The Best Antivirus for Android – Top Android Apps Reviewed for 2024

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Looking for the best antivirus for Android devices? If your device has been infected with a virus or malware, or you want to ensure your system remains secure, then we’re here to help.

We’ve reviewed, tested, and compared the leading options on the market and have created a shortlist for the best antivirus for Android. Find out how providers like TotalAV, McAfee, and Norton can help keep you safe.

The Best Android Antivirus Apps

Editors' Choice

TotalAV – Superb antivirus software for complete, real-time protection

TotalAV – Superb antivirus software for complete, real-time protection

  • Starting From $19.00/year
9.6
5 Stars
VISIT SITE

Surfshark Antivirus – Great value antivirus protection with a VPN

Surfshark Antivirus – Great value antivirus protection with a VPN

  • Starting From $37.57/year (2-year plan)
9.5
4.5 Stars
VISIT SITE

Norton – PC antivirus with a virus protection promise

Norton – PC antivirus with a virus protection promise

  • Starting From $29.99/year
9.3
4.5 Stars
VISIT SITE

NordVPN Threat Protection – Antivirus Software with a global VPN network

NordVPN Threat Protection – Antivirus Software with a global VPN network

  • Starting From $53.87/year (2-year plan)
9.0
4.5 Stars
VISIT SITE

Avast – Free Antivirus Software With Smart Scan Functionality

Avast – Free Antivirus Software With Smart Scan Functionality

  • Starting From $35.88/year
8.6
4.5 Stars
VISIT SITE

McAfee – Reliable antivirus software for Windows 10 users

McAfee – Reliable antivirus software for Windows 10 users

  • Starting From $39.99/year (2-year plan)
8.5
4.5 Stars
VISIT SITE

The Best Android Device Antivirus Solutions

To help you with the process of making your decision, we’ve compiled a list of the top anti-virus software for Android:

  1. TotalAV – Best Android antivirus for real-time protection
  2. Surfshark – Best antivirus for Android with unlimited VPN
  3. Norton – Best Android antivirus app for first-time users
  4. NordVPN Threat Protection – Best antivirus software for Android with a global VPN network
  5. Avast – Best free antivirus for Android smartphones
  6. McAfee – Best Android antivirus app for privacy risks

Best Antivirus for Android Smartphones – Top Solutions Reviewed

In this section of our guide, we present in-depth reviews of each of the Android antivirus apps on our shortlist to help you identify the best one for your needs to protect the Android operating system.

1. TotalAV – Best Antivirus for Android Real-Time Protection

A logo of TotalAV

Cheapest Plan $1.58/month (annual)
Best Features Ad Blocker, Memory Optimization, Breach Check
Free Offering Free Scan
Money-Back Guarantee 30 days
Max Devices 8
Automatic Updates Yes
Testing Results 18/18
Why We Picked It

TotalAV stands out as the best antivirus software for Android for real-time protection. It offers superb malware detection rates and top performance that won’t impact your device’s battery as much as the competition.

Features

TotalAV continuously updates its database of malicious websites, apps, and files to ensure its product can stop even the latest viruses.

The Android app will stop you from visiting malicious websites that may expose you to malicious software and phishing attacks, and it will scan every app and file you download to ensure they pose no harm to your device, even from messaging apps.

The app also includes a VPN to help you stay safe while browsing the internet and when using public WiFi networks. Its top-tier plan also provides password manager protection for all your online accounts, making TotalAV an excellent security suite for Android users.

In testing, we found TotalAV offers great performance, as its scans are quick but thorough, and the battery drain is nearly unnoticeable. In addition, its Memory Optimization feature can clean up unused apps and files, boosting the performance of your device and freeing up storage.

Pricing

TotalAV has three plans.

TotalAV Antivirus Pro $19/year
TotalAV Internet Security $39/year
TotalAV Total Security $49/year

TotalAV costs just $1.58/month for the standard antivirus and system optimization features with the introductory offer. Upgrading to the Internet Security plan unlocks VPN protection, while the Total Security plan also includes a password manager.

Who It's Best For

TotalAV is the best choice for users looking for an app that’s easy to use, has minimal impact on Android smartphone performance, and offers excellent malware detection rates and real-time protection.

