Security Master Antivirus Review 2020 - What They Won't Tell You 

1.0
STAY AWAY!
Ranked 53rd from 55 antivirus companies
Ranked 53rd from 55 antivirus companies
Eric C.
Published on: 05/07/2020

Detailed Expert Review

UPDATE: Google has removed all apps from Security Master’s parent company Cheetah Mobile for repeated violations of Google’s advertising policy. As such, we can no longer recommend them here. That said, even before the removal, Security Master didn’t offer great protection. There are plenty of better free Android antivirus apps to download.

Original Review: Security Master calls itself the “number one antivirus and privacy protection app.” But there’s a lot of competition in that field. Do its features live up to the hype?

Security

Security Master’s main feature is its app and filesystem scanning tool that looks for viruses and malware. The scanner works very quickly—my entire system was checked in under six seconds. It found the test malware that I’d installed and identified two “security threats” which were program components that I hadn’t installed. I was able to manually check for virus definition updates, schedule scans, and toggle the real-time protection. The program also includes a download protection feature which examines downloaded files before opening them. There were more features and settings than I expected from a free product.

Security

App Access Blocker

Security Master contains a number of interesting additional features that help secure the device.

The most intriguing of these is the disguise cover. It prevents unauthorized access to your apps by creating fake notifications saying the app crashed. If anyone tries to open your protected apps like Facebook, WhatsApp, or Skype, it displays this disguise instead. To open it for real, just press the “OK” text for a few seconds.

App Access Blocker

Additionally, there’s an intruder selfie component that locks down specific apps with an access password. If an incorrect password is entered repeatedly, the camera will automatically take a photo to try to identify the intruder. It’s a nice feature in theory, but without sending the photos by email or to a remote storage device, its utility is very limited.

Features

Security Master also includes the following add-on tools:

VPN

The SafeConnect VPN, powered by AnchorFree, is included but there’s a 200MB daily limit. Users can upgrade to Premium in order to receive unlimited protection.

Setting up the VPN took under a minute and there’s a decent amount of information included on its dashboard screen. I was also able to configure automatic connectivity through the VPN for certain apps. It also helps identify data-consuming apps, which is a great feature for those with limited bandwidth connections. A SafeConnect shortcut can also be added to the home screen in order to speed up the process of getting connected.

VPN

WiFi Security

I was particularly impressed with the WiFi security feature which allowed me to see every device on the network, including their local IP and MAC addresses. The tool also checks for captive login pages, analyzes the connection speed, displays the encryption methodology the connection is using and shows how much traffic the handset has uploaded or downloaded. The WiFi Risk Cleaner tool removes unsafe connection points from the device, helping prevent automatic connections that could compromise device security.

WiFi Security

Optimization Suite: Junk Cleaner, Speed Booster, Battery Saver

Security Master also includes the three standard “speedup” tools found in all-in-one applications—a junk cleaner, speed booster, and battery saver.

All three tools did their job adequately although (as usual) both the speed booster and battery saver components recommended that I close necessary background processes.

The junk cleaner took about ten seconds to identify 641MB worth of app caches, residual files, and ad junk. I would have liked to manually inspect the findings, especially within WhatsApp and Facebook because I am never comfortable with deleting things like photos and chats automatically. My system’s performance did not seem to be impaired after simply going with the default recommendations.

Optimization Suite: Junk Cleaner, Speed Booster, Battery Saver

Ease of use

Installing Security Master was very straightforward and the app was fast and easy to use.

The one thing I found annoying was that the menus list several “features” which are simply links to additional applications. There were links to an entire family of add-on products, including a Bitcoin/Ethereum wallet, a safe browser, a “smart keyboard,” and a screen locker.

Support

Security Master support can be accessed by clicking on the “feedback” button and selecting “report a problem.” This opens up a fairly adequate ticket-creation menu with room to add screenshots and provide contact information. Although the app’s parent company, Cheetah Mobile, has embedded an FAQ section within the application, it was not accessible when I tried it. I did, however, receive a response to my test ticket within one business day, which is a good response time for a free product.

