Years back, people used to have intense discussions on whether Android devices need antivirus apps or not. In fact, most people thought that, because Android was based on Linux, there is no need to worry about any threats. After all these years, however, we have come to a conclusion — especially in the lights of the several malware, spyware and adware attacks we have seen. In addition to that, we have come across some actually malicious Android apps too. Now, it’s pretty much clear that Android devices need antivirus apps for sure.
But, there’s another question to be asked — and that’s between free and paid antivirus apps for Android. It is clear that the choice isn’t simple. I mean, most people go for free Android antivirus programs, but that is not enough. That’s a kind of hasty decision that you cannot depend upon. In this article, we can have a deep discussion on how you can choose between free and paid antivirus app for Android. We will take a look at the different aspects of having an antivirus app and the major differences between the free and paid ones.
Let’s start everything with an introduction to Android antivirus apps.
Android Antivirus Apps — the Basics
Technically speaking, there’s something wrong with the term, ‘Android antivirus apps’. For those who know, Virus is something that replicates itself quickly enough to damage your system resources. Looking at things from that perspective, you cannot find many Android viruses in the virtual world. So, what do we call all the threats we find in Android devices? They are basically malicious code that can steal your data and privacy. It is possible to make a few sub-classifications, but these threats are basically bad code or apps. In fact, the major purpose of an antivirus app is to prevent these attacks.
As you know, there are many developers in the world of Android antivirus apps. For instance, we can take a bunch of the popular ones, such as AVG, Bitdefender, Avast, Kaspersky etc. All the developers are offering a lot of multi-platform software as well. And we can count their Android counterparts as well. In this case too, there is the room for choice. For instance, if we take the case of AVG Antivirus for Android, you can spot two variants — Free and Premium. Each of the variants has their unique features. We will check out common features we find in free antivirus programs, shall we?
Standard Features in Free Android Antivirus
Let’s just list down some of the common features you’d spot in Free Android Antivirus apps, even if they are some of the best.
- Scanning: Antivirus apps will scan your Android device thoroughly for finding threats, of many kinds. For instance, it will spot dangerous apps you have installed and if the current apps have some issues in code. It mostly uses predefined databases and algorithms to tell apart the good and bad apps. The scanning part takes care of downloaded files and other files too. In most antivirus programs, you will have an option to choose the intensity of the scanning — Quick, Normal, Deep etc.
- Anti-Theft: It’s another common and noteworthy feature we find in Android antivirus apps. This is a great option due to many reasons. Chances are that you are not really interested in the Google’s own option for tracking your phone if it’s lost. Antivirus programs offer a better way to do the same — without actually relying on Google servers.
- App Lock: Most Android phones now come with in-built option for locking specific apps, apart from a common screen-lock. For those who don’t have privilege, Antivirus App Locks are fine.
So, these three are the common features you’d spot in a free antivirus program for Android. It sounds cool, doesn’t it? Wait, there’s a dark side too.
Disadvantages of Free Android Antivirus
People say nothing’s free in this world. So, technically, you don’t technically get a software product for free.
The biggest threat here is privacy itself. In this world of technology, data is more valuable than anything else. And you cannot keep your mouth closed when someone’s stealing your private data, however small it may be. When you use a free antivirus program, you pose yourself to such a threat. Some developers are reported to steal personally-identifiable and traceable information from the users and sell it for third-parties. It will be used mostly for advertising purposes, but it’s your privacy, after all.
It might not happen with authentic developers like AVG or Bitdefender, but not all developers are right. In a way or another, all developers try to steal your personal information. And, what’s more, according to some surveys, free antivirus apps consume more resources than the paid ones. This would end up having a lot of issues like battery draining and basic device slow-down. We don’t think any of you needs these things as far as a smooth smartphone experience is concerned.
Why Paid Android Antivirus?
Now that you know the disadvantages of sticking onto free Android antivirus apps, we’ve some catalysts to help you decide. Following are the extra features you’d find in paid antivirus apps, from popular developers.
- App Backup: Some paid Android antivirus apps let you back up important app data as well. So, even if you lose your data by any chance, you have a way to recover it. This is a great feature for the kind of people who use Android devices for advanced tasks like development or something.
- Device Lock: Okay, imagine this scenario of getting your Android device stolen. If you are someone who values the confidentiality of data, the antivirus apps can help you. This feature would set up an option where the device will be locked upon SIM-card change. At the least, the thief won’t get access to the data you’ve stored, which is a great solace.
- Some programs also let you prevent unauthorized access to your device. For instance, if a person is trying to get into your device — obviously, by entering the wrong passcodes —, a picture will be taken and sent to you. Similarly, some useful utilities are included.
- If we take the case of top-end mobile security suites, they may have a Kids-friendly section too. This utility allows a parent to know and control what their kids are doing.
We hope you’re clear about the major perks of having a paid antivirus app for Android, apart from the easy usage and privacy-friendly environment.
Have you made your selection between free and paid antivirus apps for Android? It can be tough but it is an awesome thing if you can go with the paid version. Not only are you getting one of the best Antivirus apps for Android, but you are getting some extra privacy. Personally speaking, I’d always prefer paid antivirus to the free counterparts. We hope that works for everyone who needs the advanced features and privacy.