The Best Antivirus for Android – Top 6 Reviewed for 2024

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.

6 Best Android Antivirus Apps Ranked

To help you with the process of making your decision, we’ve compiled a list of the top 6 antivirus services for Android:

  1. TotalAV — Overall, the best antivirus for Android. TotalAV has an easy-to-use interface and offers protection against phishing and ransomware, as well as a VPN for extra security.
  2. SurfsharkAV — Lightweight antivirus software using real-time threat detection. SurfsharkAV offers a content blocker, a data breach monitor, and its own VPN.
  3. Norton — Top antivirus software that offers 24/7 support and has its own VPN. Norton’s LifeLock tool is the ultimate protection against identity theft. The most affordable full antivirus package on the list.
  4. Nord Threat Protection — Smart antivirus software that comes integrated with the top-rated NordVPN. It provides excellent security features, including a tracker and ad blocker.
  5. Avast — The best free antivirus for Android phones, Avast offers fast responses to threats, an encrypted photo vault, and strong web security with its Web Shield 2.0.
  6. McAfee — A well-known antivirus with a long history, McAfee offers a VPN in its base plan as well as a strong firewall and has lightning-fast scan times for malware threats – and it covers unlimited devices.

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 for you to stop malware and viruses:

Provider Name Cheapest Plan Best Features Free Trial / Money-Back Guarantee Max Devices Supported Automatic Updates Auto-Clean
TotalAV $29/year – Robust Android app
– Abundance of peripherals
– Protects your critical applications
30-Days 6 Yes Yes
Surfshark $2.30/month – Real-Time scanning
– Includes first-class VPN
– Dark web scanner & safe search engine
30-Days (7 on mobile) 5 Yes Yes
Norton $19.99/year – Real-time monitoring
– Parental control capabilities
– Spam and adware blocking
60-days Unlimited Yes Yes
Nord Threat Protection $2.99/month (2-year plan) – Includes NordVPN
– Adblocker
– Real-time protection
30-Days 6 Yes Yes
Avast $69.48/year – Free Edition available
– Robust ransomware protection
– Quick but powerful scans
30-Days 10 Yes Yes
McAfee $29.99/year – Real-time scans
– Dark web monitoring
– Comprehensive Protection Score
30-days 10 Yes Yes

Best Antivirus for Android Smartphones – Top 6 Reviewed

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.

1. TotalAV — The Best Overall Antivirus Provider for Android

TotalAV | Best antivirus for Android

Cheapest Plan Best Features Free Trial / Money-Back Guarantee Max Devices Supported Automatic Updates Auto-Clean
$29/year – Robust Android app
– Abundance of peripherals
– Protects your critical applications
30-Days 6 Yes Yes

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.

Pricing

TotalAV offers three tiers of plans.

TotalAV pricing

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.

Pros

  • Strong Android antivirus protection
  • Lightweight Android app
  • Phishing and ransomware protection
  • Free version + affordable paid plans
  • Among the best antiviruses with a VPN
  • Renowned for being one of the best antiviruses

Cons

  • No monthly payment options

2. SurfsharkAV — Lightweight Security App with In-Depth Identity Theft Protection For Android

Surfshark Android antivirus

Cheapest Plan Best Features Free Trial / Money-Back Guarantee Max Devices Supported Automatic Updates Auto-Clean
$2.30/month – Real-Time scanning
– Includes first-class VPN
– Dark web scanner & safe search engine
30-Days (7 on mobile) 5 Yes Yes

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.

Pricing

SurfsharkAV’s plans differ based on subscription duration.

Surfshark One pricing

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.

Pros

  • Comes with an excellent VPN
  • Great performance
  • Lots of internet and identity security features

Cons

  • Need to commit to a long subscription to get reasonable prices

3. Norton — Android Antivirus Protection That’s Ideal For Budget Users

Norton antivirus Android

Cheapest Plan Best Features Free Trial / Money-Back Guarantee Max Device Supported Automatic Updates Auto-Clean
$19.99/year – Real-time monitoring
– Parental control capabilities
– Spam and adware blocking
60-days Unlimited Yes Yes

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.

