As you may or may not know, we have a portion of the website dedicated to answering your questions; it’s called Ask TeD! Thankfully, someone has come to us for help, and once again, and they are in urgent need! They asked:

Dear TechDissected, I’ve been using a Droid for 5 almost 6 years. But as much as I liked my Droids, at times, I’ve been contemplating switching to either an iPhone or a Windows phone for quite a while. I truly am the worlds worst procrastinator! I loved the versatility, the endless choice of apps.

One of best features I think anyway is always having my own private, portable, dependable hotspots or a router in my pocket. The downside, well I’m no techie, but it seems all that is good is directly responsible for all that is bad, in short, I’ve been plagued by malicious applications and spyware. I’ve had unauthorized remote monitoring and management software running my phones and to a large degree my life almost as long as I’ve had an android. And while like I said not tech savvy, I can read and do no how to do a bit of research on what I see ie a group of commands repeated often and forcing my phone to do the opposite of what I want it to. The catlaogs display in plain English “t;pcsync”. Not mine, here this is one of the best examples of what I’ve been dealing with and believe me I’ve reached out to T-Mobile, Verizon, Frontier, LG, StraightTalk ,my local IT Guy, and some online tech services.

3 years ago I bought a new Razor, when they 1st came out from the local Verizon store. It is about 7 blocks from my home and before I got home with it, literally, the stock system was ripped out and replaced w/a custom rom. I can see the advantages of rooting (if you, the owner, is the one who rooted and has superuser privileges) but I never have because in the beginning I wasn’t sure I could, and by the time I felt confident I could no longer find any good reason to. Just a lot of reasons not to. Even the Guy that runs the XDA site said at the end of last year that he wasn’t going to root his new phone.

So, what to do, my Android died couple days ago, so it’s time to make a decision. I used to believe that the iPhone was the safer choice, but it seems people just can’t leave well enough alone, and the Windows phone, I don’t know much about the Win Phones, except that they’re updated every time the windows desktop is, but I don’t know about apps or hotspots, guess that would be too much to hope for, and now there are all the hybrids. They sound great, but they also sound like double the trouble.

In an ideal world my ideal device could function like an unlocked phone, only for the purpose of switching carriers, without the bootstrap being unlocked. Perhaps the ability to lock and unlocked, not rooted & unrooted. I know this is possible, but I don’t want a rooted phone, however I’d like to be able to use a firewall, manage ALL my files and possibly the most important capability to freeze, uninstall, move, backup & disable all the apps! And speed for multi-tasking, and quicker downloads & faster web browsing. I’d be grateful for any advice.Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Kim Kirkpa trick aka Tom Tim’s

Dear Kim,

Thanks for your question! It is a very good one, honestly. A lot of people struggle with this decision every day.

I can totally understand your frustration, as no mobile operating system will be perfect. As far as hotspots, jailbroken iPhone’s have the ability to do this. On iPhones, there is also a way to be able to tether, as long as you are subscribed to the service with your carrier, and nowadays, tethering is included in some carrier plans. This is also very important to some of our staff, as I use tethering and hotspots as my main source of internet on 4G! Works like a charm! If you want to use a great tethering app for an un-rooted phone, please try FoxFi. It is free for a few minutes, and then cuts off to a slower speed. I would definitely recommend paying the one time fee and getting the full access paid version, as that is what I use to tether. If you end up getting an unlocked phone like I suggest below, you can possibly use the hotspot without needing an app. It all depends on the carrier. This app bypasses the carrier and lets you tap into the hotspot feature without paying for it! Let me answer more of your question below.

Malware And Being Hacked

Being hacked by malware and your phone controlled by another person is never good! Believe it or not, Android is a pretty secure operating system. The trick is that you have to REALLY watch what you download onto it. Something as innocent as a free game can, even with good feedback, can have malicious software attached to it. This is how scammers make money. It is illegal, but that’s how they do it; and you definitely don’t want your identity compromised and used by whomever is doing this. I’ve never had this happen to me in all of my years of using android, but that is only because I am very weary of what apps I install and what their permissions are. You must always look at what permissions they are asking to use.

Phone Selection and OS Choices

As far as phone selection goes, that is completely up to the user’s needs and wants. I personally use both iOS (iPhone) and several Android phones at the moment. I’ve also used Windows Phone 7 and 8. I have yet to use 8.1, but I’ve heard they made a lot of improvements on it. Personally, I was never really a fan of Windows Phone operating system. I found it to be limiting. By limiting, I mean that the amount of good apps to use (that don’t cost money) are very limited compared to iOS and Android. For instance, they just added Instagram a few months ago, but Windows Phone is the baby of all of the operating systems. Go to the stores! Ask to play with the phones! That’s what I do before I decide on a phone.

Make sure you also watch review videos from respectable reviewers. Those help me a lot. Especially with unlocked phones that don’t have a store to go to. The only way you can go unlocked is if you have a GSM provider; like like Verizon or Sprint. Wind Mobile is considered a GSM carrier, so you should be able to use unlocked devices, but I would check to make sure before making your purchase.

I would avoid hybrids at all costs unless you do it yourself, and only if you know exactly what you’re doing. Hybrids are usually manufactured by other people who could potentially install malware and viruses before you even get the device! Not a fun thing to deal with.

An unlocked phone would be a great option! It allows you to not be tied down to any specific carrier. I would definitely recommend this, if you can possibly do it. It allows you to not be tied down in case you love your phone and want to keep it when you change carriers. Smart option!

Unfortunately, you would need root permissions to handle and change those files you referred to. It takes access to the system level of the OS to get to those certain files. You would need root to get to the files you mentioned.

I Hope We’ve Helped!

I hope I answered your questions as well as they possibly can be. You keep on rockin’ in the tech world, be careful of what you install, and choose your next phone wisely. Have a great day from everyone at TechDissected! If you have any other questions, or need further answers that we didn’t provide, PLEASE let us know and we will help you as much as we can!

Here are some helpful sites that you might find useful!

Great Malware Defense App: Avast Mobile Security
Unlocked Phones Buying Source: Swappa.com

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TechDissected

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