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5 Best iOS Antivirus Apps [2022]: Secure All iPhones & iPads

Ben Martens Ben Martens
Updated on: October 1, 2022
5 Best iOS Antivirus Apps [2022]: Secure All iPhones & iPads

Short on time? Here’s the best iOS antivirus for 2022:

  • 🥇 Norton: Offers excellent web security protections, Wi-Fi network scanning, dark web monitoring, a VPN, scam SMS message filtering, and more.

Apple’s iOS doesn’t allow security apps to perform “virus scans”, so iPhones and iPads don’t need traditional malware protection. But this doesn’t mean iOS devices are immune to threats!

While Apple’s iOS is designed to be very secure — each iOS app is executed in its own “sandbox”, preventing the app from doing major system damage — iOS devices are still vulnerable to network attacks, phishing links, apps with unauthorized access to data, fake websites, adware, phone theft, and more.

I tested the top antivirus and internet security apps on the App Store, and only some are able to protect your device against all of the above threats. However, my top choices can protect against those threats — and much more.

Quick summary of the best iOS antivirus apps for 2022:

🥇1. Norton Mobile Security — Best iOS Security App in 2022

🥇1. Norton Mobile Security — Best iOS Security App in 2022

Norton Mobile Security is an intuitive security app for iOS devices that has all of the essentials for keeping your device safe online, including:

  • Web protection — Detects malicious and phishing sites in browsers, apps, text messages, and emails.
  • Dark web monitoring — Continuously scans the dark web for leaked or stolen person details, including breached online accounts.
  • VPN (virtual private network) — Encrypts your browsing traffic and hides your IP address location.
  • Scam SMS message filtering — Protects against malicious SMS text messages.
  • Wi-Fi scanner — Alerts you when you connect to an unsecure Wi-Fi network.
  • Device security — Notifies you when your operating system is out of date and needs to be updated.
  • And more…

I really like Norton’s web protection — during my tests, it caught several newer phishing sites that both Safari and other iPhone antiviruses failed to detect. Norton’s Secure Calendar feature also offers protection against suspicious iOS calendar invites, which could contain links to phishing links or links to other malicious websites.

Norton’s dark web monitoring tools are some of the best on the market — using its LifeLock technologies, Norton can continuously scan the dark web for your personal information, including your email address, bank account details, real address, gamer tag, driving license, insurance documents, and even your mother’s maiden name (commonly used as a form of identity verification).

Norton Mobile Security is a good choice for users looking for a simple-to-use, install-and-forget iOS security app that they can use on one iOS device.

However, users with multiple devices (including PCs, Macs, and Androids) and users looking for additional protections should check out Norton 360 Deluxe ($49.99 / year) that adds coverage for up to 5 devices, excellent parental controls, and a password manager.

Bottom Line:

Norton offers an excellent security app for iOS users — it offers web protection, dark web monitoring, scam SMS message filtering, a VPN, a WI-Fi monitor, and more. Norton also offers excellent parental controls and a secure password manager for iOS users (but they come as separate apps). Norton Mobile Security only covers one iPhone or iPad, but all of these features are also included with Norton 360 Deluxe, which also adds coverage for up to 5 devices across all operating systems and a risk-free 60-day money-back guarantee.

Try Norton for iOS

Read the full Norton review here >

🥈2. McAfee Mobile Security – Great Phishing Protections for iPhones + iPads

🥈2. McAfee Mobile Security – Great Phishing Protections for iPhones + iPads

McAfee Security combines great web protections with a decent VPN, providing iOS users with a good selection of tools needed to stay safe online. It gives an overall security score and provides tips on how to improve your score. Initially, my security score was low, but once I’d activated all of McAfee’s features and ran various scans (including the data breach scan), I was able to significantly increase it.

During my tests, McAfee performed exceptionally well — it was able to find security issues with my device, like outdated iOS software and anti-phishing protections switched off.

McAfee also comes with:

  • Anti-phishing monitor.
  • VPN (with unlimited data).
  • Wi-Fi network scanner.
  • Data breach alerts.

Unlike some competitors, McAfee’s iOS app didn’t drain my battery or slow down my iPhone or iPad, despite always having the web protections switched on. I also like how easy it was for me to use McAfee — the app is very intuitive and all the features are easy to access.

I also think McAfee’s VPN is decent — it keeps you safe when you’re browsing the internet on unsecured Wi-Fi hotspots, it has a strict no-logs policy, and it works with most major streaming sites, like Netlflix and Amazon Prime.

However, McAfee’s recently updated app is now missing the anti-theft features, even though brands like TotalAV still include anti-theft tools. That said, I quite like Apple’s built-in anti-theft tracking features, so I’m not too disappointed that McAfee removed its anti-theft feature.

