Some people do not believe anti-virus apps are necessary, but if you want an extra layer of security on your Android device, having a decent anti-malware app won’t do any harm and will likely eliminate the most common threats to your system.
With the multitude of anti-virus apps available on Google Play, it can be hard to pick a good one, so we’ve put together a list of five great apps that can guarantee a malware-free device if used properly.
One of the more frustrating things about antivirus software is that it can negatively impact your device performance by being too resource-heavy. This is often the case when an antivirus program has constant background scanning turned on, or numerous extra features that you don’t necessarily need.
Bitdefender cuts out many of the superfluous extra, and is a great low-impact option for Android. It scans apps as you install them (probably the most important feature) and features real-time protection too. The paid version includes extras like anti-theft options, web security, and a recently-added VPN feature.
Price: Free (paid version available)
2. Avast Mobile Security
Avast Mobile Security is developed by Avast, one of the most popular anti-virus companies out there. The app previously featured a free and paid plan, but they have scrapped the latter meaning that you can now enjoy all its features without paying a penny. Avast comes with a malware and virus scanner as well as trojan removal for infected files and real-time protection, all standard features expected in any security app. In addition, it bundles other useful features such as app locking, Wi-Fi vulnerability scanner, and call blocking. Its reputation is not too shabby with a 4.5 average rating from over 4 million users, so you can expect a great service by installing this app.
3. AVG Antivirus
AVG is another household name in the anti-malware industry, and as a result its mobile app has been downloaded over a hundred million times to date with a decent 4.5 average rating. Unlike Avast, AVG retains a paid monthly or yearly subscription in addition to its free plan which you can opt for if you need the features not covered in the free plan. In addition to the regular malware scanning, AVG features an anti-theft mode that allows you to track your phone if it is stolen or lost. It also allows you to monitor data usage, battery health and storage and more. Paid subscribers also get extras like app locking, call and message blocking, app backup and an ad-free experience.
Price: Free + In-app purchases
4. 360 Security
360 Security is another dedicated mobile security app with impressive features and reputation among its users. A 4.6 average rating from over 100 million downloads is a testament to its effectiveness, and the chances are high that you would be satisfied with this app if you installed it on your phone. Aside from its anti-malware protection features, it also packs several useful extras like a junk cleaner for deleting useless files, memory booster, battery saver and an app locking section that allows you lock your apps with a passcode. The best part is that it is completely free with no in-app purchases or ads.
5. CM Security
CM Security is a product of Cheetah Mobile, one of the most popular Android app makers around. With an outstanding 4.7 average rating from over 18 million users, this is definitely one you should try if you’re looking for something that is completely free and effective in keeping your devices safe from malware. Regular anti-malware features aside, CM Security features a private browsing mode that allows you to browse websites without been tracked, lock apps (with fingerprint support on selected devices), and create intruder selfies, and has anti-theft, real-time protection ad much more. The app is also much lighter compared to some of the other apps on this list which is an important consideration if you do not use a high-end device.
6. Kaspersky Internet Security
Kaspersky is another well-regarded security app with plenty of useful tools and functions bundled therein. It also features a pro version which adds extra functionality on top of the free offering. Some of its features include anti-malware protection, locating a stolen device, privacy mode that allows you to secure your apps and data, call and SMS blocking, and Android wear support.
Price: Free + In-app purchases
Because there are so many anti-virus apps on the Google Play store, it’s quite possible we left out your favourite app, so do tell us about it in the comments section below.