Pros

  • Robust Android antivirus protection
  • Lightweight Android app
  • Phishing and ransomware protection
  • Affordable introductory pricing
  • Best antivirus for Android tablet

Cons

  • No monthly payment options
  • Base plan lacks VPN protection
TotalAV
9.6
Review

2. Surfshark – Best Antivirus for Android with Unlimited VPN

A logo of Surfshark VPN

Cheapest Plan $2.69/month (two years)
Best Features Dark Web Scanning, Real-Time Protection, In-Depth Scans
Free Version 7-day trial
Money-Back Guarantee 30 days
Max Devices  5 for antivirus
Automatic Updates Yes
Why We Picked It

Surfshark is a highly customizable Android antivirus app that can protect you from intrusive ads, malware, and similar cyber threats and has a VPN for unlimited devices.

Features

Surfshark is well known as one of the best VPN providers and provides high-speed connections and excellent security features – but you shouldn’t overlook its antivirus capabilities. The provider offers 24/7 real-time antivirus protection for five devices.

Surfshark is also more customizable than most of its competitors. You can exclude apps you trust to speed up your scans, and it lets you pick between full and quick scans, and you can schedule them for convenience.

A full scan will detect even the most persistent, hidden malware, and we found it to be a good option if you’re scanning for spyware.

Besides scanning installed apps and files as you use them, Surfshark will also scan apps in the background when you install them and ensure files pose no threat before you launch them.

Pricing

Surfshark’s cheapest plan costs $2.19/month but doesn’t include the antivirus.

24 months + 2 free 12 months + 2 free 1 month
Surfshark One $2.69/month $3.19/month $15.95/month
Surfshark One+ $4.29/month $5.19/month $17.95/month

The Surfshark One plan includes all the antivirus features, costs $2.69/month, and adds data breach monitoring to alert you if your credentials leak online. You can also upgrade to Surfshark One+ for data removal tools.

Who It's Best For

Surfshark is ideal for users looking for antivirus protection, coupled with one of the fastest VPNs on the market, plus data breach monitoring and versatile scanning options. Given all this, it’s often named as the best antivirus for Android on Reddit.

Pros

  • Packaged with the best VPN for Android
  • Excellent performance
  • Personal data security reports
  • Highly customizable

Cons

  • Full scans can take time
  • No free version
Surfshark Antivirus
9.5
Review

3. Norton – Best Android Antivirus App for First-Time Users

A logo of Norton

Cheapest Plan $2.49/month (annual)
Best Features Report Card, SMS Security, App Advisor
Free Version 7-day trial
Money-Back Guarantee 60 days
Max Devices Unlimited
Automatic Updates Yes
Testing Results 18/18
Why We Picked It

Norton is one of the only Android antiviruses to provide parental controls, identity theft protection, and traditional antivirus features at an affordable price, so it’s great for families and first-time users.

Features

The Norton mobile security solution offers real-time protection and allows you to scan your phone for viruses. It also offers top-notch protection against zero-day threats and ransomware.

Subscriptions include 24/7 support, so if you can’t remove a virus with Norton, you can contact a technician for assistance. What’s more, Norton is so confident about the effectiveness of its product that the firm promises your money back if the antivirus fails to remove a virus.

Although it isn’t as performance-friendly as TotalAV and Surfshark, Norton offers detailed reports on your device’s security and performance issues, allowing you to identify and deal with files or apps that may affect your device.

For example, Norton will highlight apps that require security updates and warn you about potentially dangerous public WiFi networks.

Pricing

Norton has a flexible, scalable pricing structure. The starting plan protects just one device for $2.49/month, but the more comprehensive plans add VPN protection, parental controls, dark web monitoring, identity protection, and other features for higher fees.

Norton AntiVirus Plus $29.99/year
Norton 360 Standard $39.99/year
Norton 360 Deluxe $49.99/year
Norton 360 with LifeLock Select $99.99/year
Norton 360 with LifeLock Advantage $191.88/year
Norton 360 with LifeLock Ultimate Plus $299.88/year
Who It's Best For

Norton’s detailed reports, intuitive interface, and actionable insights make it a great pick for beginners and families. It’s ideal for users who’d like to fix even the slightest security gaps on their Android smartphone.

