Nowadays, almost all users are aware of the presence of malicious software. Also, many people know how dangerous viruses can be. But not only a laptop risks becoming the target of a virus attack. All mobile gadgets are also of interest to the creators of virus malware, as stealing user’s data is a goal. It can be passwords for social networks accounts, Internet banking, e-commerce platforms, and other sensitive data.
The only way to protect this information is by using special antivirus applications. However, considering a wide choice of antivirus solutions in the market, both free and paid, the user will experience difficulties with selecting the right one sooner or later. The main issue to resolve is the difference between free and paid Android antivirus. Let’s examine the features of both.
Free Mobile Antivirus Apps
To begin with, there are significant differences between free and paid antiviruses. The things you should pay attention to are trust and effectiveness. According to mobile security scientists’ research, almost two-thirds of free Android antiviruses did not fulfill their declared functions in 2019.
What is even worse, sometimes such applications can detect themselves as malware, do not see real threats, and generally do nothing useful.
Only 10% of all tested applications for mobile security detected 100% of threats. These were mainly solutions from well-known antivirus product developers, like ESET, McAfee, Bitdefender, Avast, Kaspersky Lab Symantec, and others.
Many antiviruses do not scan the applications downloaded and installed by the user but only check against white and blacklists, checking only the package names, not their code. As a result, many apps are flagged as malicious by default, simply because they are not on the list.
Sometimes, this leads to paradoxes when such antiviruses can even consider themselves hostile if their authors forgot to add their product to the white list.
Nonetheless, users preferring free utilities from large developers get working but straightforward solutions that have an optimal balance of quality interface and enough functionality. As a rule, they include essential tools necessary for full Android protection, which means detecting and protecting data from all types of viruses.
Paid Android Antivirus Solutions
If comparing paid to free applications, the critical distinction is the presence of advanced features in the paid one. Some of them are:
- malicious and phishing websites protection;
- anti-spam protection;
- additional locking functions (protecting different apps with PIN-code);
- the gadget remote control and anti-theft function;
- filtering and block incoming calls and SMS;
- hiding contacts;
- virus base auto-update;
- scheduled auto-scanning and many others.
Therefore, if the user is ready to manually start a scan after downloading each new file and taking precautions when working with sensitive data, it can easily save money using the free version of mobile antivirus.
Although, in this case, it is better to use products from large and trusted developers in the market. We have already covered some of the Best Antivirus for Samsung Smartphones in our earlier posts.
Which one to choose
If the person just wants to use an Android device without overthinking about malware, spyware, potential threats, and other security-related issues, then the paid version would be more suitable. It is always necessary to remember that virus protection should be comprehensive. In this regard, some of the free antivirus software on Android failed to work or present the threat due to the lack of trust.
Lastly, it is always for the user to choose, while the decision depends on the goal. However, an antivirus alone is not enough to fully protect the device. Firewall and real-time attack protection should also be used. Before installing third-party applications or connecting an SD card, they always should be checked for malware using additional protective utilities. Thus, it is always better to feel safe than sorry.