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Best Android antivirus apps in 2023


The best Android antivirus app on your smartphone can help you protect not only your device and data but also your personal privacy. That includes securing your logins, encrypting online activity, and even preventing online identity thefts.

Android devices are not the most secure – the built-in Google Play Protect scanner is not always a good option against threats as it lacks many features. However, the best Android antivirus software comes with features like real-time scans for viruses and firewalls, VPNs, password managers, anti-theft guards, and more. These premium features can help you detect and remove malware, prevent cyberattacks, or even monitor mobile banking transactions.

To help you choose the best antivirus, we selected only the best Android antivirus providers, like top-rated Bitdefender or TotalAV. Cybernews expert research team tested and reviewed these apps based on Android app compatibility, malware lab scores, features suite, customer support, value for money, and more. Our evaluation system ensures that each Android antivirus has all the necessary features to fit your needs. And if you want to test any of these apps before committing, they all have free trials and money-back guarantees available.

5 best antivirus apps for Android phones in 2023

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The best Android antivirus apps for 2023 – our detailed list:

Discover the top Android antivirus apps that offer more than just malware protection. We thoroughly tested and reviewed 25 antivirus providers with apps for Android, and evaluated their usability, malware protection capabilities, as well as features and price value. With anti-theft tools, phone tracking, and a VPN, these apps provide comprehensive security. In the detailed overviews below, you will find Android antiviruses for your needs, ranging from the best overall to the best for your budget.

1. TotalAV – best antivirus for Android in 2023

TotalAV Antivirus
Anti-theft:Yes
In-app ads:Yes
Maximum devices covered:5
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TotalAV is our top choice for the best Android antivirus with desktop-grade performance. Together with 100% malware protection, it also offers internet security features such as a VPN and Wi-Fi protection, as well as tools to clean up your device.

The TotalAV Android app is compatible with Android version 5 and above. We liked how easy it was to set up, and that every feature was just a couple of clicks away. During our tests, TotalAV managed to pick up malware types that even some other providers didn’t detect.

TotalAV comes with a VPN with unlimited data. It encrypts your connection and hides your real IP address to prevent online tracking. In our TotalAV review, we especially liked that you can also clear up junk files with the Device Tune-Up feature. This can help you not only free up more space on Android but also save battery life. Other features include the App Lock and Wi-Fi security checker to make sure public Wi-Fi hotspots are secure. However, unlike Bitdefender, TotalAV doesn’t have a web filter that can help filter out malicious links and sites.

You can get a TotalAV subscription for $19.00/year (with a $119/year renewal price) that covers up to 5 devices. There is also a 30-day money-back guarantee and a limited free version.

2. Bitdefender Mobile Security – top Android antivirus for real-time protection

Anti-theft:Yes
In-app ads:No
Maximum devices covered:1
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Bitdefender Mobile Security is the best antivirus app for Android devices overall. It offers an excellent Android app with features like anti-theft and a VPN and ensures 100% real-time malware protection.

The Bitdefender Android app is very easy to use and navigate and is available for Android Lollipop 5.0 and higher versions. During our in-house testing, Bitdefender caught 100% of the malware that we challenged it with. Additionally, it didn’t require too many resources from our device. Bitdefender's scanner also checks whether you have installed ransomware, adware, and other potentially unwanted apps.

While reviewing Bitdefender, we were especially impressed by the autopilot feature – it gives you protection recommendations based on your Android device usage and needs. Additionally, a VPN is included – it gives you up to 200 MB per day for safe browsing on your Android phone. It’s quite limited for a VPN, so we’d recommend checking out VPN-focused providers like Surfshark or NordVPN with unlimited data caps.

Bitdefender Android app also includes features such as App Lock, scam alert, web protection, and anti-theft tools. However, unlike TotalAV for Android, Bitdefender doesn’t have any features for cleaning up your device from junk apps and duplicate files.

Bitdefender pricing for Android apps begins at $14.99/year (for the first year; renewal price may be higher). You can also use the 30-day money-back guarantee to try it out first without any risks.

3. Norton Mobile Security – excellent Android antivirus for secure browsing

Anti-theft:Yes
In-app ads:No
Maximum devices covered:1
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Norton Mobile Security is another top-class antivirus app for Android Its standout feature is web protection that flags all insecure or malicious websites and prevents them from loading.

The Norton Mobile Security is compatible with all Android versions above Android Oreo 8.0. Norton achieved top rates from both independent and in-house tests. This provider managed to catch 100% of the malware samples it was challenged with. However, during the full system scan, it did require quite some of our device resources.

In our Norton review process, we were really impressed by the Web Protection feature, which 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. We also liked that the mobile app has advisors that scan your Google Play installs and warn you about potentially dangerous apps.

