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Android: To Root or Not to Root, and How-To

I think almost every Android user have heard about the root rights for their devices. And many users actively use the rights of a ‘superuser’, while some people are afraid to do so because they don’t know much about it. So what are these root rights and how to use them?

The notion of ‘root rights’ has come from Linux terminology because Linux is a base for Android OS. In very general terms this is an account of the main administrator, or a ‘superuser’. The user who owns these rights gets a wide range of abilities that are hidden from regular users.

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There are three types of superuser’s rights:

1.Temporary Root:

These are temporary root rights (after the first reboot the rights of superuser disappear);

2. Shell Root

Permanent root rights but without access to changing /system catalogue;

3. Full Root

Full and permanent root rights without any limitations.

It’s important! Officially not a single device that is sold in the shops doesn’t support root rights “out of box”. That’s why it is important to remember that the process of rooting your device will lead to the loss of official warranty for it.

Another reason for not rooting your device is the possibility to turn your device into a useless thing. If you don’t read instructions well or simply don’t understand what you’re doing, you risk destroying the “brains” of your device.

And thirdly, having got the rights of a superuser you reject official software updates from a manufacturer.

Why ROOT your android device?

So why most of the Android fans still want to root their gadgets? Simply because there’re more advantages of it than drawbacks. This is what you can do after rooting your device:

  1. You may install any custom firmware, for example, CyanogenMod, MIUI and others. Custom firmware are usually more functional, more effective, and has the capability of full customizing both of the interface and gadget’s performance.
  2. You may launch special applications that broadens the capabilities of you device, for example, Task Manager for Root, Root Explorer, Titanium Backup, etc.
  3. The installed apps may easily be transferred to microSD card.
  4. You can easily make a screenshot. You may use any screenshot app to do so, though it should be mentioned that the latest Android version have already got this function.
  5. You may install Firewall – the app that controls the use of your Internet traffic. One of the best examples is Droidwall, which will control apps’ access to the Internet.

You may get root right practically on any device. But there’re some devices that won’t allow you to install full rights (or it is very difficult to do it): NAND lock (manufacturer’s protection) doesn’t allow making any changes to /system partition, thus not allowing installing SuperUser app. On such devices you may get only Shell Root or Temporary Root rights. Mainly these are the 2011 HTC devices.

To learn more about Rooting HTC devices Click Here

How to ROOT your Android device?

There are many ways to get root rights: some will let you to get these rights in a couple of clicks while others will make you spend 20-30 minutes to accomplish your goal. Here’re the most popular ways.

First, most reliable and simplest way is the program called Universal Androot. The program works with Android 2.2 and older. Another similar program is Z4Root. It also works with versions from 2.1 to 2.2.1 All you have to do is to install the app and press the “un-root” button.

If you have latest Android versions installed on your device, then you’ll need a universal tool that works with most of Android smartphones. The app is called Unlock Root and works with Android versions from 2.1 to 4.0.3. Here’s video instruction how to use it.

And if you have the most recent device that is updated to Android 4.0 or 4.1, there’s another way. You’ll need to download one .bat file and follow the instructions from xda-developers forum.

So now you know why Android users root their devices. Whether to do it or not is up to you. But remember that the risk is your own.

About the author

Eugene Rudenko

Eugene Rudenko is a tech writer. He works for Intellectsoft, but his passion is writing about technology.


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