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Top 5 Android Antivirus Apps

In this article we will take a look at the top 5 Android Antivirus Apps available from the Google Play Store. But first, let us understand why we should consider Android free Antivirus Apps?

Why do we need Android Antivirus Apps?

Popularity of the Android OS

There is little doubt (if any) that our favorite mobile operating system, the Android OS, has clearly emerged as the largest selling mobile device OS in recent times. The population of Android Smartphones and Tablets has grown exponentially over the past half a decade or so. The main reason for this meteoric rise is the fact that Android is a fully customizable open source operating system. This gave smartphone and tablet manufacturers the ability to bring in many outstanding innovations to their products. Another factor responsible for the popularity of Android is the presence of hundreds of thousands of awesome apps in the open market.

The arrival of the bad guys

It was but natural then that, with the phenomenal population increase in Android products, we would also see the arrival of the inevitable hordes of criminals. This has been true with any popular operating system in the digital world and Android was not going to be an exception. Yes, we are talking of the vast community of digital rogues like exploits, malware, trojans, spyware, phishers and identity thieves. There is one marked difference though. In comparison to a computer OS like Windows, Android cannot, what we commonly understand as ‘be virus infected’. This is purely because of the secure demarcation between the OS and all the other apps. This demarcation makes certain that access to the operating system’s core files and functions is severely restricted. Thus, there is no way that a traditional virus-like program can create havoc on our devices. However, that doesn’t make the Android device oblivious to a security attack.

Best Free Android Antivirus Apps

Inherently secure but not invulnerable

The security restrictions or permissions needed by any app are granted by the user. As we pointed out earlier, Android app market has been expanding at a dizzying rate. The Google Play Store itself has crossed the 1 million apps and 50 million downloads mark. There are many other sites and development avenues where all kinds of apps are available for both free and paid downloads. Hence, we are now exposed to a large collection of apps, a good percentage of which can turn out to be rogue apps. A good example of a recent threat is the Master Key Exploit. Many a times users do not realize that a seemingly harmless health and fitness app, which we have granted permissions, may actually be compromising our security and privacy settings. And, we generally don’t realize these dangers, until the damage has been done.

It is precisely for these reasons that there is an urgent need to secure our Android devices. In this article, we will take a look at 5 of the best Android Antivirus Apps that will help us do exactly that. The apps listed here are generally free antivirus apps, with some of them needing a nominal subscription for certain advanced features like Anti-theft, Privacy Advisors, Remote locking, and Anti-phishing  among others.

5 Best Android Antivirus Apps

Lookout Security and Anti-virus

Lookout Security and Anti-virusOne of the veterans in the Android Antivirus Apps space, Lookout Mobile Security has been a consistent bestseller in its category, with upwards of 40 million users worldwide. This app gets a mention on the best  Antivirus Apps for Android list on the basis of its unparalleled legacy and intuitive working. It has comprehensive protection features for your Android devices that include the following:

The free antivirus version offers –

  • Top-level lost phone protection and recovery systems with features like –
    • Mapping the phone’s location and  sounding of an alarm on the phone even during silent mode
    • Receiving an email containing a picture (shot by the phone’s front camera) and location of the person who has incorrectly entered a pass code 3 times
  • Security and antivirus features include real-time and over-the-air protection from latest malware, spyware and other rogue agents.
  • Online cloud-based backup and restore of your contacts at Lookout.com

The following premium version features are available on a 14-day free trial –

  • Blocking of dangerous URLs with Safe Browsing Feature
  • View what kind of personal information is being accessed by all installed apps using Privacy Advisor
  • Use the Lock and Wipe feature to remotely lock your phone and wipe data off it

Download this app from Google Play Store.

AVG Antivirus Security

AVG Antivirus SecurityAVG as an internet and computer security solution company hardly needs any introduction. We have used their free anti-virus solutions for our PCs and laptops. And with a 70 million user base in mobile antivirus security apps, it’s hard to keep this security giant out of the top 5 Android Free Antivirus Apps.

Some of the features of the free version are:

  • Scan and remove malicious content from apps and files
  • Anti-phishing and anti-malware protection of your identity and personal data
  • Scanning of websites for threats and suspicious URL blocking
  • Improve device performance by killing tasks or processes that may slow down your device
  • Optimize storage, battery consumption, and monitor traffic
  • Using the remote management console or text messages
    • Locate lost or stolen phones through Google Maps
    • Remotely lock the phone show a custom screen message
    • Make the phone activate a siren even during silent mode
    • Remotely wipe the device of all content including contacts, text messages, photos or SD card
    • Filter and block unwanted messages or calls
  • App Locker* feature to protect your privacy by locking apps and locking device settings.
  • Backup your apps to the SD card and restore them whenever required using App Backup*
  • Automatically lock the phone whenever your SIM is replaced with the  SIM Lock* feature
  • Get the photo of the person who enters 3 incorrect passwords emailed to you using the Camera Trap* feature

* This is a Pro version feature available as 14-day trial in the free version.

Download this app from Google Play Store.