Aside from these features, Norton Mobile Security also allows scheduling scans and notifies you when you join insecure networks. However, unlike Bitdefender or TotalAV, Norton doesn’t include the VPN in the antivirus. Instead, it’s a separate app available only with standard or Deluxe plans.

Norton Mobile Security subscriptions start from $19.99/year for 1 Android device coverage (with renewal price starting from $29.99/year). There’s also a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can test it for free.

4. Surfshark Antivirus – the best Android antivirus for a tight budget

Surfshark AV banner
Anti-theft:Yes
In-app ads:No
Maximum devices covered:5
Current deal:🔥 Holiday deal! Get Surfshark Antivirus - 80% OFF + 4 months FREE! 🔥

Surfshark Antivirus is a great affordable Android security solution with numerous useful features to fight malware and protect your personal data online. This Android antivirus offers real-time protection – it continuously scans your phone for suspicious activity to detect threats in real-time.

The Surfshark antivirus Android app is available for Android Lollipop 5.0 and higher. The antivirus protection capabilities are reliable; based on independent testing labs, Surfshark antivirus can block 99% of malware attacks. Our in-house testing provides similar results.

One of the best features 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. This VPN is one of the best ones on this list, easily surpassing the likes of Norton VPN or Bitdefender VPN. It’s also worth mentioning that you get a private search engine and ID data monitoring. It’s a great way to make sure that your email address, credit card details, and ID information are safe at all times.

The main drawback we found during our Surfshark AV testing was that it’s quite heavy on your device resources during scans, especially with full scans.

The pricing of Surfshark Antivirus starts from $49.08/year for 5 devices. Additionally, its subscription options come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

5. NordVPN Threat Protection – great Android antivirus with top-class VPN

NordVPN threat protection banner
Anti-theft:No
In-app ads:No
Maximum devices covered:6
Current deal:🔥 Holiday deal! Get NordVPN Antivirus – 69% OFF + 3 months FREE! 🔥

NordVPN Threat Protection is a feature designed to add an extra layer of security to your Android device. It scans your downloads, preventing you from downloading malicious items. It’s excellent for mobile devices since it doesn’t require too much of your device’s resources.

NordVPN Threat Protection comes as a feature of NordVPN and is compatible with Android version Android Nougat 7.0 or later. The feature scans your downloads for malicious components and blocks access to infected websites. In our NordVPN Threat Protection review, we noted that it 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 protects 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 and have no data cap.

The drawback of this security tool might be that you can’t perform scans.

Threat Protection comes free of charge with all NordVPN plans that start from only $2.99/monthand cover up to 6 simultaneous devices. You also get a 30-day money-back guarantee.

6. Avira Mobile Security – a versatile and lightweight tool

Avira antivirus
Anti-theft:Yes
In-app ads:Yes
Maximum devices covered:1
Current deal:🔥 Holiday deal! Get 1 year of Avira at 43% OFF! 🔥

Avira Mobile Security is lightweight virus protection for Android. It’s simple to use, provides a lot of useful features, and focuses on solid protection, privacy, and performance.

The Avira Android app is easy to install and use – the simple design makes it exceptionally navigable. The app is compatible with Android Nougat 7.0 and above. The protection is also solid – our in-house testing, Avira caught up to 90% of malware threats.

In our Avira review, we were particularly impressed with the Web Protection feature that keeps you off phishing and malware websites. Another feature that we liked a lot was the mobile anti-theft tools, which help you to locate your lost Android device. Other Avira for Android features include a VPN, a Network Scanner, an Identity Safeguard, and a system optimizer. Avira also offers a call blocker and mic and webcam protection, which top antiviruses like Bitdefender lack.

One issue we have encountered with Avira is that it has quite a heavy impact on your device and requires a lot of resources, which might affect your overall user experience while the scans are running.

Avira prices start from $30.99/year to cover 1 device. If you’re not satisfied with the services, you can use the 30-day money-back guarantee to get a refund.

7. Trend Micro Mobile Security – simple Android antivirus for guaranteed security

Trend Micro antivirus banner
Anti-theft:Yes
In-app ads:No
Maximum devices covered:10
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Trend Micro Mobile Security offers your Android device 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 keep your everyday browsing as secure as possible.

Trend Micro Android app is available for devices with Android Lollipop 5.0 or higher. It Based on independent test results, Trend Micro is an excellent malware detection tool, it’s been rated 100% for malware detection. Our in-house testing provided a bit different results – we have found that Trend Micro detects around 80% of malware threats.

Some of the most impressive features were Social Media Privacy Protection for keeping your online life safe and 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.

