Jan 08 AT 12:02 PM Edgar Cervantes 60 Comments

avast! Free Mobile Security – The best anti-theft solution on the market


After coming out of Beta toward the end of December, avast! Free Mobile Security has gained much attention. These guys are offering everything the other anti-virus/security apps bring to the table and then some. Complete with root features (yes, you heard that right), this is the fullest security app we have ever used. All for a price everyone can afford – free.

We’ve recently been talking about the idea of anti-virus apps in the Android ecosystem. A Googler has even gone into detail, mentioning that “virus companies are playing on your fears to try to sell you BS protection software for Android, RIM and iOS.” He then goes on to call them charlatans and scammers.

There are two main types of dangers, though: malware/phishing (rare, but possible) and physically loosing your device. Android holds a huge market and may become a main target soon. This is why Windows users are at more danger than other PC operating systems.

Owning an Android smartphone comes with great responsibilities. These gadgets are not only nice and expensive, but their value extends to its power. These are very powerful devices and usually hold information that should not fall into the wrong hands, whether it be physically or virtually. One of the apps that best protects you happens to be avast! Mobile Security, so let’s take a look at its features.

Virus Protection

While not the most exciting (because all other competing apps offer it), this is the main function of the avast! app. There are certain apps or files that will put your device and private information at risk. There are many who believe smart app-shopping can get rid of such worries.

It is definitely good to read app reviews, stick to official app stores (avoid piracy), revise the permissions and make sure you do not download a “fake” app. These practices will put you in a safe position, but many users are not always that attentive. Even if they are, there’s always a small risk.

A bit of extra protection has never harmed anyone (and it isn’t really a battery hog). Avast! Mobile Security will spot any app or file that is potentially dangerous. This app allows you to run full scans on both your phone and your microSD card. If it happens to find a dangerous app/file, a notification will alert you and give you the option to delete it.

It is also important to note that avast! is very proud of its virus protection software. They attest to the fact that this is no simple black-list virus protection. Avast! looks into every file and app, searching deep into its backbone for any dangerous coding.

The avast! software also checks every app that is installed on your device, informing you if it is secure before you ever use it. This happens right at the moment of installation (just like Lookout and some other competitors). I have never ran into any virus/malware on my device, but we saw a good demonstration straight from the avast! team. It works as advertised.

Privacy Advisor

This is a very simple and straight-forward feature and can also be very helpful. Privacy Advisor looks into each app, letting you know which have access to potentially dangerous permissions. It organizes them by permission category.

After accessing the Privacy Advisor window, there will be a list of permissions with a number right next to it. This indicates how many apps have access to the given permission. This includes apps that have access to your location, phone identity info, contacts, etc.

After tapping on a permission, it will display all the apps that have access to it. You can see more details by tapping on specific apps. You can access the system info, force close it, and read what each permission allows the application to do. It’s simple and organized and may help you spot which apps have access to things that they probably should not.

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Hello, I am Edgar Cervantes. I am an avid Android fan, and keeping myself updated on the topic is part of my daily life. I will always work hard to give the best of me to our community of Android enthusiasts, and I am very honored to be part of this ship. Hopefully we can all enjoy sharing our knowledge and opinions!

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  • http://goo.gl/tQ2E wwJOSHdo

    Mine keeps saying the definitions are out of date, but won’t let me update! Gerrrr

    • aranea

      I have the same problem. If I go through the app itself and check for updates then it says it’s up to date.

    • vid500

      Yes mine to, i had to restart the device to update. But now it looks like it works just fine.

      • aranea

        Hmm I haven’t tried restarting. I’ll try it next time. Do you guys have the password protection to open the app too? And I run this on my Atrix. I’m trying to find some common ground that may help them solve the problem.

  • staryoshi

    I dabbled with the app and it was solid – I’ve had great experiences with Avast! on the PC in the past, too. I will consider using it again if I root my phone.

    This article reads more like a paid advertisement than an overview, though… (Even though it’s for a free product) – Just my two cents.

  • Donald Williams

    Downloaded and giving it a try. I am sure I dont need it but ya never know when it may come in handy especially since i have some shady workers.

  • spazby

    I have lookout and am very happy with it…

  • http://youtube.com/user/jawckamoe Marcus

    I downloaded this app when you guys mentioned it a couple of weeks ago. I used Lookout before and when I downloaded avast!, I fell in love. It was really the root features that made me stay with avast!. I highly recommend this app. The anti-theft settings are great, and everything about it is nice and smooth.

  • David Hughes

    Great app, I like the enhancments when rooted too, Galaxy Nexus

  • http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/profile.php?id=583695634&ref=profile Rahul Singh

    I have been using this app for about 2-3 weeks and it’s the best mobile security.. and if your phone is rooted you can access the firewall feature.. great app!

  • Ivan Samuelson

    What about recovery mode and preventing flashing a rom or doing an sbf? That would wipe out the app.

    • Probiewankenobi

      One of the features that you get if your phone is rooted, is the ability to install the app deep into the phone so that it won’t get erased from a hard-reset.

  • McLovin

    I also downloaded this a few weeks ago and was very impressed. I’ve had Lookout Mobile Security installed since the beginning. I got a bit concerned a while back with the reports that all these apps were not very good at detection.


    So I went crazy and downloaded several. But then the Google guys came out and said it was all scare tactics.


    I noticed my phone becoming very sluggish and have since uninstalled most all of them. My phone runs much faster now. LOL

  • cristian cristiandonose

    Coming from Bitdefender and im very happy i did because this free and much better app.

  • Lightning7

    Features (especially stealth mode) are all very essential just for added protection. Prevention is better than cure.

  • romy134

    Got it, works good. Now just need to get root..

  • http://alxrock.deviantart.com alxrock

    I used to have Lookout, and stuck with it for about a year and a half (One year with Lookout Premium thanks to winning a free 1-year subscription). I just switched to Avast a few weeks ago and have been really impressed with all the features.
    I’m not worried about viruses and just keep an eye out for sketchy apps and permissions, but I like the lock, wipe, and tracking abilities. Plus if I decide to root again, there are even more great features I can tap into.

    • R.S

      Like mentioned last time Avast was written about here on Android and Me, I too had a subscription to Lookout premium. It worked great but since I never lost my phone, I didn’t really use the premium features.

      Obviously you can’t put a price on peace of mind but if Avast offers the same, if not more than Lookout, for free, why would I or anyone else pay for the premium services of Lookout that we might never need.

      • http://alxrock.deviantart.com alxrock

        Exactly. I didn’t want to pay annually for a subscription, so I almost bought Cerberus. Luckily I started seeing a lot of good reviews for Avast and realized they offered everything I wanted and more for free.

  • Ps3y3Ops

    I find that in most cases it is better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. Like insurance, for instance.

  • T1beriu

    This clearly is a paid for review.

    • raptor

      A&m should disclose when this is paid ad.

    • Jennifer

      How does it look like a paid review? It looks like all their reviews, talks about the features and what he thinks of them. Just because it is a good review does not mean its paid. I am using the app and it works exactly like they said with the only thing I noticed is that it keeps telling me the defintions are out of date even though it says its up to date. Other then that no problems.

  • 666

    3 page article of a app? Hmmm… I wonder how much Androidandme got paid to post this up.

  • T1beriu

    Another example of Avast paying another website to advertise their products: http://android.modaco.com/page/news/_/android/avast-mobile-security-brings-fanastic-fre-r161

  • sylar

    Yea I like this app, I downloaded it when it was still in beta and was impressed with it then and even more now that is it out of beta. It seems to work well and has never reported me having a virus but then its hard to really know isn’t it. Still it has plenty of nice functions.

  • ArticulateFool

    One of the best apps out there!

    I would like to see some NFC security measures put into place.

  • _Diego

    I had lookout but uninstalled it since I used the free version up to now. I am very pleased to see them go moblie. As you already mentioned, they have a lot of features, serious anti-theft protection and all of that for free. Combination of success!

  • Prime

    Love avast! I’ve been using it for years on my pc, and never ran into any problems!

  • Scott

    I tried this app and I loved the breadth of features, but it unfortunately isn’t as intuitive as Lookout. I really like Lookout’s web interface for locating/wiping the device so I think I’ll stick with that. As far as the premium features, I haven’t signed up for them and probably won’t unless I actually lose-lose my phone and need to lock/wipe it. No sense in me paying for those features “in case” I lose my phone when you can simply sign up for them on a whim if needed. I’d like to use Avast as that’s what I use on my computers at home, but it offered more than I feel I need.

  • raptor

    Every novice hack will say u thank you for rooting when u will catch his virus or keylogger via app, email or website

    • TheCraiggers

      Are you a shill for Motorola, or just not very smart in general? You have to give permission to an app for it to use root.

  • Rodd Clarkson

    Windows wasn’t the most targeted because it was the most popular, it was targeted because it was the most insecure. For example when Linux and Apache had 70% of the Web server market compared to windows and IIS, it was the Windows product that was attacked because it was vastly more insecure. Keep in mind that both Linux and Apache are open source so source code availability has little to do with security.

    • TheCraiggers

      Are you seriously comparing the desktop PC market to the server market?

  • JustaCriticalThinker

    I know Android and Me writers can clearly understand the difference between “lose” and “loose” and their respective conjugations. Therefore, this must not have been written by this site and is instead clearly a paid advertisement.

    Either way, shame trying to pass this off as an article OR shame on your grasp of writing.

    • gpmillerjax

      This same article is on 32 other websites so it is safe to say that Androidandme did not write it.

      • gpmillerjax

        Also you don’t need this app on your Android device….listen to Google, they know what they are talking about.

