Saturday, 17 December 2011
Virus scanner avast finds, locks, and wipes your phone and gets better if you root your phone
The most popular free antivirus app for Android is Lookout, but for how long? Avast is done beta testing. The paint is not dry yet, but it already blows Lookout out of the water.
Whether you really need a virus scanner on your Android phone is open for debate. I'd say better safe than sorry, especially if you're one of those people who likes to try lots of new apps from all over the internet.
But what makes avast really worth installing are its other features. Where other security apps see rooting as the root of all evil, avast adds extra security options to rooted phones that can make the difference between keeping your phone safe or having your data stolen.
If your phone is rooted (and if you read this blog you probably rooted your phone the day you took it out of the box) avast doubles as a firewall. It doesn't have the custom scripts and logging that DroidWall does, but it has something else. Just like DroidWall, avast can stop apps from going online through WiFi, mobile data, or both. But avast gives you an extra option: you can allow apps to use your data connection in your own country, but not when roaming abroad.
Find, lock, and wipe lost phones
And now for the number one reason to grab a copy of avast from the market: its lost phone options.
Avast can locate your phone, make it scream, SMS you its new phone number if someone changes the SIM card, lock it, wipe it (and your SD card too), block access to the settings, force the data connection to stay on so you don't lose track of your phone, and even make its anti-theft/lost phone features survive a hard reset.
The remote control options only work by SMS, but avast promised that they will add web-based control early 2012. Something to look out for, although I guess Lookout has a different view.
Update: web-based remote control has arrived.
Other security apps have remote control features too, but avast gives it all away for free.
• avast! (Android Market)