What with a new Android security scare story emerging every other day, the range of antivirus apps for Google’s smartphone OS is also being bolstered on a routine basis. One of the most popular downloads in this field is avast! Mobile Security which promises to block hackers form your handset, as well as protecting it from theft. Does it live up to the likes of Lookout and Dr. Web? Let’s see…
There are so many antivirus apps available for Android which all operate along the same lines that it’s actually quite difficult to determine the best in its field. Of all the Android security apps we’ve tested, avast! counts as one of the most comprehensive with a virus scanner, web shield, SMS and Call Filter and Anti-Theft protection all crammed behind its nimble menu system.
The anti-virus technology behind avast! is extremely user friendly with the opportunity to scan apps, scan your handset’s SD card and set automated scans all available from one screen. As you’d expect, our Android handset was free from any nasty bugs but given the avast! team are security pros we’d hope they’d be efficiently discovered and ruthlessly purged in a worse.
Moving onto the more interesting stuff, Privacy Advisor collects the permissions you have offorded various apps when downloading them and shocked us a little with the number to whom we’d granted access to our messages. SMS and Call filter was also a useful and inadvertently amusing tool for blocking calls from unwanted sources at specific times of the day.
The really key feature to set avast! out form the pack though is its Anti-Theft safeguards which promised us a whole load of remote access options such as GPS location, “Lost” notification and memory wipe. Unfortunately, we never got to test any of these out because, despite trying to set up the feature on two different handsets, it failed to install.
Even without Anti-Theft, avast! is still a good antivirus app, just one lacking in a truly outstanding feature. If we were to be kind and gift anti-theft the benefit of the doubt, it still doesn’t allow for any remote data backup which is pretty crucial in a top of the range antivirus app.
The Bottom Line
Avast! is a patchy free antivirus download
Version reviewed 1.0.1282
Requires Android 2.1 or higher