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If you use an Android device, you need one of the best Android antivirus apps to protect your phone or tablet from corrupted apps and other kinds of malware.
Your choices are far from limited. The best Android antivirus apps offer not only top-notch malware detection and prevention, but a range of privacy and anti-theft features. Most have a free tier, and some are entirely free.
The best Android antivirus apps can back up your contacts and other data, track your phone or tablet via GPS, snap a picture of a phone thief with the device’s camera and even use your Wear OS smartwatch to locate your phone.
We’ve rounded up the biggest names in mobile antivirus protection — Avast, Bitdefender, Kaspersky, Lookout, McAfee, Norton and even Google itself — and rated their Android apps based on setup, interface, usability, extra features and, of course, their anti-malware chops.
To gauge security protection, we used data from AV-Test, an independent German lab that rates most major security apps based on their ability to detect zero-day malware and other recent threats. We also used the Geekbench 4 app to measure the impact these apps have on overall Android performance.
What are the best Android antivirus apps?
The best Android antivirus app, based on our tests, is Bitdefender Mobile Security ($15 per year), which offers nearly flawless malware protection and a wide range of features.
Norton Mobile Security ($30 per year) has even better protection. Unfortunately, Norton has killed the free tier of Norton Mobile Security, along with its anti-theft features, so we can’t recommend it as highly as we used to.
Latest Android alerts and threats
Avast Mobile Security and McAfee Mobile Security offer a lot of features for free and do fairly well in malware-detection tests. But Avast’s anti-theft and call-blocking tools didn’t work well, and both apps show lot of ads — unless you pay them not to.
The free version of Kaspersky Mobile Antivirus has no ads, and its call-blocking and anti-theft features work well. Its malware protection is very good, but it lacks a Wi-Fi network-security scanner.
Lookout Security & Antivirus was one of the first mobile antivirus apps and has a…