Ikarus Mobile Security review

Ikarus

Ikarus isn't one of the better known security brands, but its Android anti-virus performance is right up there with that of the Windows household names. In the AV-TEST labs it nullified all of the malicious apps discovered in the past four weeks, which means you can download from the Google Play Store with a little more confidence.

Ikarus quietly gets about its work for Android phone and Android tablet: when you download an app from the Play Store a subtle notification pops up post-download to inform you it's being scanned for viruses, and then disappears if it finds nothing amiss. However, it's not shy when it discovers something fishy. When we downloaded a test virus, it immediately displayed a full-screen message asking us if we wanted to delete the malicious file, which is the kind of unavoidable alert we like to see. (See also: Best Android apps.)

The app itself is unshowy and has minimal impact on system resources or battery life, although it has far fewer features than rivals such as Avast. Virus definitions can be updated up to twice a day to make sure you're protected against the latest threats.

Ikarus Mobile Security: setting it up

Setup is quick and fuss-free, too, with only three screens to deal with for setting up text-message blacklists, website scanning and remote security features. Sadly, the actual implementation of those remote security features involves a great deal of hassle.

You can remotely lock your phone by sending a text message with your password from another device. The phone rings repeatedly when you've remotely locked the device, however, which could leave you with some explaining to do if you've left the phone on your desk at work, for example. Even worse, the first time we attempted to unlock the phone with our password, the device crashed while continuing to blare out the ring tone, and had to be rebooted before it would accept our password. Meanwhile, the sending device was hit with three identical text messages saying the phone had been unlocked.

The remote wipe function was a lot less painful. It discretely powered down the phone and reset the device to factory settings, clearing off all our photos, apps and other data in the process. And because the whole process is handled via SMS, the phone doesn't need to be within Wi-Fi or even 3G range to be secured from a distance. (See also: Best Android apps for new smartphones and tablets.)

Ikarus Mobile Security: Specs

  • Requires Android 2.2 and up
  • Requires Android 2.2 and up

OUR VERDICT

A lightweight and unobtrusive security app, which has an impressive clear-up rate when it comes to detecting malicious apps. The remote lock feature proved problematic, however.