DoorKendra Bruning/May 13, 2023, 10:30 AM EST
Android smartphones are the most popular on the market right now, making them a target for malware and identity theft. Therefore, the number of antivirus apps for Android has increased, all of which promise to protect users' devices from malicious attacks.
Most people are well protected and don't even know it. This is partly due to the strict security measures of the Google Play store. If you only download apps from the official Play Store, chances of getting a virus or downloading malware are slim. Google Play Protect, which is enabled by default on all Android devices, regularly scans the apps installed on your device to identify potential threats such as viruses, spyware, and other potentially malicious apps.
However, there are many reasonswhy you should use an antivirus app on your android phoneexcept Google Play Protect. Data thieves are sneaky and can try to hijack your data through suspicious links, text messages, websites, and phone calls. That's why some antivirus apps provide an important layer of additional security features, such as anti-phishing, VPN protection, and anti-theft protection.
Below you'll find eight of the best antivirus apps for Android phones, including free and paid options, with a comprehensive coverage of each app's features and benefits to help you make an informed decision about which one is right for you.
Bitdefender mobile security
Bitdefender mobile securityIt is one of the best antivirus apps in the Play Store for value, protection, features, and impact on phone performance.
When registering with Bitdefender, users are required to create an account and accept terms and conditions similar to a purchase agreement. While this can be intimidating, you're really just setting users up for a 14-day trial. Bitdefender virus scanning is fast and efficient, instantly detecting various issues on a test phone and providing recommended settings to improve security. In addition to scanning, there is also an option to automatically scan new apps for malware.
Bitdefender tackles fraudulent calls by automatically blocking numbers known to be illegal, and can help users by dialing new numbers. For safer browsing, the app has a built-in service that automatically blocks and warns sites with malicious links, and offers strong parental controls to keep your kids safe. A 200MB per day VPN is included in the plan to further mask your privacy and browsing data. If users have sensitive information about certain apps, Bitdefender can lock them with a strong password, adding an extra layer of protection to the standard phone lock.
Subscription costs may vary per subscription. For a single device, the annual cost is $14.99, but a multi-device plan costs $94.99 per year, which includes support for PCs, Macs, and iOS devices, making it a good choice as a family plan.
Norton360 Antivirus & Security
Norton has been a big name in antivirus software since the 90s, which is pretty impressive in a fast-paced industry.norton360offers a wide range of security features that are among the best on the market, but unlike other antivirus apps, there is no free version of Norton. All of their services are paid, with the basic plan costing $14.99 for the first year and protecting one phone with apps, data, phone, text, browser, and web scanning. Norton360 quickly scanned and identified all threats on the tested phone during the test.
In addition to scanning, the average Norton360 subscription also checks information brokers and known dark websites for stolen information, providing users with instant notifications. This ensures that if your data is stolen, you are notified immediately to limit the damage as much as possible. Norton360 also includes its own VPN service to keep your data hidden from hackers.
At $104.99 per year, Norton's largest and most expensive suite offers protection for multiple devices, including PCs, Macs, and phones. Whatever device you have, you can use their services. There is also a safe browsing mode that can restrict access to websites and set study hours to allow students to block websites completely or during school hours. Overall, Norton is one of the best antivirus apps on the market, but it comes with a subscription fee.
McAfee Security: virusscanner
McAfeeis a major brand in the antivirus market, offering a comprehensive feature set with a focus on family protection. McAfee's free features include a comprehensive virus scanner, a Wi-Fi security scanner, and a dark web identity scanner that already detects data breaches. These three features are essential in any solid antivirus software, and they all work well in the free version.
Premium features require a $99.99/year subscription after a 7-day trial and include scheduled automatic scans, advanced identity theft protection, VPN service, and browser protection. Advanced Identity Theft Protection is identical to the free version, but allows you to monitor multiple accounts and email addresses at once, while the free version only monitors one email address for data breaches.
McAfee Security is a great option for families, especially with a premium plan. One subscription covers up to 5 different devices with the same level of protection, and most importantly, it also includes safe browsing mode. This feature automatically blocks malicious sites and links and allows parents to monitor the content of their children's phones to prevent unwanted users from accessing inappropriate sites.
