We never think about the security of our phones because they are usually packed with pre-installed software that protects our data. Of course, iOS and Android are rarely under the same threat as our PC or Macs are. But they still can be threatened from unlicensed software or compromised App Store programs.
The moment your phone starts to behave strangely or slow down, you should find the solution, even if the iPhone provides the system of back up. We have a lot of options on the market, and we will review some of the most promising apps out there.
Best iPhone Antivirus
- Total AV – Our editor’s choice – Best for security and performance (read our full review)
- Avira – Best for integration with other devices (check out our review)
- Avast – Best for identity and photos protection (read a full review)
- McAfee – Best for tracking and data protection (check the review)
- AVG – Best for secure Internet surfing (check out our review)
- Bitdefender – Best for email protection (read a full product review)
- TrendMicro – Best for browsing and social media security (more info)
- Panda – Huge potential but needs updates (read more about this product)
- Norton – Best against the data leaks (check our review)
- Webroot – Best for secure browsing (read full product review)
TotalAV – Best for Security and Performance
TotalAV is introduced to us more as an assistant. It helps you to clean your iPhone from unwanted files copies, photo duplicates, and screenshots that can overload your device memory. It seems like all that free version can offer you. The paid package will unlock more features, like Secure Internet Banking, Encrypted, and Hidden Online Activities and Multi-Device compatibility.
Still, the feature of managing your photos and keeping up with files seems to be a bit chaotic and not as pleasant as it could be. Its primary goal is to make it fast and easy to get rid of stuff that makes no use, which it does on a fine level. On the other hand, we are quite disappointed that it is all that TotalAV can offer, although it is known for high-level protection. We do not recommend to affect your iPhone ability to update itself with extensive cleaning and system boost.
On the other hand, the paid package seems more like it. It offers safe online banking mode and VPN that encrypts your online activities, which works on a decent level. We would love to see more features in the future because it’s paid package is more relevant for online users. We found that most bugs reported previously was seemingly fixed.
It is compatible with iOS 9.0 or later version and suitable for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. One year subscription will cost you $53.99. We found that most customer complaints were associated with billing problems and customer’s support.
We don't like:
Avira – Best for the Integration with Other Devices
Avira Mobile Security is known for its top-notch levels of security. The latest release has stability, fixed bugs, and added Privacy Manager features. The main app’s features are Web Protection, Identity Safeguard, Location, Yell, Activity Report, and Analyzer. Premium version (via in-app purchase) includes unlimited traffic for Avira Phantom VPN Pro and Premium support.
The Antivirus is compatible with iOS 11.0 system or its later versions. The year subscription will cost you $1.49. Additionally, Avira offers a Password Manager for $2.49/month and Phantom Security VPN & Wi-Fi Proxy for $4.99/month. All payments are easily managed through iTunes Account.
Avira Mobile Security prior goal is to protect you from malicious and phishing websites and emails. It includes a check for any information being leaked, either it is emails or contacts.
You can backup your contacts or import them from one device to another. You can easily connect your phone to other devices through an integrated dashboard. It helps to manage different settings from your computer. The dashboard is also helpful for tracking phone and management of anti-theft tools. You can easily find your phone because Avira shows the location and gives a signal and allows you to lock your phone, in case it was stolen.
Avira manages to provide great additional features for making your iPhone experience even better. On the other hand, you may find access to all of your personal data as a disadvantage. Besides, the enabled GPS location will affect your battery charge. The interface may be perceived as a bit aggressive with the high contrast that may hurt your eyes.
We don't like:
Avast – Best for Identity and Photos Protection
Avast for iOS platform offers extended online protection from malware and malicious websites. Avast Security & Photo Vault provides four areas of security: identity protection, photo vault, WiFi security, and Secure Browsing in Premium version. Premium version also includes VPN feature. The latest version promises to fix bugs and crashes.
Avast is a free AV, which offers a trial, 14 days for the yearly subscription, and 7 days for a monthly one. It can be quickly canceled a day before the trial ends. One year subscription will cost you $19.99 and monthly $4.99. Avast is compatible with iOS 10.0 and latest versions as well as the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices.
Advanced protection offers Secure Browsing and built-in VPN service, based on the same principle of encrypting the data. The feature of photo vault becomes more advanced, and improving Identity Protection feature. Secure Browsing minimizes the display of annoying ads and lowers to zero chances of stealing your passwords or data. At the same time, it disables the download of unwanted apps.
