Traced Review: Quick Expert Summary
Traced is a surprisingly good free mobile security app for iOS and Android, with additional malware protection for Android users. Traced provides a range of security features for iOS and Android that are both reliable and easy to use, including:
- Anti-phishing protection.
- OS/Device configuration checker.
- Wi-Fi network protection.
- Man-in-the-middle attack prevention.
Traced’s Android app also comes with Malware App Detection and App Behavior & Permission Abuse Monitoring, both of which worked well in my tests — successfully detecting 95% of the Android-malware on my device and flagging apps that were misusing my personal information.
Unfortunately, Traced doesn’t have a malware-scanning tool or app-behavior monitoring for its iOS app due to Apple’s limitations on third-party scanners. However, its other features are still good enough to make it a worthwhile app for iOS users — I especially like its anti-phishing protection, which is as good as that of top competitors like Bitdefender.
My biggest complaint when testing the app-monitoring tools, anti-phishing protections, and OS update checker was that I found Traced to be a little over-vigilant, bothering me with push notifications about completely benign processes on my device.
I was also a little disappointed with the lack of additional features. Other mobile antiviruses like Norton offer excellent extra features for iOS and Android users, such as anti-theft protections, VPNs, password managers, parental controls, and device optimizer tools — although, those aren’t all free.
But overall, Traced is a very capable security app that provides excellent protection (especially for Android users) and has an intuitive interface. If you’re looking for a free mobile security app that can protect your phone from malware, phishing, and network-based threats, Traced Mobile Security is a solid option.
|🏅 Overall Rank||#21 out of 67 antiviruses|
|🎁 Free Plan||Yes|
|💸 Starting Price||$21.15 / year|
|💰 Money-Back Guarantee||Anytime|
|📀 Operating System||Android, iOS|
Traced Mobile Security Full Review
Traced Mobile Security is a free and easy-to-use security app with powerful threat-detection capabilities.
For Android users, it continuously monitors your phone for malware threats and misuse of sensitive permissions, and for both iOS and Android, it has a good anti-phishing link scanner that provides strong web protection and a powerful network scanner that can detect man-in-the-middle attacks.
Traced doesn’t provide extensive security features like many competitors, but it’s a good free option, especially for Android users.
Traced is completely free, with no annoying ads, restricted features, or other limitations.
Traced Mobile Antivirus Security Features
Malware App Detection (Android Only)
Traced provides a pretty good malware app scanner for Android phones, which detected and removed the majority of the malicious apps I downloaded during my tests.
Traced’s malware scanner continuously monitors all the apps on your device for any signs of malicious activity, and it also provides a comprehensive overview of the security risks and permission details for each app.
Traced uses machine learning to support its real-time malware scanning — it automatically flags apps that are potential sources of malware and provides clear and detailed information that makes it easy for you to identify any apps that should be removed. Android apps like Norton and Bitdefender also use a similar malware scanning technique.
I tested Traced’s malware scanner by downloading a cache of Android-specific malware app files, including ransomware, trojans, spyware, and fleeceware. Traced achieved an impressive 95% malware-detection rate, successfully detecting some very dangerous banking trojans and information stealers like Anubis, Cerberus, and Joker.
Unfortunately, Traced can only scan app files (also called .apk files) for malware. Although the vast majority of Android malware is app-based, I would like to see Traced extend this to full device scans — like BullGuard and Bitdefender’s mobile apps offer.
Overall, I like Traced’s Malware App Detection. I found it to be very reliable in providing strong protection against different forms of Android malware.
App Behavior & Permission Abuse Monitoring (Android Only)
Traced’s real-time app behavior monitoring feature alerts you to suspicious behavior from the apps on your Android device. This feature continuously monitors the apps and events in your phone and provides instant warnings if it detects suspicious activity — for example, if an app is abusing the permissions you’ve granted them, i.e. access to camera, microphone, or location, and is communicating personal information to a third-party without your consent.
Traced scans and records all the events that occur on your device, which you can easily view from the Events tab. It also sends push notifications to alert you whenever the camera, location, microphone, or other privacy-sensitive areas of your device are accessed.
I like this feature, except that Traced sent me a push notification for every single event that occurred — including safe events like Google Maps accessing my location and me deliberately launching my camera. It would be much more useful if the notifications were limited to only suspicious activity.
From the Event menu, you can tap on any event to see further details — such as the circumstances in which the action took place, the level of risk it represents, and the apps that are likely to be responsible for the action. However, the sheer amount of events taking place on my phone made it really laborious for me to try and figure out which events were worth worrying about and which ones were safe.
