Keep your device secure at all times
–> Best Overall: Bitdefender Mobile Security, “Offers a host of features for Android users, including a secure VPN.”
–> Best for Military Grade Protection: Kaspersky Internet Security for Android, “Excellent protection from viruses, malware, and suspicious apps, websites, and files.”
–> Best Free Antivirus with Decent Features: AVG Antivirus for Android, “You can get almost everything you’ll need to protect your mobile device with AVG.”
–> Best for Social Media Users: Trend Micro Mobile Security, “Parental controls tops the list and allow you to manage your child activities while on their android device.”
–> Best Free Antivirus App: Avast Free Antivirus for Android, “The app will block spam and unwanted calls and is very easy to use.”
–> Best for Anti-Theft Protection: McAfee Mobile Security, “Protects you from malicious websites while you’re surfing the web on your device.”
–> Best for System Advice: Norton Mobile Security, “Scans Wi-Fi connections to make sure you’re safe when connecting.”
–> Best Free Alternative: Sophos Mobile Security for Android, “Offers great antivirus protection and it’s free.”
Best Overall: Bitdefender Mobile Security
The name Bitdefender is one of the best-known antivirus applications, and that holds true when it comes to Bitdefender Mobile Security for Android as well.
Bitdefender Mobile Security offers a host of features for Android users, including a secure VPN, remote lock and wipe capabilities for your Android device in case it is lost or stolen. Plus, it will even snap a picture of anyone who tries to use your phone without the passcode.
Bitdefender is easy to install and intuitive to use, too. It has a minimal impact on your Android’s battery life, and it monitors your e-mail account to ensure it has not been breached. It’s also compatible with Android Wear and includes the WearON feature that alerts you on your Android smartwatch if you leave your phone behind. And it does all this for around $15 per year.
Bitdefender Mobile Security works on all Android device running Android 4.1 or higher, and it has a small system impact at around 29 MB.
Best for Military Grade Protection: Kaspersky Internet Security for Android
Kaspersky is second only to Bitdefender, and only because of a cloud of suspicion that hangs around Kaspersky due to allegations that the company has ties to the Russian government. Put that aside, and Kaspersky offers the best protection on the market, with regular perfect or near-perfect scores from industry testing labs.
Even in the mobile version, Kaspersky Internet Security offers excellent protection from viruses, malware, and suspicious apps, websites, and files. It includes anti-theft tools to help you recover or displace your phone in the event it is lost or stolen. And it offers call and text controls that allow you to stop spyware and malicious messages.
Kaspersky also uses machine learning to combat new virus and malware threats, so you can stay ahead of the curve on the latest breach. This means you’re protected from Zero-Day exploits. Add in phishing protection, automatic scanning, and support for Android Wear, and you have a near-perfect antivirus application for your Android device.
Kaspersky Internet Security for Android works on versions 4.2 – 9, and requires 150 MB of free space on the devices main memory.
Best Free Antivirus with Decent Features: AVG Antivirus for Android
AVG Antivirus for Android is a free version of the AVG antivirus software that offers plenty of features for the average Android user. From strong antivirus, anti-malware, and anti-spyware protection to safeguards that protect your device from thieves and unauthorized users, you can get almost everything you’ll need to protect your mobile device with AVG.
AVG even takes virus scanning a step further and protects your device, even at the network level with a Wi-Fi security scanner that ensures your Wi-Fi network hasn’t been compromised. You’ll even get a photo vault, app lock, a VPN, and call-blocking included with the application. Of course, there’s also the Camera Trap that will snap a picture of any unauthorized users that tries and fails to unlock your device three times. You can also track your lost Android device on Google Maps, or remotely lock it and blast an alarm if you suspect it has been stolen.
AVG Antivirus for Android works on any device running Android 5.0 (Lollipop, API 21) or higher, and it is compatible with ARM devices.
