G Data MobileSecurity - Are You Sure You're Safe?
Tested version: MSAPGM_22.38
Latest version: 24.4.3
Requires Android: from 2.1
When it comes to Android, questions of security and malware have issues of heated debate and discussion in recent months. Many people are rightly worried about how safe their personal information really is on their smartphone. With more people switching over to Androids, it is only natural that hackers and spammers worldwide will redirect their efforts towards this new target group.
Find out whether the G Data MobileSecurity firewall can help protect your phone or if it’s yet another pointless piece of bloatware. All of this and more in today’s review.
Check out our new G Data MobileSecurity forum thread for more discussion.
Features & Use
Before we get started, let me just say that I have little faith in Android antivirus software. I believe that a majority of users can prevent malware from getting onto their phones by only downloading reputable and trusted apps.
For the purposes of this test, however, I went a bit overboard and downloaded just about every kind of suspicious looking app from the Android Market. Wallpaper apps, rip-offs of famous games – I downloaded them all just to see how my phone would react.
Unfortunately, this whole experiment did not leave me with a positive impression of G-Data. According to G Data MobileSecurity, my phone was totally malware-free and safe to use. Somehow I seriously doubt the validity of these results.
So what else can G Data MobileSecurity do aside from scanning my phone for nonexistent malware? Not a whole lot, actually. The only useful feature is the display of all the permissions used by a specific app. I admit that some users may find this feature useful, but it doesn’t really prevent malware from creeping onto your phone.
And that’s the biggest problem with G-Data: the app does absolutely nothing (except for those two functions mentioned), but asks users to shell out €9.99 for getting program updates. Those of you that have already paid for the PC version of the program do not have to pay the extra money per year. But the worst part is that there is absolutely no mention of this price on the app’s market description, so people are tricked into downloading what they think is a free app before asking them to pay a hefty sum to keep the app up-to-date. How sneaky and dishonest of them!
In addition to the regular virus scan, there is also the so-called LiveScan that scans for malware right after the app gets installed. Unfortunately, the LiveScan comes with an extremely annoying notification icon that just sits in your status bar.
What is missing from G Data MobileSecurity? Definitely, the live webpage scanning is an important feature that is completely missing from the app. Wouldn’t it be nice to know if a mobile webpage contains malware before you access it or cache it for ReaditLater? Yet G Data just fails to provide the essential antivirus tools that users have grown accustomed to.
It’s difficult to sum up this app, but I just don’t see a point in downloading G Data MobileSecurity. I believe that virus scanners are superfluous when you make sure to stay away from sketchy, unprofessional and suspicious apps. It’s great to see what kind of permissions an app requires, but there are much better apps out there that can do the same thing (see LBE).
G Data MobileSecurity is one of those apps that is trying to make money on people’s unfounded fears of Android malware. But if I were you, I would think long and hard before paying €9.99 for an antivirus app that may not even protect you.
Screen & Controls
The user interface and controls of G Data MobileSecurity are pleasant enough, but not anything out of the ordinary. It’s basically just a bunch of standard buttons on a white background. A warning telling you to purchase the latest version of the app fills a good two-thirds of the screen. That’s what I call bad ad placement. Otherwise, the app is simple to use, so no problems there.
Speed & Stability
This virus scan runs very quickly, permissions are displayed immediately and the program never crashes. Unfortunately, I feel like the app sucks too much battery power when in live-mode. But one thing is for sure – G Data MobileSecurity sure is fast.
It’s difficult to judge how much is too much when paying for an antivirus program. With G Data MobileSecurity, however, €9.99 per year is obviously a rip-off given the fact that this app may not even really protect you. And if you’re just looking for an app that scans for permissions there are better (and cheaper) options out there on the market.