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Best antivirus apps for iPhone & iPad

If you own an iPhone or iPad, you might know that iOS is one of the most secure mainstream operating systems on the market, rivaled only by Linux. Despite this, viruses and malware for iOS do exist. Fortunately, so do antivirus apps!

In this article, you’ll find the very best antivirus for iPhone and iPad. Keep in mind that these apps aren’t just virus scanners. They offer lots of useful features that will help you stay safe online, from public wifi protection to integrated VPNs.

Best iPhone antivirus apps:

  1. Bitdefender Antivirus - the best antivirus for iPhone
  2. Norton 360 - all-around iPhone virus protection
  3. TotalAV - real-time protection and VPN
  4. McAfee - best protection against malware
  5. Avira Antivirus - a feature-packed lightweight solution

📢 LIMITED OFFER: Get all Bitdefender plans at 60% OFF

Best antiviruses for iPhone - our detailed list:

If you’ve finally decided to get an antivirus tool for your iPhone but are having a hard time choosing the right one, check the list below. It includes short reviews of each application, telling you how it will benefit your iOS device.

1. Bitdefender - great cybersecurity package for Apple

Bitdefender for iOS
Free version:Yes
Dedicated iPhone app:Yes
VPN included:Yes
Current deal:Get all Bitdefender plans at 60% OFF

If you’re looking for an excellent antimalware solution for your iPhone, Bitdefender can be your #1 solution. To put it simply, it’s not just a good antivirus tool with stellar virus detection rates. It’s also a well-rounded security suite that will please users of all kinds of devices, including iOS.

So, how does Bitdefender cater to Apple fans? By including lots of useful features, of course.

For example, their iOS app scans network connections and blocks anything suspicious. In addition, it also includes a VPN with a limit of 200 MB a day. While not much, this means you won’t need to subscribe to a separate VPN service if you only need a VPN for browsing.

But that’s not all. Bitdefender iOS also allows you to scan your email address for potential breaches, letting you know your security status online.

Finally, thanks to the Bitdefender Central platform, you can view the status of all the other devices under the same Bitdefender account. Here, you can change the parental control settings, too.

In case you’re still unsure about getting Bitdefender, I’ll tell you this: it’s the only antivirus solution that won the AV-Comparatives’ Product of the Year award four times in total. This fact alone is a hint that Bitdefender has a lot to offer.

2. Norton 360 - the best antivirus for iPhone

Free version:No
Dedicated iPhone app:Yes
VPN included:Yes
Current deal:🔥 Get 50% OFF Norton Antivirus! 🔥

Norton is one of the big shots in the antivirus software industry, boasting more than 20 million users throughout the world. And it comes as no surprise. After all, it’s a damn good antimalware tool, saving countless devices from viruses every single day.

But what does it offer for iPhone and iPad users specifically? Let’s find out.

So, the Norton 360 antivirus app for iOS does lots of pretty useful stuff. For example, it filters spam text messages that may contain phishing attempts. The app also warns you against unsecured wifi networks and patches various device vulnerabilities.

In addition, the Web Protection feature will prevent you from visiting infected websites. Another great feature that will enhance your online security is called Dark Web Monitoring. It will let you know whether any of your personal info has been leaked.

What’s more, the Norton antivirus app for iPhone and iPad lets you use a VPN (unfortunately, this feature is unavailable in some countries).

3. TotalAV - real-time protection and VPN

TotalAV antimalware
Free version:Yes
Dedicated iPhone app:Yes
VPN included:Yes
Current deal:🔥 Get TotalAV, now 80% OFF! 🔥

As one of the best antivirus choices for iPhone and iPad, TotalAV disappoints neither in the security nor the feature department.

Even their free version isn't entirely useless. It has a data breach checker, a device locator, a photo manager, and a battery monitor - all of this for a price of $0.00.

However, the paid version is what most will be looking for - the paid iOS app includes two extra features. These are called WebShield and Private Connection VPN. The former protects your iOS device real-time while the latter functions as a full-blown VPN tool.

The real-time protection feature, in particular, is what makes it worth it to pay for the full subscription. Especially if you have devices other than your iPhone and iPad.

TotalAV boasts excellent virus detection rates and will surely prevent any threats from entering your phone or computer. Keeping in mind the current dangers of the internet, it’s a great investment.

4. McAfee - best antivirus protection

McAfee banner
Free version:Yes
Dedicated iPhone app:Yes
VPN included:Yes
Current deal:Get McAfee, save up to 72%!

If you want an all-round antivirus app for iPhone and iPad, look no further than McAfee. It won’t fail to keep any of your devices safe while also offering some of the coolest security features.

So, how does the iOS version of McAfee stand out from the crowd? Firstly, it will stop any online threats from entering your system thanks to the real-time protection feature. Next, it will perform regular system security scans to detect wifi attacks and outdated software.

Also, McAfee iOS lets you locate a lost or stolen device by using a GPS tracker or activating a remote alarm. Aside from that, the app’s Media Vault feature will protect your personal photos and videos with a PIN code. The application will also backup your contact information automatically.

The Premium Plus version of McAfee also offers an unlimited VPN that will let you browse the web safely even when using public wifi.

There’s also a 7-day free trial for the Premium version that you can download to your iPhone or iPad. Even though you need to enter your credit card details to get it, you can cancel it anytime without paying.

