Antivirus

Best Android Antivirus: Our TOP 5 Antivirus-Scanners

Author
Janis von Bleichert
Last update
5. Sep 2023
Ad disclaimer: For links on this page, EXPERTE.com may earn a commission from the provider. This supports our work and has no influence on our editorial rating.

Antivirus programs are thankfully part of the furniture on PCs and laptops. However, since smartphones are little more than pocket computers, protection against viruses on the go is just as critical. In 2020, the number of mobile banking Trojans increased by 15% - with 40% of all mobile devices vulnerable to cyber attacks.

In our opinion, that's reason enough to take a closer look at what antivirus solutions are available for Android devices.

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TOP 5 Android Antivirus Apps

During EXPERTE.com's comprehensive antivirus software evaluation, we assessed 15 programs in terms of their user-friendliness, features, security, support, and pricing. To get a better idea of the degree of security that each affords, we relied on AV-Test's performance assessments, which are regularly summarized in a list of the best antivirus solutions for Android.

In this article, we've combined AV-Test's results with our own findings, presenting you with our Top 5 Android antivirus solutions. Each offers not only excellent security but also impresses in other areas as well. We truly only selected the best, with each of the five apps below receiving perfect 6/6 scores from AV-Test in terms of protection, performance, and usability.

1.

Bitdefender Mobile Security

Best Overall 2024
Bitdefender Antivirus
Bitdefender Antivirus
(253,731 )
Our 'best in test' antivirus program Bitdefender boasts strong security, confirmed by independent test laboratories, along with a flawless user interface and a comprehensive set of features.
flawless user interface
excellent lab results
configurable quick actions
good support with 24/7 live chat
many features
9.6
excellent
Plan
Antivirus Plus
Devices
up to 3
Protection Features
0
Premium Features
0
Bitdefender Antivirus Plus
$23.99
yearly price
Visit Website*

Bitdefender Mobile Security is available either as a stand-alone app or in combination with Bitdefender Total Security*. The program offers a number of mobile features, including powerful real-time protection, a malware scanner, as well as several tools that boost your online privacy.

With "App Lock", you can give your most sensitive apps an extra layer of security (such as a PIN code). As if that weren't enough, the integrated VPN gives users a daily allowance of 200 MB of anonymous data.

Bitdefender, the top pick from our antivirus software comparison, also impressed with its mobile solution.

Rounding out the list of what Bitdefender Total Security has to offer are anti-theft features, which include the ability to remotely locate, lock, or even wipe your device.

Review
9.6
excellent
Visit Website*
Check Review
Support
10 / 10
Configuration & Usage
10 / 10
Security & Performance
9.4 / 10
Features
9.4 / 10
2.

Kaspersky Internet Security for Android

Kaspersky Antivirus
Kaspersky Antivirus
(4,174,165 )
Kaspersky Internet Security is a user-friendly antivirus tool with a ton of features. However, some Western governments are currently warning against its use.
great test lab scores
a lot of features
intuitive interface
keylogging & webcam protection
some governments warn against use
9.1
excellent
Plan
Antivirus
Devices
up to 5
Protection Features
0
Premium Features
0
Kaspersky Antivirus
$29.99
yearly price
Visit Website*
Free Trial Version

Kaspersky Internet Security is available for Android either as part of a premium package or for free. If you choose the former, you'll be able to schedule automatic scans and take advantage of its "App Lock", which you can also use to beef up the security of certain apps.

Kaspersky provides robust anti-theft measures for mobile devices.

Anti-theft measures that allow you to remotely lock a stolen device, trigger an alarm, or restore factory settings are also provided. We found the selfie trap feature nifty since it makes it possible to secretly photograph those who stole your device. With "SIM Watch", you can automatically configure the device to lock if a new SIM card is inserted.

Review
9.1
excellent
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Check Review
Features
9.4 / 10
Support
9.4 / 10
Configuration & Usage
9.4 / 10
Security & Performance
8.6 / 10
3.