  • Gordon

    AVAST Software a.s.
    (formerly ALWIL Software a.s.)
    Trianon Office Building
    Budejovicka 1518/13a
    140 00, Prague 4
    Czech Republic

    Czech Republic???????????

    NO THANKS!!!

  • lokidokie

    I really don’t see the point of virus protection on android.
    I’ve never used any and never had a problem.
    Though I do use avast for my PC.

    • Gordon

      i use Lookout. i like it for the -

      1. “Find My Phone” feature.
      2. App Scan for Spyware. i purposely installed “SMS Replicator” on my EVO and then scanned it with Lookout. Lookout detected it. i like that.

  • Chad

    This is the best mobile security app available for your phone if you don’t get this your undermining your security, I got this the day it hit the app market, especially since it’s free with all the features it packs. I went to T-Mo to get my sim card updated on saturday i changed the sim and turn my phone back on, I was with my girlfriend as soon as I turned the phone back on with the new sim it sent my girlfriend a GPS map of where my phone was, the IMEI number and the telephone number of the sim that was just placed inside. I was just going through a routine sim card upgrade but if my phone was stolen this would have been great protection. It also asked me for my pin once i restarted if it’s stolen and the thief doesn’t know the pin, it’ll lock your phone and you can control your phone remotely from the numbers you have listed on file, for me it’s my gf and brother. great security. get this app because it’s the best security app available in the market, it’s better than Lookout, especially if you have a high end, expensive phone or have valuable data on your phone.

  • Tom

    I have a great app. What does Android & Me charges for a “review” for page?

  • http://www.openintro.com OpenIntro

    What’s the battery life footprint like when using a mobile security application like this? Is it not always running?

  • Gordon

    i’ve read that Lookout uses about the same energy of an average email sent/received over data a day.

  • Voliam

    While the need for this may be minimal for those that aren’t rooted, don’t sideload apps, and practice safe surfing, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as they say.
    A recent article warned of the increase, in 2012, of hackers concentrating more on attacking mobile OSs, due to the rapid proliferation of mobile technology. That presents a whole new world of possibilities and challenges to hackers.
    After all, isn’t that what they live for?

  • Khayman

    I’ve used Avast, think its a great app, but really is a battery hog on my HTC Sensation. Getting half the battery life I did before. Have gone back to Lookout until it gets sorted!!

  • vid500

    I’m using it sience it came out and I’m very satisfied. I do not see a dramatic decrease of the battery power. But I still doubt the need of antivirus protection for android devices. But it can’t hurt.

  • Ngosia

    Good article,
    I am a blogger in Kenya and my phone McFee which I have been hesitant to activate since I do not have a second line for notification.
    I will give this a try coz I hate having more than one phone. I am also looking to have guest writers on my blog tech101kenya.blogspot.com. Anyone willing to be heard in this part of the world?

  • FormerYooper

    So … I have bought my first tablet (Lenovo Ideapad K1) and have installed Avast Mobile Security on it. Now, please don’t think I’m dumb … but here is my question. To have the Avast protection working, I have to have the Avast Mobile Security app running right? I know it’s a dumb question, but like I said, this is my first tablet & first experience with Android …. so I just don’t know.

    Just having Avast installed on my windows system, it’s running all the time. I just need to know how I know it is protecting my Android tablet.

    Thank you in advance for your help.

  • mudassir.ali

    deh 22 jamaro

  • Jonas
  • Vinayak Patel

    I downloaded theftaware months before on ma mobile as an application to check it out. I don’t know what kinda data did I feed in the starting of it. After certain time, I deleted theftaware application but somehow one of my friend is still getting a message regarding theftaware 35 to 40 times in a day.

    I wanna stop those messages at anyhow. I don’t wanna any messages. I got irritated by those messages.

    Please help me out, I wanna come out it asap.

    Waiting for your reply.

  • Proud Ndlovu

    Good for business good for mobile

  • abi

    Has anyone used Avast Locate function? It works perfectly for every time I test it but I find out within a week my husband has been an unknown but the same house a few times. He denies he has been away from home and even has her mother(I don’t trust her) as witness. However, I can’t tell the truth that I have installed the Avast apps in his phone. Will the function really screw up sometime? Every time when he appears in the house Avast is not using GPS, once it was on WIFI(accuracy 39m), twice on network(75m). The house is at least 10 km away. What should I trust?

  • mahfooz rubai

    No comment at all thank you!

  • George Mensah

    I George Mensah of Serendi Palm, activated avast anti-theft on my phone; Sumsung Galaxy Pocket S5300. I changed my chip and put my airtel line to activate internet bundle, but unfortunately for me you’ve locked up my phone. Please, what should i do to unlock it?

  • Harry John

    Can someone please tell me whether apps suggested on this page are worth installing or not..

  • Hargun

    Are these apps actually worth installing.. Which have been provided in link below

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  • dan

    What’s the perfect match for windows phone. I’ll be glad to have such an app