6 Best Android AntiVirus Apps

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Kaspersky recently merged its Android phone and Android tablet security products into one, and it certainly looks the part. The big shields that fill up to show you the completion percentage of virus scans and updates are about as user-friendly as these apps come, although in other respects Kaspersky
antivirus can make life a little more di cult for the
user than it should.
For example, Kaspersky shows a fleeting
notification to tell you it’s completed a virus scan after you install a new app, but that notification
disappears in the bat of an eyelid, and on our test Motorola Moto G handset, the message ran off the edge of the screen, making it unclear if Kaspersky had found a problem with the app or not. Luckily, with a 100 percent success rate in detecting malware-laden apps in the most recent AV-Test labs, you can be fairly sure it’s going to root out the known bad apples.

 

 

By default, malicious apps is all Kaspersky will keep an eye out for. If you want file scanning and browser protection, you have to pay and, oddly, switch on the Extended Protection option in settings. Once switched on, we were pleased to see Kaspersky send out a screeching alert when we used our browser to download a test virus, and
the file was immediately placed in quarantine. Once again, however, the notification swiftly disappeared,
and we had to delve deep into the menus to find evidence of the quarantined file. The anti-theft features are rudimentary compared to those of Avast, but they work well.

Remote commands can be sent either via SMS or Kaspersky’s well-designed web console. The lock and locate feature pinpointed the position of our “missing” phone over both Wi-Fi and 3G, and the option to insert a custom message on the lock screen is a bonus for those wanting to offer passersby instructions for handing in a lost phone.

The option to surreptitiously snap photos using the phone’s camera also did the job admirably, delivering five crisp snaps that could well identify whoever’s using the phone. The wipe facility offers the option to merely clear off personal data or factory reset the phone, which is a step up from Norton’s offering. The only anti-theft disappointment was the alarm, which merely produced a short, rather muted buzzer noise, which certainly wouldn’t
help you locate a phone that had fallen down the back of the sofa.

The call-blocking feature is basic, allowing you to bar messages and texts from selected callers, but with no scheduling or logs of blocked calls. Privacy Protection, meanwhile, allows you to hide certain contacts from the address book, making you enter a PIN to see their details.

Set-up is clunky, and it’s a feature of limited benefit in our opinion.

VERDICT: A slickly presented antivirus package that does a decent job of proactive protection.
A few usability fl aws and a limited set of anti-theft and extras stunt its appeal, but then that’s reflected
in the very reasonable subscription price.

Android Antivirus #4

Norton Mobile Security 2014
Free; £29/year Premium

Everyone knows Norton, it’s is one of the biggest names in the security business, and there’s no questioning that it knows what it’s doing when it comes to detecting apps known to be laden with malware: a score of 100 percent in the AV-Test labs is proof of that.

You might wonder if Norton is actually scanning new apps after you’ve installed the software and there’s no notification that it’s doing so, but you can turn these on in the app’s settings. Norton is also scanning your web browser for suspicious activity, although we couldn’t do anything to set its alarm bells ringing: downloading a test
virus, clicking on links in phishing emails, and clicking on all manner of dubious ads on file-sharing sites didn’t once provoke Norton to step in, unlike other packages on test here.

Norton doesn’t o er as many anti-theft features as Avast and there are some worrying holes in them. The wipe-device setting – which like all of Norton’s premium anti-theft features, can be activated via SMS or through Norton’s web console – is woefully ineffective. It doesn’t perform a factory reset on the device, but merely clears out contacts, files and other personal data. Yet, it still left our Gmail account accessible on the device, as well as all our apps and access to the Play Store.

Locking the device is more effective. The lock feature doesn’t set o any audio alarms, which we think is a more sensible approach that’s less likely to put o a passer-by from picking up a lost handset and handing it in. You can also type a custom message on the lock screen, perhaps offering a reward for the safe return of the phone,
which is a nice touch.

Location tracking proved a bit wayward in our tests. With Wi-Fi turned on, it gave our next-door neighbour’s address, which is forgivable, but relying on 3G alone it placed the phone 500m and three streets away, which is of little use. When we tried to use the Sneak Peek feature that takes a snap from the phone’s camera, we received a warning message that this features wasn’t available in our country “due to privacy laws”, yet when we locked
the phone, it automatically took some photos using the phone’s camera, which is contradictory.

Call blocking is also rudimentary compared to Avast’s. You can choose to block a particular contact’s calls or text messages, or both, but there’s no scheduling, so you can’t divert work calls to voicemail at weekends, for example. Backup is equally primitive, backing up only the contacts – which already available in Android devices by default.

VERDICT: A vast array of security and useful phone management tools, all offered without any charge whatsoever. We’d like its antivirus to be more proactive and the anti-theft tools are relatively weak, but it’s harder to complain when it’s free.

Android Antivirus #5

Qihoo 360 Mobile Safe
Free

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Febryan Paudi (874 Posts)

Febryan Paudi is Apple enthusiast. Falling in love with Apple-tech since 2007 when the first iPhone-generation released, loves Blogging since high-school.
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