However, as we found in our Trend Micro review, the service is a bit limited as an antivirus suite. It has no firewall, provides limited licensing choices, and the virus detection rates provide mixed results. Alternatively, you could pick Bitdefender, which has the highest virus detection rates and includes a firewall.

The pricing for Trend Micro mobile security starts at $19.95/year and covers up to 10 devices. You can also use the 30-day money-back guarantee if needed.

8. ESET Mobile Security – excellent Android cybersecurity suite

ESET-NOD32
Anti-theft:Yes
In-app ads:No
Maximum devices covered:5
Current deal:🔥 Holiday deal! Get ESET, save up to 30% 🔥

As far as Android antivirus apps go, ESET is certainly one of the most advanced suites available on the market today. One of the most attractive ESET features is the real-time scanning, which also can be scheduled.

The Android app for ESET is available for Android Lollipop 5.0 and above. The independent tests provide the highest marks for ESET. During our ESET testing, the antivirus caught almost all of the malware threats we challenged it with.

One of the features that we found to be quite good was the anti-theft suite. It 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 steer clear of phishing and malware websites. Another notable feature is There’s even a separate payment protection function, which kicks in when you’re using banking apps.

One drawback is that ESET antivirus for Android is targeted at intermediate to experienced users, so beginners might find it difficult to navigate and use.

The prices of the ESET Mobile Security plan start from $14.99/year for 1 mobile device. If you want to have the option to cover both mobile and desktop gadgets, there's an ESET Internet Security plan starting from $34.99/year.

Best Android antivirus apps compared

Are you in a rush? In this case, we have put all critical features of antivirus apps for Android devices in one place right below:

TotalAV BitdefenderNorton Surfshark Antivirus NordVPN Threat ProtectionAviraTrend Micro ESET
Brand
Rating
4.6
4.9
4.7
4.4
4.3
4.2
4.2
4.3
Free planYesYesNoNoNoYesNoNo
App lockYesYesNoNoNoYesYesYes
ID theft guardNoYesYesYesNoYesYesNo
In-app adsNoNoNoNoYesNoNo
Min. Android OS supportLollipop 5.0 and aboveLollipop 5.0 and aboveOreo 8.0 and aboveLollipop 5.0 and aboveAndroid Nougat 7.0 and aboveNougat 7.0 and aboveLollipop 5.0 and aboveLollipop 5.0 and above
VPNYes, unlimited dataYes, up to 200MB/dayYes, unlimited dataYes, unlimited dataYes, unlimited dataYes, unlimited dataYes, VPN proxy, unlimited dataNo
Price per yearFrom $19.00From $29.99From $19.99From $49.08From $80.73From $30.99From $19.95From $34.99
ReviewTotalAV coupons
Bitdefender Coupons
Norton coupons
Surfshark AV reviewNordVPN TP coupons
Avira coupons
Trend Micro coupons
ESET coupons

Factors to consider when choosing an Android antivirus app

Antivirus for Android smartphones or tablets should offer a comprehensive security suite that’s able to protect you from various types of malware. However, having features is not all, there are more factors to consider before installing anti-malware apps. Here’s what the top antivirus for Android should have:

Security features:Real-time protection, malware scans, Wi-Fi scanner
Extra features:Anti-theft protection, VPN, password manager
Effectiveness:>80% in in-house and lab tests
Performance impact:
Light
  • Essential cybersecurity features. A robust Android antivirus should include all key protection features. Make sure you find real-time protection and device scans, the advisor to inspect apps before downloading them on Google Play Store, a Wi-Fi scanner that helps you find a secure network and more security tools.
  • Performance impact. Antivirus software can be heavy on your device, and performance, and demand a lot of resources that can result in the device’s battery drain. So before picking the best provider for you, check how much battery power the software requires.
  • Extra features. You can live without extra features, but they never hurt. Some of the premium providers like Bitdefender and TotalAV offer a VPN, a password manager, web filters, and anti-theft tools that protect your Android from unauthorized access and help find it if it gets stolen or lost. Such features might justify getting a more expensive package.
  • User-friendliness. Antivirus software can be difficult to navigate for first-time users, so you should pick a provider with a clear interface that’s easy to navigate and find all the needed features.
  • Customer support. If you run into problems, it's always good to know that someone will help you out. 24/7 customer support guarantees that there's always someone to rely on.
  • Value for money. 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.

