Researchers Conducted An Endurance Test To Determine The Best Security Product For Android: Avira, Bitdefender, G Data, Norton Trend Micro Are On Top, Google's Performance Is Still Not Satisfactory

Many people still believe that it is enough to always download applications from Google’s Play Store (as the tech giant has its top notch security systems in place) to stay protected on Android devices. However, security experts recommend that you should download a dedicated software solution that can detect malware and malicious applications on your Android smartphone. But it can sometimes be challenging for you to find the best security for Android that does everything. A study conducted by an antivirus testing lab AV-TEST can help you decide the best Antivirus for your Android device.

The lab at AV-TEST conducted an endurance test from January to June 2020 to determine how advanced the current security applications available for Android are, all compared to Google’s own product to detect malware in Play Store applications, Play Protect. AV-TEST examined fourteen security applications for Android, and the study was conducted on Android 8.0 (Oreo version). Furthermore, applications from vendors including AhnLab, AVG, Avast, Avira, F-Secure, Bitdefender, G Data, Kaspersky, Ikarus, McAfee, securiON, NortonLifeLock, and Trend Micro were examined. The security products for Android were tested in three categories including usability, performance, and protection.

The results displayed that there are a lot of good security products for Android. The lab awards six points for each category which means that a security product could receive a maximum of 18 points. 5 security applications were able to achieve the perfect score. These five security apps for Android are from Bitdefender Mobile Security, Trend Micro Mobile Security, NortonLifeLock Norton 360, G Data Internet Security, and Avira Antivirus Security.

Kaspersky app achieved 17.7 points while the protection app from securiON achieved 17.5 points. On the other hand, applications from AhnLab and McAfee received 17.3 and 17.1 points, respectively. Applications from F-Secure, Avast, AVG, and Ikarus achieved points between 16.8 and 15.4. Lastly, Google’s Play Protect achieved only 6 points (the lowest of all) which means that you should not blindly rely on Google's Play Protect if you want to remain protected on an Android smartphone. Comparing Google's security performance from last study (that was conducted almost 4 - 5 month back) shows that Google has not made any drastic changes in its Play Protect security system, and probably that's the reason it's still lagging behind.

Throughout the test period, 10,000 newly infected applications and a reference set of 10,000 older infected applications were included. It is important to note that Play Protect even failed to detect threats that were already well-known. Play Protect had an average detection rate of 64.6% in real-time test, while it exhibited an average detection rate of 45.4 in reference test. Moreover, Play Protect even triggered false alarms on harmless applications that originated from Play Store.

There are a lot of ways to ensure that you do not install an infected application. Firstly, you should check the review section before downloading an app, and you should avoid installing apps with low ratings.

Read next: Apple's iOS vs. Google's Android: Market share of popular operating systems globally
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