ESET Mobile Security and Antivirus

ESET Mobile Security and AntivirusESET has been a well known Antivirus and Internet Security provider for the past decade or so. Their foray into mobile security apps has also been extremely successful and well-received. The ESET Mobile Security Antivirus includes advanced detection and anti-theft features in its free version. In its premium avatar the app provides advanced anti-theft, anti-phishing and system audit features. A great 99.7 % hit rate at detection puts this security app into the list of best Android Antivirus Apps.

The free version includes:

  • Real-time screening of all apps and cloud-based ESET Live Grid for defence against emerging threats
  • Identification and Protection from malicious and unscrupulous apps
  • Anti-theft features like remote locking of a stolen phone, siren or alarm sounding to find a phone, and remotely locating the phone
  • The app also offers uninstall protection by password protecting the app’s security settings

The premium features which are offered on a 30-day trial include:

  • Advanced Anti-Theft Features like Remote Wipe and SIM Guard. Remote Wipe will securely erase all your contacts, messages and SD card on a getting a simple SMS command. With SIM Guard, the device will still receive commands remotely in spite of an unauthorized SIM being used on it. With this the pre-defined recovery number(s) will receive details like the new SIM’s numbe. Your pre-defined contact(s) can receive the inserted SIM’s phone number, IMEI code and IMSI data
  • Advanced anti-phishing function
  • View permission settings and information accessed by all apps using Apps Audit
  • Inspect the overall security status of your device and gather details like in-use data or phone connections

Download this app from Google Play Store.

Avast Mobile Security and Antivirus

Avast Mobile Security and AntivirusAvast Mobile Security and Antivirus for Android is a culmination of the excellent work done by Avast Software in the security arena. This is once again a comprehensive mobile security app with functions like browser protection, antivirus and malware scanning and theft protection available free. It is easy to configure, scores a great 99.8% in detection rates and has a really cool feature called Geo-fencing, which gets it into the top 5 Antivirus Apps for Android list. The main features include:

  • A robust Antivirus Engine that can scan apps, file and SMS
  • View all installed apps and understand which app has what access privileges
  • A comprehensive Web Shield that apart from providing a safer way to browse also blocks USSD numbers taht can potentiall wipe out device memories.
  • Ability to lock any 2 apps with PIN or gestures, available for unlimited apps in Premium version
  • Complete backup and restore options
  • Remotely control an Android device using a web-based interface or by SMS
  • Anti-theft measures like location of phone on the map, device locking, siren activation, SIM change notification or memory erasure, all available remotely

Premium features include:

  • Ad detection and detailed description of tracking mechanisms
  • Ability to remotely retrieve data from the device and to take pictures of the person who fails to unlock it in three attemts.
  • Geo-Fencing feature that lets the Phone perform specific actions like siren or sending location identification, when the device is outside a set radius from you

Download this app from Google Play Store.

TrustGo Antivirus and Mobile Security

TrustGo Antivirus and Mobile SecurityTrustGo Antivirus and Mobile Security, although relatively as compared to the other players mentioned here is one of the most robust Android Antivirus Apps to be seen in a while. This security app simple offers more features and detections than all the other products down and offers them completely free. Although we have not ranked the products in the top 5 Android Antivirus Apps in any particular order, purely on the basis of features, usability and ultimately affordability, TrustGo Antivirus and Mobile Security takes the cake for being the best Android antivirus app here. Here is a complete list of what this amazing app has to offer:

  • Ability to remove all kinds of malware, spyware and trojans apart from detecting unscrupulous data-theft apps. Provides both on-demand and scheduled scans
  • SAFE or Secure App Finder Engine helps users by alerting them about malicious and fake apps, even before downloading them
  • Unlike other software TrustGo supports the default Android browser, chrome and Dolphin browser when protecting you from sites that are known to be unsecure
  • Now you can store your phone’s data securely on the cloud and restore it seamlessly as and when required
  • You can easily find the apps which may be compromising your privacy settings by using the Privacy Guard feature. The feature gives you a complete run down of all the permissions that an app may be using
  • Candid Camera Thief ID feature enable you to secure your phone with TrustGo. If someone tries to unsuccessfully unlock the device 3 times in a row, the app will click their photo and email it to you
  • Device Protection feature lets you remotely find your phone, lock it, trigger an alarm, or secure erase all your data including personal information in case your phone is stolen or lost
  • System Manager – Monitor and manage your phone’s data usage, battery consumption and memory usage

Download this app from Google Play Store.

Conclusion

The Android operating system’s open source architecture is the primary driving force behind its success as the leading mobile operating system. It’s inherent simplicity of design and access to tons of resources enable thousands of developers to create some of the best apps and games known to the digital world. However, this also gives rise to many malicious and unscrupulous coders and their applications. Even, the Play Store is not necessarily a safe haven for good apps. Hence, it becomes imperative that we choose a good mobile security app and secure our devices. The top 5 Antivirus Apps for Android list above is purely aimed at helping you take an informed decision.

Irrespective of which one of the best Android Antivirus Apps interests you, we hope that you will surely secure your Android device and stay safe. Take a look at more such comprehensive reviews on Android Security and other apps.