No doubt ShowBox App skyrocketed in popularity in the recent years, who wouldn’t want to stream Movies and TV Shows for free, considering how the paid-alternatives such as Netflix or Amazon Prime aren’t exactly pocket-friendly.
This too-good-to-be-true application does have one asking questions which we’ll try to answer throughout this Showbox review:
- Is Showbox Legal?
- Is Showbox a Virus?
- Is Showbox Safe?
Table of Contents
What is ShowBox?
Before starting with the main point, let’s nibble at the starters by breaking down the very existence or the ShowBox app.
In the simplest possible terms, Showbox is an application which lets users stream as well as download movies and TV shows, without having to pay a single penny.
It’s available for PC, Android and iOS.
Is Showbox Legal?
Straight answer? Absolutely not. The application by itself isn’t legal, although how and what for you use the app does rock the legality boat a bit for or against your favour from the legal standpoint.
Let’s address the app’s legality first, it’s an application which lets us stream content whose rights it doesn’t own, so it essentially is stealing content and letting users stream it, content for which the actual content creators expect to be paid.
It by all definitions is “Piracy”. The app makes it possible via Torrents, Direct link and other such sources, none of which legal.
As far as rocking the legality boat is concerned, you simply will be in more trouble if you “download” content (even the smallest part of it) as compared to the users who simply “stream” using the app.
Note that both the acts are completely illegal, it’s just that legally those who download content would be targeted first or more easily from a legal perspective than those who simply streamed.
Although at the same time let me also add that simply “downloading” the application, or logging in won’t get you on the wrong side of the law as long as you haven’t clicked on any movie /shows or any other copyrighted content on the platform.
Bottomline, using Showbox totally can get you in legal troubles, period. (see below).
Showbox Legal Troubles
The primary reason of me scribbling this Showbox review down is introducing you folks to the legal problems you face if and when the app is used.
A group of movie companies including Venic PI, Criminal Productions, Dallas Buyers Club, Cobbler Nevada subpoenaed CloudFlare to reveal the identities of individuals/groups of people who owned sites promoting Showbox last year in May.
Two primary sites- http://Showboxappdownload.co and RawApk.com were targeted on the grounds that they mislead users by stating that using Showbox was completely legal, and also provided download links to the same.
The movie companies asked Cloudflare, Digital Ocean and other companies involved in hosting and popular domain registrar to reveal the identities of the individuals behind these sites.
(image source- TorrentFreak.com)
The two names which came up were Andy Crow and Mark Willow, both of which were later established to be fake, non-existent identities of two Indian individuals.
The companies also included the names of a number of other sites such as ShowBoxpro.net, Showbox.co etc. against whom the case was being perused.
It however was settled and the terms of settlement weren’t made public. However most of the sites involved in the lawsuits are now either shut down; or have since removed any and all content related to Showbox download links.
Also, https://showboxbuzz.com/ another site involved in the case now displays the following warning on the site:
A similar warning can be found on http://showboxappdownload.co/
And this was just the surface of the actions being taken against promoters users and/or distributors of Showbox, you can read a part of the official Exhibit submitted in court from the side of the Plaintiff here.
I don’t Own a Website; am I in Trouble?
The above excerpt may lead you to believe that only “website owners” got sued and were in trouble, well that’s gravely wrong.
This whole chain-reaction was sparked off after James Sosa testified against the above-mentioned sites saying they lead him to believe Showbox was legal and harmless to use.
(Image Credits: TorrentFreak.com)
Also, the notices displayed on the accused sites mention that the movie companies may now be able to gain access to your IP addresses, as well as FULL history of using the Showbox app.
The IP address being revealed does establish the fact that you definitely aren’t anonymous anymore hence if and when the companies wish to slap you with a lawsuit they can very easily do so.
Can a VPN Help?
When it comes to anonymity, accessing blocked content, or privacy the instant answer for even the most basic users is- a VPN!
Well let me state that Showbox “shouldn’t” be accessed nor with neither without a VPN and is borderline illegal; but let me just answer the question if theoretically it can get you that extra layer of privacy and security you’ve been seeking.
So if you’re a user (as in someone who streams/downloads content but doesn’t own a website about Showbox), the only way you can get caught is via your IP address, or your login details.
We’ve covered anonymous registration in one of the sections below in this Showbox review; it’s the IP address which concerns the VPN.
A VPN is a third-party tool which can be installed on your Mobile phones or computers and has the ability to mask your overall internet connectivity with a secondary IP address of its own.
This IP address belongs to the VPN and is used to connect to the Internet, hence hiding your real IP address, because this isn’t your real IP address it can’t be linked back to you.
Now the catch is, not all VPNs are as liberal as they claim to be, and some store logs so if the VPN being used keeps logs, there’s no point to all this cause they can always link the recorded IP address, to the actual IP address of the person it was assigned to and you’re back to square one.