How we tested these best Android antivirus apps

In addition to independent lab tests, we also test antivirus software ourselves. For this antivirus for Android list, we tested 25 providers. For our in-house testing, For our in-house testing, we used the Nokia 6.2 (model TA-1198) smartphone, with Android version 11, 64GB internal storage, 4GB RAM, and a CPU Octa-Core (4x1.8 GHz Kryo 260 Gold & 4x1.6 GHz Kryo 260 Silver). Our testing process includes evaluating real-time protection and scanning options and capabilities with specially curated and strategically placed malware folders, and ransomware protection is tested by downloading ransomware files. Features like web protection and phishing protection are tested using malicious URLs and phishing websites.

Here are some additional aspects we tested and selected virus protection for Android devices:

  • Malware lab scores. The only way you can be safe from malicious software is if your antivirus recognizes most of its recent forms. If a service relies on outdated signature lists, your device can quickly be overrun with viruses.
  • Additional features. Most antiviruses nowadays double down on bonus benefits. If the service is putting in some serious work there, this means more value for the consumer. This can turn an otherwise mediocre service into a top contender.
  • Reputation. It’s always worth looking into the company behind the service. Look for security or privacy incidents and scandals – it's probably best to avoid these services.
  • Customer support. It’s important to be able to reach out to customer support agents when you’re in trouble. Some services go the extra mile to make themselves more available. Some even guarantee protection from viruses and vow to give you your money back if they don’t. All of this gets extra points.
  • Price and quality ratio. The price that you pay for the service should adequately reflect what you’re getting. If you’re asked to pay top dollar for a mediocre suite, perhaps you should look elsewhere.

Other Android antivirus we tested

With so many antivirus software available on the market right now, we couldn’t mention all of them in our lists. For one, not all of them even met our criteria. However, there were a few antivirus providers that are great options to secure your Android devices, but there were a few small issues that kept them from our list:

  • McAfee – this antivirus ensures solid protection for Android devices, confirmed by both independent lab tests and our in-house testing. It can catch around 80% of malware threats; however, it demands a lot of your device resources with both quick and full scans.
  • Malwarebytes – Malwarebytes achieved high marks in device protection from new and already known malware threats from independent lab tests. Our in-house testing has found an 80% success rate. However, the CPU use is a bit unstable, fluctuating from barely affecting your device to demanding high levels of resources.

Why should you use an Android antivirus app?

Although the current Android OS versions are pretty secure compared to how the landscape looked for the first generations, we still recommend installing an antivirus app on your device. An Android antivirus can not only from malware threats but also prevent fraud attempts such as phishing or identity theft. Here are some more reasons why you should get an antivirus for your Android device:

  • Some manufacturers take a long time to catch up with security updates. New types of malware are created every day, 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 themselves 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 an 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 what the general process should look like:

  1. Tap the Play Store shortcut on your Android
  2. Type the name of the service into the search bar. We recommend TotalAV, now 84% OFF!
  3. Make sure that you’ve found the correct app
  4. Tap Install and wait till the setup completes TotalAV Android scanning
  5. Start using all the benefits Bitdefender has to offer – start a scan and monitor any suspicious activities.

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.

How do I check my Android for viruses?

If you think your device got infected with malware, here’s how to check your Android for viruses:

  1. Download and install a reliable antivirus for Android. We recommend TotalAV, now x off
  2. Run a full system scan on the antivirus app
  3. Check the results and follow the antivirus recommendations and instructions.

Are free Android antivirus apps worth it?

Yes, using a free Android antivirus is useful if it comes from a reliable service provider. For example, TotalAV offers a great free version that includes a smart scan and Safe Site extension for browsers to protect you from harmful sites. Plus, it guarantees 100% malware detection rates.

However, keep in mind that numerous so-called security apps for Android are unreliable. Usually, they are designed to spread malware rather than remove it. So, make sure that you pick a trustworthy security tool, especially when it’s free. Here is a list of our best free antivirus apps for Android.

It’s also worth mentioning that even though certain free mobile security apps are worth it, with a premium antivirus, you’ll be getting a lot more features. Often, only the paid version will protect you against ransomware and other serious threats.

Video review: best antivirus apps for Android

Feeling like you're more of a visual learner? Check out our Best antivirus for Android YouTube video with all products described in detail together with tests.

Bottom line

Mobile Android antiviruses evolved enough to offer much more than simple malware cleanup. They are impressive cybersecurity suites that have numerous functions, including anti-theft tools, app locks, password managers, and even VPNs.

When choosing the best antivirus app for your Android, make sure that the provider offers 100% malware protection rates. Also, consider the user interface and how easy it is to install and use the app itself. Additional features such as system cleanup, phishing protection, and web protection will make browsing on your phone much safer.

According to our tests and reviews, TotalAV is the best antivirus for Android in 2023. It offers a simple and easy-to-use app, effective malware protection, plenty of scan options, and handy additional features such as app lock or anti-theft tools.

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