the free antivirus apps in the Google Play Store — after weeks of testing, I only found a few products which I’m confident can keep Androids well-protected against malware.
I was surprised to learn that most free Android antiviruses were either fake, ineffective, filled with ads, or not actually free. Aside from the risk of downloading random Android apps (something you shouldn’t do!), the biggest problem is that many cybersecurity companies only want to make money — they don’t want to give out something that works for free.
Free mobile antiviruses don’t usually have necessary features like real-time protection and malware removal — internet security companies always try to “trick” you into paying for the premium version to get access to these features. And while many of these premium apps are fairly inexpensive, I believe that Android users should still be protected when using free antivirus apps.
All that said, if you’re like me and you keep a lot of sensitive info on your Android phone or tablet — passwords, credit card info, etc. — you really should invest in a low-cost premium antivirus with mobile protection.
But if you only need basic protection, there are a few free Android antivirus apps which are pretty good — offering free real-time virus scanning, free theft protections, and a handful of free extras to strengthen your Android’s mobile security.
Here’s a summary of the best free antivirus Android apps in 2020:
- Bitdefender: My #1 free antivirus for Android in 2020.
- Avira: On-demand malware and virus scanning with a special focus on privacy protection.
- ESET: Virus scans, GPS location feature, and anti-phishing protection.
- McAfee: Excellent anti-theft features.
- Kaspersky: Malware protection and anti-theft functions.