AVG antivirus and security
AVG antivirus and securityis an all-in-one app that offers various features for protecting your data, Wi-Fi and identity. You have free access to a virus scanner, wifi speed test, password leak detector, junk data cleaner and customizable web filter. Virus scanning can isolate andremove malware from your phone, and a web filter is useful for parents, although it does require you to manually block websites.
Included in the free version of AVG AntiVirus, it monitors data breaches and can warn users if they are at risk of data breaches. Users can also move files and images to a secure vault that can only be accessed with a strong password, independent of phone lock. Premium features allow users to access AVG VPN services and remove ads throughout the app.
It should be noted that the AVG and Avast apps on this list have an identical user interface, and that's because they both belong to the same parent company. AVG is slightly cheaper than its Avast counterpart at $39.99/year for full access to all features. While both apps are powerful, AVG uses AI to detect new viruses and malware, which sets it apart.
Malwarebytes mobile security
Founded in 2008,malwarebytesis a well-known company that produces antivirus software. The free version of Malwarebytes offers two main functions: virus scanning and application management.
During testing, Malwarebytes took nine minutes to complete its first full scan, which is significantly slower than some of the other antivirus apps on this list. Subsequent scans were much faster and took about a minute. While the Malwarebytes app was able to spot some potential threats on a test phone and provide automatic fixes, the scan time is much longer than other apps on this list and you'll need to run it manually.
Application Manager is a useful tool for those who like to delve into behind-the-scenes data and numbers. The administrator provides information about the application version, memory usage, time used, and download source. It can be useful if you have to manually search through apps to find the ones that might be harming you or your phone. The rest of the features are tied up behind Malwarebytes' premium plan, which costs $19.99 per year. With a subscription, users have access to automatic scanning and advanced detection of ransomware and spyware.
Its most notable feature is Browser Protection, which acts as an ad blocker and protects againstidentity fraud, trackers and exploit attacks. It is a minimalistic and user-friendly application that works best in combination with other security applications.
Lookout security and antivirus
Lookout security and antivirusit offers the standard features you'd find in security apps, but the anti-theft features really stand out. The free version of the app has a GPS tracker that can locate a lost phone, and a shouting feature that sounds a siren alarm even when the phone is in silent or do not disturb mode. The premium version offers additional features such as remotely locking and wiping all data on your phone, as well as keeping track of your phone even when it is in airplane mode, the SIM card is removed, the device is turned off or when the Lookout app is uninstalled. . These are typical tactics used by phone thieves to cover their tracks.
While scanning apps and files, Lookout found some security flaws in the test phone and also recommended updates for several outdated apps. For $59.99/year, Lookout Premium members can access additional identity theft protection, such as spending monitoring and social media accounts. The premium plan also includes a million-dollar identity theft insurance backed by a third-party insurer.
The free version of Lookout provides users with an easy-to-use and ad-free virus scanner. Lookout also has one of the best phone recovery toolkits offered for free. Users who choose to purchase a premium membership can access more phone recovery options, data monitoring, and a million dollar insurance policy.
Avast One: privacy and security
Avast is a general name for antivirus software andAvast antivirus and securityoffers several features to ensure a simple and safe internet experience. The scanning of applications and files is efficient, accurately detects problems and presents them in clear and concise language. Avast also offers a handy Wi-Fi speed checker and junk data cleanup in the free version to improve phone performance.
This security app offers two options to upgrade to a premium subscription: $47.99 per year for additional security and VPN features or $19.99 per year only for additional security features, such as automatic scans, dangerous link alerts, and additional technical support.
Avast VPN has not been tested as it is not part of the Avast security app. If you want to use a VPN, you'll need to download a separate app, as there's no all-in-one solution.
While Avast is a good option for those looking for a simple security scan, it is heavily ad-supported, forcing users to display an ad every time they scan or clear their data cache, often pushing them to upgrade to a premium package . This is a great free app with a user-friendly UI, but users will face the onslaught of ads while the app is in use.
Avira Security Antivirus and VPN
Avira Security Antivirus and VPNis a highly rated antivirus app on the Google Play Store for Android users. While most features and services are free, some enhanced features are only available if users purchase a subscription. The app is extremely easy to use and comes with a menu divided into user-friendly categories such as security, privacy, and performance.