McAfee Security is available for a single device for a yearly subscription, but if you want to protect multiple devices, you should consider McAfee Total Protection (starting at $39.99 / year) — it offers excellent security for either 5 or unlimited devices, including Windows, Android, and macOS devices.

Bottom Line:

McAfee provides a great app for protecting iPhones and iPads from online threats. Its web protections are really good — the anti-phishing protection is better than most competitors, and the VPN is secure, fast, and can access popular streaming sites. McAfee Security is a great choice for covering a single iPhone or iPad, while the Total Protection plan offers protection for 5 or unlimited devices for a very affordable 1-year or 2-year subscription.

Try McAfee for iOS

Read the full McAfee review here >

🥉3. TotalAV Mobile Security — Intuitive + Easy-to-Use iPhone Antivirus

🥉3. TotalAV Mobile Security — Intuitive + Easy-to-Use iPhone Antivirus

TotalAV Mobile Security is an intuitive security apps for iOS users — it’s a particularly good choice for beginners or non-tech-savvy users looking for a simple, user-friendly iOS antivirus with all the essentials and a couple of really useful extras, including:

  • Anti-phishing.
  • VPN (with unlimited data).
  • Device tracking.
  • Photo clean-up.
  • Data breach monitoring.  

During my standard series of tests, TotalAV’s anti-phishing protection worked pretty well — it caught almost all phishing sites, apart from 2-3 risky sites that competitors like Norton and McAfee blocked.

I also really like TotalAV’s anti-theft device tracking feature, which locates your iPhone or iPad if it’s lost or stolen — you can always see the location of your device through the TotalAV online dashboard.

I was also impressed with TotalAV’s VPN, which provided me with encrypted access to servers around the globe. It allowed me to watch HD video on popular streaming platforms with no noticeable slowdown of my web connection. TotalAV’s VPN is the best antivirus-bundled VPN in 2022, comparable to some of the best standalone VPNs out there.

If you’re looking for a simple iPhone security app with a good VPN, TotalAV Mobile Security will keep your device safe from hackers and web-based threats. You can also get TotalAV’s web protection bundled with TotalAV’s internet security packages that start at $19.00 / year and cover up to 6 devices, including Macs, PCs, and Androids.

Bottom Line:

TotalAV is a good security app for beginner or non-technical iOS users — it offers a sleek and intuitive dashboard, an excellent VPN, anti-theft tools, and helpful extras like anti-phishing protection and photo storage cleanup. You can also get TotalAV Mobile Security bundled with PC, Mac, and Android security protection as part of TotalAV’s internet security suites that cover up to 6 devices and have a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Try TotalAV for iOS

Read the full TotalAV review here >

4. Avira Free Mobile Security for iOS – Good Free Antivirus for iOS

4. Avira Free Mobile Security for iOS – Good Free Antivirus for iOS

Avira Free Mobile Security for iOS comes with good free features, including excellent privacy protections that ensure your private data doesn’t end up compromised.

I was especially impressed with Avira’s unique Privacy Manager feature, which uses a specially designed downloadable “iOS Profile” to prevent Apple from saving your Siri conversations on its servers.

Avira also has additional iOS security protections like:

  • Anti-theft.
  • VPN.
  • Photo clean-up.
  • Call blocker.
  • Breach monitor (Pro only).
  • Anti-phishing (Pro only).

I really like Avira’s anti-theft protections — during my tests, I was able to easily track my iPhone’s location, wipe my data, lock my iPhone, and trigger a really loud alarm all from Avira’s secure online dashboard.

I also like Avira’s VPN — it’s one of the fastest VPNs I’ve used, enabling me to securely browse the web and stream video without noticeable speed drops. However, Avira’s free plan comes with a limited version of the VPN (100 MB per day). Also, I wasn’t able to access many popular streaming sites, which I was consistently able to do with TotalAV.

Avira Mobile Security Pro adds a VPN with unlimited browsing data as well as anti-phishing protections and data breach monitoring, all of which provide an extra layer of security online.

This app also comes bundled with Avira’s best-value internet security package, Avira Prime, which starts at $45.99 / year and covers up to 5 devices across all operating systems).

Bottom Line:

Avira has a really good free plan for iOS users — it includes anti-theft protection, 100 MB of daily VPN usage, spam call filtering, and device clean-up tools. However, Avira’s premium Mobile Security Pro is a better choice for most users, as it adds essential features like phishing protection, a VPN with unlimited data, and automatic data breach monitoring. This plan is also available bundled with Avira Prime, which covers up to 5 devices and has a risk-free 60-day money-back guarantee.

