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Best Android antivirus apps in 2022


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:

  1. Bitdefender Antivirus – overall best Android antivirus suite
  2. Norton 360 – top Android antivirus for all-round protection
  3. TotalAV – excellent mobile security suite
  4. Avira Antivirus – great antivirus with a lightweight Android app
  5. ESET – solid Android security app choice

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Features of the best antivirus for Android

When you're 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 antivirus apps for Android – 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 2022

Free version:Yes
Maximum devices covered:1
VPN included:Yes
Current deal:🔥 Get all Bitdefender plans at 60% 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.

Firstly, if your smartphone ever gets lost, you can log into your Bitdefender account to check where it is on the map. Moreover, you can 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 with Android smart wearables.

Also, 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.

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/month and come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full Bitdefender antivirus review to learn more about its features.

2. Norton Mobile Security – solid premium feature suite

Free version:No
Maximum devices covered:1
VPN included:No (available on separate app)
Current deal:🔥 Get up to 83% 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 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 go to sleep and leave your phone on the nightstand.

Lastly, there’s privacy protection which is taken care of with the help of a VPN. Keep in mind that you’ll have to download and install this app separately. 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/month and include a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Check out our detailed Norton antivirus review.

3. TotalAV Antivirus – essential Android package

TotalAV Antivirus
Free version: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. Albeit the service is a fairly recent competitor, it’s already proven to be a superb solution.

A lot of its value comes from security scans. During our tests, TotalAV managed to pick up malware types that some other providers didn’t detect. I’m guessing that this is due to their unique malware database.

Then, there are additions such as a VPN that encrypts your connection and hides your real IP address to prevent online tracking. Which alone is well worth the subscription cost.

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 subscription of TotalAV from $19.00/month. It also includes a 30-day money-back guarantee in case you change your mind.

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

4. Avira Mobile Security – versatile and lightweight tool

Avira antivirus
Free version:Yes
Maximum devices covered:1
VPN included:Yes
Current deal:🔥 Get 1 year of Avira at 40% OFF! 🔥

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.

In terms of protection, there is a Web Protection feature that keeps you off the 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 $30.96/month. 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.

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

ESET-NOD32
Free version:Yes
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 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 which 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 from 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.

The pricing of ESET antivirus starts from $49.99/month. If you want to try the software first, you can use the 30-day money-back guarantee.

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

6. AVG Mobile Security – slick design and many useful features

avg antivirus
Free version:Yes
Maximum devices covered:1
VPN included:No (separate app required)
Current deal:🔥 Get up to 50% OFF AVG! 🔥

AVG Mobile Security is yet another good antivirus choice for Android. Like most other competitors, it has malware scanners which can help you quickly remove most threats you may have picked up when browsing.

After each scan, the app will give you a detailed description of what it has found and even rate the severity of the threat. You can also clean up various cached data from your apps to save space. This could help you resolve some app errors.

Furthermore, AVG offers useful Android protection tools. One of them is the Wi-Fi network scan that shows who is also using the same network. Another tool is a VPN that encrypts your connection and gives an adequate degree of privacy from hackers and ISP’s alike.

You also get an app lock that allows you to lock specific apps behind a passcode. Then, there’s Camera Trap, which will take a selfie of the thief that decided to steal your Android device.

You can get all of these perks from $59.99/month. Keep in mind that subscriptions include a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can try this antivirus risk-free.

Learn more about this provider in our detailed AVG antivirus review.

How we tested these 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.

  • 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 is relying 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.

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:

  1. Tap the Play Store shortcut on your Android
  2. Type the name of the service into the search bar. We recommend Bitdefender.
  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, Bitdefender and Avira offer a free service that is not only safe but also functional enough to be worth the space on your mobile device.

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

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, a top-of-the-line antivirus app for Android, like Bitdefender, is certainly worth the money.


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