Showbox: Download The App And Start Watching Free Movies

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Showbox is a free app to stream movies and music, below we’ll discuss how to download the apk, what Showbox is and whether it is completely legal.

We have a plethora of streaming sites like Netflix and Hulu, but one of the best streaming apps out there is Showbox where you can watch movies and TV shows for free. Showbox is totally free to use and you can watch all the latest shows and movies until your heart is content with most of your devices you might have. To learn all about Showbox, what devices you can get it for, and how to use it, then check out this guide.

Streaming TV shows, movies, and other types of video over the Internet to all manner of devices, once a fringe habit, is now a squarely mainstream practice. Even people still paying for cable or satellite service often also have Netflix or Hulu accounts. – Walt Mossberg

What Is Showbox?

When you actually sit down and think about it, our world is controlled by the Internet. It’s where we get our information, where we connect with friends, where we seek out for romantic partners, and it is also where we get our entertainment. Gone are the days of ordering packages from the cable company where we have to argue and get frustrated with the cable people because they give us an 8-hour timespan of when they will show up to fix the cable connection. Most people out there have Netflix, or Hulu, or even YouTube Red now where we can stream movies, and more and more companies are releasing their own version of “cable”. Companies like PlayStation, YouTube, and even DirecTv has started offering live television that can be streamed wherever you are.

Netflix was founded in 1997 originally as a company who specialized in DVD rentals by mail. They would send subscribers DVDs by mail and eventually began offering streaming services in 2007.  The popularity of Netflix is truly astounding after 20 years of providing movies and shows to loyal customers. As of right now, Netflix has over 120 million subscribers. To put that into perspective the population of the United States is around 325 million people. Hulu, another popular streaming website had 17 million subscribers in 2017, and that number is expected to rise for 2019. Hulu was founded in 2007 and began doing streaming services not too long after. Other companies and people are also jumping on the streaming bandwagon and more and more streaming sites are popping up all over the web. One of those streaming sites that have become pretty popular recently is the application Showbox.

Showbox is another streaming service very similar to Netflix and Hulu, except for the fact that it is totally free to use. You can get Showbox for any of your Android devices, Windows computer, and even on your Mac computer. What is so nice about Showbox is that, besides the free price tag, new movies and shows are always being added in. This app is very user-friendly and once you actually start watching the movies and shows on here you will quickly fall in love with it.

Here are some great features that Showbox has to offer its users:

  • It is very user-friendly and easy to navigate
  • You can create different playlists based on your favorite TV shows and movies
  • They have an incredible array of movies and shows for you to choose from
  • You can download shows directly from Showbox
  • It is free
  • You can either download movies and show OR stream them if you do not want to clutter up your phone’s memory
  • Showbox is available on most mobile devices out there, as well as on your computer

Showbox is available on your Android phone, but it is not in the Google Play Store, so it is something you will need to download from a third party app store. We will delve into why Showbox is not on the Play Store later on in this guide. But for now, let’s go over where to get Showbox.

Where To Get Showbox

Like we said above, Showbox APK is available on your Android devices, Windows and Mac computers, and even your iOS devices. We would like to cover why Showbox is not available in the app store as well.

Showbox is an app that makes it easy for viewers to watch pirated movies and TV shows. We are going to dive considerably more in-depth into that in a later section when we discuss the legality of this app, so, for now, we can suffice it to say that it the reason it is not on any official app stores because of the fact that it has pirated movies on it, as well as the fact that it is not a licensed app. Since this app is not available to download from the iOS or Android app stores we will need to go over a few steps on our devices before we can download Showbox.

How To download Showbox for Android

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Showbox was truly created for Android users, so it may not be a surprise that it is extremely easy to download Showbox onto your Android device. The following steps apply to just about all Android devices, including tablets.

The first thing we need to do before we can even download Showbox onto our Android phone is allow downloads from third-party apps. Here’s how:

  1. On your Android phone go to settings
  2. Go to the general tab
  3. Click on security
  4. In the security section, you will see a box that says something along the lines of allowing downloads of “unknown sources”
  5. Check the box next to it and click “ok” when the warning message pops up

Now you will be able to actually download the Showbox app, as well as any other apps you like that may not be on the Google Play Store. To get Showbox APK on your Android device simply follow these instructions:

  1. First things first, you are going to need to find a version of Showbox that is virus free
    1. I have used this version and I have yet to have issues with so far, but you can just Google “Showbox Apk download Android” and choose a link that you trust
  2. Download the file, the length of time it takes is reliant on your internet connection
  3. Launch the app for the first time and you will be able to choose from their wide array of movies and shows for your viewing pleasure

While these steps may sound intimidating, downloading Showbox is honestly just as easy as downloading any other app from the Google Play Store. The problem, however, is that the download you choose might have a virus in it. With that being said, I have never had that happen to my devices that I have used Showbox on, so it really just depends on what your comfort level is with this app and your knowledge of technology. The remaining instructions for downloading all have one thing in common: it all still revolves around having some sort of Android operating system, even emulators.

