Most Free Anti-malware Apps for Android Nearly Useless

by: Carl ParkerNovember 14, 2011
7 47 5

A study has recently found out that most of the free anti-malware apps available for Android devices do not provide enough protection.  The study was conducted by AV-TEST, an IT security company.

According to the AV-TEST report (PDF) published last week, only one of the seven free anti-malware apps for Android that the company tested provided relatively acceptable safety and protection.

The testing firm conducted the test on the following free anti-malware apps:

  • Antivirus Free
  • BluePoint Antivirus Free
  • GuardX Antivirus
  • Kinetoo Malware Scan
  • LabMSF Antivirus beta
  • Zoner Anti-Virus Free
  • Privateer Lite

Only Zoner Anti-Virus Free showed relatively acceptable performance, with malware detection effectiveness of 32%, according to the AV-TEST report.  The said anti-malware app was able to detect 8 out of the 10 malware programs introduced into the system.  Antivirus Free, GuardX Antivirus, and LabMSF Antivirus beta did not detect any at all.  The rest detected only 1 of the 10 malware programs.

According to the report, Antivirus Free is the most popular among the apps tested, which reportedly is installed in about 1 to 5 million devices currently.

The test was done using a Samsung Galaxy Tab running on Android 2.2.1 Froyo.  For comparison, two commercial apps were also used: Kaspersky and F-Secure, both of which did not show problems.

What anti-malware app do you use on your Android device?  And, are you sure it gives you 100% protection from malware threats?

  • why wasnt lookout included in this?

  • Forget Lookout, what about Webroot?

  • This report looks really suspicious don’t you think? As Kelly notice there is no Lookout, also there is no Norton Mobile Security, Antivirus AVG, NetQin Security nor Dr. Web Antivirus.

    Also there are detailed information regarding the failure to detect of free apps tested, but no detail regarding tests for F-Secure and Kaspersky (even in the full report).

    It sounds a lot like: hey guys you should pay some bucks if you wanna be safe and by the way Kaspersky rocks!

  • Jayjay

    can you use more than 1 antivirus on android.

  • I use Trustgo. Don’t know if it’s considered good or not.

  • trebor

    How about “Android Antivirus”?