All about Android boxes: What are they and what do they do?

Slowly but surely, buzz about Android boxes is picking up steam. If you begin poking around for more information online you’ll find no shortage of blogs and even news articles that suggest an Android box is the only way to stream, or even that it will plug you into free movies and TV shows.

Like most things though, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If you’re confused about Android boxes or wondering whether they’re right for you, read on for a quick rundown of the basics.

What is an Android box?

At its heart, an Android box is a streaming device that allows you to play media from your home network or the internet on your TV. In this manner, it’s similar to other streaming devices, such as Roku, Apple TV, and Chromecast. The main difference is that an Android box runs on an open-source Android operating system, similar to the OS you’d find in an Android smartphone or tablet.

What can an Android box do?

Like other streaming devices, an Android box can give you access to streaming services such as Netflix and YouTube. But if you’re a bit more tech-savvy, an Android box gives you the flexibility to install third-party applications and access content that would be otherwise restricted on other streaming devices.

Are Android boxes legal?

Standard Android boxes are 100% legal. However, they do give you they ability to download apps and add-ons that give you access to pirated content, which is illegal. Android boxes with these apps and add-ons already installed have been banned for sale in Canada.

How do they compare to other streaming devices, such as Roku?

The key difference between an Android box and devices such as Roku or Apple TV is flexibility. If you’re a tech-savvy person, an Android box is highly modular and customizable. As a result, Android boxes are significantly less user-friendly. If you just want to watch Netflix, Crackle, and YouTube, an Android box likely isn’t for you.  


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