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

April 27, 2013

    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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    Comments

    • RarestName

      Who the hell in the right mind would pay for a rooting software? They would mess up their phones because they don’t know what they’re doing in the beginning.

      • JosephHindy

        well that’s why I wrote this up :) to prevent people from doing so.

        • Filip Justin

          My only guess would be that it is for people who don’t want to spend time to research how to root their phone..

          • whoknowswhereor

            then why is it a problem when they’re charging folks for the service? its a win win situation.

            • http://www.facebook.com/dander.mcsullivan D’Ander McSullivan

              The thing is that “the service” is allegedly just a bunch of expensive bullcrap.

            • whoknowswhereor

              lol, if theyre offering service for root and the phone does not get root then it’s crap for sure.

        • S0ckM0nk3y

          PoorCollegeGuy is my hero!

          • JosephHindy

            hahahaha thank you sir!

        • http://www.mobileappsdevelopmentteam.com/ Madt Team

          Rarest Name is right. By the way, thanks for the advice.

    • http://www.facebook.com/dander.mcsullivan D’Ander McSullivan

      The funniest thing are all these obviously-not-fake-at-all reviews (http://root-android.org/reviews/ ).

      • Zach Coma

        Every Word Starts In Caps…seems legit

    • Doug

      My concern with this would also be malware or other mischief. I would worry about it more with this solution than gettin free root, unlock etc methods from the forums because I can read the posts from those who have tried a solution and guage the risk and success of something before I try it. I’ve even found over the last few years that I’ve gained a familiarity with some developers, so there is an instant credibility that this would never have.

    • Zach Coma

      This site is terrible: “I Had Just About Given Up On Rooting My New Samsung Galaxy S III, But Then I Saw This Site.” Google it and read a goddamn post, watch a vid, or ask anyone and save yourself $30, SMFH.

    • S0ckM0nk3y

      So should I ask for my money back?

      • http://www.facebook.com/dander.mcsullivan D’Ander McSullivan

        Good luck with that, fellow.

        • S0ckM0nk3y

          Like I’d pay to root my device

          • Guest

            Exactly

    • Thomas Phillips

      Now someone root my HTC One X with JellyBean OTA already taken and no S-OFF :-P

    • disqusroadpizza

      ThanKs For This Great Article!

    • CitrusRain

      People that would pay for this are people that want to be rooted but are not tech nerds, and sadly would not read this warning. (Hope this comes up first in a Google search!)

      • JosephHindy

        Well I’m hoping people will pass on the word :) so maybe it’ll get around and people will see the warning.

    • Simon_K

      The reason why the bootloader is locked for select models in the US is because you buy the phone for a cheaper price, 199$ instead of 699$ it would normally cost in Europe. The carriers lock the bootloader to prevent any user changing the software which makes it possible to stick with another carrier. If you want to root it then just buy the unlocked version.

    • http://www.facebook.com/russell.brown.7927 Russell Brown

      I believe that the people using a site like that are afraid to try to root their device on their own. I know firsthand how bad things cab turn out. My first phone (epic 4g) is still a brick. My second attempt (nexus s 4g) I actually achieved root access. My third attempt (kyocera echo) is silk soft bricked. Devices aren’t cheap so a service that would guarantee a service like that would do well,,, if our actually did what our says or could do.

    • http://www.facebook.com/russell.brown.7927 Russell Brown

      It’s a nice thing to watch out fur the unsuspecting. I have an LG Optimus G with a locked bootloader and I would definitely appreciate a service that could do something like that. But I am also old school and like to figure it out myself. Devices aren’t getting any cheaper and with the over whelming thought of bricking your device it would be nice if some one could guarantee a service like that. I’ve bricked three out of six. So I’m hesitant to even try my LG. But all in alk thank you for the advice.

    • Arsenal™

      lol only a n00b would use that

    • vampyren

      Ok i agree the claim is stupid and all but some people would pay if the site offer a great guideline and help. Its not easy when you are not familiar with all the technical stuff and just want help. On sites such as XDA if you ask the wrong question you get yelled at so yes the site fills a purpose if its genuine but as you say with that claim and the shady marketing i doubt it is so i would also advice people to stay away from it. But i might be wrong….

      • Chilliwackian

        I agree.. Not everyone Has the time to root thru pages of forums to find out how to root or reload the software. I’d love to have vanilla android on my s3 but from what I found out every carrier has different by ways to root, and being in Canada doesn’t help as the majority of these forums are for US carrier phones. I’d pay someone 30 bucks in a heartbeat to a. Either give me step by step instructions for my phone or b. Do it for me. I agree the sires looks questionable and I haven’t found a site I can trust.

      • nikil

        once check out xda site before buying because there are detailed guides there and all your questions and doubts will be clarified by the devs there..

        • vampyren

          XDA is the best source of information yes but its not always straight forward and if your not that technical it can be scary. I work with phones myself and even i was not really confident when i went for search
          for my S3 rooting (been a iOS user so not familiar with Android so much). Sure i managed it easily after lot of reading but as mentioned some users are not that willing to risk destroying their phone (even if that is somewhat hard to do) if they are not 100% sure how to root and how to get back to original FW.
          As with everything its easy if you know how to do it :)

    • dan1101

      I don’t think there is anything inherently wrong in paying for rooting, as long as it works and you agree on the price what’s the big deal? Some phones are harder to root than others.

      After my Google-Fu failed me, I paid to get my Motorola Photon flashed to work on PagePlus. It was like $10 and well worth it to get it done.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1799992597 John Kim

      don’t forget to check out http://androidvnd.asia there are tons of free android apps to download

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