Now that we have covered how to download Showbox for your Android device, we will go over how to download it to all your different devices.

How To Download Showbox for Windows

Windows 10 operating system.

Part of what is so cool about Showbox is that you can watch it on just about any device, including your computers. For installing Showbox on your Windows computer we are going to go over two methods you can use. My personal preference is downloading an Android emulator, but we will also show you how to download Showbox by using ARC Welder. Let’s get started:

Method 1: Using ARC Welder

  1. Download (or run) Google Chrome
  2. Next, you will need to download the add-on ARC Welder (found here) and then click on “Add to Chrome”
  3. You will get a pop-up asking to add ARC Welder, just press “add app”
  4. Next, open up a new tab (or even a new window) and press on Apps and open ARC Welder
  5. You will get a Welcome message and will be asked to choose a directory, which basically means where to store new data, so choose a category
  6. Now you can download Showbox, which can be found here
  7. Go back to ARC Welder and click on the box that says “Add your APK” and add Showbox
  8. Click on the button “Test” and Showbox should open up
  9. Next time you want to use Showbox on your computer all you need to do is open up a new tab, click on apps, and choose Showbox

There is a possibility that you might get an error code saying “WebGL is not supported”. If you do happen to get this, follow these steps:

  1. Open up Chrome and press the 3 stacked dots on the top right corner of the webpage and go to settings
  2. In the settings tab click the drop down that says “Show advanced settings”
  3. Scroll down and make sure the box next to “Use hardware acceleration when available” is clicked
  4. Now, in your address bar type in “chrome://flags” and enable “Override software rendering list”
  5. After making sure that is enabled type “chrome://gpu” into your address and double check that WebGL says “Hardware accelerated”

If you come across any more issues using Showbox on ARC Welder you can either Google the error code you get or you can try the next method (which is what I personally prefer).

Method 2: Using BlueStacks Android Emulator

For this method, you will need to download an Android emulator onto your computer. For those of you who are not familiar with emulators, an emulator is a program that “emulates” or imitates another thing. So, in our case, we need an emulator that imitates the Android operating system. There are thousands of different emulators out there, such as Xbox emulators, Sega emulators, Nintendo emulators, iPhone emulators, Atari emulators, and even PlayStation emulators. There are a bunch of Android emulators that you can choose from, but I personally recommend BlueStacks. BlueStacks is free, easy to use, and runs incredibly well. To get BlueStacks on your computer go to this link and follow the on-screen instructions. The setup is easy and quick. Here’s how to get Showbox onto your computer using BlueStacks:

  1. Download BlueStacks (if you haven’t already) and then download Showbox onto your computer (can be found here)
  2. Save the download of Showbox APK onto your desktop so you can easily access it
  3. After Showbox is downloaded onto your desktop right click the icon and click on the option that says “open with BlueStacks”
  4. Open up BlueStacks and run Showbox and you can start watching movies

You can see how much easier, and quicker, the Showbox app is by using BlueStacks on your computer. One great thing about doing it this way is that you can utilize BlueStacks with other apps as well. You can have apps, games, and even books easily accessible just by using BlueStacks. I actually play the game Guns of Glory (can be found here) on my laptop and it runs incredibly well. Regardless of which method you use it is great to actually have Showbox on your computer so you can watch your movies and shows with a bigger screen than your phone or tablet.