Pros

  • Comprehensive parental controls
  • Flexible plans
  • Filters spam SMS text messages
  • Flags potentially unsafe WiFi networks
  • Built-in VPN

Cons

  • Entry-level plan limited to one device
  • Increased renewal prices
Norton
9.3
Review

4. NordVPN Threat Protection – Best Antivirus Software for Android with a Global VPN

An image of NordVPN's logo on a white background.

Cheapest Plan $3.99/month (two years)
Best Features NordVPN, Ad Blocker, Real-Time Protection
Free Version 7-day trial
Money-Back Guarantee 30 days
Max Devices 10
Automatic Updates Yes
Why We Picked It

NordVPN shields you from privacy risks by bundling its comprehensive VPN services with a reliable data breach scanner, Android malware protection, and a cross-platform password manager.

Features

NordVPN’s Threat Protection Lite can help keep your Android devices malware-free. The security feature scans every file and app you download and deletes or blocks it if it poses a threat.

The security tool can also stop third-party trackers from collecting your information, and it has an extremely effective ad-blocking tool.

There’s also a data breach scanner, which will alert you if it detects any of your details in data leaks, including passwords, credit card numbers, usernames, emails, and similar data.

Besides keeping your Android devices malware-free, opting for NordVPN will get you NordPass, one of the best password managers for Android.

NordPass can help you create strong passwords and scan your existing passwords for vulnerabilities, complementing the antivirus features to provide airtight Android security.

The VPN is also worth mentioning, of course, and provides fast connections, top security, and an extensive network of 6,300+ servers in 110+ countries.

Pricing

NordVPN offers Threat Protection with its Plus and Ultimate plans. For $3.99/month, the Plus plan offers Threat Protection, ad blocking, data breach scanning, and password management. Ultimate adds 1TB of encrypted storage and advanced cyber protection features.

24 months + 3 free 12 months + 3 free 1 month
NordVPN Plus $3.99/month $5.49/month $13.99/month
NordVPN Ultimate $5.99/month $7.49/month $15.99/month
Who It's Best For

NordVPN’s Threat Protection Lite is an excellent pick for privacy-conscious users looking for comprehensive VPN and antivirus protection. It’s slightly more expensive than Surfshark but provides a superb global VPN network.

Pros

  • Great VPN service
  • Blocks targetted ads and malware sites
  • Easy to use
  • Lightweight antivirus app

Cons

  • No device scanning
  • Requires VPN connection for security
NordVPN Threat Protection
9.0
Review

5. Avast – Best Free Antivirus for Android Smartphones

Cheapest Plan $2.99/month (annual)
Best Features Ransomware Protection, WiFi Scanner, App Lock
Free Version Free plan, 30-day trial
Money-Back Guarantee 30 days
Max Devices 30
Automatic Updates Yes
Testing Results 18/18
Why We Picked It

Avast is the best free antivirus for Android, which you can use to scan phones for viruses, avoid malicious websites, and verify the security of WiFi networks.

Features

Avast provides real-time protection for your devices, prevents ransomware encryption, and allows you to scan your WiFi network for intruders and security weaknesses.

Its paid plans offer much more, though, including automatic scans, email and SMS scam protection, sandbox testing, and webcam protection. It also lets you lock your apps using a unique PIN or pattern, which makes it an excellent anti-theft pick.

The Email Guardian email-scanning feature provided with Avast mobile security is particularly good. It labels every email as being “Safe” or “Suspicious” before you open it, alerting you to potentially harmful content.

Pricing

Avast may not be as affordable as TotalAV with its introductory offer, but it won’t be easy to find more features than with the Premium Security and Ultimate plans. You can protect ten devices with both plans for $5.83/month for the first year or one device for $4.17/month.

