What is Cheaper? Open-Source vs. Commercialized Mobile App Security Testing Tools

When choosing automated mobile app security testing tools, mobile app development companies have two options: open-source and commercialized tools. But which one should you go for? Or, to be more precise, which one’s cheaper? If you have these questions on your mind, you’ve come to the right place.

This blog explicitly differentiates open source security testing tools from commercialized ones based on different factors, including cost. And by the end, you’ll be able to make an informed decision. So, read in full!

Commercial vs Open Source Mobile App Security Testing Tools: Which One to Choose?

1) A Better Understanding

Commercial mobile app security testing tools, as the name tells, are available at a subscription price. It means you must pay a set fee to get a license to use a particular tool. Usually, commercial tools are developed by an individual or organization for an individual or organization, keeping a set of requirements in mind.

Some examples of commercial mobile app security testing tools are

Appknox, App-Ray, Data Theorem, NowSecure, etc.

Did you know? Appknox was named in Gartner’s Hype Cycle report as one of the preferred vendors for mobile application security testing. Appknox reviews at Gartner Peer Insights further validate why we’re loved by all our customers.

On the other hand, open-source mobile application security testing tools are developed by an individual or a group of individuals but not for a particular organization or individual. Such tools are free, usually developed for an entire community, and align with the creator’s interests.

Some examples of open-source mobile app security testing tools are Objection, Radare, and Ghidra.

2) Cost

When it comes to cost, most commercial mobile app security testing tools tend to be quite expensive. You may have to pay a lifetime fee or a monthly subscription fee to be able to use the commercial testing tool.

Even though commercial app security tools present a unified one-fit-all automated solution, however, this may make it unsuitable for SMBs’s struggling with budget and funds to purchase a commercial cybersecurity tool.

Open-source mobile app security testing tools are free to use. In some cases, you may have to pay a small fee which is almost negligible compared to what commercial vendors charge. The affordable nature of open-source mobile app security testing tools makes them ideal for small scaled startups.

Note: Now that you know open-source mobile app security tools are affordable, you might consider choosing the same for testing your app. Well, the cost is one of the many variables you must consider before deciding. So, read along, go through the other variables and then decide.

3) False Positives

False positives in security testing are alerts that incorrectly indicate that there’s a bug or vulnerability present. They’re quite irritating both for the security testing and software development team, as they have to report and analyze an issue to find that it’s not even an actual one.

Fortunately, commercial security testing tools, especially high-quality ones, are developed, keeping the concept of false positives in mind. They’re programmed to understand the whole picture along with the context, because of which commercial mobile app security testing tools report fewer false positives. This can save your software testing and development teams time that can be spent on other essential tasks.

4) Customer Support

As stated earlier, commercial mobile app security testing tools are paid, i.e., customers pay to use them. And this kind of bounds the software maker to offer fantastic customer support if a problem occurs. So, if you face any issue or bug, you’ll get a response or resolution pretty quickly.

Open-source mobile app security testing tools have been developed by an individual or a group of individuals for the general public for free. So, they aren’t necessarily bound to release patches and offer 24/7 support. While that doesn’t mean you won’t get any support from open-source software developers, the response is usually slow, which could hamper your organization’s productivity.

5) Customization

Commercial mobile app security testing tools were not customizable initially. Companies couldn’t customize a commercial app testing tool according to their requirements. So much so that they had to pay the total price of the tool even if they used only 10% of the application. 

However, commercial apps can now be tailored according to your unique business needs.

Open-source apps have been customizable right from the beginning. The open-source code allows you to tweak the tool according to your requirements and make the most of it. While commercial apps also offer customization, the extent of customization is more significant in the case of open-source applications.

So, What Should you Choose, Commercial or Open Source?

Open-source mobile app security testing tools often have high flexibility, customization, and low cost; there’s no doubt about it. However, these advantages have their own consequences. For instance, open-source apps are often buggy and offer poor support that might delay your mobile app development or release process.

Open Source 

✅ High flexibility 
✅ Customization
✅ Low Cost
Often buggy
Offer poor support 
Limited compliance validation


✅ Better security
✅ Reliability
✅ Customer Support
✅ Trust
✅ Affordable (Appknox)
✅ Global compliance validation

Even data suggests that 50% of the companies that do not employ commercial testing tools experience delayed deliveries. Now, can you afford to compromise your app security or delay your app delivery just to save money? Of course not. But what if commercial tools are still costly for you?

Well, we got your back. If you want to experience better security, reliability, customer support, and trust in commercial mobile app security testing apps but at an affordable price, you can reach out to Appknox.

Appknox is a reliable application security testing platform using which you can perform vulnerability assessments and penetration tests that are both effective and affordable. You can simply signup, open the dashboard, upload binary of iOS or Android and get your app tested online.

You can perform static scans (SAST), dynamic scans (DAST), and API scans using our effective automation system. And you can book a penetration test on our website and get a report along with remediation steps within 3-5 business days. Our automated solution is modernized, and future-proof. The best part is it’s effective and affordable.

Reach out now to find out more about Appknox’s services and pricing.  


What is open source security testing?

Open-source security testing involves checking an application for security issues using a free, open-source application. Common examples of open-source testing tools are Selenium, Radar, Objection, and R2frida.

What are application security tools?

Application security tools are applications that protect software from external threats. Software development companies use such tools to test their applications, find vulnerabilities, and fix the same to ensure 100% security.


What open source mobile app security testing tool you choose can decide the fate of your mobile application and your company. Therefore, analyze your requirements, compare different open source and commercial mobile app security testing tools, and then take a decision keeping the long-term product roadmap and the best interests of your customers in mind.


Published on Aug 31, 2022
Harshit Agarwal
Written by Harshit Agarwal
Harshit Agarwal is the co-founder and CEO of Appknox, a mobile security suite that helps enterprises automate mobile security. Over the last decade, Harshit has worked with 500+ businesses ranging from top financial institutions to Fortune 100 companies, helping them enhance their security measures.
Beyond the tech world, Harshit loves adventure. When he's not busy making sure the digital realm is safe, he's out trekking and exploring new destinations.


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