Originally Posted by Dartgod
What is the benefit of rooting a phone?
There are really two main things that people mean when they talk about having a rooted phone: gaining "root" access to the phone (so that programs can run with privileges the manufacturers don't want you to have), and installing a custom ROM.
Root access itself really just lets you do a small number of things, such as running programs that would normally be blocked (WiFi tethering is the most popular) and the ability to change things that are locked down (like removing/disabling some of the built-in BS that carriers love to put on there).
The step beyond that is installing a custom ROM. This is essentially like installing a modified version of Windows. They are built off of the normal (stock) software, but modified to add new features and options. For example, one of my favorite mods is a panel under the notifications menu that lets you toggle a variety of settings (WiFi, bluetooth, airplane mode, etc.). There are hundreds of those types of things that you can play with.