Free Android anti-virus products virtually useless

As mobile technologies grow more and more advanced, so too does the need to protect and secure them. With phones acting as access to potential access points to sensitive emails, SMS messages and other content, it is inadvisable to leave them unsecured and according to results from AV-Test.org's analysts, you may as well go without one of the free AV options on the Android Market too.

If you cannot see the table clearly enough, the applications tested are:

  • Antivirus Free
  • BluePoint Antivirus Free
  • GuardX Antivirus
  • Kinetoo Malware Scan
  • LabMSF Antivirus beta
  • Privateer Lite
  • Zoner AntiVirus Free

The best result from a manual scan was that of Zoner... with an utterly abysmal 32% detection rate. The only other competitor to get more than 0% was Kinetoo's Malware Scan, which picked up 6% of the 172 intentional infections. According to the download counter on the Android Market, the most popular application offering anti-virus 'protection' is Creative Apps' Antivirus Free. It scored 0% on both tests performed by AV-Test.

AV-Test gave the following statement along with their tests.

The circulation of obviously near to useless security apps endangers those, who trust them and install apps from 3rd party app markets without further suspiciousness.

If you run an anti-virus application on your Android phone you may want to uninstall it, since it seems to just take up storage space and give no real benefits in return. While it might pick up on something, who knows what it isn't picking up on? 

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Cash Money Billionaire said,

Not really that surprising, nobody owns a Windows Phone (2% market share or probably less)

If it's 2% then somebody clearly does own one. Let's stick to what English words *really* mean.

That's terrible comparison. I never heard of any of those anti-virus solutions for Android, kind of s.... those must be in first place ...
Where's for example Lookout? (It is free with optional pay but antivirus is free)

EDIT: just checked, this report seems to be a hoax (or kind of it) ...
Lookout Security & Antivirus: Installs: 10,000,000 - 50,000,000

This report smells ... (or either AV-Test's analyst).
I can take any 10 free no-named antivirus software for Windows I find and most of them will score similar 0%.
Either do it right or do not do it at all AV-Test!

Edited by SHADOW-XIII, Nov 12 2011, 11:07pm :

Exosphere said,
Eh?, those install figures are from Google, so why is a hoax?
What do you expect from free AV apps?
because it looks like they are trying to discredit Android more than do just a test ...
they just took few no-named apps - now claiming Android is not safe. I would not be surprised if they tweaked those stats slightly as well.

The article SURE is FISHY AS HELL.

Where are Norton, Kaspersky, ESET (RC or not), Lookout, BitDefender and whatever other better known antivirus...????

SHADOW-XIII said,
That's terrible comparison. I never heard of any of those anti-virus solutions for Android, kind of s.... those must be in first place ...
Where's for example Lookout? (It is free with optional pay but antivirus is free)

EDIT: just checked, this report seems to be a hoax (or kind of it) ...
Lookout Security & Antivirus: Installs: 10,000,000 - 50,000,000

This report smells ... (or either AV-Test's analyst).
I can take any 10 free no-named antivirus software for Windows I find and most of them will score similar 0%.
Either do it right or do not do it at all AV-Test!

AV-Test is a generally respectable source (though never as good as AV-Comparatives), but it appears as though they dropped the ball on this one. Normally the reason they'd give for not testing [your favorite product here] is because the vendor did not opt-in, but this was not one of their opt-in tests.

They DID test Kaspersky, though. If you actually read the report, you'll see that they used two commercial products for comparison. Kaspersky was one of them. Perhaps they considered Lookout to be a commercial product as well? I have no idea.

What do the AV devs base their Heuristics on though? There aren't that many Android / Linux Viruses / Malware out there.

PC AVs such as NOD32 / Avira use Heuristics that know what type of coding to look for in files and even without having the actual definition installed can still warn the user

The best free Antivirus app IMO is called Common Sense...I don't know if anyone here has heard of it or not...but that's what I use on both of my Android devices and so far it has had a 100% detection rate. I'm also a big fan of its maker's Windows version as well.

SharpGreen said,
The best free Antivirus app IMO is called Common Sense...I don't know if anyone here has heard of it or not...but that's what I use on both of my Android devices and so far it has had a 100% detection rate. I'm also a big fan of its maker's Windows version as well.

Common Sense doesnt have a scanner module. So how do you scan with this Common Sense program and know you have anything infected?

Hey, its free so you get what you pay for.

SharpGreen said,
The best free Antivirus app IMO is called Common Sense...I don't know if anyone here has heard of it or not...but that's what I use on both of my Android devices and so far it has had a 100% detection rate. I'm also a big fan of its maker's Windows version as well.

The fact is there are a lot more virus that infect Windows than malware infecting Android. I agree with you with common sense on Android. But you need an Antivirus solution for Windows. I can honestly say I have never gotten infected in Windows my proof is that the Internet Security solution I use says so.

I can honestly say the same with Android because I can list all 52 Apps I have installed on my phone and the fact is they are all trust worthy apps. As of now you can't get infected by surfing the web on your phone. You get malware on Android form side-loading untrustworthy APKs or downloading untrustworthy APKs from the market (thankfully those are extremely rare).

SharpGreen said,
The best free Antivirus app IMO is called Common Sense...I don't know if anyone here has heard of it or not...but that's what I use on both of my Android devices and so far it has had a 100% detection rate. I'm also a big fan of its maker's Windows version as well.

Sorry, but Common Sense doesn't stop malware embedded in a webpage or ads on a mainstream site. Common sense does go a lot way, but anyone that says that's all people need, is just talking stupid.

farmeunit said,

Sorry, but Common Sense doesn't stop malware embedded in a webpage or ads on a mainstream site. Common sense does go a lot way, but anyone that says that's all people need, is just talking stupid.


It's worked quite well for me. This machine has never had a single virus. Now tell me how is that stupid?

farmeunit said,

Sorry, but Common Sense doesn't stop malware embedded in a webpage or ads on a mainstream site. Common sense does go a lot way, but anyone that says that's all people need, is just talking stupid.

I agree with you. Fortunately that doesn't exist on Android. Just Windows desktop.

Phones don't need antivirus. They need users that have common sense.

Also, none of those Antivirus solutions are as popular as Lookout Mobile Security, ESET or Norton Mobile. Most people that lack common sense at least use Lookout Mobile Security.

Edited by UndergroundWire, Nov 13 2011, 6:21am :

Android is a mess and a security nightmare but some intelligence and common sense would be enough... just dont install **** on your f_cking phone

of course nothing can be done with the totally degenerated android users who think they tech-savvy just because they can install a cooked rom and get all kinds of garbage of various origin on their phones... and no, its not just their problem if im in their contact list

I find it interesting that they didn't test Lookout's protection. I thought Lookout were one of the leaders in the Android market?

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