Privacy Canada is community-supported. We may earn a commission when make a purchase through one of our links. Learn more.
Best Antivirus for Android
No matter how careful you are when you browse the web or stream media online, your personal safety should always be a concern. To combat these issues, you need to use the best antivirus for Android to prevent your phone and data from being compromised.
Malware is designed to be sneaky and to get on your device without you noticing, so it can steal sensitive information.
On top of malicious software, invasive websites and phishing scams are abundant on the internet.
These apps will ensure that your personal data is kept safe from spyware and other types of malware and that your risk of falling victim to identity theft or phishing scams is nullified.
What are Antivirus Apps?
Antivirus apps are applications developed to combat viruses and other variations of malware—in essence, they’re cybersecurity and personal privacy tools.
These applications often include a variety of security features that protect not only your device but your personal information around the internet.
Many antivirus apps include software that scans wi-fi networks to make sure they’re safe, protect against phishing attacks, and secure your device against malicious websites.
Plus, the best antivirus for Android smartphones will monitor your personal information across online databases and the dark web to make sure no sensitive information has been leaked.
Why is it Important to Use an Antivirus App for Android Devices?
Today, most people use their smartphones like they use a computer—they’re not only sending calls and text messages like in the past.
People have their bank account information, credit cards, IDs, and much more sensitive information stored or linked to their smartphones.
While Android devices do have security measures built into them, they’re still at risk of viruses and other data breaches.
Android devices are open source which means they’re more vulnerable to malware than devices with other operating systems.
On top of the increasing number of viruses and malware mean that Android device owners should use antivirus apps to ensure their information is kept safe.
What’s the Best Antivirus for Android Devices?
Antivirus apps are made to protect you against any online threat. However, not all of them offer the same quality or number of features.
The best antivirus for Android will protect against malware, phishing scams, unsecured wi-fi networks, identity theft, and will include a VPN for added security.
1. Avast Mobile Security – Best Option
- 24/7 customer service
- Great privacy and security measures
- Large server count
- Resource heavy
Avast Mobile Security is a powerful antivirus and security app offered to Android devices that have Android 6.0 or a later version. The application was created to protect Android users against viruses, malware, phishing attacks, theft, and more.
The heart of the app is the antivirus engine—this software will scan for viruses, spyware, trojans, adware, and other types of malware for complete protection. Avast is also an excellent choice for iPhone users, which you can read more about in our Best Antivirus for iPhone review.
On top of the antivirus engine, the app also includes a web shield that heightens your security as you browse the web and a wi-fi scanner that checks if a public network is secure.
Plenty of Features
Beyond the antivirus measures, the Avast app has plenty more impressive features. The app includes app insights where you get custom reports on how much time you spend on each app on your phone.
The app will also clean out unnecessary files, system caches, and residual files to free up storage space. It even includes a Photo Vault where you can store and secure sensitive photos with a PIN code, biometric password, or a swipe pattern.
The Avast Mobile Security App also scans various internet databases to see if any of your passwords or account information has been leaked anywhere online.
If the app finds something related to your accounts, you get immediate alerts, so you can quickly change your account information to prevent hacking.
Get More Security With Premium Account
While all the above features are free, Avast also offers premium services for those who would like added security.
The premium account comes with features like the Camera Trap which takes secure photos and records audio if your phone is stolen.
Additionally, premium users will get a VPN, the last known location feature where your phone’s location is saved if your battery is low, and a direct line of contact via the app to the Avast support team.
The Avast antivirus app has an abundance of free features and impressive premium features for complete device and personal security. For that reason, Avast Mobile Security is the best antivirus for Android available today.
2. Bitdefender Mobile Security – A Strong Second Choice
- Includes a VPN
- Contains anti-theft services
- Provides excellent protection
- Annual fee after 14-day free trial
- Weak offline security
Bitdefender has created an impressive antivirus app that offers great protection and handy features for Android users with version 5.0 or later.
The Bitdefender Mobile Security app includes a malware scanner that actively blocks adware, spyware, ransomware, and viruses.
What’s more, when a virus or malware is detected, the app will automatically remove it from your device.
Blocks Phishing Attacks
The Bitdefender Mobile Security app also provides protection when you’re browsing the web. The software is constantly on the lookout for signs of fraudulent signs and phishing schemes.
To further enhance your online security, the app includes a VPN to make sure your location and information are kept secure while you’re online.
For additional protection measures, the Bitdefender Mobile Security app also includes anti-theft services to locate a stolen or lost device, wipe the device, or send a message to the device.
Plus, the app can take pictures of someone who tries messing with your phone.
Personal Privacy Support
Moving beyond the basic protection measures, the Bitdefender app also provides personal privacy support. You can lock any of your Android device’s apps with a PIN code or set up apps to allow immediate access if you’re connected to a trusted wi-fi network.
The app also helps you maintain your personal data privacy by scanning for any leaked account information connected to you, so you can take any action necessary if your data is exposed.
The downfall of the Bitdefender Mobile Security app is that it’s paid.
You can get a free trial for 14 days, but after that, you must pay an annual fee to use it. In our eyes, it’s worth the money as the No. 2 best antivirus for Android on our list.
3. Kaspersky Security & VPN – Tried & Trusted
- Performs background scans
- Great for safe browsing
- Established brand
- Unlimited VPN use only available to paid subscribers
- App has frequent updates
Created by the well-regarded Kaspersky Lab, the Kaspersky Security & VPN app is a free antivirus application that has been downloaded on the Google Play Store nearly 4 million times.