Mostly, Avast checks WiFi connections for any hacker attacks, ensures passwords safety, and photos security through encryption of data. Avast has high rates in malware protection, preventing the most common malware from affecting the phone and data security. However, some customer reviews suggest the app itself is still potentially buggy and sends false alarms. We hope that Avast will continue to improve its product layout.
We don't like:
McAfee – Best for Tracking and Data Protection
Mobile Security & Safe Web VPN by McAfee offers several standard features that ensure your data protection, all within a user-friendly interface. System Security Scan, Secure WiFi Scan, Anti-Theft Protection, Media Vault & Contacts Backup are designed and implemented in the free version of Antivirus. Premium Plus subscription offers Unlimited WiFi Guard VPN, and Premium Standard has Safe Web feature. Also, you can try Premium trial for 7 days, but payment and subscription methods require more close attention.
The latest version includes Ad Tracker Blocking, Online Privacy, and WiFi Security. The app is compatible with iOS 10.0 and later versions. It also uses location, which may affect your battery. Monthly Standard subscription will cost you $2.99, Plus subscription will cost $9.99. Yearly Plus subscription will cost $79.99.
McAfee is yet another titan of web security, and it uses a similar system of encrypting data. McAfee helps you to connect different Apple devices and track down the location of either your phone or other device introduced to the software. It hides your photos and videos in Media Vault and allows you to save new media objects right after they are encrypted. It is automatically backups your data, wipes contacts (if needed) and locks it from intruders.
Additionally, it has a feature of CaptureCam, which identifies the threat and makes a proof screenshot. Notably, it can save battery charge if it is low, and you still have to find the phone. McAfee sticks to its original features and tries to improve what is already there.
The issue with McAfee is bugs and troublesome subscription policy. Both Standard and Plus subscription appears to offer only one additional feature. However, the cost for a yearly subscription would be quite affected by merely one feature. Also, it reflects a high level of false alarms.
We don't like:
AVG – Best for Secure Internet Surfing
AVG Secure VPN & Proxy server protects your Internet experience from identity and information thefts, secures Wi-Fi connections, and manages your IP address (your location). AVG concentrates on the best possible anonymity when you visit websites or use applications that can identify your location.
AVG concerns about the safety of all areas of your phone storage, it can block calls and encrypt photos. It also has a feature of RAM booster and storage cleaner, which we would not recommend to avoid messing up iPhone natural ability to manage it.
The pricing seems to be adequate since monthly payment for one device will cost you $2.99 and yearly subscription $19.99. You can also choose six months plan, which will cost $14.99. You can always cancel subscription a day before it will expire.
We find a bit distracting the product description since it does not provide detailed information about the benefits of a subscription. On the other hand, it has a family sharing option (which reportedly had troubles in the past).
We found the negative and positive feedback ratio quite impressive. Up to 52% of negative feedback described billing issues and lack of communication. People also had complained about problems with customization and VPN integrity. Still, it works well to secure your files and media.
We don't like:
Bitdefender – Best for Email Protection
Bitdefender Mobile Security offers you VPN, Web Protection, Account Privacy, and Anti-theft features. The idea is similar to many others – encrypt and secure the leak of any relevant information. Account Privacy would require verification of your email for further search for any potential breaches. Anti-Theft also enables you to locate and lock your phone through the Bitdefender dashboard remotely.
Bitdefender does not heavily impact your phone performance. It is lightweight and has quite a friendly interface. Also, it helps you correct settings quickly. Bitdefender indeed does not drain your battery, which makes it an attractive deal.
The app also looks for vulnerabilities. Every time you open your email, you can be sure it will be checked for suspicious outside activity. In case of something unusual happening, Bitdefender changes your password and suggests to review it.
You can use Bitdefender for free for 7 or 14 days, depending on the type of subscription you choose. Yearly Premium VPN and Monthly Premium VPN will cost you $39.99 and $6.99. Yearly and Monthly Web Protection is a bit cheaper, $14.99, and $1.49. You also have to create Bitdefender account for using it.
However, it reportedly crashes and has problems with WiFi security. The problem in code makes it uneasy about turning on WiFi protection and VPN settings continually. We believe that these issues were addressed in the latest update, but it seems that still, the app has some malfunctions. We were not able to confirm the problem with the necessity to reinstall it.
We don't like:
TrendMicro – Best for Browsing and Social Media Security
Trend Micro Mobile Security seems to have some features that lack in other applications. For instance, it has a Social Network Privacy feature, which monitors social platforms for any vulnerabilities and data breaches. It also has an anti-theft feature and looks for malware in WiFi connections or any other online activity. The variety of features built-in is rather impressive.
The most interesting feature is parental control that allows you to keep your children away from harmful content. It blocks advertisements and suspicious content. It has a user-friendly interface and system of notifications. TrendMicro does impact your phone performance heavily.
TrendMicro requires iOS 9.09 or later versions, and it is compatible with many previous generations of iPhones. In-App purchases seem to be a bit confusing, but we will concentrate on the two most common options. Monthly subscription will cost $4.99, and yearly $19.99, which is fine as an average in the market. You also can purchase a one–year license, which will cost $18.99. The free version allows you to check your device functionality and secure QR Code Scanner.
It is a big benefit that TrendMicro has some features unavailable in other software, but it does not overdo itself. TrendMicro manages to protect your device as an antivirus and browsing extension on a decent level. On the other hand, it is reported may have malfunctions and system crashes on previous iOS platforms. It also has some issues with support.
We don't like:
Panda – Huge Potential but Needs Updates
While other applications can be downloaded from App Store, Panda suggests visiting their site and buy the product there. The only apps we could find in the App Store are Panda Cloud Drive and Panda Mobile Security, which in both cases looks dead than alive. On the one hand, they are free, with the last update in 2017, on the other hand, they are doing very poorly in customer’s rating. Panda forum has a message from Beta Services that promise soon work on the new version because they are still working on Panda Dome for iOS.
We decided to dismiss the case with the App Store and found some information on the official website. Panda Dome can be installed on your iOS device through the cloud. This method means that your devices will be connected one to another, which is great. However, we still are unsure to whom trust and official support page suggest that installation will happen when redirected to iTunes, which doesn’t make sense.
However, we tried to do the best and see what is there to offer. Panda has some standard features for device protection, VPN, anti-theft, account privacy, and antivirus. As well, Panda Dome will check on WiFi connections and report if there is malware. On the other hand, the paid version of Panda can provide some useful features and services, while the free version would help on basic encryption of data and tracking.
Panda Dome has four packages. The essential package will cost $3.99/month and $30.54/year at first purchase. Then Advanced, $4.99/month and $38.34/year, Complete, $7.99/month and $61.74. The Premium package for one device will be $12.99/month and $100.74/year. The packages are compatible with different platforms, and you get a nice deal.
We don't like:
Norton – Best Against the Data Leaks
Norton Mobile Security offers protection for WiFi connection, browser surf, and overall OS updates. Like we mentioned before, we would stay away from any third party intrusion into device performance because iOS manages to notify you in-time about updates. However, we appreciate the vulnerability scans and ransomware alerts. What is interesting, Norton scans SMS and other files that can contain your personal information.
Norton functions on Symantec’s Security Technology and Response engine, which can predict attacks and other online threats. Norton shields your device from WiFi man-in-the-middle attacks and malicious websites. Reportedly, it has a low impact on device performance and provides a decent level of protection. It has a user-friendly and intuitive interface.
Additionally, you can check standard packages on Norton official website that would include parental supervision and control features. At the moment, Norton Mobile Security is the best for checking vulnerabilities offline and online. We’d emphasize a good result on data protection.
Norton is compatible with iOS 10.0 and later versions. It gives you a 30-days trial before offering Yearly Plan subscription, which will cost you $14.99. The renewal of subscription will cost $29.99. The latest software update was on July 26, 2019, which includes new security detection and UI improvements.
We don't like:
Webroot – Best for Secure Browsing
Webroot SecureWeb Browser is a free app that will search for threats and protect you from malicious websites and phishing attacks. It has real-time protection scan and enables you to search safely in most popular search engines. Also, Webroot secures your passwords and helps you to avoid websites data leaks.
Webroot has a quite pleasing interface, with all needed features at home page. You can scan for any potential viruses and threats and set trusted sites. As well, you can manually set the level of protection (normal is recommended).
The latest version promises to fix some bugs and performance defects. However, we note that the customer’s rating is far from high. Webroot has a separate application for Wi-Fi protection and backup & sync. We consider this a small misfire since other apps manage to integrate these essential features in one.
