AVG AntiVirus scans your Android device for malicious software and offers a wealth of related security tools if you buy an annual subscription. The free version, however, is weighed down by intrusive ads and notifications.
Free or paid malware protection: AVG AntiVirus is available in an ad-supported free edition or through an annual Pro subscription that costs about $7.50. The free version provides antivirus and antitheft tools. With a subscription, you lose the ads and gain device and app locking, app backup, and -- if your Android phone gets lost or stolen -- the ability to take an image of whoever may have swiped it.
Quick scanning: The app opens on the scanning screen. Tap scan, and the app displays scan progress and the results. You can schedule scans to occur daily or weekly, or you can manually activate one. A related security tool watches for malicious Web links as you surf. The app checks for security updates every 24 to 48 hours, according to AVG.
Middling malware detection scores: AVG received passable scores on the suite of tests run by AV-Test, a security and antivirus research firm. On both malware detection and usability, AVG's app scored in the bottom half of the 27 mobile security apps tested.
Unwanted notifications: The free edition displays unwelcome icons in the status bar, notifying you of other AVG apps or telling you "You forgot something" with a link to get a "limited-time gift."
Misleading ads: After a virus scan, the free version displays misleading ads. One ad in our tests, for example, mimicked a system alert and warned that our device was unsafe and needed cleaning.
The paid version of AVG offers a broad range of security tools. The app, however, is held back by low to middling scores in malware detection and usability, as well as by the intrusive, misleading notifications and ads that litter the free version.
From AVG Technologies:
With AVG AntiVirus FREE 2016 for Android phones and tablets you'll receive effective, easy-to-use virus and malware protection, as well as a phone locator, task killer, app lock, call blocker and picture vault to help shield you from threats to your privacy and online identity.
AVG AntiVirus FREE 2016 for Android phones and tablets also:
Defends against malicious apps, viruses, malware and spyware
Identifies unsecure device settings and advises how to fix them
Checks media files for malicious software and security threats
Guards you from phishing attacks
Scan apps, games and files with our dual-engine antivirus and remove malicious content
Scan websites for harmful threats. If a suspicious URL is detected, you will be redirected to a "Safe Page" (Android's default browser and Chrome and OS older than 6.0)
Monitor battery consumption and enable power saving
Kill tasks and processes that can slow down your phone
Keep track of your mobile data plan usage
Optimize storage space (internal and SD card)
Use AVG AntiVirus FREE 2016 for Android phones and tablets together with AVG's remote management console or text messages (SMS) to:
Locate your lost or stolen phone via Google MapsÃ??Ã?Â¢?Ã??Ã?Â¢
Lock your phone and set a lock screen message to help the locator find you
Make your phone ring (shout) even if it is on silent mode
Wipe your phone and SD card content
Camera Trap [30 day trial]: discreetly emails you a photo of anyone who enters 3 wrong passwords when trying to unlock your phone
Device Lock [30 day trial]: automatically locks your phone whenever the SIM card is replaced
Hide private photos in a password-protected Vault to prevent others from snooping on your memories
App Lock [30 day trial]: lock sensitive apps to protect your privacy and safety or lock your phone settings to secure its configuration
App Backup [30 day trial]: backup apps to your SD card
Call and Message Blocker: protect yourself against spammers, hackers and scammers. Get warned about suspicious text messages, filter and block unwanted calls and messages (SMS Blocker isn't available for devices with Android v4.4 and newer)
Delete call history, clipboard content and browsing history (Chrome)
Wipe contacts, text messages, photos, browser history, calendar, format SD card and restore device to factory settings
AVG AntiVirus FREE 2016 for Android phones and tablets is available in 33 languages