McAfee Mobile Security for Android full review

McAfee is currently one of the better performing Android security tools around. You can download and immediately start with a week-long trial. On a smartphone you’re registered via your SIM, while on a tablet McAfee gets you to provide your email address. McAfee insists you create a device-access PIN. This also allows you to access your tablet remotely via a web portal, locate and track it. See also Top ten Android apps.

Data backup and recovery is handled just as smoothly. The online portal lets you view what your apps are accessing and change anything you don’t like. A Web Protection module with blacklisted unsafe sites helps make surfing safer. Visit all Security Software reviews.

Our initial scan was comprehensive, with more than 35,000 items listed as having been checked in the 3 min 23 sec it took McAfee to audit our tablet. A separate App Protection module groups installed apps by the type of information they can access on your device – a neat way of highlighting the risks you’ve agreed to when installing Android apps.

Of our 102 installed apps, McAfee flagged 29 for us to check and either trust or remove. Risky sites, access to and ability to make calls and share personal data, emails and contacts are described. Why a – now removed – guitar tuner app needs to know our location or access our personal data remains a mystery; we can assume it’s not just to keep us in tune. See also: Group test: what's the best Android antivirus?

Media backup is supported as well as the more usual contact backup option. Clicking each photo to back up isn’t ideal, but there’s also an auto-backup option to sync everything once a day when your tablet is being charged. McAfee only seems to offer to restore your contacts, rather than any archived media.

Device lock and remote wipe is offered, but there’s no mention of having your tablet scream or to locate it on a map. The smartphone version of McAfee Mobile Security adds call and SMS filtering.


McAfee Mobile Security for Android: Specs

  • REQUIRES ANDROID: 2.1 and up
  • Size: 6.4MB