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Best antivirus apps for iPhone & iPad in 2024

Best antivirus for iPhone & iPad

Apple products are indeed less likely to fall victim to cyber threats compared to their PC counterparts. According to Apple, the company implements in-built iOS security features, which should be enough. While this is the case with more primitive online dangers, your iPhone still has vulnerability points that hackers and other third parties are eager to take advantage of as soon as they get the chance.

Modern antivirus apps for iPhones aren’t just virus scanners. They’re so much more; malware protectors, and vigilant stalwarts against phishing, ransomware, spyware, malvertising, and identity theft. The best ones come bundled with hefty extras like a password manager, VPN, cloud storage, or parental controls. The former is prevalent among those who want to create a safe environment for their little ones.

After rigorous testing and examination, we picked 6 candidates to guarantee a well-rounded security. However, only the Top 3 have made it to the best antivirus for iPhone title. In this article, we will run you through what makes each recommendation the best antivirus app for iPhone, which brands aren’t worth it, and the intricacies of choosing one. Here is our list of the best antivirus for iPhone and iPad apps:

Best antivirus for iPhone: shortlist

  1. Best antivirus for iPhone with robust real-time security
    9.6
  2. Reliable & feature-rich antivirus app for iPhone
    9.4
  3. Advanced iPhone antivirus with superb malware removal
    9.1
  4. Capable security tool for detecting and removing threats
    8.9
  5. Malware removal for multiple emails and devices
    8.4
  6. Effective threat removal for iOS devices
    8.2

How to choose the best antivirus software for iPhone?

Navigating the antivirus space can be time-consuming, especially when you’re unfamiliar with this product or the cybersecurity field in general. Most users aren’t, and that’s fine. The confusion is precisely why those interested in investing in an antivirus app end up shying away from it.

TotalAV on Apple Store

Luckily, there are a few tricks and key points that you need to consider when choosing the best antivirus for iPhones.

  • Independent lab tests. Websites like AV-Test, SE Labs, and AV-Comparatives are verified labs that independently audit antivirus software on a regular basis. Due to frequent testing, you get a full and adequate picture of the functionality of each antivirus, from their ability to detect malware to the percentage of false positives.
  • Malware protection rate. This rate defines just how well an antivirus app for iPhones manages malware and other threats. A capable software must utilize real-time protection that detects all threats and suspicious activity to remove or halt it before harm comes to your iPhone or iPad.
  • Feature package. To be the very best antivirus for iPhone & iPad, software should be equipped with well-developed features that add to the security or optimize your online experience in other ways. For instance, a sturdy VPN, password manager, Dark Web monitoring, cloud storage, or parental controls are the most sought-after tools.
  • Device coverage. Typically, folks prefer an antivirus that offers a greater number of devices covered. Of course, that depends on different antivirus tiers and their prices, so following that logic, a good antivirus app for iOS devices should offer plan flexibility that expands their options vastly.
  • Impact on battery life. If an antivirus app drains battery life like there’s no tomorrow, it’s just not an option. What use of that comprehensive security if you have to keep your iPhone on the line practically all the time? So, we advise you to ensure that antivirus software is lightweight on mobile devices (or, better yet, on all supported devices).
  • User reviews. Pair up independent lab results with the collective voice of users who tested the antivirus first-hand, and you have the most complete view of the situation. Reddit, TrustPilot, Lemmy, Apple App Store, and other websites of similar nature house enough user reviews. They usually detail ease of use, functionality, whether it’s worth it, bugs, errors, and similar information that you wouldn’t find elsewhere.

Best antivirus apps for iPhone: overview

  1. TotalAV – ultimate antivirus for iPhone & iPad with instant malware removal
  2. Norton – capable & feature-loaded antivirus app for iPhone
  3. Bitdefender – beginner-friendly & accomplished antivirus solution for iOS devices

We compiled a list of the Top 3 best antivirus for iPhones and iPads with the highest-rate malware protection, iOS compatibility, and feature versatility. Of course, our assessment consisted of more criteria: frequent updates, number of false positives, resource consumption, user reviews, and pricing, among others. In brief, we picked out the best software that’s effective, super easy to use even for beginners, and offers the best money-and-value ratio.

