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Best Android antivirus and mobile security apps 2016

Authored by: Kris Carlon — 2 weeks ago

Considering how often malware scams in the Google Play Store are reported, we thought it was wise to drop a list of apps for keeping your device protected. We've updated this list for 2016 and chopped out the apps that no longer cut it. Whether you are looking to keep your phone safe from theft or a trojan, these are the best antivirus and security apps for Android in 2016. 

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Here are the best antivirus and security apps for Android. / © ANDROIDPIT

1. CM Security: best malware protection

CM security (Clean Master) is an award-winning security option and provides some of the best malware protection on Android. It's made by Cheetah Mobile, a research company that produces credible reports on the state of the Android platform with regard to all things scam, and its dedicated app is fast and comprehensive. 

androidpit cm security antivirus app
CleanMaster Security knows its business because it research malware for a living. / © Cheetah Mobile
CM Security Antivirus AppLock Install on Google Play

2. 360 Security - Antivirus: best real-time protection

360 (formerly known as Qihoo) is a long-standing and popular Android antivirus app with all the bells and whistles required to protect your phone. Naturally, it has an antivirus engine, which automatically scans your files and updates its definitions.

Each installation, whether from the Play Store or beyond, has to pass through 360 real-time protection before it can end up on your phone. On top of that, 360 is a system cleaner that cleans out junk files, frees up RAM and has some neat power-saving features too.

androidpit 360 antivirus
360 Security is the new name for Qihoo, one of the most robust antivirus apps. / © 360 Mobile Security Limited
360 Security - Antivirus Boost Install on Google Play

3. Kaspersky Internet Security: best anti-phishing protection

The PC version of Kaspersky is regularly showered with accolades and often voted the best internet security suite you can get. The free mobile version offers all the standard anti-malware protection you'd expect, as well as a whole host of anti-theft features.

Upgrade to the premium version (US$14.95 for one year), and you get anti-phishing protection for your text messaging, cloud protection and privacy protection when you surf the web.

androidpit kaspersky
One of the best PC internet security suites does a good job on Android too. / © Kaspersky Lab
Kaspersky Internet Security Install on Google Play

4. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware: best privacy manager

Malwarebytes built its reputation as one of the most lightweight PC protection tools around. The free Android version is a chip off the old block, focusing on ease-of-use rather than tons of features. It offers anti-malware protection, a privacy manager, and also scans apps that are behaving suspiciously.

The developers have also stayed ahead of the curve by integrating Malwarebytes with Android Device Manager – the remote tracking/anti-theft Android feature that effectively negates such features on many Android antivirus suites.

androidpit malwarebytes
The Android version of Malwarebytes protects your device with minimal fuss. / © Malwarebytes
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Install on Google Play

5. AVL: best interface

AVL antivirus is an efficient Android security option with an intuitive user-interface. While it doesn't include some of the more advanced anti-theft features that can be found in similar apps, it's great for your basic protection needs and less likely to impact your battery or damage performance than some. AVL comes highly recommended. 

androidpit avl for android
AVL antivirus is a lean, clean virus-fighting machine.© AVL Team
AVL Install on Google Play

6. AVG Antivirus Security: best for protection and anti-theft

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.

androidpit avg antivirus security
AVG is a well-known name in antivirus, and you can wipe your device remotely if necessary. © AVG
AVG AntiVirus FREE for Android Install on Google Play

7. Norton Security Antivirus: best premium version

Norton Security Antivirus is a free application that blocks and removes malware. Pay for the premium version, and you get a whole load more features, such as remote locking and Sneak Peak, which takes photos of people using your device if you've flagged it as stolen.

