ESET is one of the important players in the global security market, a company that is known for its efficient antivirus software. As mobile devices have boomed in popularity, so have mobile malware threats, which are now increasingly more common, so ESET had to make an entrance on the Android market too. Their antivirus app for Android smartphones and tablets is called ESET Mobile Security for Android, and it promises to protect you against malware threats and phishing websites, and also help you in case your Android smartphone is lost or stolen. We have been using and testing this app for a week, and now we would like to share our opinion, in this review:
What can ESET Mobile Security for Android do for you?
ESET Mobile Security for Android is more than a simple antivirus app for your Android smartphone and other devices. It is a complete security suite, with a lot of different tools that were all designed to protect your mobile Android devices. ESET Mobile Security for Android is available to download and use for free, in the Google Play Store. However, if you want to use all the tools and features it offers, you will have to buy a license from ESET.
If you are installing the free version of ESET Mobile Security for Android, you get:
- Real-time scanning
- Security Report
- Activity Log
- Remote Lock
- Remote Siren
- Tablet support
If you buy a Premium license for the full ESET Mobile Security for Android, you also get access to the following:
- App Lock
- Proactive Anti-Theft
- Scheduled Scanning
- Low Battery Alert
- Automatic update of the virus database
- Connected Home Monitor
- Security Audit
Pros and cons
Here are some of the most important positives to consider about ESET Mobile Security for Android:
- The user interface has a beautiful design, that is easy to use and understand
- It offers good anti-malware protection
- The anti-phishing protection you get in Google Chrome is excellent
- The anti-theft features work well
- The app locking feature is effective
- The Connected Home Monitor lets you see what devices are vulnerable in your home WiFi network
We did not find any negative aspect that’s worth mentioning as a downside.
ESET Mobile Security for Android is a security app for Android that we trust to do a good job when it comes to blocking malware that can get on your device from an untrustworthy app, or from a file that you downloaded. We also trust ESET when it comes to the protection it offers against phishing websites, and we like the anti-theft options you get from this app. Considering all these benefits, but also the fact that the annual premium subscription is reasonable, we recommend ESET Mobile Security for Android to all our readers who own Android devices. It is an excellent choice, which can offer complete protection on all your Android smartphones and tablets.
Setting up ESET Mobile Security for Android
After you install ESET Mobile Security on your smartphone or tablet, open it, and the app asks you to walk through a few configuration steps. First, you have to tell it what country you live in and the language in which you want to use the app. You can also opt to send diagnostic and usage data to ESET and to receive promotional offers from ESET. We appreciate the fact that these options are off by default.
Next, you have to allow the app access to read the files on your device; otherwise, it cannot search for threats and keep it safe.
To finish the initial configuration, the app asks you to choose the email address that you want to use for registering, after which you must wait for a few moments until the app communicates with ESET’s servers.
Once you have gone through all the initial settings, ESET Mobile Security for Android shows you an offer to buy a Premium license at a discounted price. Then, it loads its user interface and starts an automatic scan of the device.
ESET Mobile Security for Android is easy to download and install, and the initial setup wizard is easy to go through.
As you can see in the screenshot below, the start page of the ESET Mobile Security for Android app acts as a dashboard in which you will get notifications about the way you can improve your security, see what activities have been performed recently and also access the security modules available. This dashboard has a lot of information and buttons on it, and it is likely not to fit on a single screen, so you will have to scroll to see everything on it.
Maybe you have noticed that on our smartphone, ESET Mobile Security for Android did not have all its features and tools enabled. The ones marked with a green checkmark are active and OK, the blue ones are informative, and what is yellow requires the user’s intervention.
ESET Mobile Security for Android has two different antivirus scanning modes, it offers you the ability to schedule automatic scans, and it also includes a real-time antivirus scanning engine.
When you open the Antivirus from ESET Mobile Security for Android, you are greeted by a large Scan Device button. By default, tapping this button launches a Smart antivirus scan. However, if you want to, you can also run an In-Depth scan. To configure ESET Mobile Security for Android to do that, you have to set the Scan level setting from “Antivirus -> Advanced settings.”
Scanning our Android test smartphone with ESET’s antivirus took only 10 seconds when we used the Smart scanning profile, and 1 minute and 7 seconds when using the In-Depth scan. It is fast, and you should note that we got these results on an old smartphone (Huawei P10 lite). On newer Android devices, it is likely that the antivirus scans are going to be even faster.
One feature that we appreciate in ESET Mobile Security for Android is that it offers you the opportunity to run automatic scans on a schedule, as well as whenever you charge your Android smartphone or tablet. This is a great idea.
Although both on-demand and scheduled antivirus scans do a good job, they are not enough to offer complete antivirus protection for your Android devices. You also need real-time protection and, fortunately, ESET Mobile Security for Android has that covered too. It is enabled by default, and the real-time scanner launches when the system starts and scans all the files you interact with, together with any file you save in the Download folder and all the files from your SD card.
Running antivirus on-demand scans with ESET Mobile Security for Android is easy, and the real-time scanner protects you permanently. We like the fact that ESET Mobile Security for Android can run scheduled antivirus scans. Although it is not a mandatory thing to have, the only thing that is missing is an option to run a custom antivirus scan on a specific folder of our choosing.
Other essential features are web protection and anti-phishing. ESET Mobile Security for Android for Android has both. The most popular web browser for Android is Google Chrome. That is why we chose to use it for testing the efficiency of the Anti-Phishing protection offered by ESET Mobile Security for Android.
We tried to visit a series of websites that have been recently reported as being malicious, but ESET’s security app stopped us from loading them every time we tried to. This is an excellent result which proves that ESET Mobile Security for Android is a quality product and its online dangers database is permanently updated.
ESET Mobile Security for Android includes an Anti-Phishing module that offers efficient protection against websites that specialize in phishing scams.
By default, the Anti-Theft features offered by ESET Mobile Security for Android are turned off. To enable them and be able to do things like locating or wipe the data on your Android device, you have to change a few settings. If you register an account on my.eset.com, you can see more details about your Android device’s activity. For instance, you can track its location and take camera snapshots, a.k.a mugshots, of the person who found or stole your device. You can also automatically lock your device if suspicious activity is detected, send personalized messages to the one who found or stole your Android device or wipe all the data on it remotely if you have lost any hope of getting your device back.
For the Anti-Theft module to work correctly, you must also create a secure password that you can then use if you need to lock or unlock your Android device remotely, and allow ESET Mobile Security to access your device’s location.
Furthermore, if your smartphone uses a SIM card, ESET Mobile Security for Android can save it as a “Trusted SIM.” If that SIM is removed or a different SIM card is inserted into your Android smartphone, the smartphone gets locked. You must also tell ESET Mobile Security for Android which of your friends you trust so that the app can alert them via an SMS text message if an unauthorized SIM card is detected in your Android smartphone.
It is good to be prepared for good news also, like when someone finds your lost smartphone and wants to return it to you. For such situations, Anti-Theft also asks you to enter your contact details: name, email address, and an alternative phone number. With this information, you can be found.
The anti-theft features and tools offered by ESET Mobile Security for Android are comprehensive. They work well, and they are going to be useful if you lose your Android smartphone or tablet. Not to mention if someone steals it.
Read the second page of this review to find out about the phone call blocking feature offered by ESET’s app, about the security audit module, the app blocking tool and the effect that ESET Mobile Security for Android has on the performance of your Android device.