Avast Free Antivirus Free
Avast One Silver Individual (for security, privacy, or performance) $35.88/year per module
Avast One Silver Family (for security, privacy, or performance) – 30 devices $59.88/year per module
Avast Premium Security – 1 device $49.99/year
Avast Premium Security – 10 devices $69.99/year
Avast Ultimate Security – 1 device $49.99/year
Avast Ultimate Security – 10 devices $69.99/year
Avast One Gold Individual $83.88/year
Avast One Gold Family – 30 devices $131.88/year
Who It's Best For

As the best free antivirus for Android, Avast is the first choice of a reported 435 million users worldwide. While the free plan is good, its paid plans are even better, and the advanced antivirus features offer excellent security for Android users.

The app lock feature is also a superb addition for Android.

Pros

  • Great Android security protection
  • Impressive suite of anti-theft options
  • Best free antivirus app for Android phones
  • Among the top Windows antiviruses

Cons

  • Somewhat confusing pricing
  • Free plan has frequent pop-ups
Avast
8.6
Review

6. McAfee – Best Android Antivirus App for Privacy Risks

Cheapest Plan $3.33/month (two years)
Best Features Personal Data Cleanup, Identity Monitoring, Secure VPN
Free Version 30-day trial
Money-Back Guarantee 30 days
Max Devices Unlimited
Automatic Updates Yes
Testing Results 18/18
Why We Picked It

McAfee offers a huge range of advanced features for Android users, making it one of the most sought-after solutions this year. These include a wide array of identity theft protection features, in-depth virus scanning, and an unlimited VPN, to name just a few.

Features

Like Avast, McAfee offers comprehensive online protection to help you avoid phishing attacks, and it can block malware attacks on the websites you visit, allowing you to browse the internet safely. You can also use the VPN to secure your connection and bypass geo-restrictions.

With Personal Data Cleanup, McAfee will help you find out if data brokers are using your information. The provider can then help you request that your details be removed and deleted.

One of our favorite McAfee features is its Protection Score, which lists all your security vulnerabilities in an accessible panel. The feature provides an at-a-glance view of all the actions you need to take to maximize your online security.

Although its scans aren’t as quick as TotalAV’s, McAfee had a 100% malware detection rate in our tests, and the antivirus app lets you launch and schedule scans and disable and uninstall potentially dangerous apps and files with a single click.

Pricing

McAfee has a flexible pricing structure. The entry-level Total Protection plan lets you protect up to five devices for $3.33/month and offers traditional online and offline antivirus features.

The other plans extend protection to unlimited devices and add advanced features such as wallet protection, credit monitoring, and scam protection.

McAfee Essential (two-year plan) $39.99/year
McAfee Premium $49.99/year
McAfee Premium Family $64.99/year
McAfee Advanced $89.99/year
McAfee Advanced Family $119.99/year
McAfee Ultimate $199.99/year
McAfee Ultimate Family $219.99/year
Who It's Best For

McAfee is ideal for privacy-conscious users. The Android antivirus app comes with a huge range of features to protect your security and privacy and can help you prioritize and address issues and vulnerabilities.

Pros

Cons

  • Renewals increase pricing
  • VPN isn’t as advanced as Surfshark or NordVPN
McAfee
8.5
Review

Best Antivirus Software for Android Compared

Here’s a quick head-to-head comparison of the best Android antiviruses to help you find the best one to stop malware and viruses:

Provider Name Cheapest Plan Best Features Free Offering Money-Back Guarantee Max Devices Automatic Updates
TotalAV $1.58/month (annual) Ad Blocker, Memory Optimization, Breach Check Free Scan 30 days 8 Yes
Surfshark $2.69/month (two years) Dark Web Scanning, Real-Time Protection, In-Depth Scans 7-day trial 30 days 5 for antivirus Yes
Norton $2.49/month (annual) Report Card, SMS Security, App Advisor 7-day trial 60 days Unlimited Yes
NordVPN Threat Protection $3.99/month (two years) NordVPN, Ad Blocker, Real-Time Protection 7-day trial 30 days 10 Yes
Avast $2.99/month (annual) Ransomware Protection, WiFi Scanner, App Lock Free plan, 30-day trial 30 days 30 Yes
McAfee $3.33/month (two years) Personal Data Cleanup, Identity Monitoring, Secure VPN 30-day trial 30 days Unlimited Yes
Methodology