Pricing

Security Master follows a freemium model, but the app provides plenty of value in the basic plan. In fact, upgrading to VIP status only gives users the unlimited VPN connection. VIP membership can be purchased on one-month, three-month, and one-year subscription terms and the price is more than reasonable.

 

Security Master Products & Pricing

Security Master
Security Master Pro
Bottom Line

Cheetah Mobile’s Security Master is a well-rounded and capable tool for Android. Users can comfortably, confidently use this as a free tool.

About the Author

Eric C.
Eric C.
Expert on Cyber Security, Fintech, and Cryptocurrency

About the Author

Eric is a professional cyber tech expert with almost a decade of experience writing about security and tech. In recent years, he has been focused heavily on the rapidly developing fintech and cryptocurrency industries and how they relate to online security.

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Security Master User Reviews

19 11
Based on 30 reviews in 10 languages 3.6
Language
You can trust the Community! Companies can't ask us to delete or change user reviews.
Jul. 1, 2020 NEW
Shamita
Shamita
India
0.5
Security Master
Android User
I was also using Security Master....... It was a very good app.... I also gave 5 stars to it........ But when I realized ,i wasn't getting updates of Security Master, I searched Google & I was shocked to know tht Play Store has uninstalled all Parenting apps of Security Master....... However I searched Security Master on Google & installed it....... But nw I m getting reports every moment by it & I m fed up of it....... Please it's my humble request fix 🔧 this problem
May 19, 2020
RhondaJ
RhondaJ
United States
3.5
Android User
Android User
I've been using this app for three years now and I've been quite happy with it until two weeks ago. I recognized i haven't been receiving regular updates. The VPN crashed, although it had crashed once before, and they fixed it, I sent a message to them, and I haven't gotten a reply. I went on to the play store looking for them, and I couldn't find the app. I am a VIP member, the other features still work very well. I think its because of them that my phone internal is still in tip top shape but now I'll have to go from a 5 star to a 3.5 rating.
May 9, 2020
RICK
RICK
United States
1.0
App Sucks
Android User
I have ran this Security Master Premium for 2 years now and about 3 months ago the vpn stopped and they have no customer service whatsoever e er Dont buy 1/2 star rating
user avatar
Rhonda RICK
May 18, 2020
I just realized something was wrong abt two weeks ago. I recognized I wasn't getting updates from then, the VPN crashed and I still haven't gotton a reply from them. When I checked on the play store they couldn't be found. I've b...Show More
Apr. 19, 2020
james
james
Hong Kong
0.5
it is a virus
Windows User
i have downloaded multiple antiviruses and after a year or so of using securitymaster, Malwarebytes, one of the more reputed antiviruses identifided security master as a virus
Alfredo Beltran Tan
Alfredo Beltran Tan
Philippines
2.5
It's the best free antivirus
Mac User
This antivirus is very helpful for my phone
Tyler S
Tyler S
Canada
0.5
extremely slow
Android User
Slows my phone down which makes it virtually impossible to navigate. Not recommended.
John Gibson
John Gibson
United States
4.0
Good Free Antivirus App
Android User
As a beta tester I find this app still number, 1
Peter
Peter
United Kingdom
5.0
Really Good
iOS User
I’ve been using the free version on my Note 4 for over 3 years, you used to earn daily coins for using each of the many tools, then exchange the coins to get the paid version for free for so many months, but they stopped that a year ago. Occasionally theyll randomly give you option to have the paid version free for 3 days if you watch a few 15 second video adverts, but for users like me that have used the app for years, I no longer get this option. Doesnt bother me as I dont mind the odd pop up ads. The free version has so many features and tools to protect your phone and its contents. Give Security Master a go, you can always uninstall it if you dont like it.
Joe Charlotte
Joe Charlotte
United States
1.0
Joe Charlotte
Android User
This app was ok..now you cannot stop all the ads..I guess they need money...totally annoying..I will be finding a different app..so disappointing...

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