1. TotalAV – the best antivirus for iPhone with near-perfect malware protection

Support
Support:
24/7 live chat
Minimal price
Minimal price:
$29.00/year
  • Device locator
  • Minimal mobile resource usage
  • Breach Scan feature
  • No firewall

TotalAV is the best antivirus for iPhone because it’s a potent protector against threats and has the cleanest iOS app. We especially loved the battery monitor tool, which confirmed that TotalAV is light on iPhones and iPads. Plus, the layout of all features is simply beautiful and easy to navigate. As for protection, our TotalAV analysis and results from independent labs confirm a whopping 98% success rate at detecting and removing malware.

During our tests, TotalAV pleased us by effectively safeguarding against public web-based threats, exploit-based attacks, ransomware, and phishing attempts. Software is keen on identifying app or OS vulnerability points when behind updates. Also, largely thanks to the ad blocker, the antivirus swiped malvertising campaigns off instantly. The app did an outstanding job classifying legitimate applications and websites, so we encountered virtually zero false positives.

TotalAV gains all the kudos for a rich feature suite on iOS since Apple’s restrictions leave this Android competitor with fewer tools typically. We can start off with Smart Scan, which checks if the passcode and TouchID are active. It also indicates whether WebShield is enabled and the OS is updated. Speaking of which, WebShield creates a safer online space by blocking malicious sites and trackers. The premium plan also has a streaming-friendly VPN with no data caps.

TotalAV can easily make it to the top of the best free antivirus for iPhone, though the freebie is rather lacking. We recommend opting for one of its premium plans to enjoy comprehensive protection and nifty extras. The starting price is $19.00/year, which grants you the TotalAV Antivirus Pro tier. Of course, curious cats are welcome to test the premium service commitment free during the 7-day free trial & 30-day money-back period.

2. Norton – all around protection for iPhone & iPad devices

Support
Support:
24/7 live chat
Minimal price
Minimal price:
$19.99/year
  • Integrated security-oriented VPN
  • Spam filter
  • Outstanding malware protection
  • No free version

Norton is an excellent antivirus app for iPhone since you get unparalleled malware detection with a 100% success rate and the best phishing protection. We felt that any iOS device remains safe and reaches its potential better in the hands of Norton. You get a plethora of features that optimize your system’s security, browsing experience, help you monitor your data, and all that without draining your iPhone battery life too much.

Though the app could do well with a more detailed design, its minimalistic approach is visually pleasing. However, we found having to download a separate app for some extra features to be clunky. Speaking of features, any Norton 360 plan grants you an SMS filter, secure calendar, VPN with unlimited data, Safe Web, Wi-Fi security, Password manager, and parental control. That’s not even the whole list, in fact. We especially loved Identity Theft monitoring, which scans for stolen bank, insurance details, and other data.

A couple of weeks of evaluating Norton AV showed that it excels at protecting any iOS device (older and newer models). The scans did drain the battery somewhat significantly, but they found our malware-injected files. We were also pleased with the phishing protection, not missing a single suspicious email. It did cause false alerts over a couple of legitimate third-party apps, but it happened only twice. Overall, Norton proves to be worth its salt with its robust security.

The basic plan – Norton Antivirus Plus – costs $19.99/year, a pretty standard price. However, it lacks Secure VPN, parental control, and Dark Web monitoring. You can choose from several other Norton 360 tiers that appeal to your needs. Ultimately, you can always utilize the 30-day free trial and 60-day money-back guarantee to test the service’s promises.