How To Download Showbox for Mac

To get Showbox on your Mac computer you follow the exact steps we just went over for Windows. You have two methods for getting Showbox on your Mac as well. Here’s how:

Method 1: Using ARC Welder

  1. Download (or run) Google Chrome
  2. Next, you will need to download the add-on ARC Welder (found here) and then click on “Add to Chrome”
  3. You will get a pop-up asking to add ARC Welder, just press “add app”
  4. Next, open up a new tab (or even a new window) and press on Apps and open ARC Welder
  5. You will get a Welcome message and will be asked to choose a directory, which basically means where to store new data, so choose a category
  6. Now you can download Showbox, which can be found here
  7. Go back to ARC Welder and click on the box that says “Add your APK” and add Showbox
  8. Click on the button “Test” and Showbox should open up
  9. Next time you want to use Showbox on your computer all you need to do is open up a new tab, click on apps, and choose Showbox

There is a possibility that you might get an error code saying “WebGL is not supported”. If you do happen to get this, follow these steps:

  1. Open up Chrome and press the 3 stacked dots on the top right corner of the webpage and go to settings
  2. In the settings tab click the drop down that says “Show advanced settings”
  3. Scroll down and make sure the box next to “Use hardware acceleration when available” is clicked
  4. Now, in your address bar type in “chrome://flags” and enable “Override software rendering list”
  5. After making sure that is enabled type “chrome://gpu” into your address and double check that WebGL says “Hardware accelerated”

Method 2: Using BlueStacks Android Emulator

To get BlueStacks on your computer go to this link and follow the on-screen instructions. The setup is just as easy and quick as it is on Windows computers, and the emulator runs very well on Mac computers. Here’s how:

  1. Download BlueStacks (if you haven’t already) and then download Showbox onto your computer (can be found here)
  2. Save the download of Showbox APK onto your desktop so you can easily access it
  3. After Showbox is downloaded onto your desktop right click the icon and click on the option that says “open with BlueStacks”
  4. Open up BlueStacks and run Showbox and you can start watching movies

Like I said, it is the exact same steps for both methods to get Showbox onto your Mac, the only differences are the links where you download the programs. Just like with the Android emulator for Windows, BlueStacks works incredibly well on your Mac and allows you to play games and apps on your Mac. Having an Android emulator on your Mac is awesome because it lets you experience the best of both worlds in regards to iOS and Android. If you use a Mac but really enjoy having an Android to play the games and use the apps that iOS doesn’t have, then you can just pull up your emulator and use the games and apps you would use on an Android device.

Showbox for iOS

Unfortunately, Showbox is not available from the Apple App Store and enabling third-party apps for iOS is pretty difficult (for me at least). So that means that either you don’t use your iOS device or you find a good alternative to replace Showbox on your iOS device. Some good movies apps for iOS are:

  • Netflix (can do a free trial run)
  • Amazon Prime Video
  • Crackle
  • Tubi TV (free TV and movies)
  • SnagFilms
  • iTunes Movies
  • Youtube
  • Hulu

These alternatives don’t really offer up the number of movies and films like Showbox does, but they are good substitutes. Streaming services, such as Netflix and Hulu, offer up free trials you can do so you don’t necessarily have to pay for them.

Why isn’t Showbox on the Apple App Store?

Since the app has pirated videos you won’t find it any either the Apple App store nor Google Play since they don’t want to promote that kind of behavior. We will go considerably more in-depth with the legality shortly.

Another reason is that Showbox is not an actual licensed app. Showbox is not owned or operated by a single company, so it cannot be on any app store without any licensing. Showbox has content put up by many different servers and creators, which is what makes it so great because there is so much content for you to choose from.

How To Download Showbox for Kindle Fire

Since The Kindle Fire operating system is Android-based you can download Showbox onto it just like you would with an Android device. Just like we had to enable third-party apps on Android devices we have to do that for the Kindle Fire as well. Here’s how:

  1. Go to settings
  2. In the settings menu click on security (or devices on older model Kindles)
  3. Click the box that says “Apps from unknown sources”

Now you can download Showbox onto your Kindle Fire. Follow these steps to do it:

  1. Open the Silk web browser and go to this site
  2. Download and then run that file

It is truly that simple to do and you can watch Showbox from your Kindle Fire. Now if you do run into any issues always make sure you double check that your operating system is up to date. If it isn’t, then make sure you update your Fire device then try it again.

How to Download Showbox for Blackberry

Not only can you get Showbox on your Android devices and computers, you can also get it if you have a Blackberry device. I will say I have no idea how well Showbox runs on Blackberry personally, but from what I have read from Blackberry reviewers it seems to run just as well as it does on Android. Before we can download Showbox we need to allow third-party apps to be downloaded. Here’s how:

  1. Go to settings
  2. Next, go to the app manager tab
  3. Click on installing apps and turn on “allow apps from other sources to be installed”

Now you can download Showbox, so follow these steps:

  1. Go to your web browser and go to this link
  2. Download the file then open it to install it

This is one of the easier and quicker installs for Showbox, but you might experience some problems. If you do, Google your error code and see if other people have had the same issue and try to find a fix. Unfortunately, Blackberrys are not as popular as Android and iOS phones so you might have a harder time finding how to fix errors that might pop up.