The premium version also includes App Advisor, which automatically checks apps for privacy risks, high battery use and suspicious behavior.

androidpit norton mobile security
Norton Mobile Security is a one-stop shop for, you guessed it, mobile security. © NortonMobile
Norton Security and Antivirus Install on Google Play

8. avast! Antivirus & Security: most features

With avast!, it is possible to perform automatic scans of your installed apps, the contents of your memory card as well as apps that you're about to install. avast! also has SMS/call filtering and blocking and – in the case of theft – there are also remote lock and wipe options, GPS tracking, siren alert and even a notification if someone attempts to switch out SIM cards. Other features include a firewall, web shield and network meter.

avast mobile security app sperre
avast! includes remote locking, wiping, and a firewall, among many other things. © AVAST Software
Mobile Security & Antivirus Install on Google Play

You may recall that TrustGo's Antivirus & Mobile Security was on previous version of this list. While it was credible at the time, and still has more than 10 million downloads, this app hasn't been updated since 2014 and given the frequency with which new threats are created, we can no longer recommend it. 

Have you ever suffered from a virus, Trojan or malware on your Android? What do you think is the best Android antivirus app and why? Tell us about it in the comments.

Kris is a former AndroidPIT Editor who came to the team via a lengthy period spent traveling and relying on technology to keep him in touch with the outside world. He can usually be found juggling three phones at once and poring over G+ posts, Reddit and RSS feeds.

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  • Android Smartphones doesn't need any antivirus. Antivirus may be require only when your phone is rooted.

  • I'm using Malwarebytes anti-malware, and even though I have heard that you could still potentially get a virus /malware on your Android whether or not you are using an anti-virus program on your phone, despite anything you choose to use to prevent it from happening ,I have found that this is the best one for me .I also have the premium version on my laptop ,and it works very well .

    • Matt C. 2 weeks ago Link to comment

      Anti Malwarebytes with Kaspersky Internet Security is the best combination I'm a techie I've been using both combinations for 7 years 8 years and it works flawlessly. The best part no ads.

  • Android no need anti virus that

  • I ran 360 security for 2 days. This morning I'm getting full screen ads on my lock screen. Gotta be better ones out there.

  • I've been using TruyGo for years with no complaints & it's the first time I don't see it on the list. Did something happen?!

  • i use ESET on my pc,i find it the best of all,never had problems of any kind with anything,no malwares or viruses of any kind,now on phone,i have none of those u wrote there as being the best and i can tell that is doing it's job perfectly smooth and not taking much of ram either and it is a battery friendly,as for that bitdefender,is the worse of all,when i had it on my PC,my PC got in a state of completly silence,i mean it stoped working,til i had to reinstall windows,i installed again the antivirus and i got in same situation,so after a windows reinstall,i chenged it,and my life got easier,it's a crappy antivirus on PC as it is on phones,always was,always will be,for norton that it is a good antivirus,it takes lot of memory to function, and it slows down ur PC same goes with AVG,even make problems in internet connection,AVG has to have a look into that,on phones with those,i didn't try them,but why should i when i have 1 that does the job as well as a premium antivirus ?

  • There was an article which stated that use your phone wisely and there is no need to install any antivirus. Android developers are doing enough to keep it safe & secure.

  • I installed es file explorer which is showing me all hidden files and junk files, that Android itself can't. I am clearing all these, so my phone is fast and smooth.

  • Avast is the best antivirus for my opinion

  • Since I do sideload now and then, I've been using BitDefender free, which has a minimal resource footprint, keeps out of the way, and is highly rated in the more technical lab reviews. I really dislike that some OEMs are preinstalling this stuff - on my tablet disabling McAfee takes it down to a few kilobytes, but it can't be entirely removed.

    I think my best defense against accidental loss is having the message "Reward if Found: [email address]" on the lockscreen. My bet is 90% of finders would rather respond to that than fool around trying to crack the PIN to keep the device.

  • I use a Zenfone, are these compatible?

  • I dont think i need an app thats keep running on all the time and consuming battery trying to protect my phone cuz i can do that myself perfectly if u know whats ur installing and whats ur browsing there is no virus u can get

  • You do not need these so called Virus Guards or RAM cleaners in Android. All they do is to break how Android works natively!

  • there is no need of antivirus for android.....the things which these antivirus do can be manualy done by us.....dont waste ur useful ram for these shits....Carlon u should not put blog like this u should tell how antivirus work

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