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How to buy an Android TV box without malware

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In today’s market, “Android TV” basically has two meanings. There is the official Android TV OS by Google that powers TVs, streaming dongles and set-top boxes. Then there’s Android, but it’s on TV. This difference is an important factor in determining what the experience will be. If you care about security at all, you should avoid security at all costs.

Sketchy Android TV box problem

It doesn’t take long to find sketchy devices called “Android TV” boxes on Amazon and other major marketplaces. These boxes often advertise high-quality output, powerful specs, and the ability to run apps like Kodi, and while they’re often “free,” they’re usually not legal. You can access content that is not However, regardless of what you’re buying these boxes for, there are some important things to keep in mind.

First and foremost, there are security issues.

as discovered Earlier this year, One of Amazon’s popular “Android TV” boxes has been found to be sold with embedded malware. The device also picked up an additional payload of malicious content from the web once connected to the network.this week people Linus Tech Tips published a video After looking at several other popular “Android TV” boxes for sale online, I found that they all have virtually the same framework for malware to thrive. . potentiallycan actually damage information and other devices on your network.

Beyond that issue, there are other potential problems with buying these boxes. can be infected by malicious individuals who take advantage of security holes patched in .

There is also no guarantee that what is listed is what you will actually purchase, as shown in the LTT video. Multiple boxes we tested had less available RAM than advertised, couldn’t output the advertised 4K resolution, and even locked down to 720p.

Does this mean I should never buy an “Android TV” box? But be careful when choosing what to buy.

Android TV OS and Android on TV – Differences to Look for

As mentioned at the beginning, “Android TV” comes in two forms. For sketchy boxes, you’re watching Android on your TV. These devices typically run forked versions of Android that have been modified from Android’s open source code. They are rarely certified by Google and all the software they contain has been modified or hacked.

On the other hand, we have the Android TV OS. This is a legitimate service provided directly by Google.

Android TV OS is the framework underlying Android TV Experiences, Google TV Experiences, and customized experiences built by pay TV providers. Most recently, we covered the deep history of Android TV, including how Android TV became Google TV.

Simply put, when buying an “Android TV” device, you should look for the following key points:

  • Play Store installed and other Google apps.
  • Your home screen will look like one of the two designs below.
  • Look for the Google Assistant sign.
  • Android TV OS devices rarely have complex remote controls.

It’s not uncommon for sketchy “Android TV” boxes to include Play Store support, but this is often hacked after the fact. Having other Google apps such as YouTube installed also helps demonstrate that you are providing a legitimate service. Netflix is ​​usually installed on official Android TV OS devices as well.

You will also want to see the home screen. The 2023 Android TV OS will have one of two appearances on consumer devices. Both can be found below. They can be tweaked, but overall, your device should have about the same things as these.

Google Assistant is another important sign that your Android TV device is legitimate. The Google Assistant on Android TV OS devices has a shortcut on the remote control that appears along the bottom or top of the UI, with the Assistant logo fully visible.

And finally, another tell-tale sign is often as simple as a remote control. Official Android TV OS devices almost always come with a fairly simple remote control. Chromecast with Google TV only has eight buttons and a directional pad. The same applies to things like the Nvidia Shield TV.with extra buttons The usual Only number pads for channel entry are included. This isn’t always the case with TV sets, but it’s often the case with set-top boxes and streaming dongles.

android tv google tv remote
This is one of the most popular Android TV remote controls.

9to5Google’s Android TV Recommendations

Not sure what to get? Having tried many Android TV OS devices, here are our top recommendations.

Android TV details:

FTC: I use automated affiliate links to earn income. more.

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