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.
Locate your lost or stolen phone via Google Maps. Lock your phone and set a lock screen message. Make your phone sound a siren. Remote History: query the call log, contacts and text messages remotely. Wipe your phone and SD card content. Hide private photos in a password-protected Vault to prevent snooping. Call Blocker: protect yourself against spammers and scammers. Delete clipboard content and browsing history (Chrome browser and Android version older than 5.0). Stay anonymous with VPN.