As owners of Android devices, we take a lot of flack from fans of Apple. There is this perception that Apple, as a massive corporation, is the more complete product. Of course, Google and Samsung are also massive corporations. The difference is that they don't portray a sense that they are all-knowing about what is best for their customers. They allow for more individualized personality in how we use our devices, with customization and a huge amount of apps available.
That does lead to one of the other big criticisms thrown around by Apple users. Android devices are more susceptible to viruses and hacking. Unfortunately, this is the cost of that customized experience. Android does not put the same repressive requirements on developers, leaving some room for malicious apps to appear.
Nonetheless, this does not need to damage our experience at all. On the contrary, by selecting the best antivirus for Android devices we can prepare for potential attacks. That said, finding the right app does take a bit of work. The no name brand antivirus and VPN apps for Android are renowned for not doing what they claim.
Before we dive into naming the best antivirus apps for Android, let’s take a quick look at what we should be searching for.
Speed and reliability
Antivirus software needs to be running at all times, working in the background to ensure the links you click on and the apps you try to download are not malicious. It needs some power of management over everything going on on your device. This means that it can significantly impact the speed and reliability of your device. Slowness and crashes are all-too-common with the bad options.
The best apps don’t significantly impact speed and reliability. You shouldn’t be able to tell the difference with and without them.
Antivirus is not the only piece of security software you need on your device. On the contrary, with so much of our lives taking place on our mobiles, there is a major risk of identity theft and surveillance. For this reason, everyone should be using a virtual private network (VPN). While you can get excellent VPN apps, some of the best antivirus apps come with a built-in VPN client. This comes down to a matter of preference. If you want all of your security software in one app, choose an antivirus with VPN. If you want more control over your VPN, go for a separate app.
The best antivirus Android apps
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let's take a look at the best antivirus apps available for Android.
One of the biggest and most resilient names in antivirus software, Avast is still an excellent option in 2020. The Avast antivirus app for Android comes with all the features you need. It has anti-theft capabilities, VPN for an additional price, and WiFi scanning. Additionally, you can blacklist sources that you have a bad feeling or bad experience with.
Kaspersky is another famous name in antivirus protection and its Android app lives up to its reputation. It has comprehensive features, including a built-in VPN, and even has a free version if you don’t yet want to commit. Furthermore, it has great tools for when your phone is lost or stolen, including taking photos of whoever has your phone and alerts and updates from your device.
One more massive name, Norton provides the seamless antivirus experience you're looking for. It is one of the most reliable antivirus apps available, and you can’t go wrong with it. That is, as long as you're using the paid version. The free version will inundate you with ads. Unfortunately, the price does jump considerably every couple of years, no matter how loyal you have been, and the starting price is already high.
Bitdefender may not be familiar to you, but it is one of the best antivirus apps for Android today. It is resource-light and its security features are comprehensive. It also has a 100% success rate when it comes to malware detection, so you can rely on it completely. The price is also reasonable and you don’t have to expect huge price hikes.
How to choose
All of the above apps are excellent choices. Ultimately, the app you choose comes down to personal preference. It depends on your expectations of price, VPN capabilities, and features. The best option is to take advantage of any free trials, so that you can test the software before you commit.
Having antivirus software on your Android device is crucial. That said, it does not need to negatively affect your mobile experience or eat a hole in your pocket.