Android anti-virus app review shows reveals the real and the fake system protectors

Android anti-virus app review shows reveals the real and the fake system protectors
If you have an Android smartphone there’s little chance to get malware unless you start downloading suspicious apps. The main reason for that is the sandboxing model that the platform uses - it simply doesn’t allow apps to do much damage. Still, Android is said to be the biggest target for attacks and reports claim that the number of malware apps on the platform is alarming.

If you’re a security freak and/or like to download apps from everywhere but the Android Market, aka Google Play, you might have to think about installing an anti-virus application. Turns out, though, anti-virus apps for Android are not the same.

What’s difference? Basically, Android anti-virus apps range from those protecting you from viruses to - for a lack of better word - utterly useless crap. A recent report by independent researchers from AV-Test revealed the pearls among them and pointed out those you should stay away from.

The best performers in its tests included Avast, Dr. Web, Kaspersky, Ikarus, F-Secure, Zoner and Lookout. These detected over 90% of the malware that was thrown at them. The second tier of apps detected between 65% and 90%, and included applications like Android Antivirus, Android Defender, LabMSF Antivirus beta, MobileBot Antivirus, MT Antivirus, and MYAndroid Protection Antivirus.

Finally, there’s one category you should stay away from at all costs - apps like ALYac Android and Antivirus free basically detected zero or close to zero infected software. 

Check out the graph below illustrating the difference between Android anti-virus apps and let us know - do you use one? Do you think an anti-virus app for Android is necessary?

source: AV-Test (.pdf) via Android Authority



1. drahmad

Posts: 480; Member since: Aug 20, 2011

android is open to everyone. everyone includes hackers. result is: a hell of viruses.

6. sgogeta4

Posts: 394; Member since: Feb 02, 2011

open source doesn't necessarily imply viruses. just look at linux. don't generalize things that you have no idea about and have no contribution to.

10. drahmad

Posts: 480; Member since: Aug 20, 2011

linux? are you kidding me? linux has just a few thousands of users i would say and most of them are professionals who know how to protect their pcs from virus attacks. who would make a virus for linux?

16. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

Mac OS is Linux-based, so add a few thousand more users to your count.

32. bzblizzard

Posts: 1; Member since: Jan 23, 2017

Android is Linux if you have Android go look it up in about phone by build and Linux has lot more then thousands users I'm not trying make big argument but nothing your saying is right about Linux if Android Linux based then it Has millions of users and it far from full virus it's coded like Apple or Mac witch used Linux codeing in user interface on few there builds and what people use to hack and for coding

8. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

what a baseless and pointless comment. you really dont know what your talking about drahmad. Trying to be the new taco/gallito and just anger people? Sure seems like it.

12. drahmad

Posts: 480; Member since: Aug 20, 2011

its such a fun hahahahaha

20. SleepingOz unregistered

Yeah, except he's a nokia fanboy, may be even worst than gallito! But he has a better profile picture though.

31. drahmad

Posts: 480; Member since: Aug 20, 2011

i dont talk to sleeping people anymore

2. cj100570

Posts: 204; Member since: May 12, 2009

Lookout, unless something has changed since I last used it, doesn't scan your SD card and didn't find an Eicar test file I loaded onto my phone, so it qualifies as basically useless for Anti-Virus also. Any Anti-Virus/Malware solution that doesn't scan your SD card or internal storage is a joke since it would be completely ignoring what surely is the main vector of attack, infected files.

13. jagon91

Posts: 13; Member since: Aug 03, 2010

Considering the only thing I need Lookout for is to scan my apps for malware or virus's or whatever else is bad for my phone I say it's pretty useful. Most, if not all, of my files on my sd card have been through my computer which should have picked up any threatening files on said SD card. So I would say it's pretty useful and also all of it's other features I can use while not taking up a lot of space or resources is good enough for me. But I guess not all people are as secure about the files they put on their phone as I am.

28. cj100570

Posts: 204; Member since: May 12, 2009

I'm very secure about the files I place on my pc. My point is that Lookout doesn't scan any file on your phone other than program files. I get attachments via email on my phone which obviously aren't going through my pc AV suite. If the AV app on a phone doesn't scan files you download via email/browser, that leaves a gaping hole! But I guess some people don't actually use their phone for actual productivity as I do.

29. jagon91

Posts: 13; Member since: Aug 03, 2010

I do see your concern, and I admit I have over looked that flaw, however I do use my phone quite a bit for productivity. Not only do I use it for school, since I am a full time college student, but I also use it for work since I am the main night auditor for a hotel so I edit many spreadsheets daily on the go, however, in the past few years, I have yet to get any virus/bug on any device via email, and I have about 5 emails going to each device I set up.

9. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

OMG, dont go downloading antivirus guys.. your waisting your money and slowing down your phone. You have a 0.00005% chance of getting a virus on your phone ,and you will only get it by not paying attention to what apps you download and almost completely from non market sources (though we have found a few in the market). you have almost the same possibilities of winning the lotto, so dont get so excited.

23. nak1017

Posts: 328; Member since: Jan 08, 2010

I agree, except Avast! (and others) is free and has mobile wipe capabilities. That's a handy tool to have in the event you're phone gets stolen or lost. That being said, I wouldn't pay for anything...

25. sumdude

Posts: 50; Member since: Oct 20, 2011

You do realize they have more optionns of entry aside from fake apps, right? Or are you saying it's pointless cuz a malicious file cannot enter your phone via a plug in like flash content, browser hijacking a fake link or auto download on SD, then .exe? They just discovered malicious Facebook links that targeted mobile users. I'm not convinced we're safe from a whole heck of alot b/c it's all newly tested and created attacks.

17. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

Lookout came with my HTC, and I've never had an issue with out, and it isn't a resource hog. Based on this test, if I didn't have lookout, I'd get Kaspersky.

27. Cwebb

Posts: 501; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

Lol, because Sense is taking up 90% of the resources I can say this because I have a HTC and use to have Sense

21. dmakun

Posts: 382; Member since: Jun 06, 2011

avast is free and it has the best anti-theft feature. Also the best UI and way better than look-out for me.


Posts: 1459; Member since: Mar 09, 2010

I would use Avast....I use it on the home pc and it does better than AVG and others. On my phone it found a live wall paper pup that look out and AVG missed!

24. PaulNotFromSweden

Posts: 55; Member since: Sep 16, 2011

Please define the colors in the table.

26. fraydoe

Posts: 57; Member since: Dec 27, 2011

not to get off topic or troll but would an iphone need anything like this?

30. jagon91

Posts: 13; Member since: Aug 03, 2010

Honestly, the last time I touched an iPhone I got infuriated with it and slammed it against the wall and ordered an unlocked dell streak from the internet and was way happier. Who would want to bug an iPhone when it can already infuriate you enough to get rid of it on its own merit...

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