For many people, the terms unlocking a device and jailbreaking a device mean practically the same. However, both are actually very different ways of modifying your device so you can have more control over it. Both terms are very popular in correlation with iPhones, but you can jailbreak or unlock almost any other device. Keep reading to find out more about what the difference between both is.
Many devices have restrictions on what services they can use, what providers they can connect to, apps they can download, etc. Of course, those restrictions are quite annoying, and users would like to get rid of them. This is when unlocking your phone comes in handy. For example, most of the time, Apple phones don’t allow you to connect to any carrier you want if you bought your phone from a particular one. This one will lock your phone, and for the duration of your contract, you won’t be able to use another SIM on your iPhone. Sounds unpleasant, right?
It is the same with other devices as well. For example, if you have an Amazon FireStick, there will be some restrictions on what applications you can download. The choice of allowed ones is pretty big, but still, you might already know a couple that you want to have, but you just can — like a VPN. There is a simple process of unlocking FireStick that will help you overcome those restrictions. Unlocking your device doesn’t mean you are changing the code, software, hardware parameters on the device, or anything else that can’t be reversed easily.
In a nutshell, unlocking means allowing your device to access additional functionalities or applications. By doing that, you will change just small things in the device’s settings, and you can go back to the original ones at any point. Unlocking, in most cases, doesn’t even void the warranty of the device because you didn’t change anything in the software or hardware parameters. As with the example of FireStick, you will be able to download more applications, but at any moment, you can go back to the settings and forbid it again.
When you unlock your device, no matter if it is to connect it with different carriers or access more apps, you still have to be careful which carrier you connect to and what apps you download. Usually, device manufacturers block some service providers or applications because they seem suspicious and might harm your device. This is why you should always be extremely careful when you unlock your phone to avoid any issues with spam, hacks, and other security issues.
On the other hand, Jailbreaking would mean that you are completely changing the source code of your device, and you are changing it in most cases irreversibly. This is done when you want to have access to really everything on your device and change some of its core functionalities. In the example of iPhones, this would mean you can change, for example, how the operating system looks and make it look very similar to Android.
Jailbreaking your device might not be illegal, but it will for sure make your warranty void. This is because if you change the source code of a device, then the repair centers won’t be able to fix issues as easily and identify the cause. Also, manufacturers believe that jailbreaking a device violates the copyright since you will have access to the source code. You will be able to copy it or modify it as you would wish.
There are many forums where communities of developers are providing ways to jailbreak your device. They can either explain everything step by step or even provide you with a small piece of software that will do everything. And if something goes wrong, they will be able to help you as well. However, keep in mind that those forums are not as secure as an official forum of Apple, for example. So, if you are following someone’s advice, there better check twice and even three times if there are not just trying to scam you. Keeping your device secure even after jailbreak should be your priority.
Let’s sum it up here. Unlocking and jailbreaking a device can mean different things for different devices. However, the main difference is if you are in any way changing the framework of the device. If you are not and just modify some settings without accessing the source code, this only unlocks your device and can be easily reversed. Your device will still be covered by its warranty, but you should just be careful what you install on it.
Jailbreaking involves changing the source code of your device in a way that you gain full access to it. In this case, the warranty will become void, and you might lose some of the perks that the manufacturer offers. However, you will be able to do whatever you want with your devices, like installing different operation systems, changing the interface, and much more.
Which one you would like to go for depends on your needs. In any case, keep the security of your device in mind and make sure you are not breaking anything.