The Best Antivirus Software for iPhone 2024

If you have an iPhone and want an additional layer of protection for security, we’ll help you choose the best antivirus products available to keep your device safe.
We may receive compensation from the products and services mentioned in this story, but the opinions are the author's own. Compensation may impact where offers appear. We have not included all available products or offers. Learn more about how we make money and our editorial policies.

Best for Premium Features

5.0
Learn More
On Norton 360 Antivirus's website

Norton 360 Antivirus
View More

Best Value

4.5
Learn More
On Avira's website

Avira
View More

Best for Multiple Devices

5.0
Learn More
On McAfee's website

McAfee
View More

Many of us already have software in place to protect our PCs and Macs from computer viruses but neglected to secure our mobile devices. If you have an iPhone and are considering extra protection, you’re in the right place.

We’ve researched antivirus products for iOS and found that the three best antivirus software programs for the iPhone are Norton, Avira, and McAfee.

Norton has been around for years and offers an impressive lineup of security features, such as Wi-Fi protection and online browsing protection. Avira offers a free mobile security plan that also includes a complimentary VPN. And McAfee offers email monitoring to help you stay ahead of phishing scams. Let’s dive into the details about why we chose these antivirus products and how they can boost your iPhone security.

In this article
The best antivirus apps for iPhone
Norton Mobile Security: Best for premium security features
Avira Mobile Security: Best value
McAfee: Best for protecting multiple emails and devices
Antivirus programs that didn’t make the cut
Best antivirus for iPhone FAQs
Bottom line: The best antivirus apps for iOS
How we tested the best antivirus software for iPhone

The best antivirus apps for iPhone

Top 3 antivirus products for iPhone compared

Antivirus
Norton Mobile Security

Avira Mobile Security

McAfee Mobile Security
Starting price $14.99/first year Free–$7.99/year Free–$29.99/year
App Store rating 4.7 out of 5 4.2 out of 5 4.7 out of 5
Free version
Dedicated iPhone app
VPN
Wi-Fi network protection
Details View Norton Mobile Security View Avira Mobile Security View McAfee Mobile Security

Need antivirus for your Mac, too?

We’ve all heard people say that Apple products don’t need antivirus software, but that’s not the case. With Apple devices becoming increasingly popular, they become a bigger target for hackers and cybercriminals.

If you use a Mac alongside your iPhone, we’ve chosen four antivirus programs to keep your device safe and working smoothly:

  • CleanMyMac X: CleanMyMac X offers incredible optimization tools designed specifically for Mac users. While its antivirus protection isn’t as strong as the other options on our list, CleanMyMac X is a stellar device optimization tool. We especially like the app updater, junk cleaner, and Space Lens file and folder visualizer.

    Get CleanMyMac X | Read Our CleanMyMac X Review
  • Avast: Avast gives you a premium security suite that includes website scanning, ransomware, and phishing protection at an affordable price.

    Get Avast | Read Our Avast Review
  • MacKeeper: Another security product built for macOS, MacKeeper comes with additional features like a VPN and an ad blocker. MacKeeper also checks your Mac for email phishing scams and potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) to ensure nothing gets in the way of your your Mac doing its job.

    Get MacKeeperRead Our MacKeeper Review
  • AVG: AVG comes with a malware protection rate of nearly 100% and does the job without affecting your system. We also like that AVG comes with phishing and ransomware protection. Plus, you get a free trial to see if this product fits your Mac lifestyle before you buy it.

    Get AVG | Read Our AVG Review

3.9
Learn More
On CleanMyMac X's website

CleanMyMac X
  • Cleanup tools optimize space
  • Easy-to-use interface
  • No verified third-party malware tests

Norton Mobile Security: Best for premium security features

Norton Mobile Security offers premium security features that set it apart from other iPhone antivirus apps.

Who it’s best for

Norton's Mobile Security, also called Norton 360 Antivirus & Security, is best for those wanting security that protects their iPhone against ransomware, spyware, malware, and other online threats.

If you use your iPhone for everything, Norton offers web protection for things such as online banking and public Wi-Fi. It also includes a VPN so your internet traffic is encrypted while you’re on the go.

What we liked

One of the things we liked most about Norton’s iPhone antivirus is that it checks for the latest security patches and iOS updates. That’s a crucial step for an antivirus to stop current malware from infecting your device.

