In contrast to Apple devices, Android smartphones and tablets don’t come with built-in protection against malware. Despite Google’s efforts at weeding out apps with viruses from its Play Store however, many of them have a chance to pass through that process. Malware isn’t just annoying. It can steal your data and lock you out of the device, or give your computer’s resources to hackers.

Fortunately antivirus software can protect you from these threats. The best antivirus software available for android will include powerful malware detection tools, privacy tools, and even anti-theft capabilities. Many will offer a no-cost version to test the security and performance.

Kaspersky is an app that is often on lists of the best antivirus for android because it is a top malware-protection program and has a minimal impact on system performance. The app has a stellar record of performance in independent tests in labs. The paid version also comes with a useful call blocker and numerous other security features.

Avast Mobile Security & Antivirus has some of the most extensive features available on Android antivirus applications. Its malware protection scores a near-perfect score in our tests, and it has several other beneficial features such as a privacy advisor, Wi-Fi network alerts and junk clean-up of files. It’s not as user-friendly, and its call-blocking function didn’t work during our tests.

Avira has excellent malware detection and prevention, with an appealing interface and low impact on the system. It also has some advanced security tools such as a privacy advisor and a memory optimizer. It comes with a great anti-theft feature, and also offers affordable premium plans that include a range of phones at a single price.

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