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Best Antivirus for Android in 2023

SPONSORED: We take a look at the best Android antivirus options out there
Last Updated on January 13, 2023
Bitdefender mobile security 2 - best antivirus for android

Cybersecurity is becoming more important over time. The best antivirus for Android is a program that helps keep our smartphones free of malware, ransomware, and other forms of external malicious software.

Although the best recommendation is to avoid navigating through weird websites and downloading suspicious apps, having an antivirus installed on your smartphone is always a good option to have as a first wall of defense.

Unfortunately, unlike iOS, Android Play Store is more unmindful when it comes to checking an app’s security. That is why we bring to you, below, the best Antivirus for Android in 2023.

Products at a Glance

173350 173338 173353 173355 173360
Editor's Choice
Bitdefender mobile security 2 - best antivirus for android

Bitdefender Mobile Security

Top malware detection
Best Antivirus for Android - Norton 360

Norton 360

Highly recommended

ESET Mobile Security

AVAST Premium Security

McAfee Internet Security

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How we picked the best Antivirus for Android

The majority of the antiviruses big brands focus their efforts on Windows-like devices. However, for this list, we chose only the best antivirus built with special attention and a focus on smartphones and tablets, and specifically which is the best antivirus for Android.

Our Recommended

Best Antivirus for Android in 2023

1
Editor's Choice
Bitdefender mobile security 2 - best antivirus for android

Bitdefender Mobile Security

PROS
  • Multiplatform protection
  • Remote control and lock
  • Anti-theft services
CONS
  • Full VPN access requires subscription

Bitdefender is a safe bet when it comes to Antivirus, and that’s exactly what we are looking for to keep our phone and data protected. 

Bitdefender’s quality is validated thanks to its 20 years of experience and the highest overall performance according to names like AV-comparatives, AV-test, and MRG-Effitas. It also offers a total protection service for you to keep all of your devices protected under the same plan. 

Specifically for Android, though, Bitdefender focuses its attention on malware detection, through an attentive URL-and-link follow-up. 

It also has a Scam alert flag system against suspicious links in text messages, emails, and any other app able to receive prompts.

Bitdefender’s services don’t end there: it also has a Secure VPN for anonymous and safe web surfing, using up to 200MB/ day. Plus the company allows you to remote locate, lock and wipe your Android device in case of loss or theft. 

At its core Bitdefender is a paid antivirus, and it offers a free version for Android. But it only protects you (very well) from malware. However, the paid version is not really that expensive and it’s paid by the year. And Bitdefender is definitely an investment worth paying for.

2
Top malware detection
Best Antivirus for Android - Norton 360

Norton 360

PROS
  • Unlimited VPN
  • Great malware protection
  • Easy to use
  • Parental control
CONS
  • No free version

Norton 360, as we all know, is one of the most reliable antiviruses in the market. It has been focusing on malware detection for years and will keep on doing it, for more to come. 

Norton’s developers run continuous updates on their web blacklist to maintain the ability to alert you when you’re visiting a malicious website or downloading a shady app. The software used to have a free version for mobile security, but that doesn’t actually exist anymore. However, it offers pretty cheap plans starting from $19. 

Along with its services, Norton offers a strong App Advisor which checks every app installed for heavy data usage and unusual behavior.

Malware protection is the main thing the company’s products are known for, and it’s decided to focus on that with this product. 

The company gives it so much attention, that it even decided to cut off other services such as anti-theft – stating that a normal Android device already has enough built-in protection against such loss. Instead, Norton offers great VPN usage and protection.

3
Highly recommended

ESET Mobile Security

PROS
  • Highly configurable
  • Lots of system tools
  • Low system impact
CONS
  • Can overwhelm basic users

ESET is considered one of the best antivirus brands and ESET Mobile Security for Android is the antivirus version specifically designed for smartphones and tablets. 

The service includes tools such as the App locker, Phishing guard, Connected Home Monitor, Safety checks, and more. Although it may be a bit complicated for basic users, the interface is quite friendly, and the real-time protection is effective. 

