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BEST ANDROID ANTIVIRUS AND MOBILE SECURITY APPS

Tuesday, 6 December 2016
CM security:
CM security (Clean Master) is an all-singing, all-dancing option made by Cheetah Mobile that brings you a whole host of anti-virus and security features for free - as long as you don't mind a few ads. Or you can pay $.99c each month to remove them.


Feature-wise it tries to offer everything - anti-virus, browsing protection, battery saving, privacy protection of apps, the whole lot. It takes pretty much the same simplified approach to each of those things too. CM security identifies what it describes as threats and then asks what you want to do about them in a straightforward way.

That might disappoint people who love spending time in settings menus, but you're not going to be doing that with CM Security. One potential drawback, however, is that it's relentless in nagging you about other aspects of your device and other apps made by Cheetah that can help you out. But again, it's free, so it's hard to complain too much.

AVG Antivirus Security:
AVG Antivirus Security is more than its name suggests, as it also provides app locking, anti-theft, task killer and app backup features. And it does it all in a well-designed interface. There are also a few battery-saving options on board, and the ability to dig down into your battery data to find out what's been draining it.

The power saving options replicate functions dotted around any stock Android settings menus, but bring them altogether in one place for easier control. If you want to use the junk cleaning options, you'll need to install AVG Cleaner too, but once you have, it integrates with AVG Antivirus.


In this instance, it seems smart of AVG to provide the cleaner functionality through a separate download, rather than bundle another large app inside the main suite. It's worth pointing out that AVG Cleaner is free to download, like AVG Antivirus, but also offers another paid for upgrade to a Pro version for additional features and the removal of ads.

You don't need the premium version of either app to use the Phone Locator option, but you will need to sign up for an account via your email address to use this feature.

Lookout: 
Lookout is one of the apps on this list that doesn't have a desktop client, as it's focused exclusively on mobile. It's also one that requires you to sign up for an account to use any of the features.

Once inside, you've got the choice of taking the free or premium route - premium is around $2 per month. The free version gives you just app security and phone location features, whereas premium will also protect your Web browsing, give you a privacy overview of your apps and allow a few other anti-theft related features.


There's also a handy breach report feature that will alert you if any of the services you use are hacked, thereby allowing you to change your credentials in a timely manner. If it doesn't sound like the free version offers much, that's a mistake.

Within the single category of app security, you're protected against adware, bots, click fraud, remote exploits, root enabler threats, spyware and a number of other types of malicious software.

Norton Security Antivirus:
Norton Security Antivirus is another hugely popular desktop protection platform that's made the jump across to mobile. In short, it blocks and removes malware both on-demand and in real-time.

It also offers the now-familiar app advisor feature that tells you about privacy risks in a simple, easy to understand way. One thing that none of the others offer but Norton does is a really handy feature that integrates with Google Play to show you any alerts about an app before you download it; so you can see if the app you're about to install hogs battery, uses excessive data or poses any other sort of potential risk.


There's a 30-day free trial for the premium version, which unlocks all the features, but after that it'll cost you $29.99 per year, making it on a par with McAfee in terms of pricing. It does have an appealingly simple design and is straightforward to use though.