Best free antivirus for Android
Malware, adware, fake applications, scams: just some of the dangers that your Android device can find every time you install something new.
The answer is simple, at least in theory. Independent tests show that the best antivirus applications do a great job to keep you safe and regularly block 100% of test threats.
The problem lies in deciding which application to use, because although there are hundreds, many are very inaccurate, and some can be malicious.
AV Comparatives 2018 The Android security report gives an idea of the scope of this problem. The company tested more than 200 applications and, although many had a good performance, 79 detected less than 30% of the same malware or regularly generated false alarms with popular clean files. That suggests that about 4 out of 10 of the antivirus products you'll find in the Play Store are so poor that AV Comparatives found them unsafe or even deceptive.
It is important to choose your security applications with extreme care, then. To help, this article will highlight five of Android's best and most trusted free antivirus applications, as evaluated by our own experience and the results of AV Comparatives and AV Test evaluations.
1. Avast Mobile Security
First-class protection for your Android device
Excellent results in independent testing
Heap of features
Avast Mobile Security is one of Android's most popular security solutions with more than 100 million installations reported on Google Play and an impressive rating of 4.5 apps.
Avast has always had a good record of accuracy, but it's even better since the company acquired AVG in 2016 and the applications have been updated to include the best of both product ranges. As a result, both AV Test and AV Comparatives regularly show that Avast Mobile Security detects 100% of its test threats.
Avast Mobile Security has a robust set of features that cover mostly the basics, with scanning of applications and files, a web shield to detect and block dangerous links, and Wi-Fi monitoring to verify the security of a network while connecting.
Additional security and optimization tools include a call blocker, a vault to protect access to personal photos, junk file cleaning to free up storage space and an energy-saving feature that adjusts system settings to extend The battery life.
The free application has ads, but you can update to remove them and add premium extras like anti-theft, blocking applications and the ability to contact support directly from the application.
2. Avira Antivirus Security 2018
Lock your device with this precise application
Excellent detection rates
Remote device management
No browser blocking at the browser level
Avira can be better known for its software free antivirus for PC, but the company also delivers the products on Android, with Avira Antivirus Security 2018 delivering an excellent performance of malware hunting for millions of users around the world.
A complete antivirus engine scans applications in the installation, as well as its updates and external storage units to detect threats. Independent tests show that Avira regularly detects 100% of malware samples.
Avira also claims that its specialized anti-ransomware protection blocks millions of ransomware attacks every month.
An identity protection feature scans the web for clues that your email address has been leaked in a data breach, raising the alert if it detects a problem. It's a welcome extra that you will not normally see in other free antivirus applications.
Bonus features include anti-theft tools and some useful information about the privacy risks of your installed applications, while a web management console allows you to adjust settings remotely or manage multiple Avira-equipped devices from one place.
Put it all together and Avira Antivirus Security 2018 offers complete and versatile protection for a free application, although there are a couple of problems that can persuade you to update. The free application does not block infected or phishing websites at the browser level, and updates are not as frequent as with the commercial edition, leaving you fractionally more exposed to zero-day threats.
3. Bitdefender Antivirus Free
Detection of lightweight malware from a market leader
Precise antivirus engine
Blocks threats automatically, requires no configuration
Does not include real-time scanning / blocking of web pages
Bitdefender's Antivirus engine is one of the most accurate and reliable, and regularly tops the detection rate lists of independent testing labs.
For example, the company achieved a second place in the Real-World Protection tests of AV Comparatives from July to November 2017, just behind Panda, but surpassing big names like Kaspersky, Avira and Avast.
Normally, you can expect to pay a price premium for this level of security, but Bitdefender Antivirus Free gives you free access without any inconvenience to the same industrial-strength antivirus engine as your commercial cousins.
Bitdefender's autopilot technology ensures that the application is extremely easy to use, since most security decisions are handled automatically. New applications are scanned as they are downloaded, for example, they detect any threat before they can damage your device, while the storage is scanned when your device starts to reveal something else.
Discovery takes place in the cloud, an intelligent design decision that reduces CPU usage, avoids the need to download and store bulky antivirus definitions, and ensures that the application will detect the latest threats as soon as they appear .
Bitdefender Antivirus Free
has some limits, as expected. In particular, it does not include the scanning of real-time web pages of Bitdefender Mobile Security to detect and block phishing and other malicious sites. However, you can always install another application to handle the navigation protection, and as a pure antivirus application, Bitdefender Antivirus Free is hard to beat.
4. Norton Security and Antivirus
Detection of next-generation malware from an industry veteran
Detects malware and warns about privacy risks
Top ratings from testing labs
No filtering of websites at the level Browser  Symantec Norton is probably best known for its Windows security software, but the brand also has some quality mobile applications, and Norton Security and Antivirus for Android does a great job to keep it free of malware .
The heart of the application is based on Norton's Mobile Insight, a powerful service that has analyzed millions of applications and adds thousands of new applications every day. Mobile Insight not only searches for known malware, but uses multiple scanning techniques to detect new threats and potential privacy risks in legitimate applications, and Norton Security and Antivirus uses this information to warn you about dangerous applications before they can cause problems.
The results are often impressive, with Norton detecting 100% of the sample threats in the recent AV Comparatives test of more than 200 Android security applications.
Norton Security and Antivirus also has what appears to be a robust set of anti-theft features, including the ability to block, erase or remotely locate a stolen device through a text message. However, check the fine print and you will see that they do not work on Android 4.03 or later.
The main limitation here is the lack of navigation protection. You can avoid dangerous websites to some extent by using Norton's secure search tool, but the full SafeWeb filter, the excellent Norton website reputation technology, is only available in the premium paid edition.
5. Sophos Mobile Security
A full-featured security suite, with no ads or restrictions
A complete security suite
First-level malware detection
Discovery requires daily definition updates
Sophos , based in the United Kingdom, is a veteran security company that has been developing antivirus solutions since 1985. He has spent most of his life working on products for companies, but the company has also diversified into the consumer market, which allows you to try many of its technologies for free.
Sophos Mobile Security is a comprehensive security application that offers everything you need to keep your Android application safe, without ads, annoying restrictions or constant update demands.
Malware protection includes automatic scanning of applications as they are installed and an option to schedule application scans and storage. The results are as reliable as it will be anywhere, both AV Test and AV Comparatives report a 100% detection rate for Sophos in its latest Android security tests.
The application also has good ratings for navigation protection, with intelligent blocking of malicious URLs and a secure QR code scanner to prevent them from directing you to dangerous sites.
There are enough extra extras to replace a library of security applications: anti-theft and remote control through SMS messages; password protection for sensitive applications; advisors to make smart suggestions for privacy and security; protection against spam to block unwanted calls; a password manager compatible with KeePass and a managed mode that allows you to control and manage all Sophos-equipped devices from a central location.
Sophos Mobile Security detects malware based on virus definitions that are updated once a day. That's not as effective as non-defined products like Bitdefender Free Antivirus, because they detect threats in the cloud, which guarantees that you are protected against the latest dangers as soon as they are discovered.
Sophos & # 39; 100% malware However, the detection rate in the tests suggests that you will not see many improvements elsewhere, especially when you take into account their additional layers of security. It's worth a try.