To be honest, I much prefer how Avira’s Android app has privacy permissions scanning, so I can scan and adjust app privacy permissions in advance and not necessarily have to constantly receive alerts like the ones delivered by Traced. However, I still think Traced’s app behavior monitoring is a good feature that is effective at alerting you to dangerous events that could put your privacy at risk.
Malicious Link/Phishing Detection
Traced’s Malicious Link Detection feature is an excellent anti-phishing tool available on both its iOS and Android apps. The iOS app provides protection against any harmful links in Safari (but not other browsers). In the Android version, Traced automatically scans and blocks any malicious links you click on, and also allows you to manually enter a link to scan for any suspicious activity.
Traced uses machine learning to detect phishing sites, instead of a traditional database of known sites. This is supposed to enable Traced to detect a wider range of suspicious websites and with better accuracy.
So, I wanted to see for myself if Traced’s web protection could live up to these expectations — and it did. I tested a bunch of phishing links, and Traced effectively blocked every single one! What impressed me most was that Traced was able to accurately block even the most recently discovered phishing websites, making it as good as top competitors like Bitdefender. However, it’s not perfect, as it can be overcautious. I encountered a few false positive warnings when clicking completely safe links.
Overall, I found Traced’s anti-phishing capabilities to be surprisingly good and would recommend them as being especially useful for less tech-savvy users who have a hard time detecting phishing links.
Device Update/Configuration Alerts
Traced’s Device Update Alerts is a useful feature that regularly checks your Android or iOS device for updates and monitors vulnerabilities in system configurations. System updates typically include patches and fixes to known vulnerabilities, so it’s really important to keep your OS updated.
Traced’s iOS app alerts you if your device is jailbroken (if the limitations imposed by Apple that protect your device are removed) and when a new iOS version is released. Similarly, the Android app alerts you if your OS or other system apps haven’t been updated in a while and conveniently allows you to check for updates with a single tap.
Unfortunately, while this is a useful feature, I found Traced to be a little over-vigilant with this protection as well. Although I have all the software updates that my device can support, Traced kept issuing me with warnings because I’m not running the latest Android OS (which my device doesn’t support). These notifications can get a bit annoying, but thankfully you can at least choose to “ignore” these warnings if you aren’t able to “fix” them. I preferred Avira’s OS update scanner though, which only alerted me to updates that were relevant to my device.
Overall I like that Traced includes this feature, but I did find its notifications a little much. I much prefer apps like Avira Mobile Security, which only alerts me to updates supported by my device.
Traced’s Network Protection feature is a very efficient tool that scans Wi-Fi networks for vulnerabilities — this includes unsecured Wi-Fi networks and signs of harmful activity within a network.
I was both surprised and pleased to see that Traced provides protection against Man-in-the-Middle (MITM) attacks — a security exploit where a hacker breaks into a network and can see and intercept any data you communicate via that network.
During my testing, Traced correctly flagged unsafe networks, and it even sniffed out a MITM test attack. Competitors like McAfee only offer this level of network protection in their paid mobile security plans, so it’s great that Traced includes this for free.
I think Traced’s network protection is a very valuable feature (especially if you frequently use public Wi-Fi networks), as it provides good protection against potential data theft on compromised Wi-Fi networks.
Traced Mobile Security Plans and Pricing
Traced is a completely free mobile security app for Android and iOS. There are no hidden charges, in-app purchases, or ads, which is pretty great — especially when compared to other supposedly “free” competitors like Kaspersky that put most of their best features behind a paywall.
However, Traced does also have a paid app for business users — called Traced Control — which follows a per-device pricing approach. Traced Control includes the same features as those in the free app, but it also comes with a central dashboard that monitors all connected devices within a corporate network, enabling immediate visibility and analysis of mobile threats to the entire network. The core features include:
- Update alerts for all devices in the network, to identify vulnerable devices.
- Web protection for corporate data located in individual devices.
- Security alerts when any user connects to an unsecured Wi-Fi network.
- Mobile malware protection and dynamic app behavior monitoring for all devices.
This centralized approach can be a great way for businesses to monitor usage of shared devices, especially in settings where privacy and security are a top concern.
Traced Mobile Security Ease of Use and Setup
Traced Mobile Security is extremely easy to install and use on both Android and iOS devices. It took me less than 1 minute to set it up on my Sony Xperia XZ3 (Android), and I loved the well-designed app interface — it made it easy to take any required actions in just one or two taps.
The app interfaces for Android and iOS are almost identical, except that the iOS app doesn’t include malware scanning or app/event monitoring.