Try Avira for iOS

Read the full Avira review here >

5. Kaspersky Security Cloud & VPN — Good iOS Security Features (with Great Parental Controls)

5. Kaspersky Security Cloud & VPN — Good iOS Security Features (with Great Parental Controls)

Kaspersky Security Cloud & VPN provides a wide range of security protections for iOS — from essential ones like anti-phishing to additional ones like parental controls.

Kaspersky’s other iOS features are really good, including:

  • VPN (300 MB/daily data allowance).
  • Password manager.
  • Parental controls.
  • Data breach monitoring.

Kaspersky’s VPN is great, providing encrypted internet access with servers in more than 25 countries as well as very good connection speeds, making it a good option for users interested in streaming. However, each Kaspersky Security Cloud plan has VPN data limits, and you have to pay an extra cost on top of your subscription to get access to unlimited data. I think Norton’s VPN is better, as it offers unlimited VPN data on all of its plans.

I’m a big fan of Kaspersky’s parental controls as well, especially because of the geofencing feature, which allows parents to get alerts if their kids leave a safe location.

However, Norton and McAfee’s iOS apps offer more features and an overall better value than Kaspersky’s app.

Kaspersky Security Cloud is available for an annual subscription, or as part of one of Kaspersky’s premium plans, which start at $29.99 / year and cover 3–10 devices, including PCs, Macs, and Androids.

Bottom Line:

Kaspersky packs a ton of security features into a single, easy-to-use iOS app. The VPN and parental controls really stood out to me, but I think the anti-phishing protection could use some improvement, and I’d like to see Kaspersky offer more VPN data with each plan. If you’re on a single iOS device, you should check out Kaspersky Security Cloud, or you can get coverage for up to 10 devices on one of Kaspersky’s premium internet security packages.

Try Kaspersky for iOS

Read the full Kaspersky review here >

Bonus: Trend Micro Mobile Security – Good iOS Anti-Phishing Protection

Bonus: Trend Micro Mobile Security – Good iOS Anti-Phishing Protection

Trend Micro Mobile Security provides solid web protections for iOS devices — including some pretty good anti-phishing tools. In my testing, Trend Micro caught as many phishing sites as top competitors like McAfee and Norton.

I also like Trend Micro’s Wi-Fi scanner, which scans all of the devices connected to a network and alerts you of any potential threats, including man-in-the-middle attacks. The app also includes anti-theft device tracking capabilities, which were pretty easy to set up and use.

Another cool feature is Trend Micro’s iMessage Protection, which automatically places all iMessages that link to suspicious websites into a junk folder.

On the other hand, I wasn’t super impressed with Trend Micro’s parental controls. They provide decent content filtering, but Trend Micro doesn’t really offer a significant improvement over Apple’s built-in parental controls (and they’re not better than other antiviruses with parental controls, including Kaspersky’s parental controls).

Trend Micro Mobile Security is available as an annual subscription for a single device, but this isn’t the best value when compared to Norton and TotalAV. But for a better value, you can get Trend Micro’s iOS app bundled with Trend Micro’s premium Maximum Security ($49.95 / year) and Premium Security ($59.95 / year) plans.

Bottom Line:

Trend Micro provides decent iOS security protection — the anti-phishing protection and Wi-Fi scanner are both pretty good. Unfortunately, I think that competitors like McAfee and Norton provide a better range of similar features for a better value. On the other hand, Trend Micro’s premium internet security suites aren’t bad — and they come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Try Trend Micro for iOS

Read the full Trend Micro review here >

Comparison of the Best Antivirus Apps for iOS

Antivirus VPN Anti-Theft Tools Anti-Phishing Protections Wi-Fi Network Scanning SMS Spam Text Protection
1.🥇Norton Unlimited data
2.🥈McAfee Unlimited data on premium plan
3.🥉TotalAV Unlimited data on premium plan only
4. Avira  100 MB daily data free; unlimited with upgrade
5. Kaspersky 200 MB daily free; unlimited with upgrade
6. Bonus – Trend Micro Separate purchase available

Try Norton for iOS

How to Choose the Best Antivirus for iOS in 2022:

  • Web security. You need an iOS security app that offers solid protection against web attacks, like malicious websites, scam messages, phishing links. I tested each product’s web protections against the latest online threats to ensure these apps can keep both your data and your device safe.
  • Privacy features. To protect your data, a good iOS security app will offer privacy features like app permissions monitoring, VPNs, and even features to block Apple from saving Siri requests. Most apps on this list offer some kind of important privacy protection features.
  • Ease of use. Apple products are known for their intuitive interfaces, so you should look for an antivirus app that is easy to use. All of the apps that made it to this list integrated well with iOS’s ecosystem without taking too much time, energy, or battery life.
  • Value. You shouldn’t need to spend a lot to get decent iOS protections. I compared each product’s security features against the competition so that I could accurately decide which internet security app provides the most protection for the price.

