DexGuard vs. ProGuard

Although DexGuard is based on ProGuard, both products offer widely different functionality. In this post, we explore the key differences between DexGuard and ProGuard to help you determine which solution is best for you.

ProGuard is a generic optimizer for Java bytecode, while DexGuard is a specialized tool for the protection of Android applications.

ProGuard is a versatile optimizer for Java bytecode, enabling you to shrink, optimize and obfuscate desktop apps, embedded apps, and Android mobile apps. DexGuard is specifically designed to protect and optimize Android applications.

ProGuard offers basic protection against static analysis, while DexGuard protects applications against static and dynamic analysis.

Hackers generally combine static analysis and dynamic analysis when attempting to reverse engineer an application. ProGuard offers basic protection against static analysis only, while DexGuard shields applications from both static and dynamic analysis.

ProGuard provides minimal obfuscation, while DexGuard applies multiple layers of encryption and obfuscation.

ProGuard offers basic protection in the form of name obfuscation. DexGuard does not only obfuscate names of classes, fields, and methods but also arithmetic and logical expressions in the code and the control flow of the code inside methods.

To learn the full extent of the differences between ProGuard and DexGuard, including levels of application protection and availability, you can find the full breakdown here.

ProGuard focuses on bytecode, while DexGuard processes all components of an application.

While ProGuard’s action is restricted to the bytecode of Java applications, DexGuard provides 360-degree protection. Besides the Dalvik bytecode, it optimizes, obfuscates, and encrypts native libraries, resources, resource files, and asset files.