“Should I root or should I not?” This is a question that millions and millions of Android users are contemplating every day.
You probably heard a thing or two about rooting, but before we go any further and discuss the pro’s and con’s, let’s clear something up.
Jailbreaking and Rooting are two different things
Most people don’t really know that jailbreaking is not the iOS equivalent of rooting on Android. Actually, the only thing that jailbreaking does is remove some restrictions so that users can install software that isn’t authorized by Apple.
Unlike Jailbreaking, rooting your Android device doesn’t make it any less legal and it’s an accepted practice since Android is an open source OS. Root gives you access to the entire operating system. This means you can do a lot more with it than install 3rd party apps.
With great power comes great responsibility
Even though having complete control over your device sounds like a good thing, in theory, rooting can have catastrophic consequences if you don’t know what you’re doing. Rooting your device can even end up hurting your wallet, among other things.
But enough with the foreplay, let’s get down to business and break down the main advantages and disadvantages of rooting your Android device.
Install Custom ROMs
A custom ROM is a modified version of the default Android OS. Custom ROMs can completely change how your device looks and feels. Thanks to the great community of developers over at XDA, we now have a large number of quality custom ROMs which we can access for free.
No more Bloatware a.k.a Crapware
If there is anything every Android user hates is the fact that most manufacturers force you to keep some apps even if you hate them with all your heart. Most of them have no other utilities than draining your battery faster and taking up your space.
With root access, you can forget about bloatware in no time. Any bloatware remover tool will only work on rooted devices.
Overclock your CPU & GPU
Overclocking is usually a practice used by PC geeks to boost up their processing power without spending money on a new CPU or video card. Few Android users know this is also possible on Android devices. You can increase the processing power of your Android device to make it run faster or decrease the frequencies in order to make your battery last longer.
The only requirement for this is to have root access. Oh, and you also need an app capable of doing this.
Increase RAM Memory
Physically adding more RAM to your Android is obviously not possible even if you have a rooted device. The good news is you can do the next best thing.
Root access allows you to convert space from your SD card into virtual RAM. Read all about in our guide about virtually adding RAM memory to Android with RamExpander.
Block Ads Effectively
Ads have the potential to get annoying pretty fast, right? If you think so, then you’ll be pleased to know that a rooted device is capable of blocking ads much more effectively than an unrooted one. Apps like ABlock, AdAway or AdFree are much more efficient on devices with root access.
Before you decide to block ads, remember that most developers rely on them to make a living. Without ads, a lot of great free apps and games wouldn’t have been present in stores. So instead of blocking them altogether, you can try to only use those apps that have less intrusive ads.
Install Root-Only Apps
Google Play Store is filled with apps that are programmed to run so much better on rooted devices. Once you have root access, those apps are permitted to use Android’s deep system files and as a result can be even more efficient.
No More Internal Space Problems
This is a huge problem for stock android users. Without root, most apps cannot be stored on your SD card. Some apps have the option to be moved, but if you’ll look into the issue closely you’ll find out that only a small portion of that app or game is actually stored on your SD card.
With root access, you can completely store any app into your SD card. Tools like Link2SD have the ability to create links between internal storage and SD card. This will end up saving you a lot of space.
Update to latest Android Version
Smartphone carriers are known to be slow when promising to update to the last Android version. What’s even more frustrating, is this trend of cutting update support for older devices, so that you’re tempted to buy their latest flagship. A quick solution for this is to just root your device. In some cases, you can update to the newest OS months before any carriers officially support the latest version of Android.
The Risk of Bricking Your Device
Bricking your device is the process of unwillingly transforming your powerful Android into a useless brick. This issue was every root enthusiast’s nightmare just a few years ago. Things have changed for the better since then, mainly because of automated tools like KingoRoot that are programmed to root your device with a single click, with minimum risk. However, some manufacturers still make it a priority to prevent users from rooting their devices (Yes, we’re talking about you HTC).
As a general rule, if you don’t know anything about rooting but want to enjoy its features, try an automated tool like KingoRoot. If that doesn’t work, it’s best to let it go. After all, it’s better to have a fully functional unrooted device than a very expensive brick.
Bye Bye Warranty
It goes without saying that manufacturers are not responsible for any damage after you root your device. You can also try to un-root your device after the “accident” and you might fool them. Sadly, from what we’ve gathered, smartphone manufacturers go to great lengths to find out the truth.
Increased Security Risk
This disadvantage really depends on how you end up using your rooted device. In theory, you are more likely to install malicious software on your Android device when all the safeties are off. If you decide to root, try to use some virus protection app or at least be careful with what you install.
All these groundbreaking features can quickly turn against you if you end up doing too much tweaking. Doing things you don’t understand might create conflicting setting that will cause unexpected crashes, decreased performance or even overheating.
After reading all these pros and cons, ask yourself if you really need those extra features that rooting provides. We happen to think you do.