The following are the 11 best antivirus tools for Android, according to AV-TEST’s March 2018 evaluations of 20 Android security apps. (The AV-TEST Institute is a Germany-based independent service provider of IT security and antivirus research.) Each Android antivirus software app listed below received perfect protection and usability scores of 6.0. The apps are in alphabetical order.
Overall, the industry average for detection of the latest Android malware in real time is 97.5 percent, and the detection of Android malware discovered in the last four weeks is 97.1 percent.
1. Alibaba Mobile Security 5.8
Like all the other top Android anti-malware tools, Alibaba Mobile Security detected all newly discovered malware and all other previously known malware. It checked all the boxes for usability and gave no false warnings. It has a good feature set including anti-theft, call blocking, message filtering, safe browsing, and an app lock. However, it lacks parental control, personal data backup, and encryption.
2. Avast Mobile Security 6.9
Avast Mobile Security 6.8 managed Android malware detection in real-time 99.9 percent of the time. It found 100 percent of the latest Android malware discovered during the previous four weeks. The app doesn’t negatively affect battery life or cause the device to get sluggish during normal use. It registered zero false warnings during installation and use of legitimate apps from Google Play or third-party app stores.
Mobile Security’s safe browsing features help protect against phishing attacks and malicious websites, and it offers anti-theft features such as remote wipe. Additional features not evaluated by AV-TEST include an app lock, a privacy advisor, and wi-fi security.
3. AVG AntiVirus Free 6.9
AVG AntiVirus Free had a nearly perfect 99.9 percent detection rate for real-time malware detection and a 100 percent detection rate for recently discovered malware. It gave no false warnings. It has a decent set of features including anti-theft, call blocking, an app lock, wi-fi security, and backup of personal data. However, it lacks a message filter, parental control, and encryption.
4. Bitdefender Mobile Security Version 3.2
Bitdefender Mobile Security’s Android malware detection in real-time is 99.8 percent, and it discovered the newest Android threats discovered in the last four weeks 100 percent of the time as well. For usability, the app gets big check marks for not dragging down battery life or device speeds. AV-TEST found zero false warnings during installation/usage of legitimate apps from Google Play and third-party app stores.
Unlike some Android malware protection apps, Bitdefender’s Mobile Security offers anti-theft features, including remote lock, wipe, and locate, as well as safe web browsing and phishing protection. Like many other Android security tools, it doesn’t include message filtering or call blocking and doesn’t support all types of encryption. Additional features not evaluated include app lock and a privacy advisor.
5. G Data Internet Security Version 26.2
G Data’s Internet Security has more features than many of its other top-rated competitors. AV-TEST checked the boxes for remote lock, wipe, and locate; call blocking; message filtering; safe browsing; parental control; and support for all encryption. The only ‘x’ the app received was for not enabling personal data to be saved to an SD card or cloud storage.
Otherwise, Internet Security’s real-time Android malware detection rate was 100 percent, while it detected threats discovered in the past four weeks 100 percent. The excellent usability score resulted from not negatively affecting battery life, dragging down device performance, or generating too much traffic. The app issued zero false warnings during installation and use of legitimate apps from Google Play and third-party app stores.
6. Kaspersky Lab Internet Security Version 11.15
Kaspersky Lab’s Android malware scanner caught the latest Android malware in real-time 99.9 percent of the time and the latest threats discovered over the prior month 100 percent of the time. The app’s perfect usability score results from not impacting battery life or slowing performance. The feature set is more robust than most, with remote locking, wiping and location; call blocking; message filtering; and safe browsing/anti-phishing protection—though G Data’s Internet Security product offers a few more features. Additional features not tested include privacy protection and anti-phishing protection for texts.
7. McAfee Mobile Security Version 4.9
McAfee Mobile Security Android malware scanner detected bugs in real-time 99.8 percent of the time, but caught malware discovered in the last four weeks 100 percent. As with all other apps in this roundup, usability was stellar. The app’s feature set is strong, including a full set of anti-theft tools, call blocking, safe browsing and phishing protection, and the ability to save personal data to an SD card or the cloud. Mobile Security doesn’t support all types of encryption, however, or text message filtering. Other features not tested include a battery optimizer, privacy, and app lock.
8. PSafe DFNDR 5.4
PSafe DFNDR did a flawless job of Android malware detection for threats discovered in the previous four weeks. For the latest threats discovered in real time, it deteced 99.8 percent. DFNDR also earne