Which tool should I use to jailbreak iOS 5.1.1?

With iOS 5.1.1, there’s no shortage of tools available to perform an untethered jailbreak. In fact, there’s so much saturation from a tool perspective, that it can be a little difficult to discern which tool to use.

Inside, we’ll briefly cover some of the tools available, and some of the popular scenarios where certain tools fare better than others.

In total I counted five different ways to jailbreak iOS 5.1.1; six if you count the Rocky Racoon Cydia package. There’s Absinthe, RedSn0w, CLI, PwnageTool, and Sn0wBreeze. All of the tools are capable of jailbreaking iOS 5.1.1 untethered on some level, as they all use the Rocky Racoon 5.1.1 Untether, but there are some things you should keep in mind.

For starters, lets separate the tools into camps: Windows, Mac, and hey, lets pick Linux as well.

Tools compatible with Mac:

Absinthe, RedSn0w, PwnageTool, CLI

Tools compatible with Windows:

Absinthe, RedSn0w, Sn0wBreeze, CLI

Tools compatible with Linux:

Absinthe, CLI

Now that that’s been narrowed down, let’s break down compatibility a bit further, shall we? Let’s start with A5 vs A4 devices. Since every tool available is capable of jailbreaking an A4 device or below on iOS 5.1.1, let’s consider the tools that work with A5 devices (iPad 3, iPhone 4S, iPad2):

Tools compatible with A5 devices:

Absinthe, RedSn0w, CLI

That narrows things down quite a bit, doesn’t it? So if you’re on Windows, and you have an iPad 3, you know that Absinthe, RedSn0w, or CLI are your only options. If you’re on Linux, CLI and Absinthe are your only options.

Now let’s consider some special circumstances. What if you need to retain your baseband firmware? In that case it might be wise to stick with PwnageTool, or Sn0wbreeze, but remember, neither work with A5 devices.

What if you want an easy way to restore SAM unlock activation tickets, submit SHSH blobs to Cydia, or enter PwnedDFU mode? What if you have a lot of media on your A4 device, and you need to perform a traditional DFU-mode jailbreak? In those circumstances only RedSn0w would adequately meet your needs.

If you just need a basic jailbreak for your device, the Absinthe is a tool that has been proven to work well on all three major platforms. If you want the tool that offers the most options and flexibility then you’d be wise to select RedSn0w.

In the end, unless you need Linux support, RedSn0w wins out over all other jailbreak tools. It has the most options, it’s well documented, and it’s extremely stable. You simply can’t go wrong with RedSn0w. Check out our fully dedicated RedSn0w page for more info.

What about you. Which jailbreak tool is your go to method for jailbreaking iOS 5.1.1?