Untethered vs semi-untethered vs tethered vs semi-tethered Jailbreak Differences


Jailbreaking your iPhone can sometimes be overwhelming. Especially, when you’re new to Jailbreak, and you have no idea what a Jailbreak process means. The terms untethered, semi-untethered, tethered, and semi-tethered can confuse the new Jailbreakers. If you are caught in such a situation, this is the guide you need to know. Here are the untethered vs semi-untethered vs tethered vs semi-tethered Jailbreak differences. Before you learn about these terms, let me give you an idea of what Jailbreak is.

Untethered vs semi-untethered vs tethered vs semi-tethered Jailbreak
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The first iPhone was released in 2007. This was a new beginning towards a whole new era of technological advancements in the phone industry. Since 2007, we have seen an enormous amount of innovation when it comes to phones.

The world’s very first smartphone did not appear smart enough to some users and they wanted a little more. As a result, the famous hacker GeoHot ended up Jailbreaking the iPhone in 2009. It was the iPhone 3GS and the iPhone OS 3.0 which was Jailbroken first of all. After that, a world of new possibilities opened up and more iPhone users started joining the Jailbreak brigade.

The idea of Jailbreaking was to install custom scripts, custom apps, to modify the UI, and behaviors or the iPhone OS which is called iOS nowadays.

iOS is known for its security. As soon as a Jailbreak solution came out, Apple was quick enough to patch it. But the Jailbreakers were equally efficient. Every time Apple patched a Jailbreak, a new Jailbreak popped up.

Back in the day, Jailbreak processes were smooth. With security advancements, Jailbreaking an iPhone became difficult. The terms untethered, tethered, semi-untethered, and semi-tethered came in to define the nature of a Jailbreak. 

Take a look at differences between untethered vs semi-untethered vs tethered vs semi-tethered Jailbreak now.

Untethered Jailbreak

Untethered Jailbreak is like gold dust among all Jailbreaks. When an iPhone or iPad is pwnd via an untethered jailbreak, it can complete a boot cycle without interrupting the Jailbreak script and processes. This is suitable for an iPhone/iPad used as a daily driver.

In simple words, when your iPhone is untethered jailbroken, it will not lose the Jailbreak upon restarting the iPhone. You can restart as many times as you want and the Jailbreak will keep working without having the need to run the Jailbreak tool again.

While the untethered jailbreak is the most-liked Jailbreak, it is also the most difficult to achieve. That is also one reason to not have the untethered jailbreak so often. Finding the exploits to untethered jailbreak an iPhone can be as challenging as climbing up Mount Everest. The amount of hard work and development required to make a fully functional untethered jailbreak requires a lot of dedication.

The last time we had an untethered jailbreak was on the iOS 9.1 The pangu jailbreak tool allowed pwning the iOS 9.1 through a computer. 

semi-untethered Jailbreak

Semi-untethered is not as smooth as the Untethered Jailbreak, but it can be kept on a daily driver iPhone/iPad. The Semi-untethered Jailbreak allows the iOS device to complete a boot cycle, stops working upon rebooting your iPhone. It requires deploying a side-loaded Jailbreak to fully load after rebooting. Thankfully, no computer is needed for this. You can use the side-loaded app to once again deploy the payload.

The Unc0ver and Chimera Jailbreaks are the two biggest and most recent examples of semi-untethered Jailbreak. Unc0ver and Chimera both allowed Jailbreaking the iOS 12.4 and below on all iPhones/iPads powered by A7 – A12 chipsets. 

As far as the sideloading of the Jailbreak apps is concerned, you have multiple methods for that. You can either sideload an app/tool via Cydia Impactor, or you can use a service like Ignition, or the Unc0ver’s official site to directly download such apps on your iPhone.

Tethered Jailbreak

Tethered Jailbreak is for Jailbreak Enthusiasts since it temporarily pwns a device. The Tethered Jailbreak works with the help of a computer. You use a tool on the computer to Jailbreak an iPhone/iOS. After Jailbreaking, if your phone’s battery drops to zero, or you accidentally restart it, it will be unable to complete a boot cycle without the help of a computer.

To complete the boot cycle, you will connect the pwnd iPhone to the computer and run the Jailbreak tool all over again. Furthermore, you will have to enter the DFU mode too.

This can be time-consuming and troublesome as well. Especially, someone who’s very new to Jailbreak is not going to quite adjust to it. Also, this is not the kind of Jailbreak you would want on your daily driver. Yes, you can avoid restarting the device, but there’s no way you can avoid a dying battery until and unless you have the charger or power bank all the time. 

redsn0w, a tool that jailbroke A4-powered devices back in the day, is a great example of Tethered Jailbreak. This tool was available for both the Windows and macOS.

semi-tethered Jailbreak

Unlike the Tethered Jailbreak, the Semi-tethered Jailbreak will allow a pwnd iPhone to complete a boot cycle. However, the Jailbreak Extensions will fail to work after the phone reboots. To make the Jailbreak functional again, you will connect it to the computer using a data cable, and run the Jailbreak tool again. This will also require booting into the DFU mode.

The semi-tethered jailbreak is not a troublemaker as big as the tethered jailbreak because, here, your iPhone will continue to work as a normal device after rebooting. In the tethered jailbreak, you cannot even complete a boot cycle without re-jailbreaking the iPhone. 

The most recent example of semi-tethered jailbreak is the Checkra1n tool which is based on axi0m’s checkm8 exploit. It drops the payload before the iPhone boots up which makes this compatible with all versions of iOS running on A7 – A12 devices.

Final Words

Hopefully, you have a clear understanding of Untethered vs semi-untethered vs tethered vs semi-tethered jailbreaks. The untethered jailbreak is definitely the most wanted type of jailbreak, but it is a very hard nut to crack. If you have anything to add to this guide or any questions, use the comment section below. I will try my best to get back to you as soon as possible.

Usama is a software engineer by profession and at TechBeasts.com he uses his expertise to solve everyday consumer tech problems with his main areas of interest being Android, iOS and Windows.

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