8. A Free Wi-Fi Hotspot

You probably know that your phone can function as a Wi-Fi hotspot, allowing you to get your laptop (or tablet, or whatever) online wherever your phone has a data connection The catch? Most wireless carriers charge you $10 a month or more for that privilege, on top of your regular data plan. With a rooted Android device, however, you can simply download Wireless Tether (yep, right from the Android Market), create your own mobile, encrypted Wi-Fi network, and your carrier will be none the wiser.

If you do tether multiple devices to your liberated phone, just make sure you don’t go over your monthly cap. Data goes down a lot faster on a laptop.

9. Better Backup

There are apps out there that kiiiiinnnnda back up your phone, but generally it’s pretty surface level stuff (contacts, pictures, music, etc.). Once rooted you can go way, way deeper. Grab an app called Titanium Backup. Not only can it back up all of your apps, but it can back up all of the information stored in those apps. So if you’ve been doing great in Temple Run but you want to wipe your phone and start fresh, you can use Titanium to back up and then restore the game, and you’ll be right where you left off. It’s a nice security blanket if you’re going to be messing around deep in your phone’s brain.

In spite of all these benefits, only you know whether rooting is right for you. For some people it’s just not worth the time and effort. For others, it’s a godsend that allows them to use their phones in a better way and for a longer time. If you decide to take the plunge, read up and make sure you follow instructions carefully. After that, go hog wild. It’s your phone, after all.