Best for Social Media Users: Trend Micro Mobile Security
Trend Micro is a well-known name in antivirus and by leveraging the cloud, Trend Micro Mobile Security for Android doesn’t put a strain on your device resources. Offering top-of-the-line antivirus and malware protection, it also has some unique features, including parental controls to manage your child activities while on their Android device. But there is also an integrated privacy scanner for Facebook that reviews your profile settings to warn of any potential weaknesses that could result in your personal, private information being compromised.
The one drawback is that some of the advertisements and reminders to upgrade or renew can be frustrating. If you can get past that, however, Trend Micro Mobile security will run on Android 4.1 devices and higher and has a relatively small footprint on your device.
Best Free Antivirus App: Avast Free Antivirus for Android
As with Avast’s free antivirus for computers, Avast Free Antivirus for Android is a great antivirus application. In addition to protecting you from viruses, malware, Trojans and other internet threats, the app will also block spam and unwanted calls. And it’s very easy to use.
You can also count on Avast free to ensure the security of Wi-Fi networks before you connect to them, and to provide a firewall to protect the perimeters of your security as well. The set-up process for Avast is slightly more involved than some other antivirus applications, but that’s a small price to pay for a decent antivirus application that doesn’t cost you anything.
As with the PC version of Avast Free, the mobile version includes some advertisements and pushes to upgrade, and if you want to add to the functionality of the applications you can certainly do that. But if what you’re looking for is basic antivirus protection that you know works, Avast Free Antivirus for Android is a good choice, and it works on any Android device running Android 4.1 or higher.
Best for Anti-Theft Protection: McAfee Mobile Security
McAfee Mobile Security for Android is a mobile version of the award-winning McAfee antivirus application. You can expect to get the same antivirus protection from the mobile version and have the ability to do both quick and deep scans. Newly downloaded apps are scanned immediately, and automatic scans are also done for attachments and files, as well as code that’s included in text messages. McAfee is also going to protect you from malicious websites while you’re surfing the Web on your device.
McAfee Mobile Security also has some excellent anti-theft capabilities. For starters, it has a Theft Cam feature that will snap a picture of anyone trying to access your phone without the right credentials. And it sends that photo with your device’s location to you through e-mail. Then, if turns out your device is actually stolen, you can lock your phone with a custom message to let the thief you know the phone has been stolen and tell them how to return it.
McAfee works for Android devices using Android 4.1 or higher, and it will work on Android Wear, as long as you’re running Android 4.4 or higher. You’ll also need to have Android 5.0 or 51 on your Android Wear device.
Best for System Advice: Norton Mobile Security
Norton is a long-standing name in antivirus applications, so it’s no surprise to see the company enter into the realm of mobile security. The Norton Mobile Security application for Android devices brings with it the highly-rated Norton antivirus and anti-malware protection. It also scans Wi-Fi connections to make sure you’re safe when connecting, and it has a host of anti-theft capabilities.
What sets Norton Mobile Security apart is the Security Advisor features and the Privacy Report that lets you see where your sensitive data is going. Both features are designed to help you understand the risks to your Android device and how to mitigate those risks. Combine that with call-blocking features, safe internet searches, and website URL monitoring, and you can be certain that with Norton installed your device is protected.
Like most other mobile security applications, Norton Mobile Security requires devices that are running Android 4.1 or later.
Best Free Alternative: Sophos Mobile Security for Android
Sophos Mobile Security for Android offers great antivirus protection and it’s free. Like the Sophos antivirus application for computers, Sophos Mobile Security will scan your device for threats, and it has real-time sync that ensures your device always references the latest virus definitions. Sophos Mobile Security is also specifically designed for the Android operating system, so it’s efficient at identifying malicious and unwanted programs.
Like many other antivirus applications for mobile devices, there are anti-theft capabilities that will allow you to lock or wipe your devices, but Sophos also takes the actual security of the device into consideration and offers an authentication assistant that helps you manage multi-factor authentication. It also scans QR code destinations so you can be sure you’re not headed for a malicious website.
Sophos Mobile Security is geared toward newer Android devices, so it requires devices to be operating from the Android 5.0 or later operating system.