If you've been thinking about installing a mobile security tool for your Android phone or tablet but you're worried about the impact it may have on your battery, the folks at AV-Comparatives have some good news for you. They tested 16 different mobile antivirus apps, and none of them seriously drained the battery.
AV-Comparatives tested 16 different products, including some of the biggest names in mobile security such as Lookout, ESET, Sophos, Kaspersky, Trend Micro, F-Secure and Avast!. They put each suite through its paces, testing to see if it caught all of the 3000-odd malware applications in its attack ackage, and how much battery drain each app was responsible for. Maximum PC explains:
Surprisingly, there wasn't a whole lot that separated one product from another. Starting with a look at battery usage, AV-Comparatives found that most of the products only had a minor impact on battery life. The worst offenders in this category were Qihoo and Webroot, the former because it uses "fancy animations" and the latter due to its real-time protection component. Though they came in last, the battery drain still only amounted to around 3 per cent.
When it came to testing malware protection, AhnLab and Kingsoft both detected 99.9 per cent of the nearly 3,000 malware applications that were collected in the four weeks prior to the start of the test. Kaspersky came in a close second at 99.7 per cent, followed by Baidu and ESET (both detected 99.6 per cent), Bitdefender (99.4 per cent), and Avast (99 per cent). Several others scored in the 98 percentile, while Ikarus took last place with a 91 per cent detection rate.
AV-Comparatives concludes that the days when the value of mobile security apps was questionable at best is long over, and the threats facing mobile devices (specifically Android users) are significant enough that "mobile security software protects the user against the great majority of threats, and should not, in our opinion, be regarded as merely optional".
You can see how each of the products fared in the chart above. Keep in mind that many of the suites may not be available in your market because they were designed for other countries (and to catch malware threats more prevalent in other regions). Even so, if you've wondered whether Android antivirus would ever come into its own, it has — and if you were worried about your battery, don't. Hit the link below to read the full report.