Norton covers all the critical security layers, and the antivirus protects you with SMS security that helps keep your text messages and iOS calendar invites free of phishing links. With so many people getting random texts, that’s a nice perk.

Also, if you’re using public Wi-Fi, Norton notifies you whether the network is potentially unsafe. This Wi-Fi security feature can help you thwart potential security threats and, paired with the VPN, help secure your internet connection. Norton’s iPhone antivirus also monitors the dark web and notifies you if your personal information is for sale.

What we didn’t like

You can use the free 14-day trial only if you sign up for a one-year subscription. (And even if you want to forgo the trial, you still have to sign up for a subscription.) Then, if you choose not to keep the software, you must cancel it through the App Store or Google Play Store.

That makes using Norton somewhat frustrating since you can’t test out its app beforehand.

Along with deleting unused apps, here are 21 other easy ways to make your iPhone more secure.

Norton Mobile Security specs

Starting price $14.99/first year
Free version No, but there is a 14-day free trial
Dedicated iPhone app Yes
Phishing protection Yes
Ransomware protection Yes
VPN Yes
Wi-Fi network protection Yes
SMS text protection Yes
Learn more Read Our Norton 360 Antivirus Review
Prices as of 3/16/2023.

Avira Mobile Security: Best value

Avira Mobile Security comes as a free plan to secure one iOS device.

Who it’s best for

With Avira, you get free antivirus security on one device that protects you against theft and scammers. It may not offer as many features as the others, but you still get basic security for your iPhone without paying premium prices.

Avira may also be the top choice if you feel your iOS device is already mostly secure and you don’t need extra security features such as online shopping and identity protection. That’s why many people buy iPhone vs. Android devices. Still, if you can get antivirus for free, the boost in cybersecurity may be worth the download.

What we liked

We like the no-frills option Avira offers. We know Apple is serious about security and, as such, only allows downloads from the App Store. We also know that even though Avira is a free app, Apple wouldn’t allow it in the store if it didn’t abide by strict security guidelines. Many free apps may try to get around security policies, but not Avira.

Avira gives you anti-theft protection, and helps you recover stolen or lost iPhone or iPad devices from your dashboard. We also like the free VPN you get that gives you even better protection while using public Wi-Fi. Another feature we thought was good to have is blocking Siri from recording your conversations.

What we didn’t like

Although Avira offers a reliable free antivirus, it’s not exactly feature-heavy. It’s more of a minimalistic app.

We do like the added VPN, but you get a traffic limit of 100 MB per day. If you want unlimited data, you’ll need to buy the Phantom VPN Pro plan for an extra $10 per month. Also, to get Avira’s safe online shopping features and protection against malicious websites, you’ll need to upgrade to the Avira Mobile Security Pro plan.

Avira Mobile Security specs

Starting price Free
(Mobile Security Pro is $7.99/year)
Free version Yes
Dedicated iPhone app Yes
Phishing protection No
Ransomware protection Yes
VPN Yes, limited to 100 MB per day
Wi-Fi network protection Yes
SMS text protection No
Learn more Read Our Avira Antivirus Review
Prices as of 3/16/2023.

McAfee: Best for protecting multiple emails and devices

We liked how McAfee Mobile Security protects up to 10 emails and up to 5 devices.

Who it’s best for

McAfee is another great antivirus option that offers a free plan. You get phishing and spyware security, which are both big issues for anyone online these days. It’s also a light app and good for anyone who wants their antivirus running in the background without slowing down their phone.

What we liked

McAfee allows monitoring of up to 10 email addresses at once. You also get protection for up to five devices, with the VPN included.

McAfee also gives you identity monitoring for Social Security numbers, passport info, and bank accounts. With so many cyber threats related to identity theft, that’s a big plus for any antivirus product. When there’s an identity breach, you’ll get immediate notification so you can take action quickly to prevent further damage.

On top of all this, McAfee’s iOS app has a system scan that looks for the latest operating system updates, which helps you patch any vulnerabilities and avoid current malware issues.

What we didn’t like

There’s no clear direction on what to do if your phone gets infected. The McAfee website shows that your mobile device can get a virus, but offers virus scans only for Android devices. What if you need to get rid of iPhone malware?

Plus, if you use McAfee Mobile Security, you only get protection on one device. To get security on multiple devices, you’d need to upgrade to a different plan, such as McAfee Total Protection.

McAfee Mobile Security specs

Starting price Free
(McAfee Total Protection is $29.99/year)
Free version Yes
Dedicated iPhone app Yes
Phishing protection Yes
Ransomware protection No
VPN Yes
Wi-Fi network protection Yes
SMS text protection No
Learn more Read Our McAfee Total Protection Review
Prices as of 3/16/2023.

Antivirus programs that didn’t make the cut

There are a couple antivirus programs we think are still top-notch but didn’t make the top three spots. These include Avast and TotalAV.

Avast Mobile Security

Avast offers free antivirus protection, but at about $70 for the first year, the premium version is a bit pricey.

It’s also a convoluted process to upgrade. If you want to use the premium features, first you have to install the free Mobile Security app, then upgrade to Avast Premium Security within your app. We thought the extra steps might put off some users.

You also have to opt for the auto-renew feature to get the Stay Safe Virus Guarantee that refunds your money if you get infected with a virus Avast cannot remove. For these reasons, we didn’t include it in our top three spots.

TotalAV

TotalAV offers a solid antivirus for both iPhone and iPad, but to get advanced features such as WebShield and a VPN, you must opt for the Premium version. Still, the free version has Smart Scan, which checks for iOS security updates and provides tips for better protecting your device.

We like the data breach alerts and photos and video cleanup features that come with the free TotalAV app. Although these aren’t necessary for an antivirus, they’re nice options.

Unfortunately, the fact that the free version doesn’t include WebShield’s real-time protection makes it limited in terms of security. And because the software doesn’t include a VPN or offer real-time protection, we didn’t put it in the top three list.

Best antivirus for iPhone FAQs


+

Does an iPhone need an antivirus?

An iPhone needs an antivirus if you want an extra layer of security protection. Apple has rigid security structures in place, but hackers are smart and always working to bypass mobile infrastructures.


+

Do Apple devices have a built-in antivirus?

Apple has built-in security features that help protect your data and minimize the information that’s available to anyone but you, but it doesn’t have built-in antivirus. macOS, on the other hand, has built-in antivirus called XProtect that searches for and removes malware.


+

What antivirus does Apple recommend?

Other than XProtect, there isn’t a specific antivirus that Apple recommends using. All apps obtained from the Apple App Store are sandboxed to provide the highest level of security, which makes iPhone apps likely more secure than those found in the Google Play Store.

Bottom line: The best antivirus apps for iOS

Out of the available antivirus products on the market today, we found Norton, Avira, and McAfee to be the top three antivirus apps for iPhone. Close runners-up were Avast and TotalAV. These five options offer many helpful features most users want. Whether you want something on the budget-friendly side or an antivirus loaded with layers of protection, these programs have what you need.

If you want to pay extra for premium features, such as SMS text protection, you could opt for Norton Mobile Security. But for those who want to start with a free antivirus app, Avira or McAfee are hard to beat. We think you’ll be happy with any of them, but the choice comes down to your desired features and antivirus budget.

3 best antivirus products for iPhone

Starting price Best for Details

Norton Mobile Security
$14.99/first year Best for premium security features See Norton Details
Read Norton Review

Avira Mobile Security
Free–$7.99/year Best value See Avira Details
Read Avira Review

McAfee Mobile Security
Free–$29.99/year Best for protecting multiple emails and devices See McAfee Details
Read McAfee Review
Prices as of 3/16/2023.

How we tested the best antivirus software for iPhone

When searching for the best antivirus software for your iPhone, we looked at a number of factors. We know each person is different and not everyone wants the same features.

For our testing purposes, we looked for the best antivirus products for those considering their budgets and available security features, such as spyware and phishing protection. Some programs come with a wide range of tools to keep your iPhone more secure, such as VPNs and data breach scanning, so we also considered those.

Lastly, we also considered ease of use for both the free app (if available) and the paid version.

5.0
Save up to 66% on your first year
Learn More
On Norton 360 Antivirus's website

Norton 360 Antivirus
  • Easy-to-install antivirus protection
  • Secure VPN and password manager included
  • Parental control features
  • Multi-tab navigation may be overwhelming at first
Author Details
Patti Croft is a seasoned writer who specializes in all things technology. She holds a B.S. in Computer Science and carries a wealth of hands-on experience thanks to her background as a technical analyst and security specialist.