We all know a mate who enjoys altering and customizing his phone to the point that it longer functions properly. That’s precisely what happened to my friend Nathan, who rooted his Android device using an app. However, the process went south due to software issues. So instead, his phone stopped working. And since he is not a technology whiz, he had to buy a new one as his old device was unrepairable. That is why rooting comes at a very hefty price. And if you don’t know what you’re doing, your phone will become as useful as a brick. So if you’re considering rooting your Android device, here’s everything you need to know first.
Why You Shouldn’t Root Your Android Device
What Is Rooting?
Rooting Android devices is the same concept as jailbreaking for iOS. It grants users unlimited control over their device’s operating system, and you’ll have administrator-level access to everything. As a result, you’ll be able to customize your device and bypass the restrictions that phone manufacturers impose.
And if you successfully root your Android device, you’ll enjoy plenty of benefits, including:
Longer battery life: You could improve the overall performance of your phone, including prolonging the battery life.
Install any app: Avoiding manufacturer restrictions means you’ll be able to download any app on your device, whether it’s on the Play Store or not.
Device customization: You don’t have to limit yourself to the themes that your administrator provides. When you root your device, you can customize graphics and themes to your liking.
Latest software updates for outdated phones: If you have a phone that no longer supports the latest Android OS version, then rooting is your only choice (if you don’t want to buy a new device). You’ll get the latest software updates despite having an old phone.
Delete bloatware: Manufacturers sell Android devices with preinstalled bloatware that you cannot delete. They do so because software developers pay them to display demonstrations of their products. This bloatware will reduce your device’s speed, but if you can delete it if you root your phone.
Data backup: Android users can back up all their data and upload it on a different device.
Despite all these advantages, most technology experts advise against rooting your Android device because it comes with significant risk.
Why You Should Avoid Rooting Your Android Device
Rooting your Android device means total access freedom to its operating system and core. But it comes at a risky price as you’ll have to remove the security settings that the manufacturer installed. This will leave your device compromised to dangerous malware and cyberattacks.
There are a lot of other disadvantages, including:
Most companies don’t like it when you bypass factory settings and restricted access areas. As a result, your warranty will get canceled, which means that if your device malfunctions, the manufacturer won’t cover the damages.
Possibility of Bricking Your Phone
Bricking your device is probably the biggest blow you’ll receive if rooting goes wrong. The term means that your phone will no longer work, thus becoming useless as a brick. You see, each Android device has a unique rooting method, and the manufacturer usually stitches them up pretty quickly to prevent any attempt. Therefore, there’s a high risk of running into trouble, especially if you’re not an advanced tech user. After all, you’re tampering with your device’s operating system and software, one wrong move and your phone may never work again.
Vulnerability to Malware and Hacks
You’ll enjoy many benefits when you root your device, like access to a lot more apps. But that comes at the expense of high-security Android settings that protect your phone. As a result, you’ll be more vulnerable to malware and other cyber threats. So don’t go around installing any app that you come across because it might steal your data. I also recommend you download a robust antivirus or VPN service to protect your device if you decide to root it.
Malicious Rooting Apps
Less tech-savvy users will resort to apps to root their devices, and some of them may be malicious. If you download software that contains malware, hackers will have total access to your phone and data. They can even tinker with your software because you won’t have Android’s security settings to protect you.
Some Android users who rooted their smartphones reported that they no longer received OTA updates from the manufacturer. These updates fix bugs and improve the overall performance of the device, not to mention patch up any possible security breach. So if you decide to root your phone, you better prepare yourself for the possibility that you won’t receive official updates. That means you’ll regularly encounter bugs and performance issues when you use your device.
I mentioned earlier that hackers could access your phone and steal your data through malicious apps. But that’s not their only way in. They can also use your device’s USB port. That’s why you have to make sure you plug in your smartphone to a trusted device, or else it’s curtains for you.
Reduce Security Risks – Get a VPN
Whether you decide to root your device or not, it’s always best that you equip yourself with a VPN. This tool encrypts all your data and online activity, making it impossible for hackers, ISPs, and government agencies to track you. It is a must-have if Android’s security measures no longer protect you.
Virtual private networks (VPNs) redirect your internet connection through one of its private, secure servers. They also give you a new IP address from your server’s location and use secure encryption protocols to conceal your data. As a result, malware and hackers won’t be able to affect your phone, and your rooted device will remain intact.
VPNs also allow you to spoof your online location and bypass geo-restrictions, meaning you can unblock a host of websites and streaming channels.
Best VPN for Android Rooted Devices
Android users who rooted their devices must be vigilant when choosing their VPN provider. Getting a lousy service won’t protect you from the risks that I mentioned above. Therefore, do not subscribe to free VPNs because they use weak, easy-to-crack encryptions. They also keep logs of your traffic and sell it to third parties.
Instead, shoot for the providers that earned rave reviews from users and industry experts. I recommend ExpressVPN, a very trustworthy VPN service that offers the best security features. That includes military-grade encryption (AES 256-bit), a kill switch, and protection against DNS leaks. It also doesn’t store your internet traffic or keep track of your online activity.
And you can always cancel your subscription and get a complete refund within your first 30 days as the company offers a 30-day money-back guarantee policy.
Some alternatives are almost as good, but my number one pick is ExpressVPN.
Why You Shouldn’t Root Your Android Device – Parting Words
So I guess the million-dollar question is: Do you think it’s worth it to root your Android device? I wouldn’t recommend it because the stakes are too high. You’re trusting an unknown app with a very complicated procedure, any wrong moves, and you can kiss your device goodbye. Even if everything goes to plan perfectly, you’re still putting your phone at risk: No trusted antivirus, no regular updates, security issues, and no warranty. In my opinion, it’s not worth it.
But if you insist on going through with rooting your Android device, then getting a robust VPN service like ExpressVPN is critical. It will be your only line of defense against malware and hackers.
Did you ever root an Android device? Share your experience with us in the comment section.
Streaming gadgets geek. Interested in every little thing there is to know about bypassing regional restrictions. An avid believer in the right to protect online privacy. Charles has also reviewed plenty of VPN service providers and knows how to separate the good apples from the bad ones.