Sam is a cybersecurity researcher working in the field of hardware security and AI-driven penetration testing. He has spent the last few years contemplating some…
Amy Clark is a quality-driven managing editor who has extensive knowledge of the SaaS market. She started her journey managing and supporting the content at…
Looking for the best antivirus for Android devices? If your Android device has been infected with a virus or malware, we’re here to help.
We’ve reviewed and compared the top options and have identified six candidates for the best antivirus for Android. Find out how providers like TotalAV, McAfee, and Norton can keep you safe.
Show Full Guide
To help you with the process of making your decision, we’ve compiled a list of the top 6 antivirus services for Android:
Here’s a quick head-to-head comparison of the best Android antiviruses to help you find the best one for you to stop malware and viruses:
Before we compare each of our top 6 head-to-head, here are in-depth reviews of each one to help you pinpoint the one best suited to your needs.
TotalAV is our top pick for the best antivirus software for Android. This premier antivirus provider offers superb protection, high performance, and an easy-to-use interface at a bargain price. There’s also a free version to test the product out, albeit with limited features.
The product regularly updates its threat definitions to keep your devices secure. With ransomware and phishing scam protection, TotalAV ensures every base is covered. It also includes one of the best Android VPNs, and the service can secure every packet of data sent and received on your Android device.
TotalAV works across Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android, providing comprehensive protection for you across your devices.
The Android app is also super lightweight and doesn’t have any noticeable impact on your device’s performance. If there’s one drawback, it’s that there are no monthly plans – but it’s hardly a dealbreaker.
Combined with the ease of use of the application, TotalAV doesn’t compromise on any fronts, and we highly recommend it.
TotalAV offers three tiers of plans.
Antivirus Pro offers most of the features, including phishing and ransomware protection. Internet Security adds TotalAV’s VPN into the mix, while Total Security adds adblocking as well.
We recommend the Internet Security package, which gives you both a tremendous all-around antivirus solution and VPN coverage which blocks known hacker IPs and malware distributors and protects your internet traffic from packet inspection.
SurfsharkAV is the antivirus service provided by SurfsharkVPN, one of the top VPN providers today. Its security tools are first-rate, with frequently updated threat definitions and real-time malware protection.
We tried Surfshark out on Android and found it blocked 96% of the malware we threw at it. Where SurfsharkAV really shines through, though, is with the range of internet security features it offers.
SurfsharkAV is superb in this category and includes Surfshark’s VPN, a content blocker for ads, trackers, and phishing sites, and a data breach monitor that notifies you if your data is leaked in a data breach.
The DNS-level blacklist, meanwhile, effectively blocks hackers, malware distributors, and advertisements before they get a chance to appear on your device.
When it comes to performance, the app is relatively lightweight and only a hair behind its top competitors. The UI makes the app easy to configure and use. It’s a great antivirus and VPN combination, and it comes in slightly cheaper than Nord’s equivalent offer.
SurfsharkAV’s plans differ based on subscription duration.
A one-month subscription to Surfshark One costs $12.95 per month and includes access to the Surfshark VPN, which you can install on unlimited devices and five devices for real-time threat detection.
Like McAfee, Norton is a relatively established company, and it provides a similarly high level of antivirus protection for users. Combined with its malware, ransomware, and hacking protection, Norton offers some of the best security software on the market.
In fact, Norton is so confident in the effectiveness of their product that they offer your money back if the antivirus fails to remove a virus. Subscriptions include 24/7 support, so if you can’t remove a virus with Norton, you can get in touch with a technician for assistance.
Norton also provides some impressive additional internet security features with tools such as dark web monitoring, a VPN, and credit checking, helping you detect and defend against identity theft.
Norton’s performance is also stellar. While not as fast as TotalAV and McAfee, it’s still strong in this department, and the app is easy to use and quick to complete scans.
Like McAfee, we found that Norton’s real-time protection feature detected 100% of our malware samples. It’s also notable that Norton is the most affordable AV product on our list, as well as being one of the most comprehensive.
Norton offers four tiers of plans. Starting at $19.99 a year, Norton offers some of the best prices on this list:
We recommend the Antivirus Plus package, as it’s very affordable for top-tier antivirus protection. If you’re worried about identity theft, the LifeLock subscription comes with the ability to freeze linked bank accounts, credit cards, and bills if you suspect fraudulent transactions are being processed under your name.
