Android devices come with a wealth of settings and customization options users can play around with.
Some users may want to go a step further and root their device to unlock new personalized settings.
Tempting as it may be, if you don’t take the necessary precautions, rooting your device could mean it loses its ability to work properly.
Rooting your device running on the Android operating system using any given app is no child’s play.
There are so many ways in which the whole process can go south very quickly—whether it’s related to software issues or outdated instructions on how to do it.
You are always taking a risk by rooting your device. Your smartphone device may stop working altogether, even if you are careful.
If you’re not a technology whiz, you should definitely stay away from rooting your device.
Otherwise, you should plan to purchase another smartphone since failing a root procedure usually means your device is irreparable.
The bottom line is: Even though rooting can unlock some cool new features, it comes with a pretty hefty price.
So if you happen to be a newbie in the field of rooting Android devices, you could end up making your phone just about as useful as a solid brick.
But there are lots of other reasons why you should not root your device.
In this guide, we’ll take a look at all the major reasons why users should stay away from rooting their Android devices unless they absolutely have to.
What Exactly Is Android Rooting?
The general idea behind rooting an Android device is to get access to more features than the stock version of Android is willing to offer.
You should think of Android rooting similar to how you would think of iOS jailbreaking. Both are pretty much the same thing.
Android rooting grants the user close to complete control of their device’s operating system.
More specifically, rooting will allow the user to have administrative-level access to almost everything on their device.
Consequently, the user gets new powers to customize the Android device as much as they want.
Apart from that, rooting also allows users to bypass phone restrictions imposed by the device’s manufacturers.
Without a doubt, once you have successfully managed to root your Android device, you will have access to a lot of features that normal users would not have.
Some of the benefits that you’ll get to enjoy include:
- More backup options – With a rooted Android device, you should have no problem backing up your data. Most of the time, your rooted device will allow you to back up all of your data and upload it to one of your other devices as well.
- Get rid of bloatware – Bloatware is a huge problem on Android devices. Manufacturers often sell their Android devices bundled with pre-installed apps that they know the purchaser would not want to use. These apps are known as bloatware.
- The worst thing about bloatware apps is that there’s no way to uninstall them. As a marketing technique, some software developers actually pay Android smartphone manufacturers to have their app on their device as a preinstalled app.
- Android bloatware also bogs down the user’s device. Maybe you’re fine with running a slower device, but you may not be fine with bloatware eating up resources and space. If you manage to root your Android device, you should have no problem getting rid of all the bloatware on your system.
- Update apps on an older device – Old phones lose their battery over time and run on less processing power than newer devices, which is why they tend to be slow. The other problem with old phones is that they don’t get updates. However, if you root your old phone, you can get access to updated applications. Now, this doesn’t mean the latest version of the Android operating system would run great on your old phone. But at least you can get it if you want to.
- Device customization – Your administrator may not provide you with the themes you want. If you want to bypass that restriction, then you will have to root your device. A rooted Android device gives you more customization options.
- Install more apps – If you root your Android device, you won’t have any manufacturer-imposed restrictions. In other words, you will have the opportunity to download any given Android app on your rooted device. It doesn’t matter if the app itself is available on the Google Play Store or not.
- Enhanced battery life – For some reason, if you root your Android device, you can actually prolong its battery life. You can also increase its performance levels. This could be due to the fact that you get rid of bloatware and other limits when you root an Android device.
Now, despite having all these advantages, we advise that you should not root your device. You can find many technology experts saying the same.
This is because rooting comes with risks—significant ones. Let’s take a look at them.
Top Reasons to Never Root Your Android Device
- No Warranty
Simply put, the majority of the companies that manufacture Android devices do not want you to bypass their device’s restricted areas and factory settings.
But when you remove the limits set by your device’s manufacturer, you actually cancel your warranty.
This also means that if your Android device starts to malfunction for whatever reason, you will not have the option of asking your manufacturer to cover all the damages.
- Risk of Bricking Your Android Device
The biggest blow that you can give yourself while rooting your Android device is bricking it.
Bricking is what happens when your rooting process goes terribly wrong.
In short, when you brick your phone, it means it will stop working. And since most Android smartphone devices are made to look like a brick, they essentially turn into a brick once you mess up the rooting job.
The concept of “bricking” originates from the fact that so many people messed up the rooting process that the community had to come up with a term for when people fail.
Each Android device has its own rooting method. And that rooting method, for the most part, is unique.
The other problem is that manufacturers put in a lot of resources to make sure that they stitch up all security vulnerabilities that a user may take advantage of in order to root their device.
Because of that, the risk of getting yourself into trouble while rooting a device is anywhere from high to very high.
That holds especially true if you do not consider yourself as someone with advanced knowledge of the craft.
Ultimately, when it comes to learning how to root your Android device, you are doing nothing but tampering with your Android device’s software and operating system.
We don’t know how to put it any other way, but one wrong move while rooting your Android device essentially means that your smartphone device stops working—perhaps forever.
- Vulnerability to Hacks and Malware
As we mentioned above, rooting an Android device can give you the freedom to tweak your operating system and change its core functionalities.
Once you successfully root your Android device, you will have access to a ton of extra apps.
However, that does not come without its costs related to security. The first price you pay for rooting your Android device (assuming nothing else goes wrong) is that you remove all of the security settings which your device’s manufacturer may have installed on it.