5. Avira - a good lightweight solution

Avira antivirus
Free version:Yes
Dedicated iPhone app:Yes
VPN included:Yes
Current deal:Get 1 year of Avira at 40% OFF!

Avira is a great lightweight all-rounder tool. Aside from being a good antivirus solution for Windows, Mac, and Android, Avira also offers a great application for iOS devices.

Just like the iOS antivirus apps described above, Avira has an integrated VPN (100 MB a day) that comes together with the antimalware software. It also has a few features that iPhone users might really appreciate.

My favorite feature is the one that prevents Siri from logging your Siri commands onto Apple’s servers. The Avira app can also secure your connection when you’re using public wifi, as well as detect other smart devices using your home network.

In addition, the application will update your software regularly, create a backup of your files, and help you recover your lost or stolen iOS device.

Of course, let’s not forget that Avira is a good antivirus and antimalware tool in general. And as a single Avira account can be used on multiple devices, you can easily protect all the phones and computers you own.

How we tested and selected these antiviruses

It’s a shame that most iOS antivirus applications are just worse versions of their Windows counterparts. Most of them are stripped down of features and functionality. Some antivirus apps for iOS don’t even offer real-time protection, which is the entire point of antivirus software.

To select only the best antivirus for iPhone and iPad, we eliminated all the ones that lack real-time protection against viruses and malware. Then, we hand-picked the apps that offer the most features for iOS users.

However, features are only a part of what makes an antivirus tool good. We downloaded every single app that showed at least a bit of potential and tested them to see how smoothly they function.

After ditching the apps that aren’t user-friendly and glitch-free, we did some research on the malware detection rates of the applications that were left. In particular, we looked at tests by AV-Comparatives.

At the end, we were left with only a few antivirus apps for iOS.

How to choose the best antivirus app for iPhone?

If, after reading this list, you still can’t decide which antivirus tool to download to your iPhone, you can consider a few things that will help you decide.

Let’s begin with the price. Are you ready to pay for an antivirus tool, or is a free version enough for you? Keep in mind that free antimalware apps usually don’t offer real-time protection. So, you’ll have to trust Apple’s built-in security features for that.

Then, you should take a look at the features. Consider whether you need functions like file backup, a data breach checker, a device locator, a VPN, etc.

There's one more thing. As a single subscription to an antivirus tool usually covers multiple devices, you might want to think about protecting your devices that run on operating systems other than iOS.

Luckily, all the software on this list offers great apps for Windows, Android, and macOS. I’d recommend reading the full review of the tool that catches your eye for a greater insight of the software’s functionality.

How do I install an antivirus on my iOS?

Even if you’ve never done this before, installing an antivirus application on your iPhone or iPad is super easy. Just follow these steps and you’ll be using your antimalware application in no time:

  1. Open the App Store and search for the application you want
  2. Download the application onto your iOS device and open it
  3. You may be asked to accept the app’s license agreement and privacy notice
  4. Sign into your existing account or create a new one
  5. Follow the application instructions and finish setting up the app

Do I need a security app for my iPhone?

Yes, an antivirus on iPhone can be necessary, albeit less so than on operating systems like Windows or Android.

If you try googling “Does iPhone need antivirus software”, you’ll get lots and lots of mixed results. Some websites insist that iOS devices don’t ever need an antivirus tool and you’ll be wasting your time getting one, while others try to scare you into downloading one immediately.

The truth is, your iPhone can get a virus, but the chances are slim. The reason behind such security is the fact that iOS sandboxes all the downloaded applications, limiting their access to your system. This makes downloading apps to your iPhone a much safer pastime than doing the same on your Android.

However, a virus has a much bigger chance of infecting your iPhone or iPad if you have “jailbroken” your device, i.e. removed the software restrictions imposed by Apple. You might have done so to download an app or extension not approved by the App Store.

Another way of accidentally infecting your iOS device is visiting malware-infested pages. Even using the Safari search engine doesn’t guarantee 100% security. That’s because certain vulnerabilities might allow malware to escape the sandbox.

All in all, even though it’s extremely rare, your iPhone might actually get a virus if you let your guard down.

Is there a free antivirus for iPhone?

Yes - in fact, most of the antivirus tools for iPhone mentioned on this list have functional free versions. These include:

  • Bitdefender
  • Avira
  • TotalAV
  • McAfee

However, don’t forget that real-time protection usually comes with the paid versions of any antivirus apps, so you’ll need to invest a bit if you want to prevent threats from entering your device.

Video review: best antivirus for iPhone

Best antivirus for iPhone video review


As you might have already guessed, finding a good antivirus for iPhone isn’t all about high virus detection rates. Since, for the most part, Apple has the more traditional malware threats nailed down on iOS, antivirus providers are looking for other ways to offer value to customers. You have to take lots of things into account, especially when it comes to extra features and the tool’s compatibility with other operating systems.

And even if you only have an iPhone or an iPad, you shouldn’t overlook getting a safe antimalware tool. Remember - one virus is all it takes. Don’t let this risk ruin your day - or your life.


More Anti-Virus guides from CyberNews:

Best antivirus for Chromebook: protect your Google Chromebook laptop or tablet from any type of cyber threat
Bitdefender review: the undefeated champion against malware
Best free antiviruses: don't spend a dime and get the best tools for the job

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