We round-up and review all of the best Android antivirus apps available on the Market today. Here's the results. (Reviews by Rosemary Hattersley).
Independent testing lab AV-Test assessed the performance of each antivirus app reviewed here with various strains of malware.
The emulator was set up with API level 10 (Android 2.3 Gingerbread), while the non-emulated testing was carried out on a Samsung Galaxy Tab running Android 2.2 Froyo and a Samsung Galaxy Nexus running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.
Both tablet and smartphone were restored to their factory settings following the installation and testing of each antivirus app.
For each security product AV-Test installed the latest available version and updated the virus signatures. It also allowed each app to connect to the internet as required during testing.
AV-Test witnessed two approaches to on-demand scanning among the apps here: while many simply scan the complete device storage, others will scan installed apps and what they consider to be important files only.
The latter type of malware scanners were unable to scan AV-Test’s zoo of 618 malicious files, since these were stored on an SD Card. AV-Test instead tested their real-time protection by installing each malicious app in turn. It then uninstalled the malware if the threat was not detected by the app.
Although AV-Test didn’t provide exact detection rates for each app, it grouped results into five categories based on performance. The first category shows a 90 percent-plus detection rate; the second between 65- and 90 percent; the third between 40- and 65 percent; the fourth between 1- and 40 percent; and the fifth category detected nothing at all.
Processor load and commensurate battery drain were not measured, but it’s safe to assume that an on-access scanner – which monitors every incoming and opened file – will work your phone’s CPU harder than when no malware security app is running.
In addition to AV-Test’s lab scoring, each of the top 25 apps were evaluated by PC Advisor for features, ease of use and quality of interface.
Android antivirus apps:
Avast Mobile Security - Price: Free - Rating 4.5/5
F-secure Mobile Security - Price: £23 - Rating 4.5/5
Dr.Web Anti-virus Light - Price: Free - Rating 3/5
IKARUS mobile.security LITE - Price: Free - Rating 4.5/5
Kaspersky Mobile Security Lite - Price: Free for smartphones; £12.95 for tablets - Rating: 4/5
McAfee Mobile Security - Price: £24.99 - 4.5/5
Lookout Security & Antivirus - Price: Free - Rating: 4/5
MYAndroid Protection Antivirus - Price: £2.99 a month - Rating: 4/5
NQ Mobile Secuirty & Antivirus - Price: Free - Rating: 4/5
Zoner Antivirus Free - Price: Free - Rating: 3.5/5
Aegislab Antivirus Free - Price: Free - Rating: 3/5
AVG Antivirus Free - Price: Free - Rating: 3.5/5
Bitdefender - Price: Free - Rating: 3.5/5
Bluepoint Antivirus Free - Price: Free - Rating: 2/5
Bullguard Mobile Security - Price: £19.95 - Rating: 3/5
Comodo Mobile Security - Price: Free - Rating: 3.5/5
ESET Mobile Security- Price: £16.99 a year - Rating: 3.5/5
G Data Mobile Security - Price: £9.99 a year - Rating: 2/5
Norton Mobile Security LITE - Price: Free - Rating: 3/5
Quick Heal Mobile Security - Price: Free - Rating: 3/5
Super Security Standard- Price: Free - Rating: 3/5
Total Defense Mobile Security - Price: £19.99 a year - Rating: 3/5
Trend Micro Mobile Security - Price: Free - Rating: 3.5/5
Vipre Mobile Security BETA- Price: Free - Rating: 3.5/5
Webroot SecureAnywhere Mobile - Price: Free - Rating: 2.5/5