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    A primer to jailbreaking and unlocking smartphones

    Jailbreaking or rooting

    WHAT: A process that lets users take more control of their smartphone’s operating system.

    PRO: Gives access to apps and features not available on standard phones.

    CONS: Voids warranties; can cause permanent damage to phone; opens phones to malicious software.

    Unlocking

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    WHAT: Resetting a cellphone so it can be used on other carriers. Now illegal without carrier authorization.

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    PROS: Unlocking makes it easier to change carriers; also,unlocked phones can often be used outside the United States.

    CONS: Phones in the United States are often incompatible with other networks even when unlocked. Unlocked phones generally cost full price.