Android security app test results

Android security app test results

Summary: Independent test lab AV-TEST has released their latest results for Android security products. We bring you the results for detection, features, and system impact.

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TOPICS: Security, Mobile OS
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In a very real sense, these tests are more important than the detection scores, even though detection is the basic function of the program. It's an accepted truism of security software these days that if it gets in the user's way, the user will work around it. Security software should be invisible and have no impact on the system unless there's a security problem. (Even then it should try to stay out of the user's way.)

Right off, the false positives are a concern. The two from Aegislab and Ahnlab with apps from third party stores, seem relatively minor. The Comodo and Panda false poisitives, three and four respectively from Google Play apps, bother me a lot more. AV-TEST appears to cut the score by 0.5 for each false positive from either source. I would make the penalty greater for false positives in Google Play, but the point is academic in this case. Nothing else the Comodo or Panda apps is particularly compelling anyway.

Only three products had a bad score on any of the three tests here, i.e. whether the product impacts battery life, whether it slows down the device during normal usage, and whether it generates too much traffic. Two of these are big-name products: AV-TEST says that Kaspersky Internet Security slows down the device during normal usage, Symantec Norton Mobile Security generates too much traffic and Tencent Mobile Security Manager impacts battery life and slows down the device. These are disappointing. Both Symantec and Kaspersky had perfect scores otherwise. 

Impact of the security software on the usability of the device
Product Does not impact the battery life Does not slow down the device during normal usage Does not generate too much traffic False Positives (825 Google Play samples) False Positives (435 3rd party app store samples) Score
Aegislab Antivirus Premium + + + 0 1 5.5
Ahnlab V3 Mobile + + + 0 1 5.5
Anguanjia Security Manager + + + 0 0 6
Antiy AVL + + + 0 0 6
avast! Mobile Security + + + 0 0 6
Avira Free Android Security + + + 0 0 6
Bitdefender Mobile Security + + + 0 0 6
Bornaria Mobile Security + + + 0 0 6
Comodo Mobile Security + + + 3 0 4.5
ESET Mobile Security & Antivirus + + + 0 0 6
F-Secure Mobile Security + + + 0 0 6
G Data Internet Security + + + 0 0 6
Ikarus Mobile Security + + + 0 0 6
Kaspersky Internet Security + - + 0 0 5
Kingsoft Mobile Security + + + 0 0 6
KSMobile Clean Master + + + 0 0 6
KSMobile CM Security + + + 0 0 6
McAfee Mobile Security + + + 0 0 6
NQ Mobile Security + + + 0 0 6
Panda Security Mobile Security + + + 4 0 4
Qihoo 360 MobileSecurity + + + 0 0 6
Quick Heal Total Security + + + 0 0 6
Sophos Mobile Security + + + 0 0 6
SPAMFighter VIRUSfighter Android + + + 0 0 6
Symantec Norton Mobile Security + + - 0 0 5
Tencent Mobile Security Manager - - + 0 0 4
Trend Micro Mobile Security + + + 0 0 6
TrustGo Mobile Security + + + 0 0 6
Webroot SecureAnywhere Mobile + + + 0 0 6
Zoner Mobile Security + + + 0 0 6

Next Page: Program features

Topics: Security, Mobile OS

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21 comments
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  • the proof Android does not need any protection

    the proof Android does not need any protection = everything is just a user approved app
    but Google allows that

    BUT iPhone should be protected but Apple has the fastistics tactics so Apple does not allow antiviruses:

    "
    iPhone is most vulnerable, least secure smartphone in the market, security firm finds.
    "Apple iOS Apps Leak More Personal Info Than Android".
    40% of iOS popular apps invade your privacy without any permission.
    "
    Jiří Pavelec
    • iPeople form the USA, keep just facts, please

      iPeople form the USA, keep just facts, please
      Jiří Pavelec
    • if you

      install apps from outside the play store, you might want an AV app. otherwise you should be fine.
      theoilman
      • exactly

        exactly, it's called freedom and freedom brings responsibility
        with Apple you have just fascism with its vulnerabilities but you don't need to be responsible, you are treated like a baby
        Jiří Pavelec
        • Keep politics out of tech discussions, please !

          Posting a comment that brings no facts but only questionable opinions inspired by fanatism does not contribute to this discussion: it's just stupid. Please express your frustration somewhere else. Thank you.

          I own and manage both iOS and Android devices and, though the iTunes 'closed' echosystem provides a superior protection 'by design' against risks of uploading malware, in my experience, with just some basic, common sense precautions, everyone can make his Android device quite safe as well.
          m.vellano@...
          • Apple does not allow anything (browser change, email change, install outsid

            Apple does not allow anything (browser change, email change, install outside market) = fascism

            what is wrong? what is missing facts? your argument? than yes :)
            Jiří Pavelec
          • Fascism is a political ideology.

            Apple is not a government. If you CHOOSE to use apple products, you abide by their rules. You can CHOOSE to use other products that have different rules.
            Low_tech
  • take away?

    Does the fact that the article is focused entirely on Android mean that the iOS is safer? Or just that it needs to be covered in another article? I've been recommending iPads for the grandparents who constantly trip themselves up because I'm of the impression that malware on iPads is not an issue, but I'm happy to be educated if that's not the case.
    gdstark13
    • Malware on iPads is not an issue

      Many would argue that malware on Android (and I would say particularly on Kindle) is not an issue either if you stick with Google Play.
      But there are other issues besides malware. See page 3 of this story for the other security features, many of which would be valuable on an iOS device too, and which are generally available for iOS.
      larry@...
  • Why no Lookout?

    I didn't find Lookout in your list of reviewed security products. It certainly is among the most popular, so why wasn't it reviewed?
    macmcf
    • Probably didn't want to be included

      This question comes up with every AV-TEST story. If a vendor doesn't want to be included they don't include them
      larry@...
      • According to Digital Trends Lookout was reviewed

        According to Digital Trends, Lookout was reviewed by AV-Labs and scored 99.4% ?
        http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/top-android-security-apps/
        They rated it as one of the Top 3 Android Security apps
        SimpleCAD
        • That was an earlier set of tests

          in November I think
          larry@...
          • Scratch that

            The link you cite refers to AV-TEST September tests
            larry@...
  • No Lookout entry

    I wonder why Lookout doesn't have their app included in these comparisons? I was hoping they might address it on their own website but there's no mention of it there, either.
    joetron2030
  • Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Mobile

    Was just wondering why you missed this one off the list?
    tiggsy
    • They don't want to be in

      They never cooperate with AV-TEST. If a vendor doesn't want to be in, AV-TEST doesn't test them
      larry@...
  • Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Mobile

    Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Mobile works for me. No impact on performance, regular updates, no issues. Free, but I would pay a reasonable price for it.

    I like Malwarebytes desktop products also.
    tietchen
  • AVG?

    No AVG test either. I wonder why. I've used AVG on my desktop, laptop and phone for years and not had any problems.
    JohnOfStony
  • How come they need all these apps?

    So if Android is so secure. How come we have all these security apps. Its either the biggest scam just to get information and money out of Android users. Or their really is a need for security.
    I think what happens is that the media spreads a few stories on rogue apps and then all of a sudden you start seeing security apps. Playing to the paranoia of users. This scenario used to be just played out on Windows PC's. I glad to see the security people selling their snake oil security to other platforms now.
    JohnnyES-25227553276394558534412264934521