This list of the top five best mobile antivirus solutions compiled by CBR includes options that offer the best value for money, the most seamless detection capabilities, and the widest array of features.
Among this top five list are names that have been building upon their reputations for a quarter of a century or more, and others that are not so globally well-known. Each one takes a unique perspective on tackling today’s problems to some extent, meaning that it is possible that you can find a solution that is almost tailored to your personal requirements.
Bitdefender Mobile Security
Bitdefender has a solid background in antivirus software, having been established as an antivirus company in 2001. In that time the brand has built a reputation so robust that 500 million devices worldwide are supported by Bitdefender software.
In the crowded antivirus and device security space, Bitdefender has long been a frontrunner challenging the other best regarded household names. Bitdefender products have been deemed so successful that it has even earned a range of awards and widespread praise.
Bitdefender Mobile Security is available for $14.95 a year; at this amount the user has access to an app that includes features that are subject to constant adaptation, so as to keep the software at the sharp edge of current capabilities.
The software is extremely well regarded for its malware-detection feature – not only is the feature received well because it offers formidable defence, it is also able to function without becoming a drain on power that limits overall performance.
App Lock is a further useful feature, as it allows you to set a four to eight digit PIN code for specific apps, meaning that your device is secured when you are sharing your device. There is also a Reports feature that allows you the chance to view the status of your device’s security at a glance.
To link your devices together, the app will also support Android wear smartwatches. Although this one might seem unnecessary, it provides some useful, real world features than can help you in the event of losing your phone, as you can track it down with your watch.
Avast Mobile Antivirus
In contrast with Bitdefender, Avast provides a mobile antivirus solution that is completely free – but this was not always the case however. The full extent of the security features offered by Avast used to require a $14.99 fee, while only the app was free.
The potential user has to bear in mind that the service is free, meaning that the consistent malware detection provided by the some of the more expensive competitors should not necessarily be expected.
However, the core functions expected of the app have been regarded as performing at a good standard. The user can also use the software to plan ahead, by setting up and
preparing scans ahead of time to run each day for example. Alternatively, the software also gives you the freedom to initiate scans at will.
Avast will automatically perform scans of apps to determine if their content is safe for your device. Phishing attacks, phony system optimisers and adware can be singled out and located by the software before they pose a threat.
Some other useful features included with Avast Mobile Antivirus are a firewall, a call blocker and a privacy advisor. The privacy advisor provides a list of the apps you have installed on the device, and categorises them into low, medium or high. The firewall will only be able to work on rooted Android devices.
A feature called Avast Passwords is also included, and it allows you to create a master password that is highly secure, followed by the rest of your passwords. This handy option will make it so that you will only ever need to remember the one master password instead of the whole list. This feature is very useful given that users are encouraged to have more and more complex, unique passwords.
Lose your phone frequently? The freemium options on the next page might be for you
Norton Mobile Security
Slotting in between the two previous options on a level of cost, this ‘freemium’ option offered by Norton receives solid ratings across the board.
Norton carries one of the best established and well-known names in antivirus software products, having been initially released 26 years ago in 1991. This long industry lifespan has meant that Norton has been able to hone its product to be very effective.
The Norton Mobile Antivirus software can be accessed in its most basic form as a free app which gives the user access to 30 days of premium features. Once this trial period comes to a close, the user can choose to purchase a premium license for $30. A first year discounted to $20 takes the edge off of the price tag.
The malware protection capabilities that are built into the Norton Mobile Security software has been well reviewed as offering a straightforward set of features for tackling malware. This solution also arms the user with quite a high level of freedom, meaning that you are able to choose between quick and full scans on demand, or the ability to schedule daily, weekly or monthly scans.
Norton Mobile Security also comes with a level of autonomous protection which does not rely on scans being scheduled or manually initiated, as the software is constantly checking any new updates or installations in case of malware.
All of this seemingly impenetrable armour and weaponry comes with the downside that it leads to a fairly big hit on the performance of the device; this is contrasted for example by Bitdefender.
ESET Mobile Security
Although perhaps less well-known than names such as Norton, ESET has a strong record and a lengthy history having been set up 25 years ago in Slovakia.
In terms of cost, ESET also fits into the ‘freemium’ category, with the app and basic features being available for free, with one year costing $9.95 or $14.95 for two years when purchased directly from ESET.com.
Customers purchasing via Amazon or Google can use the software on up to five devices, while those who purchase the product from the ESET site will only be able to use it for one device.
ESET Mobile Security includes a scanning function for malware in particular, and it has been considered quite sturdy. This service grants the user a three-tiered system for scanning. A Quick Scan option will penetrate as deeply as three nested archives.
Smart Scan builds on the Quick Scan by introducing external storage to the mix; this will mean that the scale of your own storage will influence the speed at which the process can function. The third level is the Deep Scan – this option trawls through all of the files on both the internal and external memory.
ESET Mobile Security is also well regarded for its Anti-Theft feature. Users of the free version will be able to use GPS Location, Remote Lock and Remote Siren using SMS. Premium subscribers can gain access to the Anti-Theft features and functions on the ESET web portal. There is also a function called Proactive Protection that will be triggered in the event of theft or if the phone is lost.
Kaspersky Internet Security for Android
Kaspersky is a behemoth in antivirus, and like with the other very recognisable household names, the user can be confident that they will be getting access to a service that is at the very top of the antivirus heap.
The malware protection capability is unsurprisingly solid, and what is highly noteworthy about this level of performance is the mild impact on the overall system performance caused by the use of this feature. This element contrasts the solution offered by Norton, as although an extremely high quality defence is put in place, it has a significant impact on the system.
The price of the Kaspersky Internet Security package is $15 for one year on a single device. If you need to cover more devices, there is a simple option in place that allows for an extra fee of $5 per year for each extra device.
In addition to the subscription based option there is also a free version of the app that also includes antivirus scanning, a call and text filter, and antivirus scanning. With this option the user will not have access to the real-time protection provided for the web and privacy that is available with a subscription.
Malware detection is at the core of this product by Kaspersky. One minor downside is the slow scanning speed, however the perspective could be had that it is this slow speed that allows for the device to run everything else at full speed.