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If you own or know someone that owns an iPhone or iPod Touch, you've probably heard the term "jailbroken" or "jailbreaking" before. The term "jailbroken" or "jailbreaking" refers to the act of removing the limitations and regulations governed by Apple's iOS system. That is, you're removing any software restrictions Apple puts on their devices. By doing so, users are no longer subject to Apple's censorship and can download and use content that isn't licensed by Apple. People often ask if this is legal or not, and the answer to that would be, yes, it is perfectly legal. While Apple did try to file a case in court arguing that the act of jailbreaking violates copyright law, the U.S. Copyright Office overthrew the case and recognized an exemption to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). On the flipside, people often use jailbreaking as a means to download illegal content. This is why people often affiliate "jailbreaking" with illegal activity. But putting legalities aside, jailbreaking can be quite beneficial when used for its intended purpose. Let's take a closer look at the Pro's and Con's of jailbreaking. Let's start off with the Pro's:

You have the ability to download third-party applications that are not approved in the App Store. You can completely customize the user interface.

Now for the Con's:

You can kiss your warranty goodbye. Apple doesn't cover jailbroken devices. Software quality assurance or the lack thereof. Since Apple doesn't overlook the quality of the content, you don't know what you're getting which can be quite dangerous considering the increased security risks. The chance of increased OS instability.

So is jailbreaking worth it? Really what it boils down to is whether or not you'd benefit from having the extra 'freedom' and whether or not you're willing to take the risks of doing it. Apple spends endless hours and hundreds of millions of dollars in research and development to ensure that their products are of utmost quality. By bypassing this entire process, we not only risk the chances of getting malicious software installed on our devices as we discussed above, but we also can potentially detract from our overall satisfaction from using the product(s). Personally, I would rather have a piece of mind knowing that my device is functioning as it was intended to and that everything is checked for quality. After all, isn't that what makes Apple products so great?

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