How To Download Showbox for Chromecast

The last install instructions we are going to go over is how to download and use Showbox for your Chromecast device. Chromecast is an awesome streaming device that hooks up to your TV and allows you to control it with your phone or other devices, and Showbox does an incredible job on Chromecast devices. Here’s how to get Showbox on your device:

  1. Download the app Local Cast (found here)
    1. This app lets you stream directly from your Android phone to your Chromecast so you MUST have Showbox on your Android device already
  2. Pull up Showbox and go to settings
  3. In the settings menu go to Default Player and change it to “other player”
  4. Start streaming a video and open it with LocalCast
  5. Next, select your Chromecast player and it will begin streaming to your Chromecast

There is another way to accomplish, and though it is an older technique it does still work. Here is the second method of getting Showbox on Chromecast:

  1. You will need to first uninstall MX Player off your Android device
    1. Go to settings, then apps, then find MX Player and click on uninstall
  2. Back out of apps, while still remaining in the settings menu, go to security and turn on downloads from unknown sources
  3. Next, you will need to download GrowBox (can be found here)
  4. After you install that you will need to install AllCast (found here)
  5. Go into your Showbox app and launch a video, next choose player to “other player”, then hit “Watch Now”
  6. Now you will need to share with Growbox and then open AllCast
  7. Select your ChromeCast Player and it will begin streaming

Obviously, the second method is extremely detailed and takes a while. The first method, however, is very simple and quick which allows you to quickly watch your shows and movies on your TV.

The Problems With Showbox

Now we will discuss the pros and cons of Showbox.

Pros and Cons of Showbox
ProsCons
Lots of movies to choose fromLegality is questionable and you are torrenting
Lots of shows to choose fromPotential viruses in downloads
Free!There is no official company and website for Showbox
Lots of devices can use itNo technical support when something goes wrong
Using an emulator allows you to download lots of other great games and apps onto your computerMany links don’t work and sometimes the video quality is horrendous

Is Showbox Legal?

The justice scales. Image source: PixaBay

One of the biggest questions posed about Showbox is whether or not it is legal. In short, sort of.

Before the times of streaming on the Internet, you have probably heard of pirated movies that you could buy from that one weird kid who snuck his camcorder into theaters just to make $20 off a pirated movie. Doing that was illegal since the content was copywritten. Doing it that way stole money from the folks who worked hard on that movie. The keyword here is copywritten. Making pirated videos is copyright infringement and is punishable by law.

In 2014 there was a legal proceeding in which the legal system, in the UK, ruled that:

…the copies on the user’s computer screen and the copies in the internet ‘cache’ of that computer’s hard disk, made by an end-user in the course of viewing a website, satisfy the conditions that those copies must be temporary, that they must be transient or incidental in nature and that they must constitute an integral and essential part of a technological process, as well as the conditions laid down in Article 5(5) of that directive, and that they may therefore be made without the authorisation of the copyright holders.

In laments terms, this means that since streaming movies gives TEMPORARY files (temporary is the important term) it is not illegal to stream pirated movies since you are not keeping the movies. This is honestly an extremely gray area of the law since no laws have applied thus far to streaming pirated movies. This is more than likely the reason why neither the Apple App Store nor the Google Play Store actually carries Showbox since it is questionable. Do keep in mind as well that actually downloading the movies is illegal since those files are permanent. Of course, this ruling applies to the UK, but no other country has made any precedent like the UK has, so that is what we are going off of.

Another thing to point out is that when you actually download the movie or show it becomes 100% illegal since you are keeping those files. Showbox gives you the option to download movies and shows. However, if you want to get technical if you were to download a movie you already own, it is technically not illegal since you have already purchased the rights to the files. In other words let’s say you bought Star Wars: A New Hope a few years ago and now you want to download it onto your Samsung tablet. Since you have already bought the rights to that movie if you were to download it to your tablet it would be legal. If you decide to download a movie you don’t own, like Star Wars: The Phantom Menace THEN you would be infringing copywritten material and it would be illegal. So, if you want to toe that legality line you can either download the movies you already own or you can stream them. The way that the law is worded really puts Showbox in a gray area of the law. The honest answer to the question of “is Showbox legal” really depends on you. You can decide for yourself if you believe it is legal or not. Ultimately, it is extremely difficult for law enforcement to follow up on every single person who downloads a movie from Showbox, so you possibly would not get caught doing it (that doesn’t necessarily make it okay, however).

