If you own an Android device, then you’ll most definitely benefit from antivirus software. There are more Android phone users worldwide than iOS users, and shockingly, many Android users don’t install antivirus protection on their devices.
Since we use our Android devices for everything, from banking to working and more, we need to ensure they are safe from online threats. Antivirus software is the best way to do that, and the best Android antivirus apps come from McAfee, Norton, Bitdefender, Kaspersky, Avast, and Avira.
Read on to learn more about our favorite Android antivirus apps of 2021 and the excellent online protection they provide.
We’ve tested several mobile antivirus apps for Android to compile a list of the best antivirus for your Android operating system. Each antivirus provider has been judged against our strict set of assessment criteria, which includes:
Find out more about the best antivirus apps of 2021 below and what they offer to users.
Our top antivirus choice for Android users is McAfee and, in particular, its Mobile Security software for Android, which we’ve reviewed in detail below.
Although McAfee offers many great products, for example, its Total Protection, which allows you to protect multiple devices and comes with Mobile Security. However, we’re impressed that Android users can install the Mobile Security Android app as a standalone product.
So, what’s so great about McAfee’s antivirus app? Firstly, there is a free version and paid versions, giving Android users the option of paying for additional features or not. All plans come with a virus scanner feature to check for and remove any malware on your device, which is an essential feature.
As well as the above, all plans feature anti-phishing protection, spyware removal, and the option to check which apps on your phone are collecting an unsafe amount of data about you. McAfee also alerts users if they are going to connect to an unsafe wi-fi network, alerting users if they are connecting to an unsecured public wi-fi network that could expose their sensitive information to hackers.
There are performance-boosting features included, such as speeding up the Android device’s battery and storage cleaners to remove unnecessary files that may be slowing down your device. Anti-theft features are also included, such as the device lock and thief cam, which locks your device after 3 failed passcode attempts and takes a photo of the thief.
If you upgrade to one of the paid plans, then you can enjoy even more security features, such as overall web protection, unsafe website alerts, and media backup to secure all of your important files. You can also upgrade from the free plan and enjoy a built-in VPN to bypass geo-restrictions, as well as an ad-blocker to avoid annoying pop-ups.
The app is extremely user-friendly and easy to navigate. You can enable a scan with one tap and quickly adjust features in the settings section. The McAfee Mobile Security paid version prices vary; prices for Android in-app purchases range from $0.89 to $89.99 if you sign up for the Family Plan and choose to protect 10 devices.
Norton is well-known for the excellent antivirus protection it provides to users, and its Android security app is one of the best on the market.
Norton impressed us with its antivirus app for Android due to the immense choice of features available. Firstly, there is protection against the most common online dangers such as spyware, ransomware, and various other forms of viruses.
When you’re surfing the web, the Norton Mobile Security app also checks any links in your browser or other apps to ensure you don’t accidentally click on a malicious link. The app will also prevent you from accessing malicious websites which could infect your Android device with malware, and the virus blocker stops malware from infecting your device.
Norton’s antivirus app also provides users with some features, powered by Norton Mobile Insight, to help you keep your Android system safe. The App Advisor scans existing and newly installed apps on your smartphone to protect your device and ensure that your sensitive data isn’t being misused. You’ll be able to check how your information and photos are being used.
As well as app scanning, Norton Mobile Security will let you know when you need to update your operating system to ensure that you aren’t exposed to any vulnerabilities in order to keep your Android device safe. This will ensure you’re protected from potential device breaches carried out by hackers.
The features don’t stop there. Dark-web monitoring is included to search for data such as your email address on the dark web. There is even SMS filtering to ensure that you aren’t deceived by malicious messages filtering phishing links.
Another great feature that we like to see included in antivirus apps for Android devices is a VPN. Norton offers the Norton Secure VPN to encrypt your data for an extra layer of privacy when you surf the web.
