With 11 clear test results and six more in the second tier of 65-90 percent detection rate, Total Defense Mobile Security had a fair stab at living up to its billing. It was outwitted by both Opfake and Xsider, though. 

Though listed as a free app, it costs £19.99 plus VAT (£23.79) per year. This includes updates for only six months, though it can then be installed on three devices at once. These don’t all have to be Android either. Windows Phone, Symbian and BlackBerry OS are also supported. Visit all Security Software reviews.

Total Defense auto scanned our tablet and flagged Bullguard as a potential threat, but it didn’t state why. No other ‘detections’ were listed. See also: Group test: what's the best Android antivirus?

Almost immediately after activating the software you’re prompted to activate Total Defense as a device administrator. This allows the app to delete all data, alter password rules and the screen-unlock password. We think it would be far too easy to assume this is simply a part of the general setup and hand over such control without a second thought. 

Unfortunately, Total Defense Mobile Security doesn’t give you any say in the matter, refusing to perform a complete-device scan without this permission in place. 

Instead, we got it to scan on a by-folder basis, for which all are automatically selected. Timings varied wildly but averaged 1 min 45 seconds over three tests. We ensured media-card scanning was selected, but nothing stored on the card showed up in the list of what was being scanned.