The main feature of Avira is the smart scan that checks all your apps, files and account security. Account Security checks usernames and compares them to data breaches to warn users of possible identity theft. Users can also set up a password app lock to restrict access to specific apps. That way, even if someone manages to unlock your phone, they still need an extra password for those apps.
If you opt for the annual plan, you get access to web security, password management, and microphone security, while the VPN feature is updated to accommodate location changes. Without a subscription, VPN functionality is limited to 100 MB of data per day and limited to the user's region. The plan is available for $22.99/year or $104.99/year for the multi-device plan.
While there were no ads during testing, the app prompted users for reviews and subscription updates. Overall, Avira offers great value and protection for the free app, with additional features available with a subscription.
- Surfshark Antivirus. ...
- Bitdefender Mobile Security. ...
- Webroot Mobile Security. ...
- Panda Security. ...
- Norton Mobile Security. ...
- Avast Mobile Security. ...
- McAfee Mobile Security. ...
- AVG Antivirus.
Google Play Protect is Android's most prominent built-in security protection tool, which includes malware scanning. Play Protect will warn you against harmful apps in the Google Play Store, scan sideloaded applications for malicious software and protect you from dangerous sites while browsing the web.What is the best app to remove viruses from your phone? ›
|Android App||On-Demand Malware Scanner||Real-Time Protection|
On your Android phone or tablet, open a web browser, like Chrome. Go to myaccount.google.com/security-checkup.How do I check my phone for viruses? ›
The best way to check for malware on your phone is to use a mobile security app like free AVG Antivirus for Android. Run a scan. After installing AVG Antivirus, open the app and run an antivirus scan to find malware hidden in your device's system.How do I know if my phone has a virus? ›
If your phone does have a virus, you'll notice some changes in its behavior. A typical sign is the sudden existence of poor performance issues. Your phone might slow down when you try to open its browser or another app. Other times, you'll notice some apps behaving suspiciously.Do free antivirus apps really work? ›
The Scare Tactics. In a 2019 report from AV-Comparatives, we learned that most of the antivirus apps on Android don't even do anything to check apps for malicious behavior. They just use white/blacklists to flag apps, which is ineffective and makes them little more than advertising platforms with some fake buttons.Does Google have a free virus scan? ›
Google Play Protect checks apps when you install them. It also periodically scans your device. If it finds a potentially harmful app, it might: Send you a notification.Is the virus warning on my Android phone real? ›
These pop-ups claim that your device is infected and requires cleaning. Since there is no way for these web pages to scan your device to determine the actual status of your mobile device, they are considered advertisements, or scareware. To block these pop-ups, close the web page that triggered the alert.How to clear cache on Android? ›
- On your Android phone or tablet, open the Chrome app .
- At the top right, tap More .
- Tap History. Clear browsing data.
- At the top, choose a time range. To delete everything, select All time.
- Next to "Cookies and site data" and "Cached images and files," check the boxes.
- Tap Clear data.
Will a factory reset remove a virus? Performing a factory reset is the best way to get rid of viruses, spyware, and other malware. A factory reset will delete everything that wasn't originally installed on the device. This includes any viruses that infected your operating system and files.What Android app removes viruses? ›
Android devices also benefit from enhanced security against malware and other internet threats. Avast's Android antivirus protection scans for and gets rid of viruses, safeguards your Wi-Fi connection, and defends your phone with world-class cybersecurity.Which is the best free antivirus for Android? ›
- TotalAV Antivirus.
- Norton Mobile Security.
- McAfee Mobile Security.
- Malwarebytes Security.
- Bitdefender Mobile Security.
- Avast Mobile Security.
- Kaspersky Mobile Antivirus.
Installing and using a trusted antivirus solution is also one of the top ways to get rid of trojans. An effective antivirus program searches for valid trust and app behavior, as well as trojan signatures in files in order to detect, isolate and then promptly remove them.How do you get rid of a virus fast? ›
- Step 1: Download and install a virus scanner. ...
- Step 2: Disconnect from internet. ...
- Step 3: Reboot your computer into safe mode. ...
- Step 4: Delete any temporary files. ...
- Step 5: Run a virus scan. ...
