Avast Mobile Security: FAQ - System Requirements and General Questions

Avast Mobile Security FAQ - System Requirements and General Questions

Avast Mobile Security is a free antivirus for Android, which secures devices against unwanted phishing, malware, spyware, and malicious viruses such as trojans and against loss or theft.

System Requirements

General questions

What are the system requirements for Avast Mobile Security?

You can install and run Avast Mobile Security on any device capable of running operating systems Android 2.3, 2.3.x, 3.x, 4.x or 5.x.

Please note that new and upcoming versions of Avast Mobile Security is not supported on devices running Android 2.1 and Android 2.2.x. However if you are using an older version of Avast Mobile Security on those systems you can still receive updates to the virus database.

If you are using a custom ROM the app may not work as expected. Please report any feedback via our support pages.

Avast Mobile Security is not supported (is not compatible, cannot be installed, and does not run) on Symbian, iOS, Microsoft Windows Phone/Mobile, Bada, WebOS, or any other operating system which is not specified as supported. Avast is making a longterm plan to include the iOS platform, but there is currently no specific timeline.

Is Avast Mobile Security supported on Apple iPhone / iPad?

No, Avast Mobile Security is currently not supported on Apple devices. Only phones capable of running operating systems Android 2.3, 2.3.x, 3.x, 4.x or 5.x are supported for Avast Mobile Security. iOS operating system used on Apple iPhone or Apple iPad is not supported. Avast is making a longterm plan to include the iOS platform, but there is currently no specific timeline.

Is Avast Mobile Security supported on Nokia phones?

No, Avast Mobile Security is not supported on Nokia devices. Only phones capable of running operating systems 2.3.x, 3.x, 4.x or 5.x are supported by Avast Mobile Security. Operating systems such as Symbian, Microsoft Windows Phone, Maemo/MeeGo and others used on Nokia phones are not supported.

Is Avast Mobile Security supported on Android tablets?

Yes, Avast Mobile Security is supported on Android tablets with minor differences to functionality. For example, the Anti-Theft component currently uses SMS commands to communicate with the device if it is stolen or lost. If your tablet doesn't have 3G support (doesn't have a SIM card), then you won't be able to remotely control the device using SMS commands.

Instead, you can use binary messages to control devices without a SIM card, when Avast Mobile Security is installed on both devices.

Or, you can remotely control your device via the Avast Account. For this operation your device must be paired with your Avast Account. If you do not have one, please register at my.avast.com.

Does Avast plan to support Mobile Security on other mobile platforms besides Android in the future?

We chose to develop the product first for the Android platform, not only because it is very popular and friendly to app developers, but mainly because it is the platform most commonly targeted by attackers. We are making a longterm plan to include the iOS platform, but there is currently no specific timeline.

Is Avast Mobile Security compatible with all Android device vendors and manufacturers?

Yes, Avast Mobile Security is compatible with all ARM Android devices. However, each vendor or manufacturer makes slight changes in their devices, so some features may have unexpected behavior or in some cases do not work. Please note that Avast cannot cannot cover all of these small changes. However we gladly accept feedback if you experience any compatibility issue on your Android device.

Can Avast Mobile Security protect me against all possible threats?

When configured correctly, Avast Mobile Security protects your device from known malware and threats and monitors data going in and out according to your preferences. We do our best to protect your device against all possible threats, but no solution is 100%. Like all products on the Android market, it is subject to limitations imposed by the operating system version which is running on the device. It cannot protect against exploits targeting specific vulnerabilities in the OS kernel, the network stack and similar base-level parts of the system. However we take our role in the security industry seriously, and continuously work with Android vendors to develop future solutions to minimize the risk of attacks.

What is "rooting" on Android?

Rooting is a process allowing Android users to attain privileged control of their devices (known as root access) within the Android system. Rooting the device allows the user to override limitations that carriers and hardware manufacturers put on some devices. This makes it possible to alter or replace system applications and settings, and run specialized apps that require administrator-level permissions.

These root privileges are needed for some options within Avast Mobile Security such as the firewall and the hard reset-proof installation of Anti-Theft.

For most of the functionality within Avast Mobile Security or Avast Anti-Theft rooting is NOT required.

Some features of the product are "root-only". Do I have to root my device to use your product?

No, it is absolutely not necessary to root your device to use Avast Mobile Security. While some features of Avast Mobile Security do require root access, most features are available on non-rooted devices. In fact, rooting your phone is generally not as secure and therefore not recommended. However users who choose to root their devices are exposed to higher risks, and that is why we include features to provide additional protection for these users.

The main advantage of a root installation is the Avast Firewall, which allows you to control network access on a per-app basis. This can improve security, block unwanted ads, and even preserve battery life. Unfortunately this feature is not available for non-rooted devices due to some limitations of the Android platform.

Can I convert Avast Anti-Theft to a rooted installation after rooting my device?

If you rooted your device and want to convert your Avast Anti-Theft installation to a rooted installation, you must install the separate application Anti-Theft (rooted) available on Google Play. Before you install it, please uninstall Avast Anti-Theft fully first.

Why can't I use the Avast Firewall without root access?