Once that happens, your Android device will have no protection against dangerous online threats such as hackers, malware and other cyberattacks.
Standard Android manufacturers set up their devices with high-security default settings.
You should not change them. If you do, you’ll have to live with the results, such as your device being more vulnerable to malware.
Once you have rooted your device, you shouldn’t go around the internet carelessly installing any app you see with a cool logo.
Android apps are notorious for stealing your data and spying on you. If you come across an app, research it to see if the developer is authentic and reputable.
Only after that should you think about installing the app. In fact, we usually recommend that Android users should make use of a VPN service and a robust antivirus product to protect their device’s security.
- Rooting Opens Access to Malicious Apps
Rooting requires a good amount of concentration and technical knowledge.
Users that aren’t experienced with programming and IT may not have the expertise nor the patience required to do the job.
So they’ll often resort to apps that will help them root their Android device.
Apps that help you root your device are, by default, not trustworthy. In fact, we have even come across apps that claim they root your device but are actually malicious.
So what happens when you download an app that has malware in it?
The app transfers the malware to your device and the hackers behind it get access to all the data that’s on your Android device. Hackers even have the ability to tinker with the software on the device.
If hackers end up taking control of your phone, your Android device will not do anything to stop them since you made the mistake of rooting your system and changing the default Android security settings.
Rooting means you will have no protection against malware attacks.
- Problems with Updating Your Existing Apps
Some Android users have reported that after they rooted their smartphone, they no longer could receive official OTA (over-the-air) Android updates from their device’s manufacturer.
As we mentioned earlier, these updates are very important since they can fix bugs and improve the general performance of your Android device.
Moreover, updates also make sure that manufacturers are able to patch up any and all security vulnerabilities that could possibly lead to data breaches.
But if you decide that you want to root your Android device, you should definitely get ready for the very real possibility that the manufacturer will not be able to send you any official updates.
Without them, you will encounter performance issues and bugs regularly. Every time you turn on your device, you will wish you could go back to Android’s factory settings.
- More Security Issues
Even the stock Android operating system has lots of security issues. If you root your Android device, you will only make those security issues worse.
As mentioned before, hackers can and will try to access your phone and steal your personal data by installing malicious applications.
However, that is not the only way hackers know how to make their way into your Android device—they can potentially make use of your Android device’s USB port as well.
This is one of the reasons why you have to make sure that you only plug in your Android device to another device that you trust.
If you don’t take care in this regard, you will end up with damage to your device.
Want to Reduce Your Android Security Risk? Then Use a VPN Service
Whether your root your Android device or not, the best strategy is to make use of a VPN service to protect your online identity and personal data.
A VPN service is the best tool when it comes to protecting those two things.
VPN services help users encrypt all of their online data along with their browsing history.
This technology essentially makes it impossible for government agencies, internet service providers and hackers to track you.
In short, having a VPN service is a must-have, especially if the security of your Android device and everything on it means a lot to you.
The term VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. VPN services work by redirecting the user’s traffic from the user’s machine through the provider’s own secure and private VPN servers.
In doing so, they also give users a completely new IP address. The specific IP address that you get depends on the server that you have connected to via the VPN service’s app.
VPN services also make use of strong encryption protocols to further conceal the user’s online data.
As a consequence of that, hackers and malware get a very limited window of opportunity to attack you and gain access to your smartphone device.
We have found that even if you root your Android device, a VPN service can still work as well as it would on an Android device that hasn’t been rooted.
Apart from that, good VPN services enable users to not only spoof their online location but also bypass any and all geo-restrictions.
That means, with the help of a VPN service, you can get advanced security while also enjoying more benefits like unblocking new streaming channels and websites that you weren’t able to access without a VPN.
Which Is the Best VPN for Rooted Android Devices?
Choosing a VPN service for your Android device (whether rooted or not) is something that requires vigilance and effort.
In other words, you should not take this decision lightly. If you get a lousy VPN service, know that there is no telling if that VPN service will protect you and your data.
A bad VPN service cannot protect against certain online risks, some of which we have already mentioned before in this guide.
Our first point of advice: You shouldn’t subscribe to free VPN services that do not have reviews on major review websites.
Free VPN services promise you a lot of stuff but the fact is that the vast majority of them have weak security and easy-to-crack encryption methods.
Free VPNs are also notorious for keeping logs of their customers’ traffic.
After collecting vast amounts of data on their customers, they conveniently move forward to sell it to the highest bidder.
So instead of saving some money and signing up for free VPN services, we suggest you shoot for VPNs that have worked hard in the industry and have earned their rave reviews not only from the industry experts but, more importantly, from the users themselves.
There are a lot of VPN services that we can recommend for different types of users and for different tasks.
But the best way to move forward in this regard is to first know the best VPNs that the industry has to offer and then read about them briefly.
You don’t have to know where to start because you can check out our comprehensive guide to VPN services.
As a general rule though, you should sign up for VPN services that offer AES 256-bit encryption (which is very secure) and advanced security features such as DNS leak protection and a kill switch.
Any VPN service worth its salt would also implement a zero-logs policy and will not keep track of its customers’ online habits.
Most good VPN services also offer a money-back guarantee, which can last anywhere from a week to 30 days.
It goes without saying, the longer the better.
We hope that after reading this guide, you have a better idea of why you should not try to root your device.
But if you still go ahead, we have also mentioned how you can make sure your data remains safe while you surf the internet.