Finally, like many of the other best Android antivirus apps, Norton checks wi-fi networks to make sure that you don’t connect to a potentially unsafe public network. Moreover, the app can check your online activity for the last 30 days to ensure apps and websites you visited weren’t unsafe.
Norton does not offer a free app on Android for antivirus, but if you have a subscription on another device, you can enjoy a 14-day free trial. After the end of the trial, your subscription will automatically start. However, if you have a multi-device subscription, you’ll be able to enjoy the Android antivirus app without paying extra.
Another excellent option for an Android antivirus app is Bitdefender Mobile Security. You can purchase Android antivirus separately or enjoy it as part of Total Security’s premium version subscription plan.
Bitdefender has an excellent reputation in the antivirus industry, thanks to the advanced technology it employs as well as the features it offers. The Android antivirus app is no exception and won’t impact your Android device’s performance whatsoever. The app is fast and won’t drain your system’s battery.
There is real-time protection with Bitdefender, and its malware protection scans your browsing data and any web pages you visit for malicious activity or malware. As well as alerting you to these malicious sites and blocking malware, Bitdefender will provide a mini-report about each malware block to inform users of how the Android antivirus app is helping you stay safe.
Another great feature that we like, which many Android antivirus apps fail to offer, is the ability to link the antivirus app to your smartwatch. The feature, called WearOn, protects your smartwatch from malware and also allows you to find your Android phone via your smartphone if you misplace it.
Anti-theft features are in abundance with Bitdefender’s Android app. You can do a few things to ensure the safety of your Android device if you lose your smartphone or it is stolen. There is the option to lock or wipe your device remotely and also send a message to your device.
There are other great privacy and security features to secure your device if it falls into the wrong hands. For example, an app lock feature lets you put an app lock on certain applications, meaning you can only unlock them with a pin code.
Other great aspects of this Android antivirus application include a feature to check whether or not your accounts have been involved in data breaches. You’ll receive a notification should your email address end up in a leak so that you can quickly change your passwords to your online accounts.
Finally, Bitdefender’s Android antivirus includes a VPN. However, we’re not enthralled by the antivirus provider’s VPN solution. Although it provides secure data encryption, it has a low 200Mb daily data limit, which isn’t a lot; this is probably only enough for some light internet browsing.
If you want to purchase the Android antivirus without signing up for a complete Bitdefender plan, you can get it for just $9.99 for the first year.
Another one of the best Android antivirus apps is Kaspersky Internet Security. The Kaspersky mobile antivirus offers both a free and paid version, offering users plenty of choice.
Whether you use the free version or not, you’ll be limited to what you can enjoy with Kaspersky’s antivirus for Android. Included in all plans is a malware protection blocker, which keeps your device safe from malicious software.
You can also carry out manual scans to check that your system is free of viruses. If on the off-chance that it isn’t, there is a virus cleaner that can remove any malware from your system. There is also Android wear support on the premium and free version.
Also included available to both paid and free users are excellent anti-theft features to secure your device and keep your privacy safe. You can track your device if you can’t find it or it is stolen and remotely wipe it to guarantee your sensitive data is not seen by any third parties.
If you upgrade to a paid subscription, the Kaspersky mobile antivirus price is $9.99 for the first year. Included in this plan are all of the above features, as well as some extremely useful extras.
Only on the paid Kaspersky Internet Security plan can you take full advantage of the antivirus software’s anti-phishing protection to ensure that your credit card details don’t get caught up in online scams. As well as this, there is web filtering to make sure that you don’t accidentally click on dangerous website links which could infect your device.
Another feature that premium subscribers can enjoy is the app lock. This tool enables users to add a password to all of the apps they want to keep private, ensuring that sensitive files, photos, and messages are not seen by anyone else.
Overall, Kaspersky delivers one of the best antivirus apps for Android that is both user-friendly and full of great features. With a high rating of 4.8 on the Google Play Store and over 3 million reviews, it appears that existing customers are also pleased with the service.
Over 100 million users currently have Avast Mobile Security installed on their Android devices. The high 4.7 rating on the Google Play Store is a reflection of user satisfaction and how great this app is.
