The Best New Antivirus for Android
The days when antivirus solutions were only required on Windows are long gone, as pretty much any operating system out there is now being targeted by malicious actors out there.
Android obviously makes no exception, and it’s not just because you can install applications from outside the Google Play Store using the stand-alone APK installers, but also because malware sometimes makes its way to the store too.
So having an antivirus application installed on your Android device has become a recommended thing to do, though power users can very well stay protected by just following a set of simple recommendations, such as simply inspecting each app carefully and looking at ratings and reviews in the store.
The security experts at AV-TEST have conducted new research to determine the best antivirus solutions of Android, and the results pretty much speak for themselves. Once again, they confirm third-party protection is better than first party, even if it’s available free of charge.
AV-TEST has conducted the study by analyzing a set of 17 security products for Android and testing their engines in three different categories, namely protection, performance, and usability. Google Play Protect served as the baseline product and received 0 points for protection, but six for performance and four for usability.
Most products received the maximum 18 points in the study, as it follows:
- AhnLab V3 Mobile Security
- Avast Mobile Security
- AVG Antivirus Free
- Avira Antivirus Security
- Bitdefender Mobile Security
- G Data Mobile Security
- Kaspersky Internet Security for Android
- McAfee Mobile Security
- NortonLifeLock Norton 360
- Protected.net Total AV
- Trend Micro Mobile Security
All these products received 6 points for protection, 6 points for performance, and 6 points for usability.
Leaving Google Play Protect aside, the products with the lowest score were Ikarus mobile.security and Line Antivirus, both of which received just 15.5 points in the testing.
Line Antivirus scored just 3.5 points for the overall protection offered to Android users, while Ikarus disappointed in the usability tests where it earned only 4 points,
“In November 2020 we evaluated 17 mobile security products for Android using their default settings. When conducting our tests, we always used the most current version of all products. The products were allowed to update themselves at any time and query their in-the-cloud services. We focused on malware detection and usability, including performance and false positives. The products had to demonstrate their capabilities using all components and protection layers,” AV-TEST explains in a quick summary of how all products were tested.
At the end of the day, this research shows that relying on Google Play Protect alone may not be the best idea, though as I said earlier, you could also follow a set of simple practices to avoid getting malware on your device even without third-party protection.
For example, you should avoid downloading and installing applications from untrusted sources. While malware does reach the Google Play store every now and then, it remains the best place to download new applications, there’s no doubt about that, and Google is making big efforts to turn it into a more secure repository for all users out there.
“Play Protect now warns you about variations of known malware right on the device. On-device protections warn users about Potentially Harmful Apps (PHAs) at install time for a faster response. Since October 2019, Play Protect issued 380,000 warnings for install attempts using this system,” Google said in information shared earlier this year.
“Through 2019, Google Play Protect continued to improve the security for 2.5 billion Android devices. Built into Android, Play Protect scans over 100 billion apps every day for malware and other harmful apps. This past year, Play Protect prevented over 1.9 billion malware installs from unknown sources.”