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Best antivirus apps for Android in 2023


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 have not only 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, safeguard mobile banking transactions, prevent identity theft, as we keep lots of personal data on Android devices.

In this article, you’ll find a list of the best Android antivirus apps we thoroughly tested and selected. We rated apps based on the following criteria: Android app compatibility, malware lab scores, features suite, customer support, value for money, and more. We looked into each provider in detail and ensured it has strong mobile antivirus traits based on your needs. Keep reading to find out which Android antivirus app is the right pick for you.

Best Android antivirus apps for 2023

  1. Bitdefender Mobile Security – the best Android antivirus app in 2023
  2. TotalAV – top real-time antivirus for Android protection
  3. Norton Mobile Security – unmatched threat protection for Android devices
  4. Surfshark Antivirus – integrated Android security app with real-time protection
  5. NordVPN Threat Protection – extra layer of security for Android devices with a VPN

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How to choose the best Android antivirus

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.

The best Android antivirus protection 2023 – our detailed list:

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 2023

In-app ads:No
Maximum devices covered:1
VPN included:Yes
Current deal:🔥 Get Bitdefender for up to 62% OFF! 🔥

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 $23.99/year and come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

All in all, Bitdefender Mobile Security is one of the best android antivirus apps out there. Check out our full Bitdefender antivirus review to learn more about its features.

2. TotalAV – feature-loaded and best value ensuring Android package

TotalAV Antivirus
In-app ads:Yes
Maximum devices covered:5
VPN included:Yes
Current deal:🔥 Get TotalAV, now 84% OFF! 🔥

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.

Check out our TotalAV antivirus review to find out more about this provider.

3. Norton Mobile Security – solid premium feature suite

In-app ads:No
Maximum devices covered:1
VPN included:No (available on separate app)
Current deal:🔥 Get up to 66% OFF Norton Antivirus 🔥

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 $19.99/year and include a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Check out our detailed Norton antivirus review.

4. Surfshark Antivirus – slick design and many useful features

Surfshark AV banner
In-app ads:No
Maximum devices covered:5
VPN included:Yes
Current deal:🔥 Get Surfshark Antivirus - 76% OFF! 🔥

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 $41.88/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 – this definitely makes it one of the best Android antivirus apps.

Learn more about this provider in our detailed Surfshark Antivirus review.

5. NordVPN Threat Protection – top VPN and an antivirus package

NordVPN threat protection banner
In-app ads:No
Maximum devices covered:6
VPN included:Yes
Current deal:🔥 Get NordVPN Threat Protection – 68% OFF + 3 months FREE 🔥

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. 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 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 $3.49/month.

Read our NordVPN review to learn more about this product.

6. Avira Mobile Security – versatile and lightweight tool

Avira antivirus
In-app ads:Yes
Maximum devices covered:1
VPN included:Yes
Current deal:🔥 Get 1 year of Avira at 40% OFF! 🔥

Avira Mobile Security is lightweight virus protection for Android. 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.

Read our comprehensive Avira antivirus review to find out more about its features.

7. Trend Micro – Simple Android antivirus for guaranteed security

Trend Micro antivirus banner
In-app ads:No
Maximum devices covered:10
VPN included:Yes
Current deal:🔥 Get Trend Micro, now 54% OFF! 🔥

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/year and benefit from a 30-day money-back guarantee if needed.

Get to know the service better in our Trend Micro review.

8. ESET Mobile Security and Antivirus – most Advanced Android cybersecurity suite

ESET-NOD32
In-app ads:No
Maximum devices covered:5
VPN included:No
Current deal:🔥 Get ESET, save up to 33% 🔥

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 to have the option to cover both mobile and desktop gadgets, there's ESET Internet Security plan starting from $39.99/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.

Learn more about this provider in our full ESET antivirus review.

How we tested these best Android antivirus apps

Most malware labs report that Google's built-in Play Protect feature protects the device 90% of the time. However, false positives and infrequent updates from phone manufacturers mean that additional malware protection for your Android device is a good idea. Here are some of the 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. 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.

Do Android phones need an antivirus?

Yes, Android devices, including phones, need an antivirus. 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 to catch 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:

  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.

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.

Does Android have a built-in antivirus?

Yes, most Android devices come with Google Play Protect already built in. It uses various machine-learning algorithms to detect malicious code. This serves as the main line of defense against malware if you’re not using anything else.

Additionally, if you only install the apps that you find on the Play Store, every single submission is reviewed. If the reviewers notice something odd, the submission is rejected. However, this isn’t a foolproof solution. There are many examples of malicious apps passing approval by downloading malicious code afterward.

So, using a third-party antivirus can provide you with better flexibility, features, and malware protection.

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 there are numerous so-called security apps for Android that 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

Tired of reading? Check out the video where we cover the best android antivirus apps:

Conclusion

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.

All in all, the best Android antivirus apps, like Bitdefender, are certainly worth the money.

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