Review of the best according to the editorial board. On the selection criteria. This material is subjective and does not constitute advertising and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.
Computer viruses have long been created for the most part not for pure sabotage, but for very specific pragmatic purposes – theft of personal data and confidential information, blocking access with subsequent extortion, annoying ads, using a workstation as a 'zombie' in a bot farm, and much more. Modern smartphones are powerful and feature-rich enough to be of equal or even greater interest to virus writers than desktops and laptops.
The editors of the online magazine present you with an overview of the best antiviruses for the mobile operating system as of the beginning of 2020 Android. Our experts drew conclusions based on comparisons of their own experience, user feedback and independent research from reputable organizations such as AV-Comparatives.
- How to choose the best antivirus
- Ability to detect clear and potential threats
- Erroneous positives
- Paid or free
- Rating of the best antivirus for Android
- Best Commercial Antivirus For Android
- Kaspersky Internet Security
- AVL Pro Antivirus & Security
- Bitdefender Mobile Security & Antivirus
- McAfee Mobile Security
- ESET Mobile Security & Antivirus
- Norton Mobile Security
- G Data Mobile Security
- F-Secure SAFE
- Trend Micro Mobile Security
- The best free antivirus programs for Android
- AVG AntiVirus FREE
- Avira Antivirus Security
- Avast Mobile Security
- CM Security Master
- Sophos Intercept X for Mobile (Android)
How to choose the best antivirus
The presented review will serve as a high-quality and reliable guideline in a motley variety of useful and not very mobile antiviruses. But even among this concentrate of the most worthy programs, you need to make your choice, because you can't install all 15 described applications on a smartphone. To do this, you just need to devote a little time to comparing the characteristics of each specific antivirus described in the overview with your needs and / or ideas about the level of security. Let's briefly consider the main selection criteria.
Ability to detect clear and potential threats
In professional parlance, this parameter is called 'detection rate', and it is the most important parameter in any anti-virus application.
The essence of the detection rate is to demonstrate as a percentage the ability of an antivirus to detect real and potential threats. It's not only about detecting infected files already in the system itself, but also about the ability to prevent such a file from 'leaking' at all from anywhere – from the Internet online, by email, from someone else's or own flash drive, etc.
You can find out this figure in the published test results by specialized organizations like AV-Comparatives mentioned above. The same applies to other important parameters, which will be discussed below.
Another important parameter that directly characterizes the performance and professional level of antivirus. The fact is that the detection of viruses and any other malicious software using known signatures is not exactly yesterday, but this is definitely not enough for full protection. Antivirus must be able to recognize viruses, Trojans, worms and other “evil spirits” by certain signs and, at least, give a signal of suspicion to the user.
This ability has a downside – false positives, when the antivirus 'designates' a completely harmless application as malicious. The reasons for this may be different, but the excessive initiative of the antivirus tires, sometimes even hurts, and certainly does not add objective advantages to it. Therefore, the fewer false positives, the better, but not at the expense of detecting real threats.
In the context of antiviruses, this term means several things at once: speed of operation, consumption of electronics resources (processor time, memory), share in energy consumption. Simply put, it is highly desirable for the antivirus to work quickly, consume as little battery power as possible, and not overload the system.
The lack of such an opportunity could still be experienced if you run the antivirus from time to time. But in modern realities, for normal protection, it is necessary for the antivirus to work all the time in the background. And that is why the listed requirements come to the fore.
It is a secondary criterion, but if there is a choice between two antiviruses with the same percentage of detections, then in the overwhelming majority of cases the one that has additional useful functions will be preferred. It can be anything: the 'Anti-theft' function to block a stolen smartphone and / or destroy information on it; blocking unwanted calls and messages from spammers; backup; encryption; parental controls and more.
Paid or free
Finally, the eternal question is whether a free antivirus can provide sufficient protection for a smartphone. Here the answer, as is often the case, is ambiguous – it depends on the user. This means in a broad sense – from the intensity of web surfing on a smartphone, the topic of visited pages, awareness of the topic of information security itself, in general, in principle, the level of computer literacy, personal responsibility, etc.
So, for example, if you use your smartphone a couple of times a week to access the Internet to view news and weather forecasts on a site that has been familiar for many years, a good free antivirus may be enough. If several dozen mobile applications with Internet access are installed on your smartphone and you have no idea about the origin of half of them, then you need to either install a powerful paid antivirus or reconsider your attitude to personal space.
Rating of the best antivirus for Android
|Best Commercial Antivirus For Android||1||Kaspersky Internet Security||5.0|
|3||AVL Pro Antivirus & Security||4.8|
|4||Bitdefender Mobile Security & Antivirus||4.7|
|5||McAfee Mobile Security||4.6|
|6||ESET Mobile Security & Antivirus||4.5|
|7||Norton Mobile Security||4.4|
|8||G Data Mobile Security||4.3|
|10||Trend Micro Mobile Security||4.1|
|The best free antivirus programs for Android||1||AVG AntiVirus FREE||5.0|
|2||Avira Antivirus Security||4.9|
|3||Avast Mobile Security||4.8|
|4||CM Security Master||4.7|
|5||Sophos Intercept X for Mobile (Android)||4.6|
Best Commercial Antivirus For Android
The first and most extensive selection in the review of the best antiviruses for Android according to the version represents applications distributed on a commercial basis, simply speaking – paid. However, many paid antiviruses have a free version and some of them may be quite sufficient for a fairly wide range of users. We will specifically indicate the availability of more or less workable free versions as part of the analysis of each application.
Kaspersky Internet Security
Let's start with the most recognizable, highly effective and multifunctional Russian-made antivirus, which is well known and respected not only in Russia, but also in many other countries of the world. The Kaspersky Internet Security mobile application offers two types of licenses – Free and Premium. The first, as you might guess, is free, but at the same time it is one of the most functional in comparison with other antivirus studios. The fundamental difference, in fact, is only one – a free program must be launched manually, while a full-fledged paid program runs in the background and monitors all threats continuously.
A complete program, where there are no restrictions, includes the following basic work modules and functions:
- constant protection against viruses and threats in the background;
- reflection of various Internet attacks;
- complex of functions “Anti-theft”;
- password protection for certain applications;
- blocking unwanted voice calls and text messages.
- In the free license, Internet protection and application blocking are disabled, and the application itself does not work in the background. All other functionality is fully available.
To detect threats, the application takes as a basis all the available databases of viruses and malware, uses complex, including exclusive algorithms to determine the potential threat from applications and modules not contained in the databases.
An interesting and useful additional feature is 'Anti-theft'. With its help, you can remotely block a wearable gadget with Kaspersky Internet Security installed, determine its location, take a photo and send it to a preset email address, or even turn on the siren through the loudspeaker if it suddenly turns out by GPS that a smartphone or tablet is still somewhere beside.
In addition to its outstanding ability to detect known and potential threats, KIS is also characterized by very good optimization, which largely determines the performance of the program. There were times when Kaspersky Anti-Virus was synonymous with an exorbitant load on all systems and the corresponding gluttony in terms of electricity. But those days are over, and this certainly does not apply to Kaspersky Internet Security for Android. The program works smartly by itself and does not interfere with other applications.
In the latest rating of the best antiviruses according to the organization's version, AV-Test received the highest score of 6.0 in all three main criteria: threat detection, false positives, and performance.
- reliable protection;
- high performance;
- Affordable price for an annual premium subscription;
- functional and workable free version;
- highest mark AV-Test;
- huge community;
- Russian development, taking into account the specifics of the CIS countries;
- instant reaction of the studio to the emergence of new threats – updates in a matter of hours or days.
- insignificant against the background of merits.
The second issue is the mobile version of the once second most popular and effective antivirus. It is well known to the representatives of the 'old school', who seriously fought against viruses even when there were no smartphones.
Dr.Web Mobile Security for Android is no longer so attractive to foreign reviewers, so it is not even included in the rating of the same AV-Test. But this does not mean that the program is bad, it is just that it is nevertheless closer to the domestic user. And here we will emphasize, as in the case of Kaspersky Internet Security, that the Russian origin in this case is an advantage, not a disadvantage. The program takes into account many nuances like the level of computer literacy of Russian electronics users, specific expectations, even mentality.
The comprehensive protection Android of Dr.Web Mobile Security anti-virus systems includes a whole set of functional modules: the anti-virus itself; firewall; parental control; filter of unwanted calls and SMS messages; URL filter function 'Anti-theft'; security auditor.
Before the first installation of the application, the installer will offer to pre-scan the smartphone for existing lesions and potential threats. This is done, among other things, to protect the antivirus itself, because it is known that 'advanced' malware can neutralize antivirus, or even destroy it altogether.
The functional basis of the anti-virus is the background program SpIDer Guard. It is she who works continuously in the background and monitors all suspicious events and processes, instantly making appropriate decisions. All other functions and modes are available in a simple and intuitive menu.
Dr.Web confidently competes with Kaspersky Lab in collecting and organizing data on new viruses and other malicious programs in a single database. There are thousands of monthly updates to the database, so the antivirus never lags behind the current state of affairs in the Internet space.
In the arsenal of the developer there is a free application 'Dr.Web Anti-virus Light', and this is also a very powerful protective tool. Unlike the free license of Kaspersky Internet Security, Dr.Web Light runs in the background and provides broader and more complete protection. But the maximum functionality is available in the full paid version – Dr.Web Mobile Security for Android.
- Russian development with corresponding advantages;
- pre-scan before installation;
- many useful additional tools;
- protection Android TV;
- wide functionality of the free version;
- simple and convenient control;
- affordable cost;
- one of the most complete and up-to-date virus databases.
- spontaneous program shutdowns may occur;
- demanding resources – can significantly load the system.
AVL Pro Antivirus & Security
The rating continues with a very bright, powerful and functional antivirus product from the AVL Team studio. It is as interesting and promising as it is controversial. And this ambiguity is manifested in the fact that the development team does not always bother to polish the next update. As a result, opinions about the program are often polar – ranging from enthusiastic exclamations to complete indignation. And these opinions can change to the opposite from renewal to renewal.
One way or another, according to the results of testing carried out by AV-Test, the program was awarded the highest scores of 6.0 on all three important criteria, and this is worth a lot. The antivirus received the last update literally “yesterday” – in January 2020, and the preliminary conclusions of experts are generally positive.
AVL Pro Antivirus & Security does not parasitize on other people's engines, but uses a completely original development of its own. It was the original engine that was awarded a number of awards from specialized organizations and publications, as one of the highest quality, stable and reliable anti-virus 'radars' for mobile systems. Indeed, the strength of AVL is its ability to conduct deep analysis of the system and climb into the most hidden corners, finding the most disguised 'mines'.
Such deep elaboration has a not very pleasant downside. Often there are situations when the engine detects a number of threats, correctly and accurately identifies them, but cannot eliminate them. There may be objective reasons for this, or maybe there are some flaws in the AVL Team itself, and the issue is being resolved in the next update.
AVL Pro Antivirus & Security can be praised for an easy-to-understand interface that is not overloaded and not devoid of aesthetic appeal. The program allows you to check separately each application with the provision of a detailed report of all the 'ins and outs'. Moreover, not only third-party applications can be analyzed, but also system ones. The report will indicate everything, including the presence of ad units.
The application has a modular structure, due to which it supports easy installation of add-ons and plugins. New plug-ins are periodically released – application cleaner, rootkit scanner, own task manager, and more.
- powerful engine;
- deep Scan;
- modular structure;
- the ability to connect extensions and plugins;
- simple interface with stylish design;
- moderately consumes resources;
- there is a nice free version.
- too crude updates are often released;
- cases of inability to eliminate the detected threat.
Bitdefender Mobile Security & Antivirus
The review is continued by another top winner of the AV-Test rating, which received the highest marks – antivirus Bitdefender Mobile Security. In terms of its capabilities, it practically does not lag behind the eminent 'colleagues in the shop', while having a noticeable advantage – the minimum resource intensity.
The application is a comprehensive toolkit that includes functional modules aimed at protecting confidential user data, maintaining software subsystems, preventing ransomware lockers from taking control of a device, and much more. Also here we see subsections with additional functionality. The most demanded features largely coincide with the functionality of other leaders of the antivirus front in the software market for Android.
Bitdefender Mobile Security performs a detailed scan of each installed application, not after installation, but in the process. This allows you to identify the slightest attempts of unauthorized introduction of ad trackers and other spyware elements that can serve as a potential security hole. All functions related to data leakage protection are assigned to a separate module – Privacy Protector.
The antivirus scanner can run in the background, and you can also run it manually from time to time. Effective threat recognition is based on cloud technologies.
Additional antivirus features include Anti-Theft, Comprehensive System Audit, Internet Security Toolkit, Built-in App Blocker. The latter is a fairly popular and demanded solution that allows you to restrict the ability to launch selected applications by setting a launch password. For the feature to work, the Bitdefender Mobile Security process must always be in the background and not disabled.
The Anti-theft feature is almost as functional as the apps described above. The only thing in which it is inferior is the inability to make a remotely forced photo with sending to an email address. The rest of the typical Anti-Theft features are present.
Bitdefender Mobile Security users are mostly satisfied, and the only systematic negative feedback they receive is the poor performance of the support.
- large-scale and effective protection against viruses;
- cloud-based threat recognition;
- rich additional functionality;
- application blocker;
- parental control;
- minimum load on the system and battery;
- affordable price.
- 'unrequited' technical support even for licensed users.
McAfee Mobile Security
The next item in an extensive selection of the best antiviruses for Android according to the version is the mobile version of the well-known security complex of the McAfee trademark, which got its name from the name of its own creator John McAfee.
Interestingly, the McAfee Mobile Security application is positioned primarily not as an antivirus, but as a 'mobile device security application', and the antivirus itself is far from the first in the list of functionality. This seeming 'secondary' did not prevent the application from receiving the highest marks in the last testing by AV-Test studio. Cross-test carried out by experts confirms the high results.
The software package is provided in three versions – Free, Standard, Plus. The most expedient option from the point of view of anti-virus protection and minimal costs is Standard. As part of the package, the user receives reliable web protection against viruses and unwanted programs that can get to the computer from the Internet.
In addition to checking content 'on the fly', McAfee Mobile Security allows you to check the system for 'settled' viruses, clean when detected, establish secure connections using the built-in VPN. The developers paid special attention to the security of wireless connections – added functions of the WiFi scanner, control of the security of WiFi connections, protection against phishing and other functions.
In addition to directly protecting against viruses, McAfee Mobile Security offers a rich toolkit for other ways to protect data. So, in case the smartphone is stolen, McAfee Mobile Security will take care of blocking access, take a photo of the intruder after an unauthorized access attempt, and delete all confidential data at the request of the owner. McAfee Mobile Security can be managed remotely from the official web portal.
What's more interesting about this product is its performance. This article received the highest AV-Test score for a reason. Not only is the program itself not too gluttonous in terms of system resource consumption, it also provides the user with a set of tools and tools to optimize the system, including battery consumption, and improve the performance of a smartphone or tablet as a whole.
- safe web surfing;
- instant detection and removal with one click;
- VPN with 256-bit encryption;
- protection of wireless connections;
- a set of tools for system optimization.
- after all, it loses in terms of anti-virus functionality to the solutions described above.
ESET Mobile Security & Antivirus
The review continues with the mobile embodiment of the super popular ESET antivirus complex, which appeared on the market under the name NOD32, and this very market literally stunned with its efficiency, progressive approaches, stability and excellent optimization.
The application is predictably released in two versions – paid and free. The free version is significantly limited in its capabilities, but only when compared with the full-fledged paid version. In its pure form, it is quite efficient, obediently scans the system for all known threats, and provides complete security for Internet surfing.
As for the paid version, much more opportunities are already opening up here – a 'destroyer' of ransomware lockers, a means of removing advertising trackers, phishing programs and other unwanted elements have been added.
The classic way of checking, that is, scanning, is carried out in three possible modes – fast scanning, deep and intelligent. The latter is the safest, but the slowest option, and it is also installed by default. If desired, you can easily set any level you want.
In addition to the anti-virus functionality, ESET Mobile Security & Antivirus implements everything that any other of the above-described security systems provides. This also applies to the 'Anti-theft' function, which is called here in exactly the same way as other security systems, and its essence is the same – to enable the user through the web portal to remotely control the lost device up to photographing the environment and sending a picture 'where it says'.
We must pay tribute to the creators of ESET Mobile Security & Antivirus in the sense that scaling their development to mobile operating systems, they did not change their principles in terms of maximum optimization. As with the desktop versions, the program here pleasantly surprises with its minimal size, high speed of work, minimal system requirements and just as minimal resource consumption.
Finally, usability deserves special praise, moreover, in a broad sense. The application interface is well thought out, logical and intuitive, with an eye-pleasing design. Excellent Russian localization.
- high-quality mobile embodiment of the famous antivirus for PC;
- minimum volume;
- minimal resource consumption;
- high speed of work;
- a fairly workable free version;
- logical and clear menu;
- nice interface design.
- no fundamental flaws against the background of the merits were revealed.
Norton Mobile Security
Further, in the review of the best antiviruses for Android, according to the version, follows a real old-timer of the industry, or rather his mobile embodiment. Norton Antivirus is familiar to old-school Russian sysadmins, but it has always been more popular in the US. Now the products of the updated trademark are finding an increasing audience in Russia thanks to the mobile antivirus.
This is a commercial application, but it has a free version, and it is quite functional if there is no need for comprehensive continuous protection, but only a periodic system scan with the removal of detected malicious elements is enough. There is even a basic functionality to protect against information theft – the ability to remotely lock a lost device. And there is also the function of determining the degree of security of each individual site you visit. Much more opportunities open up in the paid version of the program.
So, the full version adds the ability to automatically determine the security of the Wi-Fi network to everything described – the program will inform you about probable tracking. Also, when surfing the Internet, installing applications, opening emails and reading QR codes, it will carry out end-to-end control and phishing prevention. A separate component is designed to block unwanted phone numbers (including anonymous) for receiving a voice call and receiving SMS messages.
A separate module – Application Advisor – provides preventive protection of the device from the “classic” types of viruses, ransom lockers, unwanted annoying ads in various forms, leakage of confidential data. The advisor uses the entire arsenal of many years of Symantec's know-how, including unique patented innovations.
According to the results of comprehensive testing by AV-Test, the Norton Mobile Security mobile application received the highest marks in terms of the main assessment parameters, and a year earlier it was awarded the 'Best Protection Android 2018' award.
In this program, there is clearly only one moment so far. The latest update in January 2020 brought an unpleasant surprise in the form of the removal of some useful functions. Users are still hoping that the developers will reconsider their decision in the next update.
- high-quality antivirus protection;
- reliable protection against phishing;
- effective application advisor;
- exclusive patented protection technologies;
- comprehensive protection against personal data leakage;
- good free version;
- good optimization in terms of resource consumption.
- removal of some useful features in the January 2020 update.
G Data Mobile Security
Another top winner of the authoritative AV-Test rating is G Data Mobile Security. The program, although not so well known as the 'star' names described above, but deservedly received its highest marks 6.0.
The objectivity of the study is confirmed by cross tests carried out by specialists, with the exception of one – the load on the system. And if the OS itself Android does not 'load' the application too noticeably, then the battery resource consumes significantly. Owners of wearable gadgets with capacious batteries can ignore this moment. For those who have a shortage of battery capacity, it is better to pay attention to another product.
G Data Mobile Security provides comprehensive system protection against various malicious programs, phishing, annoying unwanted advertisements, personal data leakage in case of loss of a wearable gadget or theft, parental control.
Web protection and anti-phishing in the application is carried out using the cloud technology, which makes it possible to track even the newest and least-studied types of malware and attack methods.
The set of actions in case of loss of the gadget is very well implemented. So, using the available online functionality, the user can track the location of the device and, if desired, destroy confidential data by sending a special service SMS from any other phone number. Another useful thing is system blocking in case of unauthorized replacement of a SIM card.
Parental controls in G Data Mobile Security deserve high marks. So, parents can set permissions or bans on the use of certain applications, prohibit online purchases or generally download any paid content, including from the Google Play store. A separate function is a children's browser. It implies the use of a special start page in a thematic design, black and white lists of sites, special search engines with exclusively pedagogically expedient content in the search results.
All these advantages are harmoniously combined with a user-friendly intuitive interface that is extremely easy to learn.
- wide functionality;
- ease of use;
- reliable protection against viruses and phishing;
- blocking in case of unauthorized replacement of a SIM card;
- location tracking;
- destruction of data by sending a service SMS;
- high-quality and deep parental control.
- consumes battery power significantly.
Now let's take a look at another very interesting solution, which even slightly destroys templates with its impressive combination of extreme simplicity, 'prohibitive' efficiency and almost record performance.
First, about the possibilities. F-Secure SAFE is designed from the ground up to provide continuous protection against viruses in real time. It will have such settings by default immediately after installation. Separately, you can run the DeepGuard tool for deep and detailed checking of all subsystems, files, applications. The component uses effective technology of behavioral monitoring and in parallel is engaged in the intelligent formation of a list of folders for enhanced control.
Access to certain users to certain folders can be opened or denied – all this is easily adjusted in the settings. You can do the same with applications, including using whitelisting for guaranteed safe applications.
There is a function of detailed scanning of files that are downloaded from the Internet. F-Secure SAFE has its own event scheduler to carry out various additional actions at regular intervals.
In addition to everything described, the program provides one of the best sets of parental control tools. Configuring all parameters is easy via the F-Secure Web Panel. This allows you to easily customize the rules and timing for applying the corresponding restrictions. This is one of the most thoughtful and harmonious solutions for those who have different family members using the same gadget. A separate 'child' browser is not needed – the program, depending on the mode set, will itself determine which types of content are allowed in the search results and which are not.
F-Secure SAFE is one of the easiest to manage, configure and operate antivirus software for mobile systems. The interface is extremely minimalistic, and this is one of the important factors in the performance of the application and its 'invisibility' for the processor resources, memory and battery power.
The developer provides detailed documentation, instructions, answers to frequently asked questions, but, unfortunately, only in English. But if there is no hard language barrier, you should try at least a 30-day free trial.
- effective and comprehensive protection;
- deep scanning;
- user access control;
- maximum optimization;
- speed of work;
- elementary simple and intuitive interface;
- useful additional functions.
- there is no Russian language.
Trend Micro Mobile Security
Completing the selection of the review of the best antiviruses for Android is another top winner of the AV-Test rating – another Mobile Security, but from another studio – Trend Micro. The company was founded by talented Chinese specialists back in 1988, and now it is known precisely for its flagship product – the antivirus of the same name. And this is not just an antivirus, but also a centralized system of transparent control in a corporate environment.
This software product is significantly different from many of the above described in its very concept. Its main purpose is clear – to protect the system from external attacks, malicious intrusion, information leakage, intentional or accidental penetration of malware. But all these actions, according to the approach of the creators of the program, are carried out within the framework of a unified unified infrastructure.
Transparency and end-to-end health monitoring of wearable gadgets is the keynote of Trend Micro Mobile Security. This is what makes it possible for top managers of IT companies to implement the progressive concept of BYOD, according to which specialists are encouraged to use their own wearable gadgets for their work.
Trend Micro Mobile Security's powerful capabilities are directly derived from the best practices that are built into its design. For example, to detect threats, including potential leaks of confidential data, 'classic' viruses, Trojans, phishing attacks, ransomware lockers, the most advanced machine learning techniques are used. Such innovative approaches leave no chances for even the most recent and completely unexplored suspicious objects.
The high professional level of the software package is also evident in the fact that the developers have taken care of the harmonious and extremely correct integration of the application into the OfficeScan management infrastructure. Thanks to high-quality centralization, which is also quite flexible, the administrators of the client company get the opportunity to receive complete information about the activity of employees' devices and apply the appropriate corporate policies.
All of the above and what the format of the article does not allow us to say, ensures not only information security, but also in the most direct way reduces overall costs, saves the working time of the IT service, and minimizes secondary risks.
- high professional level;
- exceptional degrees of protection;
- corporate focus;
- introduction of the most advanced techniques;
- tight integration with the OfficeScan suite;
- available, as for a corporate product, rates.
- no fundamental and objective flaws were found.
The best free antivirus programs for Android
The second and final selection in the review of the best antiviruses for mobile systems based on OS Android represents a separate category of mobile antivirus applications – distributed free of charge. And here we will talk about those programs that are more or less complete and are not a forced marketing add-on to the main full-fledged paid version, as we saw in the review of almost all of the above solutions.
There are a few caveats here. Freeness of the program can only be direct, and indirectly, the user can still 'pay' by forced viewing of advertising banners or messages. In addition, a free antivirus can at some point suddenly and “without a declaration of war” become paid, as once happened with Panda. Finally, the free status often becomes a factor of not very high efficiency compared to even very cheap, but commercial solutions.
AVG AntiVirus FREE
Let's start with one of the most famous free antiviruses – AVG AntiVirus FREE. Other products are also released under the AVG brand, including antiviruses for PCs, including paid ones. The difference is that AVG AntiVirus FREE is not a stripped-down AVG AntiVirus Pro – it is a separate product, and even the manufacturer itself positions it separately. This is not difficult to do, since in 2016 AVG was bought out by Avast, and the top management already has experience in separating software products.
The free version offers basic functionality and additional add-ons to it. At the same time, the basic functionality itself is already more interesting than the free version of Kaspersky Internet Security. There is not only memory and file folder scanning, but also continuous background work. Thus, the antivirus will stop openly malicious or even just suspicious files even before they are fully loaded, let alone launch. The background work of the application consumes moderately resources and does not significantly affect either the overall speed of the gadget or the discharge of the battery.
Like all other products in the studio, AVG AntiVirus Free contains an integrated AVG Zen centralized management module. Through it, you can conveniently and transparently manage processes and monitor the security level of not only Android devices, but also other computers and gadgets in a certain field of consumer influence (home PC, laptop, tablet, etc.) AVG Zen – not a unique solution, similar centralized 'portals' are in McAfee antiviruses and other similar software products. However, AVG has managed to implement this idea in a particularly elegant way.
In addition to basic protection features, AVG AntiVirus Free offers a little extra. This is a forced scan, including in-depth; remote blocking of the phone when it is lost; transferring data to a memory card or to the cloud with removal from the device. Of particular interest is the function of scanning the system in order to detect potential factors of performance degradation and then eliminate them.
AVG AntiVirus FREE scored top 6.0 in all three major categories in the most recent testing by the reputable AV-Test organization. The current version, however, is weak in terms of preventing phishing, but there is a possibility that this flaw will be quickly fixed.
- continuous real-time protection in the background;
- moderate consumption of resources;
- convenient and pleasant interface;
- centralized control and management via AVG Zen;
- additional function 'Anti-theft' and others;
- scanning and optimizing the system for improved performance.
- weak protection against phishing.
Avira Antivirus Security
As the second number, consider another antivirus with a well-known name, which is closely associated with free distribution. Actually, Avira Antivirus Security is not only an antivirus, but a small complex for Android, capable of protecting the system and personal data from a variety of threats. Similar to the previous solution, this free application is part of the entire ecosystem of Avira products for a variety of platforms.
The complex consists of an anti-virus module, an anti-theft block, and a call protection block. Everything is more or less obvious here: the anti-virus part of the application constantly monitors the state of the system and what content is passing through the communication channels and through the device's memory at any given time. You can run a separate scan.
A function similar to 'Anti-theft' – like most of the described applications, is able to locate a lost smartphone and remotely perform certain actions with it to protect data – block, if it is lost unlocked, destroy confidential data if someone illegally took possession of it.
Call protection means easy management of blacklists of phone numbers with blocking of incoming voice calls and text messages.
Avira Antivirus Security can also detect other types of threats, not necessarily viral. The program effectively detects and eliminates spyware activity, unmistakably “brings to the surface” seemingly harmless applications that collect data too deeply, if the owner wishes, it can block the camera, microphone, or even chats with password access.
This software package is extremely lightweight, it is quickly installed, works smartly and error-free, does not load the system resources.
Overall, it is actually one of the best free antivirus for Android – systems as of February 2020. He also received top marks from AV-Test, as well as from a number of other industry expert organizations. The current version is especially appreciated for its error-free threat detection. As for the rest of the functionality, it is quite minimalistic here, and you need to be prepared for this.
- high efficiency in detecting virus threats;
- effective elimination of spyware;
- control over application behavior;
- call protection;
- remote control in case of loss of the gadget;
- speed of work;
- minimum resource intensity.
- still poor functionality.
Avast Mobile Security
A much wider functionality and additional add-ons are presented to the user by another free antivirus with an equally recognizable name – Avast Mobile Security for Android. The program was originally developed as free with a wide range of protection methods and preventive measures to protect personal data.
The basic protective functions of Avast Mobile Security are the same as those of absolutely all paid and free mobile antiviruses – periodic or forced scanning of the operating system, file system, existing applications and data storage, both internal and external. Most of the activity tracking functions are automatic and do not distract the user. Antivirus begins to pester with messages only when faced with threats that require the user to make a decision, for example, to permanently delete infected files.
In addition to this direct function, Avast Mobile Security has the same arsenal of tools for blocking unwanted calls and SMS, remotely managing a lost device, scanning available Wi-Fi networks for security and potential spyware.
Avast Mobile Security has a huge database of over 8 million code samples that represent a direct or potential threat. The database is updated with new signatures and 'casts' daily. At peak times, new arrivals to the base can amount to thousands a day. Every month, according to reports, installed mobile antiviruses reflect an average of about two million attacks on client devices.
With such a powerful information and intellectual support, Avast Mobile Security can easily detect and destroy malicious programs, their disguised components, as well as 'waste products', no worse than paid multifunctional antiviruses. He can handle lockers, routers, banking Trojans, SMS Trojans, clickers and even fake apps.
The application is written with high quality, the optimization is brought almost to perfection, so that Avast Mobile Security literally “flies” without loading the processor and memory, carefully consuming battery power.
- huge database;
- constant additions to the database with subsequent updates;
- effective threat detection;
- Wi-Fi network scanner;
- minimum of false positives;
- speed of work;
- optimization level.
- not fundamental.
CM Security Master
Now let's draw your attention to another remarkable software product for Android from the Cheetah Mobile studio, capable of providing comprehensive protection for an Android device from viruses, illegal intrusions and other dangerous external activity.
CM Security Master application is light and fast, highly efficient and not too demanding on the resources of the gadget's hardware. Here you can see the embodiment of all the best from many years of experience of developers recognized as the most reliable in the world Android – the Clean Master optimizer.
As for the capabilities and functionality, the program has a lot in common in characteristics with the above solutions. So we will not repeat ourselves once again, but will describe the most remarkable.
So, this antivirus uses one of the most advanced engines – Kingsoft. This version applies its dual on-premises and cloud versions. 16-year history of development and feedback from 200 million users around the world definitely benefited from its next incarnation in the CM Security Master antivirus application. The program receives top marks from AV-Test and AV-Comparatives constantly and does not leave the rating for many years in a row.
The application provides multi-factor protection: real-time tracking of memory and downloads from the Web; checking every new installed application and, what is important, every update of every application. The file system and content of visited sites is also regularly checked.
Against the background of efficiency, the speed of the antivirus is even more pleasing. On more or less powerful hardware, a fast scan takes a few seconds. The apk-file size is also minimal, so the program will take up nothing at all.
A bonus to everything said in CM Security Master are the functions of cleaning the system from garbage and optimization. So there is a chance that the program will not only not slow down the work Android, but will even speed it up a little.
- one of the best antivirus engines;
- multilevel protection;
- speed of work;
- ease of use;
- deep check of applications and even every update;
- system optimization modules.
- a lot of ads in the latest version;
- some features have become paid.
Sophos Intercept X for Mobile (Android)
The review of the best mobile antiviruses for Android ends with the most, perhaps, the best, complete, effective and versatile solution from a well-known British studio. In terms of functionality, progressive approaches, innovations and intellectual component in general, Sophos Intercept X for Mobile leaves far behind its closest competitors.
The first thing that commands respect after getting acquainted with the program is the absence of advertising, that is, the antivirus is free for real and in all respects. The 'wow' effect is enhanced when other functions are revealed. The basic set of functions is clear, but we will briefly repeat: scanning of file storages, memory, own system and applications; web filter blocking dangerous and suspicious pages; password protection of applications; scanning wireless networks for threats like MITM (Man in the middle).
There are a number of functions and modules in this program that are not in any other free antivirus, as well as in many paid ones. It is a privacy and security advisor, secure QR code scanner, password manager, authenticator, remote control.
Of particular interest is the 'Intelligent Mobile Threat Defense (MTD)' feature. To use it, you need to connect an Intune account Microsoft, then you will have access to flexible control over access to the device and corporate data, the level of which will be determined by the compatibility status. You will also need the adjacent Sophos Central software.
- effective protection against viral and similar threats;
- deep scanning of applications;
- checking networks for potential threats like MITM;
- intelligent mobile threat protection;
- security and privacy advisors;
- professional level;
- corporate applicability;
- no ads.
- negligible against the background of the merits and direct advantages.
Attention! This rating is subjective and does not constitute an advertisement and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.