Live and on-demand TV is all the rage these days, especially when you don’t have to pony up your hard earned cash for overpriced cable subscriptions. Some online services advertise free TV, including the increasingly popular Terrarium TV. This Android-based streaming service promises you everything you’d want in online streaming: choice, flexibility, and high-quality, all for the low, low price of nothing.
But is Terrarium TV a legal service? Should you download Terrarium TV onto your Android device and stream away? We took a dive into Terrarium TV, both in testing the service and determining whether you should make Terrarium TV your next go-to streaming app.
Update 9/17/2018: IMPORTANT. In September 2018, Terrarium TV’s developer announced that the service would be closing down for good. However, on September 17, it was learned that he may give up user data. We have more information on Terrarium TV’s overall safety below, but it’s important for any current users to uninstall this apk as soon as possible.
How to stream online safely and privately
Unofficial streaming services like Terrarium TV are popular with a growing number of cord-cutters. Yet shirking the cable box for online streaming can bring with it a multitude of issues, not only when it comes to protecting your data online but also with keeping your ISP at bay. For that reason, many online streamers are now turning to Virtual Private Networks (VPNs).
When you stream online through Terrarium TV and other services like it, you tend to use a lot of data. Given HD streaming is increasingly common as well, this can cause a heavy load on your ISP’s available bandwidth. Instead of investing in more infrastructure, many ISPs have turned to throttling the speeds of customers who stream a lot of video.
Despite what you may have heard, VPN use is not only legal but increasingly necessary. Even those who stream legal content can benefit from bypassing unfair geographic content blocking and avoiding ISP speed throttling. Among the many VPNs that can help you protect your data and ensure your data speeds, we’ve found IPVanish to be the best.
IPVanish maintains its own servers spread all across the world. When you use IPVanish, you’ll find unlimited bandwidth, minimal impact on your download and upload speeds, and military-grade encryption to protect you and your data.
FAST AND RELIABLE:IPVanish has a large network of uncongested servers that provides consistently great speeds. Strong security and privacy features. A favorite for Kodi and Amazon Fire Stick for their apps and streaming capabilities. Family friendly as it can handle up to 10 simultaneously connected devices. Try it risk-free with the 7-day money back guarantee.
What is Terrarium TV?
Terrarium TV is an online video streaming application for Android. The app bills itself pretty attractively on its dedicated website:
“Best Free 1080p HD Movies and TV Shows Android App APK Download“
This attractive statement has done well to draw in a lot of users. Terrarium TV currently has over 140,000 likes on Facebook and an active Reddit page with over 9,000 subscribers.
According to the app’s developer, “Terrarium TV contains only links to other sites on the Internet. It does not host or upload any videos, films or media files. It does not store any media stream links on any of its servers. Terrarium TV aggregates links in a convenient, user-friendly interface.”
If you’re familiar with Kodi and Kodi addons, this statement should sound familiar. Indeed, this is roughly the same argument used by popular third-party Kodi addons such as Covenant, Gurzil, Exodus, SportsDevil, and others. While there are methods to stream Terrarium TV through Kodi, it’s primarily an Android-based addon, operating somewhat similarly to the well-used Android app Mobdro.
Is Terrarium TV safe and legal?
These are actually two separate questions when it comes to Terrarium TV. We’ll start with the issue of safety.
Terrarium TV safety concerns
Is Terrarium TV safe to use? Yes and no. For starters, there have been no known reports of any hacking or malicious code existing in the normal Terrarium TV app. However, there are some issues with the download process that can raise a few red flags.
First is the fact that Terrarium TV is not available on the official Google Play Store. This does not inherently mean that the Terrarium TV app is bad news. While you will need to change your Android settings to allow for unknown sources from third parties outside of the Google Play Store, not all downloads of this nature are bad.
In fact, the website APK Mirror houses a huge repository of Android apps that can be downloaded from outside the Play Store. Many of these are purely legitimate apps that for one reason or another never made it to Android or older versions of popular Android apps that some users liked better.
However, Google Play Store apps are far more secure. The review process for apps is more stringent (although not as stringent as with the Apple App Store), so downloading an app from outside the Play Store comes with notable risks. That includes the possibility of downloading and installing a virus onto your Android device if you download an app from the wrong source.
Additionally, because Terrarium TV is unofficial, it’s easy to spoof. In fact, there have been spoofed versions of it on the Google Play Store already. Those fake version could be gateways to data mining and viruses.
Finally, on September 17, 2018, TorrentFreak reported that Terrarium TV’s developer, NitroXenon, says he will give up any user data if he’s requested. NitroXenon informed TorrentFreak that, “I’m just telling the truth…Almost every app tracks user’s IP [addresses]. And if I must [hand] the info to authorities then I’ll do it.”
Needless to say, Terrarium TV is not one we’d recommend for IPTV streaming on Android.
Is Terrarium TV legal?
Apps like Terrarium TV are always a bit of a legal gamble. While Terrarium TV does scrape from some online sources that offer content legally, the majority of its content breaks copyright laws.
Terrarium TV attempts to protect itself by not hosting any of the content itself. However, as we’ve learned from some notable Kodi addon examples recently, this is not exactly a foolproof method. Once-popular streaming addons like ZemTV and Phoenix (which has since returned as Bennu) went offline after an anti-piracy lawsuit. And the Kodi website TVAddons hit many major news sites after the owner was hit with a rather harrowing lawsuit and home search and seizure.
Simply put, Terrarium TV exists in a legal “gray” area, but even then, much of what it does is increasingly getting labeled as copyright infringement. While it is unlikely any users will be hit with legal consequences, this may not always be the case. Without a VPN or other proxy method to hide your streaming activities, your ISP and any government agency can see that you’re streaming from the pirate websites connected to Terrarium TV.
Should I use Terrarium TV?
Comparitech maintains a strict policy of not supporting the use of any live TV or on-demand streaming services that utilize pirate websites or that break copyrights.
Comparitech does not condone or encourage any violation of copyright restrictions, including illegal streaming through Kodi. Kodi can be used for many excellent, legal online streaming purposes. Please consider the law, victims, and risks of piracy before downloading or streaming copyrighted material without permission.
We recognize that this won’t prevent some users from installing Terrarium TV onto their devices. However, we don’t recommend the service and believe that there are many other legitimate options available to you.
Terrarium TV alternatives
If you’re into using Terrarium TV or looking into installing and using a similar Android app, we highly recommend you consider using Kodi instead.
Kodi is a free media player that’s optimized for Android devices, including the Amazon Fire Stick and Fire TV, as well as a litany of other devices. Kodi is designed to play the media you have already on hand, such as MP3 music files or MP4 videos, but can also be used to stream content directly from the web using a large library of addons.
What’s great about Kodi as an alternative to Terrarium TV is that it offers a large number of streaming options. Kodi addons can more than make up for the content you’d find using Terrarium. Additionally, unlike Terrarium TV, you’ll find Kodi on the Google Play Store. No need to download a somewhat suspicious file from a third party!
There are hundreds of live streaming and on-demand streaming addons providing content anywhere from anime to hit movies and more.