The steps necessary to root an Android phone vary widely, from “one-click” methods to “impossible”. It depends on the exact model of your phone and version of Android you are currently on (or desire).

Further complicating matters are the carriers. For example, the methods for rooting phone X on AT&T, Verizon, Sprint or T-Mobile (or any “foreign” carriers for that matter) are often NOT the same. The same can be said of your current baseband/radio versions.

So at a bare minimum rooting an Android phone requires extreme attention to detail to make sure you meet ALL the requirements and not brick your phone.

For better or for worse, there are fewer such permutations of hardware vs software in the iOS world (both hardware and software being from the same vendor) making jailbreaking (rooting) an iOS phone less confusing, at least in theory.

If you do root, remember to turn off automatic software updates for your phone’s software. OTA updates have been known to “fix” root exploits and steal root access away from you at a later date.

xda-developers is my go-to resource for all things root: