Even though Android devices have Google Play Protect for security, it’s often not enough to protect your smartphone or tablet from malware and other online threats. For this reason, having a third-party antivirus for your Android device is essential for ensuring robust security.
Best Android mobile security apps not only have sophisticated malware scanners but also anti-theft, web security, and system optimization tools. Some of them even include a VPN to secure your mobile browsing activities. All of these features can help you avoid cyberattacks when you do online shopping, make mobile banking transactions or any other daily tasks.
In this article, you’ll find a list of the best antivirus apps for Android. Just keep in mind that these security tools are not mere malware scanners. In fact, they’re advanced mobile protection suites that can help you stay safe online and avoid the latest cyber threats.
Best Android antivirus apps
Bitdefender Antivirus – overall best Android antivirus suite
TotalAV – top real-time antivirus for Android protection
Norton 360 – unmatched threat protection for mobile devices
Surfshark Antivirus – great Android security app choice
NordVPN TP – great VPN with antivirus features
Features of the best antivirus for Android
When looking for an antivirus for your Android device, there are some things to take into account while choosing the best app for you:
Android app. You have to make sure that the service actually has an app for Android. And even if it does, that still doesn’t mean that you should pull a trigger right away, check whether their Android app is on the same quality level as the rest of the suite.
Malware labs scores. Make sure that your chosen service is good at removing malware. Most independent malware labs run monthly tests and publish their results.
Features. You can live without extra features, but they never hurt. Some of the premium suites include a VPN, a password manager, and web filters that might even justify getting a more expensive package.
Customer support. If you run into problems, it’s always good to know that someone will help you out. Good customer support guarantees that there’s always someone to rely on.
Price. It’s easy to overpay if you’re not sure what you’re getting. Be smart about your purchases, and don’t waste your money on poor antivirus services.
List 8 best antivirus apps for Android
The best antivirus apps for Android do bring a lot of additional value to the table. Aside from malware protection, they offer anti-theft tools, phone tracking, and VPN. Here are some of the best on the market:
1. Bitdefender Mobile Security – best security suite for Android in 2022
Bitdefender Mobile Security is the best app for Android protection. It brings much more than malware scanning. This app gives you contextual recommendations based on your Android device usage and needs, proving excellent all-around protection.
Bitdefender’s scanner checks whether you have installed ransomware, adware, and other potentially unwanted apps. Then, there’s web protection that filters every website for malicious components.
Additional features are excellent, too. For example, your smartphone’s location gets tracked on the map, helping to retrieve it if it gets lost.. You can also remotely scan for malware, lock the device, or wipe all the data from it. This gives a pretty incredible level of control over your device. The kicker is that Bitdefender Mobile Security also works great with Android smart wearables.
The final addition is a VPN, which gives you up to 200 MB per day for safe browsing on your Android phone. All of these perks cost from $17.99/year and come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Best malware protection
Great value for money
Great independent test scores
Has an Android app
Limited VPN functionality
2. TotalAV – feature-loaded and best value ensuring Android package
If you want desktop-grade performance on your Android device, look no further than TotalAV Antivirus. It’s an excellent option for those who want an all-in-one antivirus solution for a great price.
A lot of its value comes from security scans. During our tests, TotalAV managed to pick up malware types that even some other providers didn’t detect. Not to mention that independent lab tests also evaluated it 100% for malware detection rate.
Then, there are additions, such as a VPN, that encrypts your connection and hides your real IP address to prevent online tracking. This alone is already well worth the subscription cost, making TotalAV excellent overall value for money.
You can also clear up junk files with the Device Tune-Up feature. Not only can this help you free up more space on your Android, but it can also help save battery life.
If you’re frequently connected to public hotspots, you can use TotalAV’s Wi-Fi security checker to make sure they’re safe. This will let you know if there are potentially dangerous perpetrators on the same networks.
You can get a TotalAV subscription from $19.00/year, which is a great price for an antivirus product. You can try out TotalAV’s free version to get the hang of the service, but there’s also a 30-day money-back guarantee with paid plans if you change your mind.
Great malware scanner
Data breach alerts
Has an Android app
No web filters
3. Norton Mobile Security – solid premium feature suite
Norton Mobile Security is another top-class antivirus for Android. It takes care of three key areas: security, identity, and privacy.
In terms of security, it scans your Android phone for malware, informs you when the OS has vulnerabilities and notifies you when you join insecure networks. This will be the most useful when you’re connecting to public wifi hotspots.
The Web Protection feature prevents you from visiting malicious websites. Norton constantly updates the blacklist, and the marked pages won’t load. This ensures great online safety and reduces identity theft risks.
There are also app advisors that scan your Google Play installs and warn you about potentially dangerous apps. You can set up automatic scans that will be performed in the background. For example, when you sleep and leave your phone on the nightstand.
Lastly, there’s privacy protection which is taken care of with the help of a VPN. It’s a separate, but very intuitive app, keeping you protected. The same goes for the password manager and a parental control feature.
If you’re keen to try Norton, its subscriptions cost from $9.99/year and include a 30-day money-back guarantee.
In-depth malware scans
Warns about dangerous apps
Has an Android app
No free version
4. Surfshark Antivirus – slick design and many useful features
Surfshark Antivirus is a great Android security solution with numerous useful features to fight malware and protect your personal data online. This Android antivirus offers real-time protection. Meaning, it continuously scans your phone for suspicious activity to detect threats in real time.
In addition to solid antivirus features, one of the biggest draws here is the Surfshark VPN that you get together with the Surfshark One bundle. It’s included and directly integrated into the same Android application as the Surfshark Antivirus. You can use the VPN to establish an encrypted connection and prevent websites from tracking your data online.
It’s also worth mentioning that you get a private search engine and an Alert feature that checks whether your sensitive information has been leaked. It’s a great way to make sure that your email address, credit card details, and ID information is safe at all times.
The pricing of Surfshark Antivirus starts from $27.84/year for 5 devices. Additionally, its subscription options come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can get a full refund in case you change your mind.
Private search engine
Data leak checker
User-friendly Android app
100% malware detection rate
Doesn’t have a free version
5. NordVPN Threat Protection – top VPN and an antivirus package
The NordVPN Threat Protection is a feature which is designed to add an extra layer of security to your Android device. It ensures a secure browsing experience, preventing the infiltration of malware as well as intrusive and potentially dangerous ads.
This antivirus solution even scans your downloads for malicious components and blocks access to infected websites. In has solid malware detection rates, and successfully blocks you from accessing various infected websites.
On top of that, it blocks various ads that can deteriorate your browsing experience on Android – as well as protect your device from spyware and malware.
What’s even better is that you don’t need to connect to a VPN server for it to work – as long as the NordVPN app with an enabled Threat Protection feature is on your Android, you’re silently protected in the background.
However, if you do connect to a secure VPN server, NordVPN provides top-class VPN services. From unblocking global streaming content to enjoying a secure browsing experience when using an unprotected public wi-fi network.
Threat Protection comes free of charge with all NordVPN plans that start from only $2.99/month.
Powerful ad blocker
Automatic download scanner
Top class VPN included
Solid protection from trackers
Simple to use all-in-one package
No real-time virus protection
6. Avira Mobile Security – versatile and lightweight tool
Avira Mobile Security is a lightweight security suite for Android OS with none of the loss in functionality. It’s simple to use but still provides a lot of useful features and focuses on protection, privacy, and performance.
Avira keeps you safe with the Web Protection feature that keeps you off phishing and malware websites. Additionally, Avira offers mobile anti-theft tools, which help you to locate your lost Android device. You can keep a backup of your contacts and easily retrieve them if your storage ever becomes compromised.
As for privacy, there’s the Network Scanner that shows you other devices on your network. This is a handy tool to discover who is leeching off your internet. You also get a call blocker and protection for the microphone and camera.
Finally, Avira offers a system optimizer to clean up junk or duplicate files. With it, you’ll easily get rid of the clutter and have more space on your Android.
If you’re interested in trying Avira antivirus, its prices start from $30.99/year. If you’re not satisfied with the services, you can get a full refund within 30 days.
Microphone and camera protection
Delays from customer support responses
7. Trend Micro – Simple Android antivirus for guaranteed security
One more antivirus application for Android we’re presenting – Trend Micro – offers you robust protection with a user-friendly interface. It does not only efficiently catch threats using AI technologies but also has a few extra features to maintain your everyday browsing as secure as possible.
As Android OS has the most available apps to get among other operating systems, it’s important to add reliable security tools to your daily life. Trend Micro ensures you avoid sneaky intruders by implementing versatile features to its app, like Social Media Privacy Protection or PayGuard for secure online shopping. There’s also a dark web monitoring feature for times when you visit a suspiciously-looking site.
Next to antivirus essentialities, Trend Micro offers you to add a VPN proxy for an additional charge. With it, you can easily protect your IP address. And, to ensure the safety of your passwords, you can get either a free or a paid password manager to the bundle.
You can use a free version of the application to feel the hint of this antivirus. It’s limited but excellent for testing. As for the paid version, you can pay as low as $19.95/month and benefit from a 30-day money-back guarantee if needed.
100% from independent malware catch lab tests
Protects up to 10 devices with paid plans
No built-in firewall
Limited licensing choices
8. ESET Mobile Security and Antivirus – most Advanced Android cybersecurity suite
As far as Android antiviruses go, ESET is certainly one of the most advanced suites available on the market today.
Naturally, the real-time virus scanner is a big part of its appeal. You can even schedule scans for later or automate them to be performed when you plug in your Android device, so you won’t have to deal with the antivirus interfering with your everyday tasks.
There’s also an anti-theft suite that allows you to check the location and the IP address of your device if it gets stolen or lost.
Additionally, it’s possible to enable web filters that help to steer clear of phishing and malware websites. This is very useful when you’re worried that you might be entering your credit card details into a spoofed website. There’s even a separate payment protection function, which kicks in when you’re using banking apps. It’s a simple but solid antivirus interface, perfect for everyday use.
The prices of ESET Mobile Security plan start from $14.99/year for 1 mobile device. If you want have an option to cover both mobile and desktop gadgets, there’s ESET Internet Security plan starting from $27.99/year.
Alternatively, you can try a free version on Android, but it’s quite limited in terms of features. For the full experience, there’s an option to test the premium features risk-free with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Limited free version
Might be confusing for new users
Why do I need an antivirus for my Android phone?
The truth is, current Android OS versions are pretty secure compared to how the landscape looked for first generations, but that is not enough. Here are some reasons why you should get an antivirus for your Android device:
Some manufacturers take a long time catching up with security updates. New types of malware are created everyday, and security measures on all devices should be updated just as often. Antivirus can help with that.
Google Play Protect is not able to catch all of the threats. There are types of malware that hide itself from the user or are simply undetectable by usual methods. Only a quality antivirus can detect, notify about, and help remove any malicious apps from your device.
Protect your data in case your Android is lost or stolen. Many premium Android antivirus solutions allow you to remotely locate your device, lock it, and even wipe out all sensitive information. This way, outsiders can’t compromise your privacy.
How to install an antivirus on Android device
Installing an antivirus on your phone is fairly straightforward. It boils down to finding an app on the Google Play Store and clicking the install button. If that doesn’t help you much, here’s how the general process should look like:
Tap the Play Store shortcut on your Android
Type the name of the service into the search bar.
Make sure that you’ve found the correct app
Tap Install and wait till the setup completes.
If you’ve chosen a premium antivirus service, you’ll most likely have to log in to unlock premium features. Once you’re logged in, you can now scan for malware or take advantage of other features.
Mobile Android antiviruses evolved enough to offer much more than simple malware cleanup. They are impressive cybersecurity suites that have numerous functions, including password managers and VPNs.
This makes antivirus for Android a handy investment. It pays off not only in terms of resilience against digital threats but also expands your functionality. Sometimes, it can even help you retrieve your lost device.