Avast Mobile Security should be your first port of call when looking for a security product to protect your Android device. The app had the best protection results of all 41 apps that our AV-Test pitted against its zoo of Android malware and rootkits. There’s plenty of information about the threats your tablet is potentially exposed to in Avast’s largely user-friendly interface. See also Best Android Apps.
In all but one of the 19 malware categories thrown at it, avast shone. The one exception, Exploit.Lotoor, foiled almost every app here. Of the top 10 apps, only F-Secure, McAfee and Kaspersky picked it up. Avast maintains a Community IQ collection of malware and rootkits sent anonymously from customers’ devices, so we were surprised even this wasn’t detected. See also Top ten Android apps.
On-demand scanning took less than 20 seconds before reporting the all-clear. You need to separately select the SD card scanning option to include this check; this bumped up scan time to more like 35 seconds – still very fast. Visit all Security Software review.
The Privacy Advisor gives a useful overview of personal details that can be read by specific apps; we were relieved to find only the security apps we'd installed were checking our emails and text messages. Nonetheless, you should set a numerical password so Avast can block access to your tablet by others.
Avast is unique among Android anti-malware apps in offering its own firewall for rooted devices. Oddly, Avast’s Anti-Theft service is operable only if you specifically allow the installation of apps outside the Android Market.
We tried the Anti-Theft service (having first backed up everything of note). The standard installation is open to uninstallation by a thief savvy enough to check for such a tool. There’s also a rooted install that prevents the tablet or phone being wiped and then hard-reset. A dummy app disguises Avast Anti-Theft's presence in either scenario.