If you search for “antivirus” in the Google Play Store, you’ll be overwhelmed by the sheer number of apps available. Even worse, most of them promise much but deliver little. As repeat instances of malware-laden but Google Play verified apps making it onto the Play Store makes clear, relying on Google’s built-in “protection” won’t keep your device safe. For that reason, the Safety Detectives have logged over 10,000 hours of testing and reviewing apps to highlight the very best of what’s currently on the Android virus cleaner market.
Here are the four most outstanding virus cleaners for Android ever:
No one could have predicted that Norton would fit their enormous virus-scanning engine into a platform like Android, but that’s precisely what they did.
Norton Mobile Security’s award-winning protection provides the most advanced protection in the world for Android. In fact, independent lab tests have given it a rare 100% rating—meaning it will catch every harmful software out there. Its virus scan covers malware, spyware, and even emerging threat types like ransomware. In fact, the Protective Anti-malware Blockware will prevent threats from being installed before the user even downloads them from Google Play. Mobile Security also features Antiphishing Web Protection that integrates directly with installed browsers. This is an important tool in the battle against viruses, as viruses that target mobile devices are often distributed through web pages, particularly those that are linked to from corrupted applications.
AVG’s scanning isn’t quite as powerful as Norton’s, in my opinion, but if for a free solution it’s a perfect choice. The tool has been on Android for a long time and was the first antivirus app on the platform to be downloaded more than 100 million times. Its average rating still remains close to five stars, a testament to how highly regarded it is among users.
AVG’s scanning engine runs completely silently in the background and detects viruses, malware, spyware, unsafe apps, and potentially unwanted applications (PUAs). When I tested it with a dummy app designed to create suspicious behavior on the handset, the tool immediately flagged it as problematic. There is a premium upgrade that removes ads, which I think is worth investing in.
Bitdefender Mobile Security offers a 14-day free trial so you can try it out before buying. This tool also recently joined the “100% club,” detecting all test malware in our tests. It includes both on-demand and on-install scanning options, and its Web Protection tool will flag any phishing websites or other threats. Bitdefender Mobile Security draws in continuous updates from the cloud which accelerates the introduction of new features and simplifies the update process. This means that users can always rest assured that they have the latest protection against cybersecurity threats such as viruses.
BullGuard Mobile Security protects Android devices from a number of common cybersecurity threats including viruses, spyware, adware, and trackware. The Premium subscription can be used on up to five devices — so this is a great option for families with Android smartphones and tablets. Mobile Security includes on-access scanning and automatically checks all newly installed apps for viruses, the Behavioral Engine monitors apps for suspicious behavior even if they haven’t been listed in a viruses database and receives continuous updates from the cloud.
Install One of Our Top Picks
We’ve reported in the past that Google Play Protect is not enough to ensure that the apps are free from malicious threats. Therefore, users should install an Android antivirus app with a good track record for scanning and detecting threats.