The ESET antivirus can block unauthorized access to devices, help find lost or stolen devices (Anti-theft) and protect saved data. Security reports and activity logs are provided, together with remote locking and remote alarm. Not only is ESET Mobile Security tailored to prevent ransomware on mobile devices, it eases a range of concerns using scheduled scans, automatic virus database updates, and a low battery warning.

4

AVAST Premium Security

PROS
  • Accurate antivirus engine
  • Free VPN
  • Lots of features
CONS

Avast Premium Security is more than an antivirus. It’s a full suite of tools designed around an award-winning antivirus for a complete protection of any device, from computers to smartphones and tablets. Granting multi-device options and safety in home banking and online shopping. 

AVAST Premium Security targets full protection against vulnerabilities like viruses, malware, and ransomware, protecting against the more sophisticated threats, online intruders and hackers. 

Besides anti-phishing tools and harmful websites lock, it provides everything needed to use devices with peace of mind. And it does so well enough to be one of the most popular brands in the antivirus industry – ranking highly for performance and malware detection, with a very high online protection rate.

Online purchases and banking transactions can be done with added assurance too, and in the case of theft you can; take pictures and record the voice of the person in possession of the device; see the last known location of the phone if the battery runs out; lock photos and private apps with a PIN code or fingerprint.

5

McAfee Internet Security

PROS
  • Light impact on the system
  • Unlimited VPN
  • Parental Control tools
CONS
  • Lacks some configuration options

McAfee Internet Security is one of the most popular antivirus suites, removing spam, harmful programs and other threats from your devices while surfing the web. Thanks to the Parental Control features, kids can be protected during their online activities. 

The software provides tools to protect digital identity, monitor network traffic to detect any irregular connections, and to manage updates and reports. The advanced settings allow expert users to set almost any detail to reach organic protection.

McAfee is synonymous with the highest quality in the antivirus market and McAfee Internet Security is an effective solution to let the whole family enjoy online content taking no risk, scanning and protecting from public Wi-Fi networks, protecting privacy and identity. 

It grants total protection when browsing the web and protects against recurring threats: viruses, and various types of malware such as ransomware, spyware and adware. If you are a heavy user of a smartphone – or tablet – you will appreciate how lightweight it can be in terms of impact on performance.

McAfee Antivirus offers one of the highest scores in online protection (close to 100%) and is very easy to use. However, expert users may dislike the low configurability and the lack of granular control.

Best Antivirus for Android – things to consider

Free vs. paid antivirus: which one really protects you?

Free antivirus is better than none. But a problem with free antivirus apps is a the lack of extra features that are only available for paid versions.You may be satisfied with the basic functions, but what you must be aware about with any free antivirus for Android or other systems, is that they do not receive as regular updates.

Therefore, even the best free antivirus for Android can quickly fall into obsolescence after you install it. The fast and continuous evolution of viruses and hacking techniques make periodic updates essential to protect devices from the latest cyber risks.

After installing an antivirus software app, you may even take riskier actions, thinking that you are protected while you may not be. But it’s always best to act safely just in case, as the result may be exactly the opposite of what you intended when getting anti-malware software for your Android device.

Is a good android antivirus really enough to protect you?

The answer is actually no. To prevent ransomware, malware and other dangers an antivirus may not be enough. But don’t lose heart, the solution comes easily enough.

First, you should always use original software, keeping them activated to get the periodic updates, which can quickly correct zero-day leaks and help keep the devices performing and safe.We also recommend the use of a VPN for safely connecting to public or unsecured Wi-Fi networks and to protect your identity and privacy.

Think about the small expense necessary and ask yourself if it is really worth saving a little money, risking the loss of personal data, sensitive data, or compromising the functioning of your device in getting free vs paid Android antivirus.

Our Verdict

Editor's Choice
Bitdefender mobile security 2 - best antivirus for android

Bitdefender Mobile Security

Android is not perfect in checking the developers and apps that get uploaded on to the play store, and identity breaches and malware access is plausible.

So no matter what program, having antivirus installed on your Android device is better than not. Our recommendation is to opt for multiplatform apps to minimize prices and keep all of your devices protected under the same company. In this regard, Bitdefender has the best overall performance.