If you have some generic Android device, mainly TV boxes and similar then you might want to check for a new firmware.
In my case it was for generic TV box.
There are lots of Youtube videos claiming to allow you all the downloads from the Baidu servers.
Sadly that is only half of the story.
Some actually do allow you to bypass the size restrictions so you can download larger files without the need for a Baidu account.
That is now especially good as Baidu only allows to register by phone - and Chinese numbers only, so no chance to register without a friend in China LOL
Of course it is not just nonmae hardware that sometimes offers firmware, Baidu has all sorts of things, like our normal file hosters.
In this Instructable I will not only show you a way that is (currently) working to bypass the user registration but one that also allows you to actually finnish a download and that with reasonable speed instead of just a few kb per second.
Best of all, even an interrupted download can be resumed in most cases.
And no, there are no fancy pics or videos explaining it all, I assume you can follow and understand the simple instructions if are confident installing firmwares on Android devices.
I might give more detailed information about the entire process if people are interest in an Instructable on updating a TV box.
As said, this here is mainly to allow you downloading at fast speeds from Baidu servers ;)
Step 1: Not for the Faint of Heart...
I won't go into all details about downloading files, copy and paste actions for links or how to use Google Translate.
If you dare to update the firmware of your device I simply have to assume you know the basics as otherwise I can only advise against it.
A lot of these TV boxes use the same hardware, chipset and WiFi modem, some have additional Bluetooth or more USB / SD ports or even a RCA video output on top of HDMI.
I tried quite a few different firmwares for my TV box, some not even anywhere related to what it stated on the box.
Most worked more or less, some really good, others not at all - I did not get a "brick" at any stage but I also only selected firmwares after checking the actually hardware is matched.
So all you get here is the required info on how to get the files you want from the Baidu servers - not more, not less.
You will to find the dowload link you want yourself so please don't ask in the comments or by PM how to find what you need from Baidu.
I won't take any responsibility if you brick your device!
I won't be able to tell you why your selected firmware works or does not work - you are doing at your own risk!
Step 2: Things You Really Need for This Work
To make all this possible you need to install a few things and use the Google translator if you need to check where to click on the Baidu download links - they change from time to time.
The first we need is something to make the account restictions more user friendly.
And to save you and me some time I suggest that you use what I use:
Windows OS and Chrome web browser.
If you don't like Chrome you can try a different browser but I did not try it and won't check it for you.
I know Chrome and my way works, at least until to the time of writing this.
In Chrome go to Settings, Extensions, Download more extensions - search and install Tampermonkey BETA.
Next step is to install a little helper script.
You can find it here and just click on the install button.
With that you are now able to download even the large and restricted files from Baidu.
I did not test all possible download options but AFAIK they are all supported by the script and extension.
You might now want to try a download of a larger file to check if you bypass the user registration with success.
I assume it works, if not right away restart Chrome.
The usual download rates you will get with this direct method are just enough to download a 10mb file in around 30 minutes - if it finnishes that is.
All credits for the above go to the creators of these nice tools as without them all this would not be possible!
Check the next step on how to speed things up a little bit.
Step 3: Getting More Speed From China
Now that the large downloads are possible it would be nice to be able to finnish them.
Of course not in 3 to 4 days as it would be the case using just the browser.
The trick is to use a download manager ;)
I used Free Download Manager - and yes it really is free!
Any other download manager or even JDownload should work the same way.
Once you installed don't be disappointed that it won't work right away with Baidu links.
These guys really don't like people downloading without their tool and even less from outside China.
The trick to make it work goes like this:
Start the download in question in the browser - one at a time only otherwise Baidu won't finnish anything and aborts the first download.
Now go on the Chrome menu button in the top right corner and select "Downloads".
A new window will pop up showing you the active download from Baidu.
There will be a link displayed which looks quite cryptic - copy it into the clipboard using a right click on it.
After that you can abort the useless download.
Now go back to FDM and do a right click into the "downloads" window - should be in the default view anyway.
Paste the link you just copied and select the download folder of your choice if you don't like the default location.
Click on ok to start the download and you will now get 30-100kb/s instead of snails pace.
At really lucky times you might even get what your downlink speed allows.
AFIAK that is pretty much the fastest you will ever get without an account.
A 750mb download takes 3-4 hours at bad times and about one hour if the servers have a little less access.
Compared to a few days and knowing the download will actually finnish complete I would call it a huge improvement.
You can add multiple links this way but you can only download one at a time.
I did my files over night and did not bother, they were all finnished the next morning.
All up a bit over 1.6GB.
Step 4: Things That Might Help You
Finding what you might need from Baidu is not as easy as with most manufacturers mainly because it is just a webservice, China's first big one.
From their main website you only find certain downloads, from Google links often pages that are long gone.
If you need a firmware and suspect Baidu might be stroing the files for the device then first check your Android settings for the device info.
Here you will find a string with the current firmware info.
If you copy the first two or three sections of it into Google and limit the search to the Baidu websites you can get a hit or several - if your firmware is a match somehow.
In other cases, especially for the S905 hardware base you might be out of luck.
For this case you can still search the web for other devices with the same hardware specs based on the amlogic chipset you have.
Quite often you will find more than one and pictures often confirm they look identical except for the writing on the box.
Search Baidu again for those devices and if you strike gold check the detailed hardware info for the device you want to try the firmware from.
One dead giveaway is often what is included and what type of image it is - some use ZIP others IMG.
To get the firmware to install you need to follow the correct procedure.
Some boxes allow you select a folder when checking the online update, others can only be updated with a file if you get the box into the recovery mode.
Most Baidu compatible boxes will have a tiny button in the HDMI port to be pressed when you power the device up.
Of course you should always try to find the firmware you currently use somewhere first, if in doubt an older version of it as it will still allow you the normal online update.
This is important in case the update goes bad and the device won't do what it should.
Most common cause is a useless remote, so have a WiFi keyboard at hand.
If the box is unresponsive, won't fully boot or does nothing at all you can still flash the original firmware to get all back working - if what you tried before was not for a totally different hardware base....
Memory, Bluetooth, extra hardware....
Let's be honest here for onece, we only really need to update the firmware if something does not work properly.
For most TV boxes that would be either Kodi not working or the missing Bluetooth support that you want for your game controller.
If only Kodi is your problem then please try a newer release of the installed version first!
Often the chinaman "forgets" to include an update routine for Kodi....
Bluetooth is a totally different story!
If your box came without hardware BT then you won't have any support for a dongle either!
I confirmed this several times on different boxes by the missing BT stacks, folders and required files.
On some boxes you can be lucky and activate BT support where you add the remote.
Using a firmware for a box that has BT support can mean you get other problems.
Double check if the same WiFi module and hardware is used as otherwise your box will be pretty much useless.
If you add you dongle to get BT with such a firmware then it will only work if the chipset of the dongle is similar or better identical to what is supported by the firmware.
Again, double check the hardware specs to spare you the disappointment.
If in doubt select a dongle that has native Android support - it will be stated in the supporting OS section of the hardware description.
These dreaded things tend to stop working if you use a different firmware that is not specified for your hardware.
This is due to the configuration and type of support in the firmware.
It pays off to save this file from your working system so you can overwrite what came with the new firmware if the remote does not fully work.