Avast Mobile Security

Avast Antivirus
Avast Antivirus
(7,291,633 )
Avast impresses with a great free version covering all the essentials, and a huge set of features that offer well-rounded antivirus protection and some nice extras. Scans can slightly impact performance, however.
many features
Sandbox and WiFi-Inspector
solid free version
intuitive app
scans can impact performance
8.6
good
Plan
Free
Devices
unlimited
Protection Features
0
Premium Features
0
Avast Free
$0.00
Visit Website*
Download for Free

The Android version of Avast Antivirus only adds to the desktop software's already impressive package of useful features: With "Photo Vault", you can encrypt pictures from your gallery or protect them with a PIN code, while "Wi-Fi Inspector" tells you if the network you're connected to is secure.

Avast makes a number of practical anti-theft tools available to smartphone users.

The software also comes with plenty of anti-theft tools: You can specify when your device should be marked as "lost", and what actions should be taken. As an example, this can be triggered whenever someone inserts an unknown SIM card or incorrectly enters a PIN several times. It's also possible to remotely control your Android smartphone through your Avast account, deleting data or taking (secret) pictures of the person who stole your phone.

The basic version of the Android app is free, which corresponds nicely to Avast's free antivirus software. By the way, we think Avast's free version is one of the best on the market.

Review
8.6
good
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Check Review
Features
9.4 / 10
Configuration & Usage
9.4 / 10
Security & Performance
8.0 / 10
Support
8.0 / 10
4.

Norton Mobile Security

Norton Antivirus
Norton Antivirus
(1,853,439 )
With its robust set of features, lean applications, and a 100 % antivirus guarantee, Norton Antivirus is definitely worth a look. Sadly, the testing labs aren't unanimously impressed, and one or two features are missing.
learn, user-friendly apps
customizable child protection
100 % antivirus guarantee
no anti-theft features
mixed test lab results
8.4
good
Plan
Antivirus Plus
Devices
1
Protection Features
0
Premium Features
0
Norton Antivirus Plus
$19.99
yearly price
Visit Website*

Norton Mobile Security is available either as a standalone mobile app or in combination with Norton 360*. Alongside standard features, like proactive malware blocking and protection against phishing, there's also "Wi-Fi Security", which scans your network for threats, and "SMS Security". Extras like a VPN or password manager aren't included, as the company markets dedicated apps for these.

Norton divides its mobile features between several different apps. Unfortunately, none of these include anti-theft tools.

The most disappointing thing about Norton Mobile Security is that since December 2019 (and a "quality control evaluation"), the developer has removed its anti-theft tools. If you want to protect yourself against device theft, it's best to consider some of the other choices we've listed in this guide.

Review
8.4
good
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Check Review
Support
10 / 10
Configuration & Usage
8.6 / 10
Security & Performance
8.0 / 10
Features
7.4 / 10
5.

Trend Micro Mobile Security

Trend Micro Antivirus
Trend Micro Antivirus
(142,454 )
Trend Micro delivers a solid overall antivirus package with lots of features and some nice extras, such as social media protection. However, the testing labs are a bit divided on the reliability of its protection.
some good lab results
plenty of features
social media protection
no firewall, webcam protection
uneven lab scores
8.4
good
Plan
Antivirus+
Devices
1
Protection Features
0
Premium Features
0
Trend Micro Antivirus+
$19.95
yearly price
Visit Website*

Even though Trend Micro Mobile Security is offered to subscribers starting with the developer's Maximum Security package, you can download it separately.

Along with most of the standard security modules, you'll also find "Web Guard", which warns you against visiting harmful websites or clicking on potentially dangerous links. "Fraud Buster" scans your SMSs for suspicious content. Rounding out the app's features are integrated Wi-Fi and online banking protection.

Trend Micro's Android app provides a nice selection of anti-theft features alongside other security tools.

You'll also find all of the standard anti-theft features in Trend Micro's Android app. Use these to remotely GPS locate or lock your device, delete files, or prevent Trend Micro from being uninstalled. A camera trap is also included.

Review
8.4
good
Visit Website*
Check Review
Configuration & Usage
9.4 / 10
Security & Performance
8.6 / 10
Support
8.0 / 10
Features
7.4 / 10

How We Tested

To select our Top 5, we relied on our EXPERTE.com reviews, as well as AV-Test's assessments. Our criteria, which relate to five categories, are explained in more detail in our comprehensive evaluation.