- Step 6: Delete or quarantine the virus.
Bottom Line. With a 99.8 percent malware detection rate, AVG is one of the trusted names in antivirus for good reason. Now more than ever, strong antivirus software is a necessity for the health and safety of every Internet-enabled device.Do phone viruses go away on their own? ›
Do iPhone viruses go away? If your iPhone is infected with malware, it won't go away on its own. Act quickly to remove the virus or malware from your iOS device and restore your privacy and security.How do I remove malware from my phone? ›
- Step 1: Immediately Turn Your Phone Off Before Performing Some Research. ...
- Step 2: Turn the Phone On in Safe Mode or Emergency Mode. ...
- Step 3: Go to Device Settings to Locate the Malicious App. ...
- Step 4: Uninstall the Infected Application. ...
- Step 5: Opt For A Factory Reset.
- Avira: Best for multiple platforms.
- Avast: Best for malware protection.
- Microsoft Defender Antivirus: Best for Microsoft.
- Bitdefender: Best for virus scanning.
- AVG: Best for spyware.
- Avira: Best for Multiple Platforms.
- Avast: Best for Malware Protection.
- Microsoft Defender Antivirus: Best for Multiple Platforms.
- Bitdefender: Best for Virus Scanning.
- AVG: Best for Spyware.
Avast. Download Free Antivirus & VPN. 100% Free & Easy.Which antivirus does Google recommend? ›
For example, in addition to its own technology for protecting against malicious links, Google also uses Microsoft's Windows Defender antivirus scanner to protect users from phishing attacks.Does Google warn you if you have a virus? ›
No. When Google says you have a virus on your phone, you are being scammed. Specifically, cybercriminals are trying to trick you into installing malware, submitting personal data, or paying for virus removal. Unfortunately, fake virus warnings on Android phones are very common these days.Will Google tell me if I have a virus? ›
No, Google does not have an antivirus software notifying users of malware threats. If you come across a pop-up like this, close your browser immediately.How do I manually remove a virus from my Android phone? ›
- Power off the phone and reboot in safe mode. Press the power button to access the Power Off options. ...
- Uninstall the suspicious app. ...
- Look for other apps you think may be infected. ...
- Install a robust mobile security app on your phone.
Trojans that run on the Android operating system are usually either specially-crafted programs that are designed to look like desirable software (e.g., games, system updates or utilities), or copies of legitimate programs that have been repackaged or trojanized to include harmful components.How to remove virus from Android phone without factory? ›
1) Go to Google Play Store and Download and install AVG AntiVirus for Android on your phone. 2) Launch AVG Antivirus and tap the Scan button to detect virus on your computer. 3) If a virus is detected, tap Resolve. 4) Check if your phone works properly.What does a fake virus alert look like? ›
Fake virus warnings commonly appear on your screen as pop-ups warning you about some urgent malware threat and encouraging you to act immediately and download their product. Fake virus warnings can also appear as fake spyware warnings or fake system notifications.How common are viruses on Android phones? ›
Android viruses and malware are rare, but they do happen. So, if you're concerned that your phone may have a virus, then read on because we'll be explaining how to remove a virus from an Android phone in detail and how you can protect yourself from future attacks.Why did I get a pop-up saying I have a virus? ›
Generally speaking, if you're seeing pop-ups on your device about viruses, they're probably pop-up viruses. This is even more likely to be the case if you don't have antivirus software installed (or have a different provider than the one shown in the notifications).
Clearing your Android app cache can help fix speed issues and free up storage space. If you need more storage, clear the cache of the apps that take up the most space. Clearing your app cache every few months will help streamline your phone and keep it from getting too full.What happens when you wipe Android cache? ›
This procedure clears temporary files from your phone's operating system and cleans up any residual files from apps you have uninstalled, to help your phone run smoothly.Does factory reset stop hackers? ›
The majority of malware can be removed with a factory reset of your phone. This will, however, wipe any data stored on your device, such as photos, notes, and contacts, so it's important to back up this data before resetting your device. Follow the instructions below to reset your iPhone or Android.Which is better hard reset or factory reset? ›
A factory reset deletes all data from your phone.
A factory reset reverts your phone back to its factory settings, forcing you to set it up again as if it is fresh out of the box. Because of the severity of a factory reset, it should only be used as an extreme measure.
