The Best (And Worst) Antivirus Apps For Android

With the growth of malware threats on Android, it definitely makes sense to use an antivirus app, but unfortunately, a new study reveals many security apps have miserable detection rates, so you need to choose wisely. Here are the ones that performed best.

AV-Test inspected 41 Android virus scanners against 618 types of malware. Nearly two-thirds of them identified less than 65 per cent of those types of malware -- making them unsuitable or unreliable for your mobile security, the firm writes.

The top seven apps, those with green boxes in the chart above, are: Avast, Dr Web, F-Secure, Ikarus, Kaspersky, Zoner and Lookout. "Using one of these apps," the report says, "means you don't have to worry about your malware protection."

If you have a favourite app that did poorly on the AV-Test report (the full PDF test is here) might not mean it's completely worthless if it has features like remote lock and wipe or data backup, plus there are challenges in testing for active malware threats (the AV-Test used only the most widely known malware families discovered between August and December 2011).

Still, if you were wondering what antivirus app to use on Android, this independent test offers some guidance.

Test: Malware Protection for Android - March 2012 [AV-Test via CNET]

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Comments

    I bet out of the 618 types of malware, Norton identified 843, with only 36 of them actually being malware...

      And then asked for more money to remove all the apps on your phone, Then delete all your emails. And just for good luck blame that a virus did it.

    OMG OMG OMG IPHONES ARE LIKE SUPPEIROR AND LIKE IPHONES NVER CRASH AND LIKE NEVER GET VIRUSES CAUSE LIKE VISUES DONT LIKE EXIST FOR APPLE CAUSE LIKE THEY'RE LIKE TOTATLY TEH BEST LIKE YEAH.

    - windows phone user

      I would be lying if I haven't considered writing a bunch of viruses for apple products simply because I've had that same comment from people. I guess the thing stopping me is that it's illegal.....and effort. But at the same time, I'd be sitting in jail with my cell mate 'large Larry' thinking...."Totally worth it"...well untill later that night I guess :/

        and later that night you would then qualify to be an iPhone user ;)

      Shhh... let use our {inside} voices.... and speel check too... Well constructed comments, speaking the truth, and with so much sarcasm that your words actually transcend your intended irony, to become an excellent, factual summation of just some of the many reasons that iPhones and iOS devices so utterly DOMINATE the market segments they are in. Just sayin'....

    You do not need an anti-virus app on Android. There are very few viruses. There are other types of malware, but they're rare in the Android Market (I refuse to call it Play).

    If you have a rooted phone and you side-load lots of APKs you download from the net, then yes, you want good malware detection. If you only install a few well-known apps from the market, then no, you don't.

      True - like most things, care in what you download is the best anti-virus protection.

      That said, the security features of the good AV apps, like SIM locking, remote wipe and remove location are worth the effort.

    I've used Dr.Web light for several months now without incident. Originally chosen because it required the least disturbing set of permissions. Very pleased to see that it has tested so well.

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