Webroot offers Internet Security package for three devices, will cost $44.99/year with subsequent renewal for $59.99. It also has an Internet Security Complete package that will be good for your five devices for $59.99/year, and your following subscription will cost $79.99/year.
We don't like:
Free vs Paid Antivirus for iPhone
There is a small trick with free packages for iPhone (or rather the phrasing that makes it a trick). Usually, they are trials, and you have to be quite careful before accepting the offer. On the other hand, without your permission, payment will be impossible. We reviewed several completely free apps, and they decently managed to do their work. Still, the features array was quite limited (we think that Panda indeed needs an update).
Paid antivirus may not be an option if you have a small budget, but a monthly payment option available in most programs can be a fair deal. Usually, developers provide packages that allow you to simultaneously protect several devices and integrate them into one command dashboard, easy to manage and connect them.
Of course, it aims instead on getting the customer’s attention for one brand products. As well, it increases the chance that if you have one brand software, you will quickly become savvy in it. The pricing of most of the discussed antiviruses allows you to choose the best option for your device. It is also possible to try a free antiviruses, but they hardly would provide a wide range of the instrument to work with.
Do iOS Users Need an Antivirus?
The complaints about antiviruses not doing anything for their iPhone protection can come from the notion that iOS automatically can disable Antivirus. It already has a built-in system of tracking threats and attacks, and in some cases, it will kick out the unwanted “help.” It is best seen when users have problems with scans and have to reinstall the software. Arguably, every feature can undergo critique, and the case would be dismissed.
On the other hand, all critique aside, sometimes advanced protection is a must. We are talking about cases when hackers root new codes when and where you don’t expect them to be. Unfortunately, we cannot say one hundred percent if iOS is good to go by itself and doesn’t need additional assistance. Sometimes it takes to tame one’s pride and accept a helping hand.
The vast majority of threats come from web browsing, Wi-Fi connections, and emails. At the same time, considering how rapidly the threats are adapting to security shields and how vulnerable can be older generations of our devices, we should adapt as well. We wouldn’t say that it is a must, but it may be a good back-up if you are not sure you can trust some downloaded browsers and other software.
How to Choose the Best Antivirus for iPhone
The threats that can come into your device are the ones that you can catch on unsafe websites or WiFi connection. We advise implementing AVs into browsers other than Safari, which has integrated security extension. We also pay attention to such feature anti-theft. It is always a good idea for ensuring that in case you lose your phone, your data will be protected. Parental control feature is perfect if you are a parent, and you don’t want your kids to see unwanted content.
Usually, the full set of helpful features comes with paid packages, and we suggest to purchase it on official websites and then add the device to control panel. You also can always ask for help or see other’s experience feedback with the software.
However, we strongly recommend you to avoid any additional intrusion into the iOS updates system or using any other alternating features. iOS manages to do a great job with updates and improvements on its own. We hardly believe that third-party software can somehow improve it, and we won’t experiment with a perfectly fine system. We also don’t advise to run different applications that can shut each other down.
How We Test
Unfortunately, respectable testing companies didn’t provide any efficient tests available on the iOS platform. We hope that in the future, more attention will be paid to iOS platforms since its popularity grows steadily.
Mostly, we had to do runs ourselves and rely on real cases with customer’s reviews. We found out that most of the AVs apps are running correctly when updated and fixed for latest iOS 12.4 version. We didn’t find any major problems with scans or performance.
On the other hand, some cleaning and managing features were rather assisting instruments. It enables us to spend less time on managing the storage space and deciding what files are irrelevant for us. At some extent, we can even assume that most antiviruses rely on the idea of finding already existing malicious codes in the system. Presumably, the ones that could skip past the built-in security system.
How to Know Your iPhone Needs an Antivirus: Video Guide
We would give TotalAV a try since it is a helpful assistant for managing photos and paid package is working well. TotalAV shows that it is able to become better and more sophisticated in questions of Internet security. We believe that some issues can be easily fixed, while all essential features are already there. We are always investigating the newest releases and news on the products and try to make the best conclusions.
We also always encourage our readers to make an informed decision after reading our suggestions. Every program has its strongest and weakest moments while trying to deliver the best they can. Of course, there is always room for improvement for any AV, and we believe that developers are keeping up with the latest reviews and making notes.
We are always waiting for your feedback and comments. We value the possibility to become even better at our job.