Now, just because it is not technically illegal does not mean that it is morally right. A lot of people worked extremely hard at creating the movies and shows that you are able to view for free, so those people don’t get the compensation they may deserve (or may not depending on how good or bad the show might be). The morality decision is totally dependent on how you view it and how you feel about it.

Safety Concerns

One important thing to note about Showbox is that it is not a licensed product from any one company. That means there is no official website for it, there is no technical support for it, and there is no one true download for Showbox. What does that mean for you as a user?

This means that some third-party websites who offer you downloads might very well put a virus or bug into the download so they can access your phone or any device you use Showbox. Because there is no licensing for Showbox the app cannot be put on Google Play or the iOS store so you have to use those third-party websites. This means that when you encounter any kind of issue there is no technical support or website you can get help from (although there is a SubReddit for Showbox that does answer a lot of questions).

Because of this, there is a certain safety risk into using Showbox. If you want to use Showbox then I highly recommend browsing the Reddit for Showbox (can be found here). There are a lot of questions and answers posted on there, the safest links to avoid any viruses when you download Showbox, and users even review their experiences with Showbox so prospective users can check it out before downloading it.

There are times when you are streaming a movie and the quality of the video is awful or the picture is picture boxed and is hard to see. There are also other times that the links to videos are broken or don’t work. There are also times when the server are down and you can’t seem to get anything to work. When, or if, that happens to you when using Showbox I recommend force closing the app and trying it again at a later time. Or, check out that SubReddit and see what is posted there and hopefully they can answer any problems you might have.

Is Downloading Showbox Worth it?

Image source: Flickr

To conclude this guide we will answer whether or not Showbox is worth downloading and using. First and foremost whether or not you decide to use Showbox it is important to not that it is up to you. Regardless of what other people say it is your choice to make.

There are a lot of streaming services across the internet if you were to Google “streaming movies” you can find over 6 million results pop up. That list includes Netflix, Hulu, iTunes Movies, Crackle, and even Verizon. While Showbox might not pop up in your mind when you think of streaming apps, it is actually an extremely popular app among Android fans. It satisfies many people’s streaming needs when they want to watch something newer, and it is extremely user-friendly so anyone can use it. The cons of Showbox are pretty great since legality, and morality, affect how Showbox is perceived. The fact that there is no official company to manage Showbox and third-party websites can put viruses into the download to affect your phone is concerning, to say the absolute least. So, with everything taken into consideration, is Showbox worth it?

I will preface this by saying that answer completely relies on you. Regardless what you read online or even in this guide the bottom line is that the app is worth it to YOU. Personally, I am torn on the answer because there are positives and negatives to Showbox. Over the weekend I went to the movie theater to see Deadpool 2. For two tickets, a popcorn and two drinks it cost us $50 to see the movie. Showbox, on the other hand, allows its users to watch movies and shows for free. Sure, the legality is questionable and morality is brought into effect, but nonetheless, people have turned to apps like Showbox or even other streaming companies partially because it is so expensive to go out and see movies when they come out in theaters.

If you were to Google “is Showbox worth it” you will get a plethora of articles saying how awful and horrible it is. One article, in particular, made Showbox sound unethical and unsafe. While browsing this webpage I got a notification from my computer’s virus protection saying it blocked a high severity virus coming from this site. The argument can then be made about how unethical it is to try to trick people into reading their article about how unethical Showbox is while trying to bug that person’s computer, but that is beside the point. The point is, while Showbox does have questionable laws to it (streaming versus downloading a movie, for example), it is worth at least checking out. I personally have had Showbox on my tablet and never really had any problems. Until the law is fully made crystal clear about streaming content being illegal people can’t judge the legality and morality of the app. So is it worth it? That is up to you to decide. Research the app and do your homework if you are concerned about it.

If you do download the movies and shows you should know that it is illegal to do that, but the chance of actually getting caught is slim. It is very similar to when Frostwire and Limewire were around. Tons of people downloaded the music from there and infected their computers with God knows what. Few people got caught, but there was still a risk with it. I tend to think of Showbox when streaming at least, it is similar to iHeart Radio or Pandora; you can stream the songs without it being copyright infringement, but when you download the songs without purchasing it, then it becomes illegal. As long as you stream the movies and shows it’s free, but once you download the movies of Showbox it becomes illegal. So, at its core, Showbox is in the gray area of the law since it offers both streaming AND downloading. If you stream your movies then the app is more than worth it.

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