Considering the frequency with which malware scams in the Google Play Store are being reported, we thought it was about time to drop a list of the best antivirus apps for Android. Whether you are looking to protect your phone from theft, or a trojan, these are our top picks for all your Android security needs.
AVL antivirus won an AV-TEST best protection award in 2013 for its security performance on the Android operating system. While it doesn't include some of the more advanced anti-theft features that can be found in similar apps, for your basic protection needs, it is not only one of the most secure, but also one of the least likely to impact your battery or damage performance. AVL comes highly recommended.
Another award-winning security option, CM (or Clean Master) security provides some of the best malware protection possible on Android. It helps that Cheetah Mobile is a research company in its own right, producing credible reports on the state of the Android platform with regard to all things "scam", but its dedicated app is fast and comprehensive too.
Mobile Security & Antivirus
Bitdefender's Mobile Security and Antivirus app comes with a wealth of security options beyond the traditional "virus scan" feature, and also integrates with current Android Wear smartwatches pretty nicely. It's not exactly cheap, as far as Android apps are concerned; after the initial 14-day trial period runs out you'll have to shell out 14.95 USD per year for the service. However, if you want a "future proof" Android security app, and a peaceful night's sleep, Mobile Security and Antivirus could be your best option.
AVG Antivirus Security
AVG Antivirus is a free application that protects your smartphone in real time from viruses, malicious applications and other spyware. You can review your applications but also your files, settings and more. There's even an option to close apps that are significantly slowing your smartphone down or abusing your battery. Also, if you lose your device, you can block or delete your information and locate your device via Google Maps.
AVG is a well known name in antivirus, and you can wipe your device remotely if necessary. © AVG
Norton Security Antivirus
Norton Security Antivirus is a completely free application that removes malware and viruses before they can reach your device, thanks to a meticulous scanning your system and installed applications. You can also scan your SD card to ensure that your data stored there is not compromised. Finally, the application provides the ability to lock your device remotely via SMS in case of loss or theft.
Norton Mobile Security is a one-stop shop for, you guessed it: mobile security. © Norton Mobile by Symantec
avast! Mobile Security
With avast!, it is also possible to perform automatic scans of your installed apps, the contents of your memory card as well as apps that you are about to install. avast! also has SMS/call filtering and blocking and in the case of theft, there's also remote lock and wipe options, GPS tracking, siren alert and even a notification if someone attempts to switch out SIM cards. Other features present include a firewall, web shield and network meter.
avast! is literally jam packed with security features and options. © avast! Software
Lookout Security and Antivirus
In the free version of Lookout, you will find protection against malicious apps, spyware and Trojans. Before installation of new apps, Lookout can perform a rapid analysis to ensure that the app does not contaminate your phone and also that it won't infect your laptop or PC when you connect via Bluetooth or USB. Lookout can also scan your SD card and protects your device in case of theft. But what makes Lookout stand out from the bunch is the ability to backup and restore your smartphone data.
Lookout lets you backup and restore your precious smartphone data as well as protect it. © Lookout Mobile Security
Avira Antivirus Security
Avira manages all the basics like the others, with protection from malicious apps, malware, viruses and Trojans. You can also track a lost smartphone, remotely lock or wipe it and provide someone who innocently finds your device with a one-button ''report found'' option. Avira scans your apps when you first launch the app, then every time you install a new one or update an existing app but you can start a manual scan anytime you like. Virus definitions are updated regularly over the air. You can also block bothersome numbers from calling or texting you.
Special mentions should also go out to Dr Web, who recently discovered the self-replicating malware affecting over 300,000 smartphones and Panda Security who uncovered the premium SMS service scam that piggybacked on WhatsApp.
Have you ever suffered from a virus, Trojan or malware on your Android? What is your favorite antivirus app and why?