AV-Test evaluates software according to four categories. These are:

1.

Protection

The heart of any antivirus program is the security and protection it affords users. Should the program fail to detect malware, all other features and extras won't help to improve it. AV-Test assesses protection in two stages, examining both real-time detection of the latest malware, as well as real-time detection of malware from the last four weeks.

For each stage, AV-Test summarizes efficacy in a percentage, corresponding to how many malware attacks the antivirus program identified out of the total launched. This number is then compared with the industry standard, with each threshold above the average corresponding to a specific score.

2.

Performance

Turning to performance, AV-Test bases this on three different factors: How much battery life the program uses, whether the program slows the device during routine usage, and finally, what sort of burden it places on network resources. Unfortunately, AV-Test doesn't provide further information on how it measures each of these aspects.

3.

Usability

With regards to usability, AV-Test checks how susceptible an antivirus app is to false positives. Here, testers examine whether the software that prompted the false positive was downloaded from the Google Play Store or a third-party app store.

4.

Features

Finally, AV-Test examines and categorizes which features are included with the app:

  • Application control (i.e. app lock)

  • Backup (either to cloud storage or on an external storage device)

  • Call blocker (ability to block specific or unknown numbers)

  • Privacy advisor (review which data apps collect and which permissions they've been granted)

  • Safe browsing (protect against malicious websites or phishing)

  • VPN

  • Wi-Fi advisor/scanner (assessment of how secure/vulnerable a Wi-Fi network is)

Everything else, such as anti-theft measures, is included under "Other Features".

Conclusion

For many, smartphones and tablets are the main tools used to access the Internet. This makes it important to protect them similarly to computers and laptops. At the same time, the best security comes from exercising common sense when browsing or surfing.

Still, for peace of mind, the five programs we've listed above can help keep you safe on the go. Don't just take our word for it: Each of the apps above received perfect scores from AV-Test, a highly reputable and independent cybersecurity lab. If interested in learning more about any of the programs, or the other 15 antivirus solutions we reviewed, check out EXPERTE.com's comprehensive antivirus software evaluation.

FAQs

Do Android devices come with an integrated virus scanner?

Yes! Android's integrated virus scanner is called 'Play Protect'. In contrast to Windows Defender, Play Protect performs fairly poorly in AV-Test's evaluations, only identifying 68.8% of current Android malware and 70.3% of Android malware from the last four weeks. For our tastes, that's simply not good enough.

Should I download a virus scanner for my Android device?

This question is often debated by cybersecurity experts. Opponents claim that the dangers of Android malware are exaggerated. With that said, exercising caution (the common sense mentioned above) in combination with Play Protect should be enough to keep your device safe, with third-party antivirus apps providing an additional layer of security.

At the same time, antivirus solutions for Android devices offer a range of practical and useful features, including anti-theft tools and VPNs that go beyond anti-malware. In our opinion, it's always better to be safe than sorry and the extra features might prove useful in a pinch.

What's the best antivirus app for Android?

After combining EXPERTE.com's results with those of AV-Test, an independent and reputable cybersecurity lab, we've listed our Top 5 Android antivirus apps. Each received perfect scores from AV-Test, and differed only in terms of features and price. We recommend Bitdefender Mobile Security, Kaspersky Internet Security for Android, Avast Mobile Security, Norton Mobile Security, and Trend Micro Mobile Security.

Top Antivirus 2024
Sponsored
from $2.00
per month
Bitdefender
from $2.50
per month
Kaspersky
from $0.00
per month
Avast
from $1.67
per month
Norton
show all
Janis von Bleichert studied business informatics at the TU Munich and computer science at the TU Berlin, Germany. He has been self-employed since 2006 and is the founder of EXPERTE.com. He writes about hosting, software and IT security.
* Ad disclaimer: For links marked with an asterisk, EXPERTE.com may earn a commission from the provider. The commission has no influence on our editorial rating.
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Best Overall 2024
Sponsored
Bitdefender Antivirus
flawless user interface
excellent lab results
configurable quick actions
good support with 24/7 live chat
many features
9.6
Review
excellent
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