Avast Mobile Security and AntiVirus is one of the most popular and widely acclaimed malware protection software in the market. It offers absolute handy security ad backup tools for Android. You might want to shed some bucks to access Premium tools, which offers you abilities much more than mere virus scanning.
First-rated in Avast are its anti-theft tools, installed as a particular, invisible app that even the thieves can’t remove. You can use advanced web console or text message commands from another device, to catch a thief red-handed by secretly capturing a photo with device’s front/rear camera. It can also secretly record audio and then you can download both – photo and video on your PC.
You can also use the alternate option of shame a pickpocket by activating a siren which also reads aloud a message: this phone has been lost or stolen. It won’t get silence even on turning down the volume.
Avast Setup and Interface
Installing Avast is a matter of minutes. Just download it from the Google Play Store and submit your email address and a password to create an Avast account. Click on the link in confirmation email to initiate the setup process.
Entering license key to upgrade free version to premium is bit complex, though. Except for upgrade process, the entire installation and setup is not too complex.
Avast Mobile security & antivirus – Locking lost device
If your device has been lost or stolen, it can be remotely located on a map, locked, or even erased. Other significant features are – app locking, which prompts users to enter a PIN to open specific apps. It comes handy while blocking access to Play Store or web browser if you regularly play kids play games on your phone or use it.
An in-built firewall lets you block specific apps from using 3G, Wi-Fi, or roaming data. Note that the handset needs to be rooted to access this feature. Something that also annoys you is that Avast’s backup and anti-theft features are broken into several apps. If you wish to use full suite functionality of Avast, you need to download Avast Anti-Theft and Avast Mobile backup and Restore.
Avast mobile security interface is clean and easy-to-navigate. With the help of a status indicator at the top of the home screen, you can check if all of the suit’s proactive features are enabled (green), or a few are disabled (orange), or if all are disabled (red).
You can also change your Avast PIN in the Settings menu, or manage automatic updates and enables additional features as well, like PUP (potentially unwanted program) detection, and CPU Wakelock, which is responsible to keep CPU running while Avast is scanning for viruses, even when the device is in sleep mode!
Threat detection and performance
When you tap on Run Scan in the Virus Scanner menu, it launches a manual scan that scans all installed apps for potential or suspicious threats. You can set Avast to check all downloaded files or selected folders. Following the hands-off approach, you can set up scheduled scanning to run on specific days of the week at the time you decide.
When it comes to real-time protection, Avast flaunts an App Shield that automatically scans apps as soon as they are installed and every time they are launched. Other features include File Shield that scans files when they are read and when you write to them, a Message Shield that scans text messages, and a Web Shield that scans all URLs for viruses and malicious activity. The Web Shield works well with the default Android browser (or simply Browser), Amazon Silk, Google Chrome, Boat Browser Mini, and Boat Browser.
Experimental support for Dolphin Browser Mini is also offered.
There are a couple of other useful features you will worth checking and using.
Anti-theft and data privacy
Like many other popular Android antivirus apps, Avast mobile security and antivirus also lets you enable anti-theft commands via simple text message or the Web in case your device is stolen or lost. You can lock your device, locate it, erase data, or activate a loud alarm (as mentioned in introduction).
The list of features it offer for data protection and anti-theft are many, and of course, useful. A privacy adviser displays the number of apps on your device that stores your location info and user behaviour, and show in-app ads. There’s a call and text filter which is the best even in any antivirus app.
Access Avast’s web console at my.avast.com and then manage your subscriptions across all devices. It will show all available devices on the top-right corner of the dashboard. When you click on any of the devices, it opens up a new window with device info on the right of the screen.
It will also display a protection indicator on the left, and a list of anti-theft commands at the bottom. Clicking on the Info button at the top right corner of the windows enables you to access media captured using Avast’s anti-theft commands.
Avast – Premium vs. Lite
You can simply upgrade to Avast Mobile Security and Antivirus Premium with either an annual subscription of $14.99 or am monthly subscription of $1.99. You will find the free version almost same like Premium one except for Ad Detector, geofencing and backup of video, audio and apps. Other properties not available in the Avast free version are abilities to send messages from phone, take pictures via front camera, and retrieve data from your phone.
With call blocking on Avast mobile security & antivirus, you can block texts messages from selected contacts or callers according to a schedule of your choice. Premium users can download the separate mobile backup app for free to synchronize duplicate of your photos, videos, music, and app files to a Google Drive account. Forget not that Android and other Google services already offer backup such data, hence making its value limited.
Where Avast lacks is shockingly its antivirus protection itself! On one hand it could block 100 percent of the malicious apps introduced to it by a test, on the other hand it could let you download and even store a test virus that other security apps blocked or isolated immediately.
Only when doing a full-system scan, it could detect and eject the Trojan. In the same manner, Avast does not stop you or alerts from opening sites in any of the genuine phishing emails.
- Basic interface
- Reliable malware protection
- Multiple anti-theft and privacy tools
- Most of the features for free
- Support many popular browsers
- Spy camera options lack
- Complex web interface
- Complicated anti-theft setup
- Lockscreen issue
- Features broken into several apps
- Missing documentation for some features
The bottom line
Avast is excellent Android malware protection software. It comes with a staggering array of privacy protection features and anti-theft tools. It has just about everything you need related to security, and then some more. Avast mobile security and antivirus is a comprehensive suite of backup tools with security features.
It has special anti-theft properties to, yet some more proactive features would have been appreciated. The free software is tailor-made for tinkerers who are ready to get familiar with some Avast’s ins and outs.
Read more about antivirus at: Full review – AVG AntiVirus Pro for Android Security