09/08/2013

Review: Bitdefender Antivirus Free for Android keeps it secure, simple and light

With more and more malware coming on to celebrate the increasing popularity of Android ecosystem, it is increasingly becoming necessary to have an efficient Anti-virus installed. As I mostly stick to Safety Guidelines like, not sideloading untrusted applications and checking my sd card files on PC for any virus, I tended to stay away from an antivirus app on my android device. The reason being most of them are battery hoggers and heavy.

That’s where Bitdefender Antivirus Free for Android jumps in. I shall be discussing me experience with the antivirus in detail in this post. I don’t think that the name “Bitdefender” needs any introduction in the antivirus industry. Bitdefender Antivirus for PC has been a award winning product for years and is among the most popular security softwares for PC.

When you open the app for the first time, you are welcomed by a License agreement. If you have ample free time, do give it a careful read, though I was unable to find anything questionable here.

Antivirus Free: Simplistic UI, Minimal Interaction Required

As soon as you agree to the terms, you will be greeted with a minimal layout. A big colored Scan button will allow you to scan your complete device for any malicious looking app or file. The virus database is stored online and that’s why you will need to be connected to the internet while running the scan, That isn’t anything you will question since most of us are connected 24x7 to the internet anyways. The plus point of the databses being stored in the cloud is that you won’t ever need to manually update your virus database, a feat rarely showcased in any other Android antivirus app I’ve used. Also, it counts for a better accuracy in scan results. (Remember AVG falsely flagging Nova Launcher as virus?)

The color of the Scan button is an indicator of your Android Device’s health status. The three colors you see everyday at traffic signals indicate the normal meanings: Green signalling that your device is pretty secure, Yellow indicates that some not-so-critical issue has been found and the scary Red means that you might be under attack need to take some immediate action.

Taking Antivirus Free on a Test Ride:

The scan flagged Z4root app, the app which was used to root good ol’ Froyo devices, as a virus. The app itself isn’t a virus but contains an exploit. Most PC antiviruses mark it as virus, so I had installed it intentionally for giving AntiVirus Free a test ride. It also marked the apk file of the same application I had stored in the sd card as a Virus. Understandably, the Scan button got fiery and turned Red. As soon as I removed the culprit application and apk file, all was well and the Good Green light replaced the Red one. Simple.

Configuring Antivirus Free:

At about 1 megabytes, the application is pretty lightweight and that explains for the point I mentioned earlier about the app not being a battery hogger. The only service running in the background is the one that keeps checking installation of new apps for virus protection. This service, named AutoPilot, can be turned off by tapping the Menu icon in the app (the three dots) and jumping to Settings. The only two other configurable options Settings include an option to toggle scanning files present in sd card (both internal and external) and to upgrade to Advanced Protection which offers features such as Web Security, Anti-theft among others.

Screenshots:

Click any screenshot to view it in full size.








Conclusion:

We really loved the fact that you can just install the app and forget everything. Just leave the Settings as it is and you will stay protected without you needing to do anything. The simplicity and lightness of the app is almost unmatched. AntiVirus Free might not provide the Most Advanced Protection ever, but it is still good great at what it does. On a 10 point scale, we shall give it 8.5 points. A 4.6 star rating on the Play Store (play store ratings are out of 5) speaks volumes about the app.

Note: Though this review was sponsored, we have written our honest experience with the app. Under no circumstances we shall, ever, accept a payment for a biased review.
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