If you just delete the suspicious file, the malware will probably keep reinstalling itself anyway and continue causing damage to your device. This is not to say that computer viruses cannot be deleted manually—they can, but this is a very complex process that would require a lot of time and effort.Which mobile operating system has the best security? ›
Privacy features. In terms of privacy features, iOS 14 is the clear winner. Apple has prioritized protecting users' personal information and has implemented several security measures in the latest version of its operating system. For example, iOS 14 requires apps to ask for user permission before tracking their data.Is McAfee good for Android? ›
McAfee's mobile app offers advanced anti-malware and anti-phishing protection, a Wi-Fi security check, and a VPN. It's one the best mobile apps on the market today — and it's extremely affordable when purchased as part of any Total Protection multi-device plan.Which is better AVG or Avast for Android? ›
AVG comparison. If your antivirus doesn't delete malware, you shouldn't be using it. In this sense, both services deliver the same level of protection. According to AV-Test's reviews, both Avast and AVG perform equally well and consistently get maximum points on all platforms.Can I trust AVG AntiVirus free? ›
AVG AntiVirus Free performs well in independent testing, and PC users are very happy with it. If you're looking for a simple way to beef up the security on your PC using an antivirus program, the AVG AntiVirus Free is a great choice.Which phone is not hackable? ›
K-iPhone – One of the most secure Phones
Also Read: How To Use A VPN On Android Smartphone – A Step-by-Step Guide! The device has its changed firmware, and there is the addition of its own VoIP applications (by Kryptall) to ensure that all phone calls are fully encrypted.
Purism Librem 5
From the entire list of smartphones that don't track you, the Librem 5 is the best option. The phone runs PureOS, Purism's privacy-focused Linux operating system which is not based on Android nor iOS. As such, the software is open-source and comes with free and open-source software (FOSS) pre-installed.
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
Your Note 20 Ultra has multi-layered security created by this security platform. You will get security improvements designed expressly for the Android OS, encryption, and TrustZone architecture to safeguard critical data.
There is no hard and fast rule that you should use Antivirus in your Android device or not. It depends on the way how you use your Android device, what kind of data you keep in your device, and what level of security you want in your device.Does McAfee remove malware from Android phone? ›
You can use the McAfee Security Android app to scan for viruses, with an option to delete the data or application infected with the virus or to delete the actual malware itself. After this, you can restart or reset your mobile device and restore your content.Does Samsung use McAfee? ›
Samsung keeps its Galaxy phones, tablets, and laptops protected from malware through a pre-installed antivirus solution powered by McAfee. It comes with every modern Galaxy device you buy and will continue to be pre-installed on Galaxy phones, tablets, and laptops for at least nine more years moving forward.Which antivirus program is 100% effective? ›
|Antivirus||Starting Price||Malware Detection Rate|
|1.🥇Norton||$54.99 / year||100%|
|2.🥈Bitdefender||$19.99 / year||100%|
|3.🥉McAfee||$39.99 / year||100%|
|4. TotalAV||$19.00 / year||99.6%|
Without Android security software, your phone may get infected with malware. Avast Mobile Security for Android also protects your phone with automatic Wi-Fi network security checks. And should your phone or tablet get stolen, we'll help you lock your device, wipe any sensitive data, and track its location.What antivirus to use instead of Avast? ›
Bitdefender – security-focused alternative to Avast Antivirus. One of the most highly-rated antiviruses, Bitdefender provides unparalleled malware protection. Acing virtually every independent lab test, Bitdefender is listed as Advanced+ by AV-Comparatives.Is AVG a Russian company? ›
History. AVG Technologies was founded by Tomáš Hofer and Jan Gritzbach in 1990 under the name Grisoft in Brno, Czechoslovakia.Why not to use AVG Antivirus? ›
However, AVG Antivirus doesn't come without its drawbacks. The service often detects false positives and is quite heavy on system resources during scans. If these factors seem like a deal breaker for you, there are various alternatives that ensure better overall security and performance, such as TotalAV.
Overall, McAfee appears to be the better antivirus software than AVG antivirus. It offers more thorough protection for your devices and a wider variety of features.