The app includes great features like antivirus protection, device location services, app lock, anti-phishing, safe browsing, and much more.
The Kaspersky Security & VPN app was created to block malware, spyware, adware, and other types of web threats from getting on Android devices. It does this by detecting malicious threats in websites, links, files, and more.
Additionally, the Kapersky app can perform background scans on apps and files that already exist on your phone to ensure they’re free from viruses.
To provide complete protection against identity theft and data leaks, Kapersky monitors various online databases to see if any of your account data has been compromised and leaked.
The app will also provide insights on how you can avoid such data leaks.
More Than Just Antivirus
Beyond the antivirus features, the Kaspersky Security & VPN app provides services like tracking, remote wiping, and remote photo capturing, if your device is stolen or lost.
Lastly, Kapersky provides its app users with a VPN that allows users to hide their IP location and protect their personal data while browsing the web.
However unlimited use of the VPN is only available to premium app users who pay for the app.
Paid users also get more advanced features like anti-phishing support to snuff out any phishing links in emails, text messages, and online and an app lock feature where you can set locks on individual apps with a PIN code to keep your information private.
Similarly, Kaspersky Security & VPN will block unsafe URLs sent in messages and chat platforms.
4. Trend Micro Mobile Security & Antivirus – Keeps Your Device Clean
- Includes SMS and MMS scanning
- Features security scanners for wi-fi networks
- Excellent at finding and removing malware
- Lacks a VPN
- Doesn’t monitor databases for personal data leaks
The Mobile Security & Antivirus app by Trend Micro is an Android application that provides thorough protection against malware and viruses.
The app utilizes an advanced AI system to detect web threats and safeguard your device and personal data. The app requires Android 5.0 or later.
Trend Micro’s app includes software that provides an array of malware scanning services to keep your device clean.
Surf Safely With Web Guard
To start, the app can scan the Google Play store to ensure any apps that you want to install are free from malware. It also includes a web guard that makes sure any websites you visit are secure.
Plus, the application can scan your phone for malware—if anything is found, the app will remove it and restore your phone to its setting before the malware was present.
The Mobile Security & Antivirus app provides more than just malware prevention and detection; it also includes security scanners for W-Fi networks and Facebook.
The app will check any public or non-secure wi-fi network to ensure its safe for connection.
Above and Beyond
The application also includes great personal security measures like SMS and MMS scanning to check for fraud or phishing links. From the app, you can add personal locks to other applications, and you can free up space by clearing unwanted files.
Trend Micro’s Mobile Security & Antivirus app goes above the normal antivirus and security features by adding a specific layer of security to any financial or banking applications you have.
This way, you can feel safe checking your sensitive financial information through your Android device.
While the Mobile Security & Antivirus app includes impressive features, it isn’t without a couple of key downfalls. It lacks a VPN for safe web browsing, and it doesn’t monitor databases for personal data leaks.
If you’re less concerned about the VPN and account monitoring, the Trend Micro app is a great option.
5. Norton Mobile Security – Recommended for Android Users
- Provides alerts
- Contains app advisor that scans for privacy leaks
- One of the biggest names in internet security
- Only available to Android users with version 8.0 or later
- Requires an annual subscription after 14-day free trial
The Norton Mobile Security app is available to Android users with version 8.0 or later. The application is designed with multiple layers of protection to guard your phone and data against spyware, ransomware, and other types of malware and viruses.
The app includes features like a secure VPN with bank-grade encryption to provide privacy while browsing the internet, real-time alerts if your phone encounters any sort of online threat and wi-fi security alerts.
Blocks Malicious Websites
Plus, the Norton Mobile Security app includes added protection to detect phishing scams and malicious websites that you may encounter while browsing the web or receive through fraudulent emails or SMS messages.
On top of the antivirus features, the Norton Mobile Security app also provides dark web monitoring to ensure none of your personal information has been compromised and leaked, and an app advisor to scan your device for potential privacy issues or leaks.
Although the Norton Mobile Security app has a lot of great features with a good track record of preventing malware from getting on devices, it does have one key downfall.
Users have to sign up for an annual subscription to use the app. From there, Norton offers a 14-day free trial, but your subscription will start automatically after the trial period has ended.
The above five antivirus apps are all quality Android apps that can protect you and your device from website threats. However, the best antivirus for Android smartphones out of the five reviewed is Avast Mobile Security.
The free version of the application comes with great features to prevent viruses, adware, spyware, and other types of malware from infecting your phone.
On top of that, the app includes monitoring services to check for leaked data on the internet and privacy features to increase the security of your phone.
Plus, users who want additional security have the option to upgrade to a premium tier.
Best Antivirus for Android FAQs
What is the Best Antivirus for Android?
The best antivirus for Android phones is Avast Mobile Security. The application includes all the antivirus features necessary to protect your device against malicious websites, files, and more.
The app also includes additional security services to protect your data while you browse the web.
How Do You Run Antivirus on Android?
First, you need to download an antivirus app from the Google Play store. From there, you’ll likely need to make an account, sign in, and grant the application permissions to your location, SMS, storage, camera, and more.
Once the app has all the permissions needed, it will scan your phone for any threats and alert you if something is found.
Is it Important to Have Antivirus on Android?
If you’re like most people who use their Android phone to surf the web, send emails, check banking information, and use social media, having an antivirus app is recommended.
Android phones are susceptible to malware via phishing links, unsecured wi-fi networks, and malicious websites—all of which can be nullified with an antivirus app.