ShowBox has become one of the most popular applications in the Android world, and it’s not really surprising why. The app allows people to access the latest and the greatest movies and TV shows — without having to pay anything. That’s right: no need to spend your hard-earned dollars on a monthly subscription just to keep yourself entertained! Simply download ShowBox into your Android phone or tablet, choose what you want to watch, and enjoy hours of fun and excitement.

However, this too-good-to-be-true situation has many people asking, “Is ShowBox safe?” Well, the word “safe” can actually interpreted in several ways, and we’ll discuss them below.

The Legal Side

On a ShowBox thread on Reddit, one Redditor points out that using ShowBox is safer than torrenting content.  This comes from the fact that the latter essentially involves downloading tiny parts of files from different users — one of which could be an agent from an anti-piracy organization. This, in turn, can result to a whole legal can of worms that nobody really wants to get involved in.

And it seems that this Redditor was correct. Theoretically, streaming content without paying for the privilege can count as stealing. However, the law focuses only on those who download content (even the tinniest part of a file) and use streamed content for public performance (e.g. when you stream movies for your entire neighborhood or apartment building). If you’re not downloading anything, and if you’re just streaming content for yourself and your family/friends, you’re in the clear.

The Software Side

This is probably the more important issue to tackle. There have been numerous reports of users who have problems with ShowBox due to various bugs that affect its performance, but nobody has yet complained that they got hacked through the app. However, the possibility is always there since ShowBox isn’t exactly the most secure application on the planet.

For one thing, you can’t download it from the Google Play Store. This isn’t really a big deal since you can simply enable “Unknown Sources” in your Settings and proceed to download and install ShowBox’s APK in your device. However, the fact that you need to take these steps proves that ShowBox does come with a few risks. Since it’s not on the Play Store, it hasn’t been subjected to Google’s testing process to identify whether apps have malware or not. So, you have no assurance that the ShowBox app is 100 percent free from viruses and other harmful software.

We’d like to point out that not all apps on the Play Store are certified malware-free — after all, Google’s system isn’t foolproof. Still, the fact that all Play Store apps go through a screening process decreases the likelihood that they’re infected with viruses.

The Verdict

From a legal standpoint, ShowBox can be considered safe to use and won’t likely put you on the wrong side of the law. But, in terms of online safety, you must be aware that downloading, installing, and using the app come can put your device at risk of contracting malware. To reduce the chances, get your ShowBox APK from a reliable source and scan your device for malware every now and then.