Unfortunately the Avast Firewall included in Avast Mobile Security is only available on rooted devices running operating systems Android 2.2.x or higher. This is because its functionality depends on access to several system features which require root privileges.

Why does Avast Mobile Security need so many permissions?

When you install Avast Mobile Security on your device, it requires many permissions that may seem unnecessary at first glance. For example, why would Avast Mobile Security need the permission to directly call phone numbers or receive SMS messages?

To understand the reason for granting these permissions, you have to understand that the permission classifications in Android are not very specific. Permissions control which API groups can be used by the application and each group is assigned a name based on its most common use case. For example the Directly call phone numbers permission is needed to implement the Call filter functionality, not to make any phone calls. Similarly, Anti-Theft requires the permissions to receive SMS messages so that the user can remotely control the device in case of loss or theft. Another example is that full Internet access permission is required to receive updates to malware definitions. The Virus Scanner and Web Shield need the permission to read phone data so the data can be scanned for threats. For more information please read the following article:

We take your privacy very seriously. The permissions requested are the minimum set that is needed to implement the functionality of Avast Mobile Security.

What is the Avast PIN used for in Avast Anti-Theft?

The Avast PIN is used to authorize access to the Avast Anti-Theft user interface. Because Avast Anti-Theft is invisible in Stealth Mode, it cannot be accessed the same way as other applications. Instead, open the user interface by calling the Avast PIN as if it were a phone number. The entry is immediately removed from the call log so that the dialed Avast PIN cannot be discovered. The call is not charged to you.

You set your Avast PIN during Avast Mobile Security installation. If you do not choose a unique PIN, the standard PIN is 0000.

In case you are unable to dial for some reason, or if your device does not offer any phone dialing option, you can access Anti-Theft via your Avast Account when you have connected your device to the account.

Can I restore a forgotten Avast PIN?

For security reasons Avast Mobile Security and Anti-Theft don't send your Avast PIN to our servers, and there is no master key.

If you forgot your Avast PIN, please log in to the Avast Account connected with your device and go to Settings → Anti-Theft to change the PIN. When there is no Avast Account connected with the device, but you have set up a secondary phone number for PIN Recovery, you can send an SMS containing a temporary Avast PIN to the phone number you listed by tapping on Forgot your PIN. When you have accessed Anti-Theft using the temporary PIN, go to Anti-Theft → Avast PIN to change it to a new one. The temporary PIN is only valid for 30 minutes. For more details please read the following article:

Why does the Avast PIN only consist of digits?

Because Avast Anti-Theft is invisible in Stealth Mode, it cannot be accessed the same way as other applications. Instead, open the user interface by calling the Avast PIN as if it were a phone number. Since your phone dialer only accepts numbers, your Avast PIN must also use only numbers.

Why does the Avast icon still appear when Anti-Theft is in Stealth mode?

After switching Anti-Theft to Stealth Mode, you can still see the Avast icon for Avast Mobile Security in your App Tray.

Only Anti-Theft becomes invisible with Stealth Mode. The Mobile Security part should stay visible because the app requires communication with the user. However if you have a rooted device, you can disguise the name of the application during the Advanced installation process.

Or, if you only want to use Avast Anti-Theft, you can uninstall Avast Mobile Security and keep Anti-Theft installed.

Can I block Avast Anti-Theft from forcing a data connection?

If you want to be sure that Avast Anti-Theft does not use up credit for your data plan you can disable the Force DATA connection option via your Avast Account.

Just sign in to the account connected to the device and select the device in the list at left. Go to Anti-Theft, Settings, and uncheck the option Force DATA connection.

How much battery does Avast Mobile Security use?

Avast Mobile Security is designed to have minimal impact on battery life.

Testing across multiple devices shows that all services by Avast Mobile Security generally take up less than 5% of battery consumption. (By comparison, the Launcher can take up about 15% and Gmail about 8%.) During a few operations, such as formatting the SD card or wiping all phone data, Avast Mobile Security can reach at maximum 20% of battery use at the peak of CPU use (about 30-60 seconds).

If it seems that the application is using too much battery during normal operations, you may want to disable the Network Meter since it uses more CPU than other components. Or, contact our support team to report the issue.

Does Avast Mobile Security report different malware detections than Avast Antivirus for desktop computers?

The Virus Scanner and Shields included in Avast Mobile Security use different definitions than the ones used in our antivirus software for PCs. The application is customized to run on mobile devices, and so the definitions are specific to malware which attacks mobile platforms. This saves your device from being overloaded by our PC antivirus engine, which includes an enormous amount of malware data which is not relevant at all to your mobile device.

I love your software! How can I support you?

There are many ways you can show your appreciation and support Avast mobile products. For example:

  • Write a positive review on Google Play.
  • Tell your friends about our software via Facebook or Twitter.
  • Post reviews in Android related forums.
  • Avast Mobile Security
  • Avast Anti-Theft
  • Android 5.x
  • Android 4.x
  • Android 3.x
  • Android 2.3.x
  • Android 2.2.x (Avast Mobile Security deprecated)
  • Android 2.1.x (Avast Mobile Security deprecated)

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