In the past couple of months, I've covered more than a dozen mobile security apps, carefully weighing the pros and cons of each, and determining their relative values. I've spent time with 17 apps in all, and it's about time to wrap up the series, and tell you, the end user, which apps are your best bet for protecting your Android device(s).

Before I get to the nitty-gritty of which app is best, I think it'd be helpful to review what we've covered so far, to get a clear grasp on each of the solutions we've covered. To save your eyes from pages upon pages of analysis, I've made the following handy table, outlining the various features we've covered, and which apps have what you need.


Taking all of this information into account, it becomes clear that certain mobile security apps are best suited for certain users, and each app works best for its own purposes. That being said, we should take a look at which apps are best for whom. To do this, we'll walk through a set of categories average consumers might be concerned about, and wrap things up with an overall winner.

Which Is Best?

For The Budget-Conscious - Cerberus

See original review here.

hi-124-16_thumbLuckily for the budget-minded Android user, there are plenty of security options available completely for free, or at very slim price points.
In my mind, the best budget-friendly security app is Cerberus, by LSDroid. While it may cost about $4.00, you only need to pay once. Considering the number of apps that require yearly (or monthly) subscriptions, a one-time fee that low is a steal, especially taking into account the incredible number of features Cerberus includes, and its quick, reliable performance. Additionally, Cerberus allows you to manage up to five devices at once, and offers other licensing options for businesses.

Cerberus Phone Security (Antitheft)
Cerberus Phone Security (Antitheft)

For The Security-Minded – McAfee's Wave Secure

See original review here.

hi-256-7-208af6630f40e6094c30313d22006a40a8edc471_thumbMcAfee is one of the top names in electronic security, and its Wave Secure app for Android lives up to the company's existing reputation.

One of the key factors that makes Wave Secure the best for security-minded users, is its root support. Additionally, the app can be controlled via SMS, and even has the ability to back up and restore your personal data and media.

On top of all that, Wave Secure performs consistently and is relatively easy to use. When thinking of mobile security, ease of use and reliable performance are critical, and McAfee's solution deftly provides both.

The app was not found in the store. :-(

For Enterprise Deployment – Prey Anti-Theft

See original review here.


While a hand full of the apps we've covered have support for multiple devices, Prey has the capability to be deployed to hundreds of devices, making it easy to keep all your company mobiles safe and secure, even if they fall into the wrong hands.

Additionally, Prey runs on a system of reports, meaning that individual summaries of device information are sent to one email address on a predetermined schedule, keeping you abreast of your device's status. Buying a pro account also enables on-demand reports, meaning you can check on your device(s) at any time.

Despite Prey's minor shortcomings, its potential for mass deployment over a network is impressive enough to earn it a place in this roundup, and it is definitely worth looking into if you need to protect multiple devices.

For Those Who Want More Than Security - AVG Mobilation Antivirus

See original review here.


Very few of the apps in our Shootout go the extra mile, providing more than just theft protection. Out of those few, AVG has, by far, the best blend of antivirus, antimalware, and powerful antitheft tools of any of the apps I've covered.

AVG Mobilation certainly lives up to the AVG name in terms of security features. Not only can the app locate and lock your device, but it can scan incoming apps, back up data, and function as a task manager, making it a hugely powerful solution for those seeking total security for their Android devices.

Overall - Cerberus

hi-124-16_thumbIn my mind, Cerberus is the clear winner of the shootout. It has a ton of features, and really functions where it counts. Its price point is reasonable, its SMS support ensures that your phone can be located and controlled at all times, its root support keeps your phone secure, even in the hands of a crafty burglar who knows how to perform a factory reset, and it has licensing options to handle 6+ devices at once, making it an all-around stellar solution for keeping your handset out of the wrong hands, and securing your data if your device is stolen.
Besides all of its features, Cerberus has a clean, intuitive online interface that makes it easy to find and control your lost device. Among all the apps we've covered, Cerberus is outstanding, and makes a great solution for just about anyone.

Final Thoughts

We've seen a lot of security apps over the past few months, and while some clearly stand out from the crowd as winners, it's important to remember that there may not be one solution that works best for every user. Hopefully this roundup has provided you with a more informed understanding of the various security options available for Android, and a good idea of what to look for when choosing an app to keep your device(s) safe, even when in the wrong hands.