How We Review And Test Antivirus Software

15 Antiviruses Tested

20 Datapoints Measured

300+ Hours Testing

500+ User Reviews Read

We base our recommendations on first-hand experience and in-depth testing. All the Antivirus products we suggest, have been tested based on the following criteria:

  • Core Security Features: We make sure that the antivirus software is fully equipped with features like real-time protection, scanning, a firewall, web protection, and more.
  • Malware Detection Rates: We test malware detection rates ourselves by running both in-depth and quick scans on our devices. Additionally, we check independent lab tests.
  • Compatibility: We check which devices and operating systems the antivirus software is compatible with. Often, different-looking dashboards and slightly different packages of features may be available.
  • Performance Impact: A reliable and functional antivirus should not slow down your device significantly. So, we examine our device performance with and without the antivirus running.
  • Customer Experience: Alongside our own experience, we are curious to know what real users have to say regarding the services. So, we’ve scoured the web for feedback on each of our tested antiviruses.
  • Value for Money: We always consider value for money and how much each product is offering for the set price point.

Does My Android Need Antivirus Software?

The short answer is that, yes, you do need antivirus software for your Android device, and it’s absolutely true that Android devices are vulnerable to viruses, just like other mobile devices.

The key thing is that Android is a relatively open and customizable platform. It allows developers to create hooks for the platform and for users to extensively customize their devices and access alternative app stores and installation methods. This comes at the cost of opening the platform to a range of security threats.

While Android includes built-in security features, the platform is nevertheless vulnerable to malware. Threats range from malicious apps and viruses to ransomware and phishing scams, which imitate legitimate apps to steal your personal details and payment information.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Cybersecurity is an arms race between malware and antivirus software. New threats emerge every day, so the only way to stay ahead is by using a high-quality antivirus app.

Recent research shows that Android viruses account for 47.15% of all infected devices. This is more infections than on Windows and far more than on iPhone, which accounted for less than 1% of infected devices in the study. This is a clear indication that an Android antivirus is an absolute must-have today.

Is Free Virus Protection Enough for Android?

There are free antivirus Android solutions, but they don’t match the quality of service delivered by paid plans, and they typically come with relatively limited features. Most free antiviruses also lack customer support, and many generate revenue by displaying third-party ads or persistent upsell notifications.

From our research, Avast offers the best free antivirus for Android phone users. The free plan includes real-time security, ransomware protection, and WiFi network security checks. While the plan only protects one device, it includes more features than most free plans.

Nevertheless, even basic paid plans tend to come with more tools, such as password managers, VPNs, and payment protection options.

Downloading a free antivirus app can be a way to test its capabilities and basic features ahead of upgrading to a paid plan. However, we recommend opting for a free trial, as this lets you use advanced features and fully road-test the product.

Risks of Using a Free Antivirus for Android

There are a range of risks related to using a free antivirus for Android and free antivirus software for tablets. That’s especially true if the provider isn’t a reputable one like TotalAV or Norton. Here are some downsides to consider:

Limited SupportExposing DataLimited ToolsAdware

Limited Device Support – While we recommend Avast, its free plan can only protect one device, meaning your other devices will remain exposed to viruses. Avast’s premium plans, on the other hand, can protect up to 30 devices.

In addition, some free antiviruses don’t support mobile and may not be suitable for your Android version.

Exposing Your Data – Free Android antivirus providers often share and sell user data to third parties. Many will also display advertising, or, at a minimum, display persistent recommendations to upgrade,

Limited Security Tools – Free antivirus solutions offer fewer security tools than their paid counterparts, such as identity theft protection, data breach monitoring, and email and SMS scam alerts. Having fewer digital defenses means you’re more exposed to attacks.

Infecting You With Adware – While many free antivirus Android options will expose you to ads, some are actually malware products in disguise – so you’ll actually be downloading a free virus for Android.

Be very wary of downloading software from firms you haven’t heard of or clicking on ads alerting you to threats on your device.

These limitations make premium antivirus plans a much better choice, as their broader feature sets allow you to rest easy knowing your data isn’t at risk.

Here’s a summary of the main pros and cons of using free Android antivirus software:

Pros

  • The price can’t be beaten
  • Some free antivirus Android apps have good testing scores

Cons

  • Underpowered core security tools
  • Won’t protect your PC or other devices
  • May infringe your privacy or install adware
  • Some free Android antivirus apps are scams
  • May provide a false sense of security

Do free Android antivirus apps work? To an extent, but the drawbacks significantly outweigh the benefits.