NordVPN is one of the biggest VPN providers in the world and now also offers antivirus protection security services via Nord Threat Protection.
The lite version requires your device to be connected to the NordVPN service, but the premium antivirus package offers real-time threat protection even when you’re not online.
Nord Threat Protection has outstanding internet security features, including a tracker and ad blocker and, of course, access to the VPN service. Other premium features include encrypted cloud storage and a data breach scanner.
The app is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to performance – and it’s a supremely lightweight app. While it doesn’t offer as much functionality as other providers, it’s nevertheless the cheapest service on our list.
Nord Threat Protection offers three tiers:
Nord’s VPN service is worth buying for its stellar internet security, but the antivirus app seals the deal. The Plus package adds NordPass, Nord’s complete password management tool, and dark web monitoring. The Complete package, meanwhile, offers 1TB of cloud storage using Nord’s encrypted servers.
Avast is another antivirus industry titan, and it offers some great anti-theft tracking features.
With swift updates to threat definitions, and strong web security provided by their Web Shield 2.0, Avast provides a high standard of protection.
The app’s anti-theft and data security options set Avast apart from other providers. You get access to an encrypted vault for photos that only you can access. The app allows you to take remote pictures and capture audio so that if your phone gets stolen, you can identify the perpetrator.
Avast also allows you to see the last known location of your device in case you ever lose it, allowing you to track it. If there’s one caveat, it’s that the app could sometimes run faster – but it’s not a showstopper by any means, and particularly so when considering that Avast has one of the best free Android antivirus plans available.
Avast has two plans, but you’ll need to opt for the higher package at $3.33 a month to protect Android devices.
This gives you access to Avast for ten different devices across Android, iOS, Mac OSX, and Windows. It’s a great choice if you need to cover a home full of devices, and it comes at an impressively low price.
McAfee includes first-class security features, and it offers robust protection for a wide range of devices, including Android – though the premium features do factor into the price.
When we tested McAfee on Android, we found it positively identified every piece of malware loaded onto the system. With lightning-fast scan times, McAfee is a surefire winner as an Android antivirus.
McAfee also provides excellent web protection with their firewall and identity protection, which lets you monitor whether your personal information has been leaked to the dark web. The app even comes with its own VPN, which is included even with the entry-level plan.
McAfee also offers many features that are relevant for businesses, such as credit monitoring, credit locking, ransomware protection, and identity theft coverage.
The app doesn’t fall down when it comes to performance, either – it’s lightweight and runs extremely smoothly. The UI is also clean and easy to navigate while still feeling responsive.
Perhaps best of all is the fact that with a Premium plan, you can add the app to unlimited devices, so you can protect your entire digital ecosystem – something that even TotalAV doesn’t offer.
The basic plan costs $29.99/year, but McAfee offers three additional plans for their security services:
Plus is the entry-level plan, and includes the VPN. Premium then increases the number of devices you can cover from five to unlimited.
The Advanced plan adds credit monitoring and identity theft coverage, with up to $25,000 compensation for costs incurred by ransomware slipping through McAfee’s antivirus system and up to $1 million in legal aid for the aftermath of a ransomware attack. Business users should definitely consider this one.
The short answer to this question is that you do need antivirus software for your Android device, and it’s absolutely true that Android devices are vulnerable to viruses.
The long answer is a bit more complicated, but the key point is that Android is a relatively open and customizable platform.
It allows developers to create hooks for the platform and for users to customize their devices extensively, allowing the use of alternative app stores and installation methods. These come at the cost of opening the platform up to a range of security threats.
These threats range from ransomware that encrypts all your sensitive data to phishing scams that imitate legitimate apps to steal your personal and/or payment information, all the way to trojans that force your device into sending premium-rate text messages repeatedly, incurring a massive bill, and many more.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. As we all know, cybersecurity is an arms race between threats and antivirus software. New threats emerge every day, ensuring that no matter how informed you are, there’s always a chance of getting caught by some form of malware.
In fact, recent research shows that Android viruses account for 47.15% of all infected devices — a clear indication that an Android antivirus is an absolute must-have in today’s world.
There aren’t many free options in the antivirus market compared to other software types, such as VPNs. The best free antivirus app for Android in our rating is TotalAV’s free version, though.
