FREEDOME and network bandwidth usage on Android

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Katriina_M Posts: 445 F-Secure Employee

Sometimes it may look as though FREEDOME is using a lot of network bandwidth. FREEDOME does not normally cause additional network usage however, except for when FREEDOME scans your apps for malware.

When FREEDOME is turned on, all network traffic is routed by the app through the virtual location you select. Due to this, some network monitors on Android devices may attribute the network traffic of the device to the FREEDOME app. At the same time, device network monitors may or may not attribute the traffic to the actual apps using the network. This may naturally give the impression that FREEDOME is using additional network bandwidth, whereas this is not the case; there is virtually no network overhead caused by FREEDOME.

"App Security" - the feature in FREEDOME used to scan for malware may, however, take up more bandwidth in certain cases. One of the functions of App Security is to scan apps installed on the device for malware. When App Security scans for malware, it normally calculates a small checksum (or "fingerprint") of the app and sends it to F-Secure's server to verify if the app is safe. Our scanning server recognizes the checksum and detects whether the app is safe or not. The network usage for this is insignificant.

If the app scanned by the App Security feature is brand new, uncommon or rarely used by our customers, our scanning server may not know the app in advance. In this case, the app is uploaded to our servers, and this increases the network usage depending on the size of the app in question. After the app has been uploaded once, we store the checksum, and from that point on, we know if the app is safe or not, so it doesn't need to be uploaded to our servers again.