Pirating/sharing entertainment through peer-to-peer programs and torrent files has been one of the biggest joys on the internet for years now. It's not exactly legal, but it's still widely popular. However, some folks weren't too keen on hosting files all their own, which is understandable: many of us who've downloaded stuff in the past have received intimidating "cease and desist" letters in the mail.
Which is why many people turned to streaming sites like Showbox — but what happened to it?
For a good amount of time, it seemed like everyone and their uncle was streaming all of the shows they didn't have access to on Showbox. It first started off as a site where all you had to do was simply visit and browse for the movie or series you wanted to watch. No add-ons were necessary. There was no need to download any additional programs or store the files on your own hard drive. You just had to click on the file, maybe "x" out of a few ads, and you were good to go.
Then Showbox started getting fancy and offered iOS and Android applications so viewers could browse their selection of shared content uploaded by users — all for free. People started even hacking their streaming boxes, like Fire Sticks and Roku sets so they could use the application on their big screen TVs.
Personally, I never have been able to get the Showbox app to work, or similar services like Kodi.
Sites like Kodi and Showbox aren't legal.
Even though everyone streams or has streamed content they haven't paid for at some point or another, they aren't legal. Neither is using torrents for the same purpose, however, but torrent sites aren't as "easy to use" and they're much more difficult to shut down. Plus, torrent repositories aren't just used to share entertainment and software — they're also utilized to share freeware and licensed-free material in a much quicker and reliable way.
Since torrents use mass-computing/internet connectivity technology to share files from user to user, it's much more difficult to shut torrent services down, too. That is, unless they become notorious repositories for piracy, or are literally "named" as a haven for software pirates, like The Pirate Bay. Even though the world's most popular torrent database was temporarily shut down, there are tons of other torrent havens people were able to use in its absence.
What happened to Showbox?
The service is no stranger to outages — everyone I know who's ever downloaded the app has had problems with it at some point or another. One of the most common issues with Showbox is region issues — viewers from all around the globe will have a different experience with the app depending on whichever server is designated for their area.
Showbox has had a long history of server issues, and for a multitude of reasons.
Sometimes the application's servers just get overloaded with users and they can't handle the amount of web traffic. Other times, however, Showbox gets into legal trouble and has to temporarily be shut down. The team behind the program has even stated several times on its official Twitter account that they are no strangers to run-ins with the law, and that users may experience disruptions in service from time to time.
Showbox's website is down.
Users who liked streaming Showbox content on their computer or laptop the good-old fashioned way noticed that the website hasn't been working for some time. In fact, if you go to showbox.ink right now, you'll see that you're just redirected to download the app on your iOS or Android device.
(And if you try going to showbox.com, you'll just be urged to sign up for a video presentation service called Powtoon, which has nothing to do with streaming popular movie and TV titles — thought you should know that.)
As of now, Showbox has stated on Twitter that their servers are down, and that was on Nov. 17 — but it still hasn't been fixed. A small group of users have reported it working intermittently for them, but for the most part, Showbox is dead in the water.
While Showbox hasn't said that legal issues are behind its recent app failure this time around and that they're working on getting their servers back up, two weeks might as well be an eternity on the internet. Looks like you'll have to pirate your stuff the good old fashioned way: like hitting up utorrent and looking for top-rated files on thepiratebay.org.