That said, most, if not all, free antivirus software come with limited features compared to their paid counterparts. So even though free options exist – and you can get a free virus scan – we recommend investing in a paid option instead.
No antivirus solution will provide comprehensive identity theft management or a VPN for free, for example, and many free antivirus plans lack any kind of direct support.
When conducting our research, we judged the antivirus providers on our list based on these criteria:
Every provider on our list detected at least 95% of malware, and we excluded any that fell below this threshold. Equally, we made sure the Android antivirus apps we picked were intuitive and easy to use – the best app is no good if you ignore it or uninstall it, after all.
We’ve tested and reviewed a wide range of cybersecurity and communications software over the last decade, so we can call on our experience to compare different products against one another and the best in the industry.
As well as conducting deep product research, we also explore consumer reviews to incorporate user feedback into our guides and ensure we understand issues and can provide a rounded perspective on the full customer experience. What’s more we consider different use cases, including everything from the top tools for parents to the best antivirus for India.
We also used AV-Comparatives as a trusted source to identify the best antiviruses for Android and to provide third-party testing data. They test the top solutions and offer statistics on their effectiveness.
To help you get started, we present a step-by-step guide for installing TotalAV – which we rate as the best antivirus app for Android – to protect your device and ensure your online safety starting today. Here’s how to remove a virus from Android.
Downloading TotalAV is a quick and easy process. All you have to do is head over to the Google Play Store on the Android device you want to protect, then search for “TotalAV.” We’ve included the splash screen below, so imitators don’t fool you.
Once you’ve downloaded the .apk, all you have to do is tap “Install” to start TotalAV up.
Now you’re inside the app, select the “Get Started” option. We’re assuming you haven’t created an account yet, so choose the pricing plan that suits you best and go through the checkout process. Once you’re done, you’ll be back on the app within seconds.
Finally, it’s time to start using TotalAV – here’s how to clean your phone from viruses.
You should enable real-time protection immediately, so you’re protected from the first moment you’ve got TotalAV set up. This keeps you protected against any new threats downloaded on the phone.
You should now run a Smart Scan on your device. While it’s probably not infected with malware, having a clean bill of health for your device is reassuring. It’ll check the most likely places on your phone where malware could lurk, but you can run a full scan as well, just to be sure.
With that, you’re all done. You can now browse the internet safely, with the best antivirus for Android phones protecting your device from threats.
Going beyond this guide, we’ve create a range of additional cybersecurity guides and resources for different use cases, devices, and regions.
Based on our research, we rate TotalAV as the best antivirus for Android. It’s the most well-rounded antivirus product we’ve assessed and offers a great mix of web and internet security features and great value for money.
We found that the core scanning features were quick, had limited system impact, and picked up every piece of malware we threw at it, so we strongly recommend this antivirus software for any Android device. You can try it now risk-free for a full month.
Our top recommendation is TotalAV. It offers great value for money and delivers robust protection with limited system impact – making it our go-to choice for antivirus software on the Android platform. You can even download it for free to try before you buy.
The best free antivirus on Android we’ve seen is Avast. Like many free antiviruses for Android phones, though, Avast’s free plan offers limited features, so we recommend upgrading to the paid version once you’re happy with its performance on your device.
The best free antivirus for Android tablet devices is TotalAV, based on our research. However, with a limited feature set, it doesn’t match paid alternatives, so we recommend investing in TotalAV’s paid version for the best protection.
Android is a relatively open platform that allows you to download files and apps without being restricted to the app store, so having antivirus protection is important. Even if you don’t use alternate app stores or download apps via APKs, there are many other ways for malware attacks to reach you, so using antivirus software on Android is wise.
Antivirus software will have some system impact, but the best antivirus apps for Android are super-lightweight and won’t make a noticeable difference, even when you scan your phone for viruses. Software from the providers in our guide won’t make a noticeable difference to device performance on modern phones.
Sam is a cybersecurity researcher working in the field of hardware security and AI-driven penetration testing. He has spent the last few years contemplating some of the ways in which computers have been built wrong, and how we can possibly detect those flaws. When not stressing out over arcane details of computer hardware, Sam can be found advocating for data privacy in his spare time.
Trending NewsLatest GuidesReviewsTerm of the Day