22 November 2018

How good/bad is Vodafone Secure Net?

All Vodafone contracts come with 3 months of free Vodafone Secure Net, which is advertised as blocking malicious websites and files. If you don't cancel it, you're charged £1 extra per month. Vodafone have 444 million customers worldwide, so they could be earning up to nearly 1% of revenue through it.

It can be managed through the app or via the website.

Test 1: EICAR in a text file hosted on a website
Secure Net successfully blocked this one and displayed me a message saying so. You also get a text message confirming this.


Test 2: EICAR in a zip file hosted on a website
Secure Net failed to block it this time. However a standard mobile antivirus was able to block it. The link it was coming from was from Kaspersky.

Test 3: A genuine trojan dated from 2010 contained in zip file hosted on a website
Secure Net failed to block this file.
I then uploaded it to VirusTotal to test it to see if most antiviruses would detect it - 47 of 59 got it. Surprisingly, a popular one - Symantec - did not detect anything wrong.

So overall, Secure Net is good at blocking EICAR, even over HTTPS. It's clearly scanning in real-time as well as the EICAR file was brand new on my site. However, it didn't detect the trojan, even though the majority of antiviruses did.

Secure Net isn't worth it, and is essentially a scam and complete waste of money. Having an actual mobile antivirus, and keeping your phone up-to-date with operating system and app updates, is more likely to protect you. Some examples:
- Android: ESET or AVG
- iOS: Norton or Avast
- with WARP VPN