Avast is a well-known name in the antivirus industry and offers one of the best Android antivirus app options. It provides free Android antivirus protection as well as a premium version that includes more features.
There is real-time protection on both the paid and free antivirus apps, scanning for malware and other threats to keep your device safe. The app also scans for malicious links on the web to prevent you from clicking on them.
As well as this, Avast can scan new apps you download onto your device, checking them for any malware which could infect your system. Not only does Avast do this, but it provides interesting insights into your use of installed Android apps on your mobile phone, learning what data apps collect about you and how much time you spend on each app.
Another great feature is the built-in wi-fi security that Avast offers. This alerts you if you connect to an unsafe wi-fi network, whether in a private or public setting.
If you are worried about your device slowing down, then you can take full advantage of Avast’s device performance-enhancing tools. A junk cleaner frees up storage space by removing useful files and junk from your device. Avast can also make your device run faster with RAM boost.
Like all the other antivirus apps on this list, there are anti-theft tools. If your device is stolen, you can do several things, such as track your device’s location, remotely wipe and lock your device to protect your data, and even take photos and record audio of the thief to identify them. This advanced technology is impressive and extremely useful, given that Android devices are frequently stolen.
Avast offers an app lock on the paid plan, which is a common feature of antivirus apps. This ensures that users can protect apps that contain confidential information. You can also remove ads, which are present in Avast’s free app.
Avira offers excellent malware protection for Android mobile devices and has one of the best free Android antivirus solutions.
Avira is another company that offers free antivirus for your Android mobile phone. It is one of the best free Android antivirus options since its free version comes with plenty of excellent features.
Firstly, there is a scanner and virus removal feature to ensure your device is free from malware at all times. This feature also blocks malware, stopping it from infecting your device.
Not only does Avira block and remove viruses, but it can make your device run faster. As well as this, the RAM cleaner tool can shut down apps running in the background, which could slow down your device. There is even the option to free up space by removing junk and unnecessary files on your device.
The permissions manager section of the app lets you see how much of your data is shared with apps. It can help you adjust settings on each of these apps to ensure that your personal information and photos are not being misused without your approval.
Like the other antivirus solutions on this list, there is an app lock to protect sensitive apps such as your social media applications so that only you can access them.
The network scanner can detect all other devices connected to your home network to ensure that none of them are vulnerable. You’ll also get alerts if your email address is caught up in a data breach.
One of the free features that Avira considers a major selling point of its antivirus for Android is the free VPN. While this is great as it hides your data, it comes with an extremely small data limit of 100MB per day, which is not a lot for online activities.
By upgrading to the Pro plan, you’ll be able to enjoy extra features. These include web protection, which blocks your access to malicious sites, and camera and microphone protection that blocks apps from accessing these without your permission.
Surprisingly, there are many free antivirus apps developed by some of the biggest companies in the industry. This means that Android users can enjoy advanced malware protection without having to pay anything.
On the list above, we already listed many of the best free antivirus apps for Android. These are McAfee, Kaspersky, Avast, and Avira. All of these companies offer free apps, which are excellent; all come with automatic web protection, great scanning features, and app locks.
Of course, for the best Android antivirus plan, we recommend paying for an app. All of the companies above allow users to purchase the Android app individually, but you can also use the app on Android if you purchase a multi-device plan. If you own several devices and want antivirus protection on all of them, then it may be more cost-effective to purchase a premium subscription with support for many devices.
Our advice is to download free antivirus software from one of the reputable companies listed above and see if you like it. If you do, consider upgrading to a paid plan to protect many devices and enjoy more antivirus features on your Android phone.
Most people agree that desktop computers and laptops require antivirus software, but the majority of individuals won’t have any type of antivirus protection on their Android phones. Even though we use our phones more than our desktop computers to access the internet, many of us don’t consider antivirus protection a necessity. However, it is, and here’s why:
Here’s what’s recommend you look for in Android antivirus apps: