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.

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

About

Larry Seltzer has long been a recognized expert in technology, with a focus on mobile technology and security in recent years. He was most recently Editorial Director of BYTE, Dark Reading and Network Computing at UBM Tech. Prior to that he spent over a decade consulting and writing on technology subjects, primarily in the area of sec... Full Bio

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