Top 5 Best Android Security & Antivirus Apps 2018

by Gabriel E. Hall - -

top best mobile security and antivirus apps

Bitdefender Mobile Security and Antivirus

Bitdefender is one of the most advanced Android security apps on the market. The application offers users a 14-day free trial and if you want to continue protecting your Android device Bitdefender Mobile Security costs $1.49 a month or $14.95 a year per device.[1]

If you are looking for only antivirus protection, Bitdefender offers a separate free application Bitdefender Antivirus Free. However, it offers only antivirus function without any additional security and privacy features. 

Bitdefender mobile security and antivirus

Antivirus protection

Bitdefender automatically scans every application installed. It also offers a web-security feature which automatically detects and blocks dangerous websites and downloads. When it comes to malware detection, Bitdefender demonstrates perfect rates. According to AV-TEST, the application detected 100% unknown real-time threats and 100% of known malware samples. 

Scan performance

Bitdefender Mobile Security provides users with manual scans for their entire devices. Every time you install a new app Bitdefender Mobile Security scans it automatically. The full scan takes approximately 30 seconds. In addition, users can start scans remotely through the Bitdefender Central web portal. 

Privacy and security features

Bitdefender Mobile Security offers a very decent set of additional tools. It offers users with an advanced malware scanner, account privacy, app lock, web security, anti-theft features, privacy advisor, a VPN service, and also extends the protection to a smartwatch. However, it does not offer call or text filter and users cannot schedule scans. 

The final verdict

Bitdefender Mobile Security provides users flawless malware detection and removal rates. In addition, it also has a comprehensive set of additional features at a very competitive price. 

Feature Score
Antivirus protection Excellent
Scanning performance Quick scans with a mediocre system impact
Security and Privacy features A decent set of extra features

Norton Mobile Security

Norton offers users freemium version of the security with a limited feature set at no cost and a premium version. Even though, Norton Mobile Security Premium can look a bit pricey (the yearly subscription cost $24.99), however, it does offer an excellent antivirus protection, multi-device license, and a decent set of features. In addition, Norton offers users free security and privacy applications including Norton App Lock, Norton Identity Safe password manager, Norton Clean optimizer, and Norton Wi-Fi Privacy Secure VPN for $29.99 a year.[2]

norton mobile security

Antivirus protection

Norton Mobile Security provides a reliable antivirus protection. The scans demonstrate excellent results. According to AV-TEST, Norton detected 100/100 both, zero-day and already known widespread malware samples. When it comes to web protection, Norton protects users from malicious and potential phishing sites that support Google Chrome, the Android standard browser, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, the Samsung standard browser, and US Browser.

Scan performance

Norton scans a system pretty quick – it took about 10 seconds to scan third-party applications and about 25 seconds when the SD card and preinstalled apps were checked as well. However, when it comes to system-performance impact, Norton has a relatively heavy impact.

Privacy and Security features

Norton Mobile Security provides free features including Anti-Theft, contact backup, call and SMS blocker, and safe search. These features cover the essentials of mobile security. Premium security features include web advisor, privacy report, link guard.

The Final Verdict

Norton Mobile Security offers users flawless malware protection and has a well-designed and consistent interface. In addition, the single paid license can protect up to 10 Android devices. However, the Premium user is expensive for a single user. 

Feature Score
Antivirus protection Excellent
Scanning performance Quick scans with a heavy performance hit
Security and Privacy features Cover the essentials of the mobile security

 Avast Mobile Security and Antivirus

Just like Norton, Avast Mobile Security and Antivirus has a freemium and premium versions. Avast offers one of the most rich-featured Android security apps that include many security and privacy features, such as a VPN service, security advisor, and even more. Even the free version provides a decent feature set.[3]

In addition, Avast offers many security, privacy, and optimization tools that can be downloaded separately: Avast Cleanup and Boost, Avast Battery Saver, Avast Wi-Fi Finder, VPN Proxy by Avast, and Avast Passwords. 

Avast mobile security and antivirus

Antivirus protection

Avast Mobile Security and Antivirus offers users a very solid malware protection. According to AV-TEST, Avast Mobile Security detected 99.8% of both known and unknown Android malware samples. In addition, Avast also protects users while they browse the web. Avast browser extension Avast Web Shield protects users against malicious and suspicious sites. The extension support the native Android browser, Google Chrome, the Amazon Silk browser,  and Boat Browser. 

Scan performance

Avast’s scans can take up to 1 minute and also can be scheduled. During the scans, Avast slows down the system noticeably, even though while running in the background Avast Mobile Security has a very low-performance impact. 

Security and Privacy features

Avast Mobile Security and Antivirus offers a number of free security features including call blocker, app permissions, anti-theft features, and firewall. In addition, Premium built-in features include anti-theft, app locker, Avast direct support, photo vault, power save, RAM boost, junk cleaner, and more. However, when it comes to reliability of the features, they are not very effective, for instance, call blocking and anti-theft feature did not work. 

The Final Verdict

Avast Mobile Security and Antivirus is one of the most customizable and comprehensive security solutions available for Android devices. Avast Mobile Security relatively is not expensive, and feature-rich, however, some of the features do not work well.

Feature Score
Antivirus protection Solid
Scanning performance Slow scans with a heavy performance hit
Security and Privacy features Many, however, some do not work well

CM Security Master

China’s Cheetah Mobile is an app developer that protects over 600 million Android users. Cheetah Mobile provides two versions of the security application, Security Master – Antivirus, VPN, AppLock, Booster, and CM Security Lite.[4]

CM Security master

Antivirus protection

CM Security Master’s malware detection can vary. According to AV-TEST, in 2017 got a perfect score and detected 100/100 zero-day and widespread malware samples. However, in previous tests, the security application demonstrated only average detection rate. When it comes to web protection, CM Security lacks this feature, and instead it provides a private browser called Safe Browser

Scan performance

CM Security Master’s scans provide users with the information about issues in three categories: Security, Internet, and Privacy. Users can schedule scans to occur daily, weekly or monthly. When it comes to system-performance impact, CM Security Master has a mediocre performance hit and can slow down the system during scans. 

Security and Privacy features

CM Security Master offers a feature-rich free version that even includes Safe Connect VPN. In addition, the application also provides AppLock and Vault, message security, Wi-Fi security, caller ID and blocking features. However, some of them are difficult to navigate. 

The Final Verdict

CM Security Master is a great application if you want to protect your Android device. It offers a rich set of reliable features, nice visuals, and VPN service even for a free version. However, when it comes to malware protection, it is inconsistent and paid version is relatively expensive. 

Feature Score
Antivirus protection Inconsistent
Scanning performance Scans are very informative and have a mediocre system-performance hit
Security and Privacy features A decent set of extra security and privacy features

 Lookout Security and Antivirus 

Lookout Security and Antivirus is developed by Lookout Security that operates the market since 2006. The application alone has over 100 million installs in Google Play. It also offers users Lookout Security Extension and Lookout for Work security applications. The application provides a traditional freemium model. It offers a free basic plan which covers security scanning, find the device and contact backup. The Premium plan cost $2.99 a month or $29.99 a year.[5]

lookout security and antivirus

Antivirus protection

Lookout Security and Antivirus does not provide its application to AV-TEST and it has little third-party data to back up antivirus protection. When it comes to safe browsing, Lookout Security and Antivirus protect users against malicious websites and phishing attempts. 

Scan performance

The full scan takes about 30 seconds, which is close to the market average. However, users cannot schedule scans. During a full scan, Lookout Security and Antivirus slowed down the system by 2.01%. Users will not notice any slowdowns. 

Security and Privacy features

When it comes to additional features, Lookout Security offers a decent set of features. Even though its’ free version lacks some key features, the Premium version has a very well-considered feature set with some unique features including breach report, safe Wi-Fi, privacy advisor, theft protection, photo and call history backup, identity restoration and insurance, and ID theft protection.

The Final Verdict 

Lookout Security and Antivirus has several unique features and a very intuitive user interface. However, the paid version is expensive and it is unclear how antivirus protection works. 

Feature Score
Antivirus protection Uknown
Scanning performance Average speed scans without negative impact on a system
Security and Privacy features A very well-considered feature set

 To Summarize 

When it comes to paid Premium Android antivirus solution, we would recommend you Bitdefender due to its excellent malware protection and a decent set of privacy and security features. When it comes to free Android security application, we would say that Norton is a leader because it offers excellent malware protection and a set of features that cover the essentials of mobile security. 

About the author

Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall - Antivirus software specialist

Gabriel E. Hall is an antivirus software specialist at

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