Try Norton for iOS

Do iOS Devices Need an Antivirus?

The short answer: Yes.

iPhones and iPads don’t usually get viruses like a computer or Android device would. The iOS operating system is built in a way that doesn’t allow traditional malware to spread throughout the system.

However, iOS devices are still vulnerable to a lot of security threats, including:

  • Scam SMS and iMessage messages.
  • Email phishing attacks.
  • Malicious iOS calendar invites.
  • Phishing websites.
  • Zero-day attacks.
  • Device theft.
  • And more…

iOS security apps like Norton Mobile Security provide protection against a range of threats, including malicious websites, suspicious iOS calendar invites, and scam SMS messages.

Apple recently released an important security update for iOS devices — a system vulnerability allowed hackers to exploit devices and access private information, like banking details. iOS antivirus apps can scan your device and let you know of important iOS firmware updates, so you can avoid exploit attacks and other security issues.

Try Norton for iOS

Top Brands That Didn’t Make the Cut:

  • Lookout. Lookout is a pretty good iOS-specific security app, with advanced anti-theft protections as well as anti-phishing and identity theft monitoring. However, the other apps on this list provide similar protection for a better value.
  • Phone Guardian. This app is a free VPN that also encrypts your photos and personal information. It’s a good free app for iOS, but it’s not nearly as secure or feature-rich as the other products on this list.
  • Avast. Avast was caught in a scandal where they were selling data from millions of users to giant corporations — you can read more about it here.

Why can’t I see my iOS antivirus scanning my files for viruses?

The reason your iOS security app isn’t scanning for viruses is pretty simple — iOS can’t get viruses.

Internet security apps for iOS protect iPhones and iPads from web-based threats instead of using virus scans to keep you safe. For example, Norton offers anti-phishing protection, a Wi-Fi network scanner, a secure VPN for private browsing, and dark web monitoring.

Do I need to pay for an iOS antivirus if there are so many free apps?

Even though some iOS antiviruses offer decent free protection, you’ll only get high-quality protection if you pay. That said, Avira provides my favorite free protection for iOS, but even Avira doesn’t provide anti-phishing protection or an unlimited VPN in its free plan.

Even the best premium iOS security apps are only a few bucks a month, and they all save you from the headaches of dealing with a free antivirus — limited functionality, annoying ads, and apps that spy on you and steal your data (like Avast and AVG).

Will antivirus software drain my iPhone’s battery?

iOS security software will affect your battery life in the same way as any other application that needs to be constantly running in the background. But many of them, like TotalAV and Norton, operate with low-resources and won’t cause a significant drain on your battery.

Do antiviruses for iOS include parental control features?

Yes, some do. Norton and McAfee are two brands which offer particularly good parental control features that improve upon Apple’s built-in parental controls.

While iOS already provides limits on app usage, as well as the ability to block “adult content” online, the parental control features offered by these top antivirus apps provide a lot more fine-tuning, including:

  • Content filters. Customize content filtering by dozens of categories.
  • Geo-fencing. Get location alerts if your child’s device leaves a predefined safe area.
  • Usage controls. Schedule app and device access.

With these apps, you can ensure that your kids are safe online — you can protect them against predators and scammers, provide them with access to age-appropriate content, limit their screen time, monitor their location, and more.

Which antivirus is best for iOS?

The best iOS security app is Norton Mobile Security, which comes with:

  • Web protection — blocks phishing sites and other malicious unsafe sites.
  • Scam SMS message filtering — detects and blocks suspicious SMS messages.
  • Live dark web monitoring — continuously scans the dark web for your personal information, including passwords, bank details, and more.
  • Malicious iOS calendar invite protection — detects malicious links attached to spam calendar invites.
  • Device security scanner — scans your iPhone or iPad for security issues, including outdated firmware.
  • A VPN (virtual private network) — encrypts your browsing activity.
  • And more…

There are also a few decent alternatives to Norton. McAfee’s iOS security app is very user-friendly and includes a decent range of features, including web protection and a VPN. TotalAV also offers a good range of iOS security features, as well as a useful photo cleanup tool.

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About the Author
Ben Martens
Ben Martens
Senior Editor
Updated on: October 1, 2022

About the Author

Ben Martens is a cybersecurity journalist with a background in internet ethics, malware testing, and public policy. He resides in Oregon, and when he's not advocating for the rights of internet users, he's walking with his dog and inventing stories with his daughter.