How to Choose the Best Android Antivirus Software

When looking for the best Android antivirus solution for your needs, keep the following criteria in mind – whether you’re looking at Bitdefender Mobile Security or AVG Antivirus:

Malware Detection RatesSecurityUsabilityPerformanceCostCustomer ExperienceAdditional Features

Malware detection rates – High detection rates in independent lab testing are always a positive factor for Android security apps. Every provider on our list has scored good results with independent testing firms like AV-Comparatives and AV-Test or in our own testing.

All of the products tested with AV-Test achieved full marks for Protection, Performance, and Usability in its latest auditing.

Security – Look at the range of core security features on offer. The best Android antivirus apps will be able to scan downloads and provide online ransomware and phishing protection to stop you from being exposed to viruses and fraud.

Usability – Ease of use is paramount on mobile, so look for solutions with simple, clear interfaces and intuitive functionality, as well as multi-device support and cross-device compatibility. Having connected support for your desktop and mobile device is invaluable.

For advice on other platforms, see our guide to the best Linux antivirus software.

Performance – Protection is important, but the best antiviruses will ideally be lightweight and work with minimal system impact.

Cost – Budgeting isn’t only about the price of security software but also the value it delivers. Free Android antivirus plans might come at a good price, but many don’t deliver an adequate level of protection, so it’s better to look at different plans and subscriptions and find the option that best suits your needs.

Customer support and user feedback – Online resources such as a knowledge base and tutorials can be extremely useful for getting to grips with a platform, and live chat support is even better.

When researching products, we also look at user feedback to gauge the long-term customer experience provided by products.

Additional Features – Many anti-virus Android apps come with additional features that add value to the package, including VPNs, parental controls, anti-theft settings, and dark web monitoring. Consider what will make a difference for you and whether it comes at an acceptable price.

How to Scan for Viruses on Android

To help you get started, here’s a step-by-step guide to installing TotalAV on your device and how to remove a virus from Android.

  1. Sign Up for TotalAV

    Getting started with TotalAV is a quick and easy process. Go to the TotalAV site and sign up for a subscription.

    <strong>Sign Up for TotalAV</strong>
  2. Download the App from the Play Store

    Next, head to the Google Play Store on the Android device you want to protect and search for TotalAV. Once you’ve downloaded the .apk, all you have to do is tap Install to start TotalAV up. Follow the instructions and fill in the relevant details to get started.

    <strong>Download the App from the Play Store</strong>
  3. Launch the App

    Once you’ve launched the app, you’re ready to hit the Get Started button and log into your account.

  4. Run Your First Scan

    Here’s how to clean your phone using TotalAV. First, ensure real-time protection is enabled via the shield icon on the left to keep yourself protected from any new threats downloaded to your phone.

    Next, you should run a full scan on your Android device. Having a clean bill of health will ensure there isn’t any malware already on your system. If you’re pressed for time, you could run a Quick Scan, which will check the most likely locations on your Android for malware.

    <strong>Run Your First Scan</strong>
  5. Run Regular Scans

    With that, you’re all set up, and you have antivirus software installed on your Android device.

    You can now browse the internet safely, with the best antivirus for Android phones protecting your device from threats. Just make sure to keep your software up to date and run regular scans.

FAQs

What is the best antivirus for Android?

What is the best free antivirus for Android and Android tablets?

Are free Android antivirus apps safe?

Do Android phones need antivirus protection?

Will an antivirus slow my Android device?

How can you clean viruses from Android?

Ilijia Miljkovac
Technology Writer
Ilijia Miljkovac
Technology Writer

Ilijia Miljkovac is a Techopedia writer with seven years of experience covering all things tech. He writes about cybersecurity topics, spanning VPNs, antiviruses, and hosting, helping to inform B2B and B2C audiences about the latest products and services. He's written for publications such as Business2Community, TheTechReport, Comparitech, and more. When he's not working, Ilijia spends his time hiking in nature or holed up in his apartment gaming.