3. Bitdefender – user-friendly iOS antivirus with solid web protection

Support
Support:
email, knowledge base
Minimal price
Minimal price:
$29.99/year
  • Reliable malware detection & removal
  • In-built VPN (200 MB/day)
  • Dynamic firewall
  • Full VPN access costs extra

Bitdefender is a best-in-class antivirus for iPhones thanks to its sweeping protection suite, brimming with features and solid mobile support. Based on data from AV-Test, AV-Comparatives, and our Bitdefender review, the malware protection rate doesn’t fall below 98%. The AV prides itself on the firewall, whose elaborate settings allow users to toggle with their options for individualized protection.

Thorough testing confirmed that Bitdefender deserves its seat among the best antivirus for iPhone. We had only one false positive alert while tinkering with apps and websites. As for protection, it did alright against phishing and spyware, but it really shined through in detecting viruses and stopping public web-based attacks. On top of that, you get several types of scans. On the other hand, we must note that grander scale scans drained iPhone battery quite a bit, though less on newer models.

Commonly, iOS receives fewer features than Android users, but Bitdefender only provides Web protection, Data Breach monitoring, parental control, and a VPN with one of its premium plans. However, we found that these tools suffice in securing top-class protection against online and offline threats. On the bright side, the Bitdefender Central platform conveniently allows you to tinker with parental control settings on all devices involved.

The superb antivirus app for iPhone can be yours – the price starts at $19.99/year. Naturally, Bitdefender offers supreme flexibility with 6 premium tiers for every need and budget concern. As for the cautious kind, you’re able to test the service without commitment thanks to the 30-day free trial and 30-day money-back guarantee. There’s a free version, too.

Best antivirus for iPhone comparison

ProviderTotalAVNortonBitdefender
Starting pricefrom $19.00/yearfrom $19.99/yearfrom $19.99/year
Free version✅Yes❌No✅Yes
Money-back guarantee30 days60 days30 days
iOS compatibility✅Yes✅Yes✅Yes
Firewall❌No✅Yes✅Yes
Malware protection rate98%100%98%
Compatible with other devices✅Yes: Windows, macOS, Android✅Yes: Windows, macOS, Android✅Yes: Windows, macOS, Android
Number of devicesUp to 6Up to 5Up to 10
Extra features on iOSPhoto manager, Data Breach check, Device Locator, WebShield, Safe Browsing VPN, Secure Search Browser, System security, parental controlWi-Fi network monitor, Safe Web & Safe Search, Secure VPN, Secure calendar, Device security, Web protection, Parental control, Password manager, SMS spam filterWeb protection, Parental control, VPN, Data Breach monitoring

How we selected and tested iOS antivirus software

Our testing period took 2 weeks in total. We tried out the different antivirus software on the iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone SE 2, and iPhone 14 Pro to see the impact each app has on older and newer models and whether there’s any difference. Some brands performed awfully on iOS devices despite their promises. In contrast, others were a pleasure to use and demonstrated high-quality security.

These are the major criteria we tested and watched out for to assess the best antivirus for iPhone accordingly:

  • Malware detection rate. We’re all here for that top-notch protection for our iPhone & iPad, so primarily focus on how effectively each app deals with malware detection and removal. The best 3 providers cut it to the top because their success rate varied between 98% and 100%.
  • Frequent updates. Cybercriminals, worthy of their caliber, work hard at improving their campaigns to harvest your data or harm your device. Thus, an antivirus app must be updated regularly to keep up with the advancements and counter them effectively. Our picks were updated once or twice in the span of two weeks, which already indicates proper care from devs.
  • Independent tests. Though we were testing the antivirus on iOS plenty, we also relied on evaluation from independent websites like AV-Comparatives and SE Labs. They have been assessing software regularly every month or quarter for years, giving a broader view of functionality fluctuations.
  • Additional features. Of course, you want hefty extras apart from standard security measures like malware scans or real-time protection. Therefore, we paid attention to whether each antivirus app for iPhone offers sought-after tools like parental control, data breach protection, web protection, VPN with modern tunneling protocols, device locator, SMS filter, and more.
  • iOS resource consumption. A superb antivirus software with unbeatable protection is dandy and all, but not worth it in the end if your battery life is cut in half. It’s usually enabled real-time protection and system-scale malware scans that drain mobile batteries most, so we ensured that our recommendations are lightweight.
  • Tier flexibility & pricing. While free versions are appealing, you’d do better to opt for premium counterparts. A proper antivirus solution covers user needs by offering no less than 3 plans with different device coverage, access to extras, and pricing. Also, the value-and-cost ratio didn’t slip our eyes either.