Hence, I’d recommend using a VPN which is completely logless and even though it may not be free, it definitely will be worth the privacy and anonymity being offered. NordVPN has been my personal choice for the past half a decade.
The VPNs also encrypt your traffic using a number of connection protocols, so if the VPN is logless the chances of your traffic being intercepted, decrypted and linked back to you is next to impossible, or in the possible scenario will be pretty expensive to do so.
Is Showbox a Virus?
This is one of the prime questions which should be addressed in this Showbox App review, don’t you agree?
Considering how Showbox isn’t available on the Playstore hence it doesn’t come with Google’s guarantee of the application being virus and malware free.
To answer the question, Showbox isn’t a virus, not the official application atleast.
But, because it has to be downloaded from independent, third-party sources there’s no saying that an individual/group of people will not upload a similar file which may look and feel like Showbox but is a Virus or Spyware.
Infact, there have been reports of users receiving E-mails from random E-mail Ids asking them to “Upgrade” to the newer Showbox, these new links may totally be embedded with a Virus and or Malware.
The only safe bet right now if you seriously need ShowBox despite its legal repercussions is to download it from trustworthy sites, or sites you’ve previously downloaded the application from.
How to Download Showbox?
None of the Showbox reviews are complete without redirecting users to a link they can download Showbox from; are they?
Some of the trusted sources to download Showbox from right now are:
Note that we do not encourage, rather discourage you from Downloading or Using Showbox in any way, either legal or illegal.
How to Install ShowBox?
First of all Download Showbox from the above link, once downloaded when you try to install it, your device would most probably show a Security warning like the following screenshot:
This is being shown because ShowBox wasn’t downloaded from PlayStore (as it’s not available on PlayStore even if you wanted to downloaded it from there) and hence Android considers third-party apps a potential-threat.
Note that the warning isn’t exclusive to Showbox, you’d see this even if you were trying to install any other application which wasn’t downloaded from Playstore.
In order to proceed with the installation, click on “Settings” on this warning message (or, go to your cell phones’ settings manually).
On the next screen, find “Allow Unknown sources” option and enable it.
What you just did was nothing more than letting your cell phone install application which are from sources other than PlayStore (like direct downloads, shared via Bluetooth, Xender and so on).
Once the permissions have been granted, you should be able to install the app without any further problems.
Registering on Showbox: Is it Legal?
Once the application is installed, it’d ask users to either Sign in, or Sign up.
You can login to the platform using easier means such as Facebook, Google+ or even Twitter.
Or in case you’d like to keep your social identities separate, you can login/Signup using E-mail Ids as well.
As far as simply “registering” on the platform goes, it’s not illegal. It may be used to prove “intent” of violating copyrights and streaming content on the app, but as long as you don’t actually stream/download content, you’re safe.
How to Register Safely on Showbox?
Know that I strongly advise you against using Showbox at all; registrations included. But if you’d do it anyway the least I can do is list out some precautions you should take while doing so.
For starters, do not use any of your social media accounts while registering on Showbox.
Secondly, refrain from using any of your traditional E-mail accounts either (such as Gmail, Yahoo etc).
Rather, it’s advised to use an anonymous E-mail service, something like Protonmail. Protonmail is a free E-mail provider which is based out of Switzerland, and provides anonymous E-mail accounts without logging data about user’s IP addresses or mails.
Or, you can even use a temporary E-mail ID which only exist for a couple hours or days (so you can verify your registration on the app) after which the E-mail is dissolved forever, obviously you won’t be able to recover your account lest you forget the credentials.
Showbox User Interface
Nothing much seems to have changed as far as layout or interface go since the time Showbox was taken offline, to when it came back online couple months ago.
Although I must say, the interface feels a tad bit smoother and faster to work with.
It still has those big thumbnails for movies and shows, and the left-sidebar still houses filters which let users narrow down their searches, such as:
- TV Shows
- New Releases etc.
Or the top-bar can be used to further narrow down content on the basis of Genre or year!
Final Words on Showbox Review
Note that this Showbox review was purely, solely and exclusively scribbled down for educational purposes.
I’ve never used Showbox myself nor would recommend anyone to use it, ever. It’s better to go for Netflix, Amazon Prime or any other such legal movie streaming sites, they’re definitely cheaper than expenses incurred in a legal battle!
Only screenshots 1 & 2 (counting from top to bottom in this piece) have been snapped personally by me, the others have been procured from the Internet (Google image search, and Youtube-FreeTech channel).
Now for my personal verdict; the application is great, it’s free, lightweight, and has a plethora of content but it’s ILLEGAL!
The most common scenario doesn’t involve you going to jail just for streaming, or even downloading content. But it sure is a possibility.
Bottomline? Stay away from ShowBox or any of its alternatives, or if you must use such an application, forget not to employ a VPN.
This ShowBox review should only be taken as an “Educational article”, or rather an article on “Why you shouldn’t use ShowBox”. We advise you against using Showbox, any action either legal or illegal taken by you is solely and completely your own responsibility.