6 Best Android AntiVirus Apps

in Android by

360 Mobile Safe – not to be confused with the lesser-featured 360 Mobile Security – is the only app in this test
that is completely free. It’s made by the listed Chinese company, Qihoo. Although free apps from relatively unknown foreign companies raise our suspicion levels, we could find nothing untoward in the licence agreements.

AV-Test found little at fault with its malware detection, either, with Qihoo spotting an almost perfect 99.9% of known malicious apps. There are nice, clear notifications when a newly installed app has been scanned, and you can launch the app straight from the notification, which is a thoughtful touch. Its antivirus performance is less convincing: it failed to detect our test virus, even after a full system scan, and allowed us to click on all the phishing links in our spam folder.

However, Qihoo offers much more than mere malware scanning. The smartly presented app includes a series of phone optimization and clean-up tools that shut down unused memory-consuming apps and delete unnecessary system files, helping to keep low-powered handsets ticking more nicely. This clean-up facility can be started by shaking the handset from the home screen, which also opens a basic Breakout-style game while the tidying is taking place.

There’s an optional pop-out window, which is activated by tapping on a tiny indicator pinned to the right
of the home screen that displays how much of the phone’s memory is being used. Open it up, and you can press
the Boost button to free memory, or activate other phone controls.

Other unusual features include a data usage monitor that helps ensure you don’t exceed your monthly download cap, and a private call/messaging vault, that allows you to communicate with selected contacts without those messages/calls appearing in the standard Android apps. Instead, they’re hidden behind a password-protected screen, which is much easier to use and set up than Kaspersky’s version.

The call blocking tools are better than most of the others apps on test here, too, with options to blacklist and whitelist callers, bar certain keywords in text messages, and apply filters to a schedule. You can block work calls at weekends, for example.

The anti-theft tools include options to locate and lock the handset remotely, as well as sound a blaring alarm or delete personal data from the device – note, however, that this isn’t the full factory reset that we prefer, which means email and Play Store accounts are still dangerously exposed to thieves. Another downside is that the anti-theft features can only be activated by SMS from another phone, not via a web console, and the delete data command
can only be issued from another trusted number.

This will prove the feature useless if you can’t get access to that secondary phone in an emergency.

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 #6

Trend Micro Mobile Security
Free; £14/year Premium

Trend Micro is a long-established name in the security business, so it’s disappointing to see its Android app falls short.

Let’s start with the positives. A 100% detection record for recognized malicious apps in the most recent AV-Test labs is, of course, to be applauded. Trend Micro was also the only app on test here to bar us from visiting sites linked in phishing emails that had accumulated in our Gmail spam folder.

It didn’t proactively scan and block the test virus we downloaded, but once we ran a full device scan it spotted and quarantined the miscreant. However, it only did that once we had turned on the option to scan files in the settings – by default it’s only set to scan for rogue apps. Trend Micro provides a clear notification every time it scans an installed app or file, which is reassuring, although these alerts clutter up Android’s notifications panel after a while.

The anti-theft features are poor compared to those of rivals such as Avast, and can only be activated via a web portal – there are no SMS controls, like many of the other packages here. There are only four options: locate, lock,
scream alarm and wipe. Our device was located to within one house over both Wi-Fi and 3G, and the lock feature worked well without sounding an alarm, which we think is wise. However, when you do want the device to make a noise using the ‘scream’ feature to track down a mislaid device, it merely lets out a short ringtone. We struggled to
hear it from even the next room.

Wipe provides the option to clear o only personal data or a full factory reset, the latter being our preferred method, which worked almost instantaneously over a 3G connection. Trend Micro wins points for o ering parental
controls in its mobile app, but they are laughably easy to circumvent. Merely putting the Chrome browser into Incognito Mode was enough to throw the parental control, giving us unfettered access to pornographic sites, Facebook and all the other sites that would normally be blocked under the strictest parental control setting. They may as
well not be there.

Calls and texts can be blocked based on both a blacklist or whitelist (where you only let through certain callers), and there are different options on how to handle unwanted calls, ranging from straight to voicemail to silencing the device, which is good to see. However, calls from blacklisted numbers cause the phone to buzz and light up briefly before they’re intercepted, which is irritating, especially if the goal of blocking is to weed out irritating marketing calls.

Data backup is handled by a separate app, but with only 50MB of cloud storage to play with, you’re better o using Google+ and Android’s built-in backup services, which o er much greater capacity.

VERDICT: Solid antivirus and rogue app protection, but the extras let Trend Micro down. The anti-theft features are limited and weak, while the parental controls are embarrassingly easy to skirt around.

It’s the flexibility and variety of those anti-theft tools that narrowly earns Avast Mobile Security & Anti-Virus our Best Buy award, but Qihoo 260 Mobile Safe earns a richly deserved Recommended.

What’s your favorite Android antivirus app?

References:
PC Advisor UK
Google Play Store
Android Advisor issue#1

Febryan Paudi (940 Posts)

Febryan Paudi is Apple enthusiast. Falling in love with Apple-tech since 2008, loves Blogging since high-school. Google+


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