TotalAV withstood our tests repeatedly to emerge as the best antivirus for iPhone. Its app was the most lightweight on the system and battery. At the same time, the interface was super easy to navigate, so every Average Joe will manage just fine. The antivirus braved nearly perfectly against web-based, exploit-based attacks, phishing, spyware, ransomware, and malvertising threats. All in all, TotalAV ticks all the checkboxes.

Optimize your iOS with a five-star antivirus

TotalAV is the perfect solution for complementing Apple’s protective measures. One of the best in the industry, the antivirus for iPhone protects you from ransomware, spyware, malvertising, and other cyber threats. On top of that, your iOS device functionality is enriched by TotalAV’s hefty extras like SMS filter, device locator, VPN, and password manager without compromising battery life!

9.7 /10
Most lightweight on iOS
Near-perfect malware protection
Hefty extra features

Why didn’t we recommend Avast antivirus?

Avast is a decent solution in the market that further bolsters security on iOS devices. However, it didn’t make it to the top of the list. It’s because the company has been previously accused of secret user data harvesting and selling to third parties. This caused quite an uproar back in 2020, after which the trust in privacy measures of Avast hasn’t been eager to return.

Besides, we found Avast to be pricey and complicated when it comes to installation processes. Even if you buy Avast Premium Security within your iPhone app, you must install the free Mobile Security app first. The extra steps in the setup might fend off quite a number of users and confuse even more of them. Additionally, you need to activate the auto-renew feature for Stay Safe Virus Guarantee to get a refund should you change your mind about the app, which also seemed unnecessarily tedious.

Why didn’t we recommend Webroot antivirus?

Webroot is a relatively popular antivirus. However, it leaves most users dissatisfied with the protection quality of software, regardless of device. For starters, this antivirus isn’t compatible with many independent lab tests. It’s already looking bad. But, the main issue is that Webroot’s virus and malware detection are lacking. Often, they fail to detect and halt malicious sites and more intricate kinds of malware.

Why do I need an antivirus for iPhone?

You need an antivirus for iPhones to fill in the cracks Apple’s security measures left. Though the company does a good job (we definitely can’t argue on that) with implementing safety measures, they’re simply not enough. Apple doesn’t specialize in cybersecurity like companies that build full-scale antivirus programs. In fact, in-built iPhone protection only safeguards against viruses. But what about phishing or ransomware?

Another reason you should get an antivirus for the iPhone is if yours has been jailbroken. In such cases, your iOS device has fewer Apple restrictions or protective measures, making it several times more vulnerable to viruses and other threats.

Here are the primary reasons why you need an antivirus:

  • Preventing data breaches. Data breaches occur silently, unbeknownst to us. An antivirus, fortunately, scans the web (some dark web, too) in search of your leaked data. That way, you can take action against identity theft or stolen information by encrypting your data and actively searching for leaks with antivirus software.
  • Enhancing online privacy. The web is loaded with snoopers who want nothing more than to peek into sensitive user information. That includes your online behavior, bank details, account credentials, and more. At the end of the day, we also just want to retain the sense of privacy apart from the practical side of it.
  • Halting ransomware & other threats. The chances of catching a virus on an iPhone are slim, there’s plenty of other kinds of malware to deal with. Be it ransomware, spyware, malvertising, or phishing – even Apple users can fall prey to it. So, having added a layer of security against these is definitely a welcome upgrade.

Bolster iOS security with TotalAV

How do I install an antivirus app on my iPhone?

