Vodafone is offering postpaid customers with Android phones the ability to add a McAfee Mobile Security subscription to their service for $3 a month. Is that a sensible investment?
First, the security argument. We've gone over this in some detail before, and the short answer is this: while you're unlikely to suffer security problems on your Android phone if you exercise a little common sense and check apps before installing them, there is some risk involved, and a security app can help mitigate it. Even if you're not especially worried about application security, it adds remote wipe and access facilities.
Secondly, the cost. It's $3 a month, though you can get the first month free if you sign up before the end of March. That actually makes it more expensive than an outright buy from McAfee ($29.95 for 12 months). However, as there's no long-term contract (you can cancel on a month's notice) it's a way of accessing the service on a shorter time frame. (If you use McAfee on the desktop as well, its All Access package might make more sense than separate subscriptions.)
Finally, the other conditions. It only works on Android 2.1 to 3.0 devices (so no luck for Nexus owners), and you can't access it on postpaid plans. One thing I didn't notice originally: All data usage associated with the app is umetered, which is a major potential benefit if you use the backup and scanning options regularly.
Given all that, would you sign up? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.