantages weigh the disadvantages? Are the wider moral disputes moot compared to an individuals freedom of information? Or should we as a society try and suppress the urge to always get what we perhaps shouldn’t have?


  • Access to locked features – When an iPhone is jailbroken, all of the features and functionality that Apple had locked up in a virtual “jail” are freed and can be used by the iPhone’s user. Basically, jailbreaking an iPhone is a process that is used to bail the features that have been locked up out or prison;
  • Customization – Once an iPhone has been jailbroken, a person can customize almost everything that stock iOS does not allow them to customize;
  • Wifi Tethering – Jailbroken iPhones and other iOS devices can also be used as Wifi hotspots;
  • A new world of applications – Jailbroken iPhones can access Cydia, an application store that provides users with an all new world or applications that they can use;


  • Undermined security – Jailbroken iPhones lack a lot in terms of security;
  • Dangers of unscreened applications – Unscreened applications can harm iOS devices that have been jailbroken;
  • System instability – Once an iPhone has been jailbroken, it loses its core stability, meaning that it restarts every once in a while and applications crash too often;