Buyer beware: There is a “root any Android” software you should never use

April 27, 2013
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Android It’s not everyday that someone tries to charge you for a root guide. In fact, pretty much every root method ever is available free of charge if you search for it and do a little reading. It sounds shady, but it really isn’t. People who create root methods do so for the love of having their devices rooted and aren’t really looking to make a quick buck. After all, these are our devices, and we shouldn’t have to pay to do what we want with them. So you can imagine our disdain when we were directed toward a site that offers to root any Android device for a one time fee of $30.

The site is called root-android.org. Here’s how it works. You shell out $30 to get access to the Member’s Area. There you can download software that can, according to the site:

The Auto Rooting software is specially designed to work with all Android devices in the world today. This includes all Android tablets, phones, computers, and e-Readers. It does not matter what version of Android you are running, The Rooting Software works with all of them. – root-android.org

What a preposterous claim, right? There are a variety of reasons not to trust a site like this. For starters, there is an animated woman graphic in the bottom right corner that tries to talk you into that. They might as well put picture of palm trees in their banner and claim that they made $5400 a month working from home. Aside from questionable marketing tactics, we have three really good reasons why you should never buy or use this software.

Not all Android devices can be rooted

The very biggest claim this site makes is that it can root anything. However, as anyone familiar with the rooting culture can tell you, that is a big honking lie. It’s kind of hard to put trust and faith into a product that, right out of the gate, makes promises it cannot hope to keep. Not all phones can be rooted. For that matter, there are a number of devices that have very complicated root methods.

There are a number of instances where devices cannot be easily rooted. When OTA updates come in (Especially HTC Devices), they usually patch up all known root exploits and developers have to find a new way to obtain root. Or if the device isn’t popular enough to be rooted by the developer community and current exploits don’t do the trick. When the Verizon Samsung Galaxy S3 and Note 2 were released, their locked bootloaders prevented root for a period of time before developers found a way around it. The point is that there are times when phones can’t be easily rooted and there are even a few rare instances where root cannot be a achieved at all. Most of the time it’s temporary but it does happen. In these instances, this $30 software will not work for you.

You can get all of this and more for free

If someone offered you a good, free meal, would you turn it down to go spend $30 on the exact same meal in a restaurant? No? Of course not, because that’s not what sane people do. Every single root exploit that you can find in this $30 software is available free of charge at one of the Android development sites. Whether it be XDA Developers, RootzWiki or one of the other places, you can find all these root exploits for free. Not to mention that taking what’s already free and making people pay for it is just plain unethical. Look at what they did to water.

On top of taking free software and making you pay for it, they’re also taking away recognition to developers. People worked hard on some of these exploits. Those crazy people at unlimited.io keep hacking HTC phones despite HTC’s best efforts. What about those XDA devs who unlocked the Verizon Galaxy S3 bootloader and then shortly thereafter, the Verizon Galaxy Note 2 bootloader. These are names you should know because these are the guys doing the real hard work to get you rooted so you can have full control over your own devices. Did we mention they do it all free of charge?

You should learn more about what you’re doing

Would you start tearing parts out of your car before you learn how an engine works? Would you hire a chef who’s highlight cooking achievement is making Mac’n’Cheese right “most of the time”? No, of course you wouldn’t. Under that same line of logic, you shouldn’t go rooting your device without knowing what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. It’s not like putting decals on your rice burner just to be cool. You’re gaining access to sensitive parts of your device where, if you’re not careful, you can really mess things up.

So this $30 software gets you root. Do you know how it gets you root? If you’re running a potentially risky exploit to root your phone, you should probably know what that exploit is. It could help you troubleshoot if a problem arises. Now, this may sound hypocritical because most popular devices these days actually have one click roots (that are free, by the way) where they don’t necessarily explain the exploit.

The difference is that these are posted in forum threads where you can simply post and ask what they did. Most developers have no problem explaining what they did. In fact, the only time you’ll see a dev hide their methods is when they don’t want their methods to be patched. In many cases, these one-click methods and tool kits are open source, so you can go read the source code and see exactly what they did for yourself. More importantly, if you have trouble, you can post in the thread that you had trouble and someone will usually point you in the right direction. They may not be overly nice about it all the time, but usually they help get the problem solved. The point is that if you’re going to force your way into the secure and sensitive parts of your device’s file system, you should know a little more about what you’re doing and you should probably know where it came from so you know where to go to get real help.

Summary

It may sound like we’re being overly harsh here, but we assure you we’re not. This website is making you pay $30 for stuff you can find for free. They’re most likely using root methods that were developed by someone else and were intended for free use. They’re hiding everything they’re doing behind a pretty user interface so you really have no idea what they’re doing to your device. Worst of all, they’re claiming their service can do things that it cannot do. When it’s all added up, it equals a disaster for your Android device. It’s essentially like being put under by a doctor for surgery and when you’re about to pass out, you see him pop the “how to perform surgery” video into his DVD player.

If our logic just isn’t hitting that nerve, check out what their customers actually have to say. Devices not being rooted, 30-day money back guarantees not being honored, and all sorts of other seedy behavior are being reported. So if you are thinking of using this, or know someone who is thinking about using this service, our best advice is to not use this service. Nothing good can come of it. So get the word out and let’s help keep people from being ripped off!

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