Installing an antivirus on iOS is a piece of cake if you opt for a high-tier solution with a well-developed iPhone app. Here are the instructions:

  1. Head to the Apple App store and download the chosen antivirus. Our #1 pick is TotalAV, with the all-encompassing security
    TotalAV antivirus on Apple App Store
  2. Download & install the app on your iOS device
  3. Log into your account or create a new one in the app
    Installing TotalAV antivirus on iOS
  4. Pick one of the available premium plans (unless you’re opting for a free version)
  5. Follow the instructions to setup the settings and preferences
  6. Now you can run your first malware scan!

Get the best antivirus for iPhone

Should I use a free antivirus for iPhone?

You can use a free antivirus for iPhones if it’s developed by a reputable brand. However, if free software from a less reputable company whose security and functionality haven’t been tested or audited, we advise dodging those. Meanwhile, the free version of paid options may come with just basic security and no extras, so it might not contribute much to overall iOS protection. It’s only a viable option for those with a tight budget. But here are the providers that offer the best free antivirus for iPhone:

  • TotalAV. Allows you to verify if your personal information has been compromised, find your iPhone with device locator, manage your photos, and even monitor your battery.
  • Bitdefender. You can perform device scans on your iOS for updates and assess Wi-Fi security. In addition, the free version includes a VPN and a data leak scanner.
  • Avira. Conducts scans against threats, monitors privacy and performance. Moreover, it facilitates the anti-theft measures and offers an iOS updater, contacts backup, call blocker, VPN, and privacy management features.

Instead, if you want to save for a rainy day, you can play it smart: opt for a free trial of premium plans and take advantage of their money-back periods. Albeit for a limited time, this grants you full access to top-class protection and extras that make an antivirus good and worthy of investment.

Bottom line

Catching a virus on an iOS device may be an unlikely scenario in the books of Apple, but chances are never zero. Moreover, iPhone users are still susceptible to data breaches and malware: ransomware, malvertising, spyware, or phishing. And what about good old privacy while browsing online? A stand-alone antivirus app for iPhone adds a potent layer of protection and enhances your overall digital presence with hefty extras.

TotalAV is the best antivirus for iPhone because it pairs comprehensive security of the highest caliber with full-fledged features. Besides, the antivirus software delivers excellent value to customers, and the app uses minimal resources. It’s the most intuitive and wins the interface games without breaking a sweat. If you want to reinforce your iOS security, then TotalAV is your guy.

What do you think is the best antivirus for iPhones? Let us know in the comments!


You may also like to read:
TotalAV antivirus review
Norton antivirus review
Bitdefender antivirus review
TotalAV Safe Browsing VPN review
Norton Secure VPN review
Microsoft Windows Defender review


FAQ

Do I really need an antivirus for my iPhone?

Yes. Though an antivirus is not essential for iPhones, it can fill in the cracks when it comes to cybersecurity. Sure, an iOS device is less likely to catch a virus, but there are other malware threats: ransomware, phishing, malvertising, and data breaches. Software like TotalAV helps protect against them.

Does iOS have a built-in antivirus?

Yes, iOS devices do have in-built antimalware measures, but no antivirus or virus scanner as a separate app. These measures minimize online access to your information. Also, you can adjust what information is shared and where you share it.

Will an antivirus drain my iPhone's battery?

An antivirus app for iPhone will drain the battery a bit during full system scans, but not much. Otherwise, a good antivirus like TotalAV or Norton, won’t drain the battery to a point where it becomes a problem. In fact, it’s usually a virus or malware that drains mobile batteries and increases heat.

What’s the best free antivirus for my iPhone?

TotalAV offers the best free antivirus for iPhones. While it does offer basic security, its functionality is limited compared to premium plans. If you want an all-encompassing antivirus software, then even the cheapest TotalAV Antivirus Pro tier is a solid choice for iOS devices.

Can iPhones get viruses from websites?

Yes, an iPhone can get viruses from websites. Though iOS is a safer operating system than Android, iPhone users can still get viruses while browsing the web. Especially if they connect to public Wi-Fi hotspots. Luckily, a full-fledged antivirus for iPhone, like TotalAV, can prevent such cases.

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