Traced’s real-time protections and automatic background scans mean that you don’t have to remember to manually perform a scan — your device is protected at all times. What’s more, I didn’t notice any impact on my device’s battery.
The dashboard menu displays the current protection status of your device and alerts you if an action is needed. All of Traced’s features and functions are conveniently located in the main dashboard screen, including the scanned apps, events, networks, and device security updates. Tapping on any item takes you to the next screen, where there is further detail on the item in question as well as buttons to take any recommended actions.
I was really pleased that Traced allowed me to quickly change permissions or uninstall an app by simply clicking buttons located within Traced’s own interface. This saves a lot of time digging through system settings to change permissions or uninstall apps.
Traced for iOS also has a separate “Wi-Fi” tab that provides alerts about the networks you are connected to. In the Android version, Wi-Fi security alerts are thrown in with all other details in the Events tab. In this particular instance, I found the iOS app’s design approach much more intuitive and easier to navigate, because on my Android I had to dig through all the other events to find the results of the network scans.
Traced’s app settings allow you to toggle on/off the automatic malware monitoring, manage exceptions, change notification settings, and choose areas of your device that you want the app to monitor for privacy/security.
Overall, I enjoyed using Traced Mobile Security’s apps for Android and iOS. I do prefer the interfaces of McAfee, TotalAV, and Avira’s mobile apps, and I’m not necessarily impressed by Traced for Android’s list of event notifications, but I still found both Traced’s iOS and Android apps to be well-designed, intuitive, and easy to navigate.
Traced Mobile Security Customer Support
Traced has good, informed, and responsive customer support, but it’s only via email — there are no immediate support options. Top antivirus solutions like McAfee and Norton provide more options, including live chat and phone support.
I sent an email with a few queries to Traced customer support and received a detailed reply the next day.
While it’s clear that Traced doesn’t have a dedicated customer support department, like Norton, McAfee, and Avira, and the company’s executives actually handle most of the communication with customers, I was happy with the depth of the response to my email.
While I’d love to see Traced provide live chat or phone support in the future, I was impressed with the helpful email support that Traced provided during my testing.
Is Traced Mobile Security a Good Free Antivirus for Mobiles?
Traced Mobile Security is a good, albeit minimal, app for Android and iPhone that provides malware and permission-abuse protection (Android only), network threat and device update alerts, and one of the best anti-phishing tools I’ve seen in a free app.
In my tests, Traced was able to detect 95% of the Android-specific malware on my device, including dangerous malware files such as Joker and Anubis.
My favorite Traced feature is the Malicious Link Detection, which provides great phishing link protection — successfully blocking even the most recently discovered phishing links.
However, all of Traced’s security features were a little overzealous in my testing, issuing a lot of unnecessary security notifications and false positives for perfectly safe apps, websites, and processes on my device — I would like to see the app fine-tune its protections and provide some whitelisting capabilities in the future.
Traced also lacks extras like a password manager, VPN, device optimizer, etc., that top-rated competitors like Norton Mobile Security and Avira Mobile Security provide, so users looking for a feature-rich security app will find better options elsewhere.
However, Traced is completely free, easy to use, and reliable, making it a great option for users looking for a minimal security solution.
Traced Mobile Security Review — Frequently Asked Questions
Is Traced safe?
I think Traced’s app monitor and malware scanner for Android are really good, especially for a free app. However, it’s not my favorite free Android antivirus (Avira Mobile Security is my favorite, thanks to its more rounded feature set), and I think there are better paid alternatives for Android, like Norton, which only costs a few bucks a month. And Norton is also my favorite security app for iPhones and iPads.
Is Traced good?
Yes, Traced is an effective security app that can keep Android and iOS users safe from various security threats such as phishing, system vulnerabilities, permission abuse, malware, and man-in-the-middle attacks.
Apple doesn’t allow third-party anti-malware scanners for iOS, but Traced’s Android app was able to detect about 95% of the Android-specific malware apps I put on my device for testing. This is a very good rating, although it’s not quite as good as top competitors like McAfee or Avira.
Is Traced free?
Yes, Traced is a completely free mobile app for iOS and Android. You don’t need a credit card to begin using it, all of its security features are accessible for free, and there are no paywalls or in-app purchases.
But Traced also offers a paid app for businesses: Traced Control — this helps enable protection of sensitive data within employees’ devices across an entire organization.
Does Traced slow down devices?
No, Traced does not slow down devices at all. Despite its continuous real-time monitoring feature, I noticed no performance issues during testing. Nor did I suffer any battery drainage issues, which I was pleasantly surprised by.