Internet streaming isn’t going anywhere. The more it’s used, the easier it becomes for services like Mobdro to provide free access to them. But is Mobdro legal? And is Mobdro safe? The answer to those questions isn’t straightforward.
New internet services are a headache for the legal world. Technologies spread and evolve at a much quicker rate than the slow wheels of law. This means that there isn’t a clear ruling on whether something is directly legal or not. Which means a lot of specific cases fall into grey areas. However, by taking a close look at similar technologies, we can build a pretty clear picture of how the law will likely fall on Mobdro.
Is Mobdro legal?
In a word, “yes”. However, if you use Mobdro to watch copyrighted streams, it becomes illegal. Sometimes.
Mobdro is the latest in a long line of internet apps that provide easy access to internet streams. It describes itself as “an application for Android devices that enables users to crawl the web for free streams, arrange them by category and capture them in order to watch them.” Which means the Mobdro technology itself isn’t the illegal bit. It only becomes illegal when a user watches copyrighted content via the app Mobdro.
A quick look at the Mobdro back this up. “Mobdro is an application for Android devices that enables users to crawl the web for free streams, arrange them by category and capture them in order to watch them. Mobdro has no control whatsoever nor may it be held liable for the content or location of the streams, which shall be the sole responsibility of the pages on which they are hosted.”
The situation is almost identical to Kodi. And a quick internet search soon tells you that the same rules apply. Kodi was/is kosher. Using Kodi add-ons to watch copyrighted streams is not.
It’s not clearcut though. Using the UK as an example, a Sky Sports Subscriber using Mobdro to watch Sky Sports could argue that they have already paid for the content they’re watching through the Mobdro stream.
In legal terms, this is comparable to copyright duplication that’s been widespread since the iPod was released. As Apple encouraged its users to rip their music from CDs onto their iPods via iTunes. This is deemed legal as customers had already paid for the content in the form of the CD. Which meant they were free to enjoy the content on any media device they chose.
However, this is all a legal grey area. And with ISPs cracking down on users accessing copyrighted material – Sky Broadband “Copyrighted Material” email – it’s a good idea not to take the risk.
If you want to watch Mobdro anonymously, without ISPs being able to detect what you’re doing, you could use a VPN. NordVPN’s ($3.49/month) and Ivacy ($1.16/month) of the best VPNs you can use. They will also unlock BBC iPlayer and US Netflix from anywhere in the world.
I’ve been using NordVPN’s ($3.49/month) since May this year and haven’t experienced any problems.
Is Mobdro safe?
Yes and no. It’s not 100% safe like normal Android apps, because it’s not supported by the Google Play Store (which vets apps for viruses and other malicious files).
This means you have to fiddle around with your Android settings and “Allow apps from an unknown source”. Which leaves your device open to attacks from harmful APK files (app files).
That said, Mobdro is a safe app to download, providing you download it through the official website. However, you’re taking a risk if you download Mobdro via a third-party mirror.
Even if you download the official Mobdro app from safe sources, the app isn’t totally “safe”. When using Mobdro there are various ads and links to unverified third-party websites.
How to watch Mobdro safely?
The best and easiest way to protect yourself – and stay anonymous – when using Mobdro is to use a VPN.
VPNs work by encrypting (to a military standard) your inbound/outbound data and rerouting it through a server in a country of your choice. This simple method makes your internet connection, and all subsequent online actively, totally anonymous.
There are several free VPNs you can use to watch Mobdro. We don’t recommend you use these though. The connections are often too slow for purpose and the data limit is also too small to enjoy content for any meaningful amount of time.
Paying a few dollars a month is the best way to secure online anonymity. For this, we recommend the following VPNs.
- NordVPN’s ($3.49/month)
- Ivacy ($1.16/month)
- ExpressVPN ($6.66/month)
- Private Internet Access ($2.85/month)
- CyberGhost ($2.75/month)
Read next: How to watch BT Sport abroad.