Pricing

Norton offers four tiers of plans. Starting at $19.99 a year, Norton offers some of the best prices on this list:

Norton pricing

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.

Pros

  • Great budget option
  • Superb security features, including dark web monitoring
  • Minimal system impact
  • Built-in VPN

Cons

  • Entry-level plan limited to one device

4. Nord Threat Protection — Best Combined Antivirus and VPN Provider for Android

Nord Android dashboard

Cheapest Plan Best Features Free Trial / Money-Back Guarantee Max Devices Supported Automatic Updates Auto-Clean
$2.99/month (2-year plan) – Includes NordVPN
– Adblocker
– Real-time protection
30-Days 6 Yes Yes

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.

Pricing

Nord Threat Protection offers three tiers:

NordVPN pricing

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.

Pros

  • Easy-to-use virus scanning
  • Great VPN
  • Lightweight app

Cons

  • Slow VPN servers for some locations

5. Avast — Best Free Antivirus for Android with Powerful Anti-Theft Features

Avast best free antivirus Android

Cheapest Plan Best Features Free Trial / Money-Back Guarantee Max Device Supported Automatic Updates Auto-Clean
$69.48/year – Free Edition available
– Robust ransomware protection
– Quick but powerful scans
30-Days 10 Yes Yes

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.

Pricing

Avast has two plans, but you’ll need to opt for the higher package at $3.33 a month to protect Android devices.

Avast pricing

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.

Pros

  • Great Android security protection
  • Impressive suite of anti-theft options
  • Encrypted photo vault
  • Among the top Windows antiviruses

Cons

  • Could be faster

6. McAfee — Premium Antivirus Solution for Android and Unlimited Devices

McAfee best Android antivirus

Cheapest Plan Best Features Free Trial / Money-Back Guarantee Max Devices Supported Automatic Updates Auto-Clean
$29.99/year – Real-time scans
– Dark web monitoring
– Comprehensive Protection Score
30-days Unlimited Yes Yes

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.

Pricing

The basic plan costs $29.99/year, but McAfee offers three additional plans for their security services:

McAfee pricing

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.

Pros

Cons

  • Premium features are mostly available in higher-tier plans

Does My Android Need Antivirus Software?

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.

The Best Free Antivirus for Android Smartphones – Is Free Virus Protection Enough?

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.

How to Choose the Best Android Antivirus Software

When conducting our research, we judged the antivirus providers on our list based on these criteria:

  • Security — This criteria was based on how well the antiviruses identified and dealt with threats and how well their internet security features worked. We tested each Android antivirus program and investigated their ability to detect malware files.
  • Usability — Ease of use is paramount on mobile, so we made this a key component of our reviews and rankings.
  • Performance — This relates to the system resources the application needs to do its job – protection is important, but antiviruses should work with minimal system impact.
  • Cost — Budget isn’t only about the price of a product but also the value it delivers – we don’t want to recommend overpriced premium packages or underpowered free plans but to find the best option for most people.
  • Additional features — Many antivirus products come with additional features that add value to the package, including VPN features, parental controls, anti-theft settings, and dark web monitoring.

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.

Scan for Viruses on Android – How to Scan Your Phone for Viruses

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.

Step 1. Download the App from the Play Store

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.

Installing TotalAV the best Android antivirus tool

Once you’ve downloaded the .apk, all you have to do is tap “Install” to start TotalAV up.

Step 2. Create Your Account

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.

Step 3. Run Your First Scan

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.

TotalAV | Best antivirus for Android

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.

Additional Antivirus Software Resources

Going beyond this guide, we’ve create a range of additional cybersecurity guides and resources for different use cases, devices, and regions.

Conclusion – What’s the Best Antivirus for Android in 2024? TotalAV

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.

Android Antivirus FAQs

What is the best antivirus for Android?

What is the best free antivirus for Android?

What’s the best free antivirus for Android tablets?

Do Android phones need antivirus protection?

Will an antivirus slow my Android device?

Sam Dawson

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.