iOS, the iPhone operating system, is usually classified as a more secure system than Android, with much less malware, to a large extent, because of how closed it is. This does not prevent large antivirus companies from having a presence in the App Store, so we wanted to test the main iPhone antivirus to check how they behave and to know if they are recommended or not.
We could already conclude that antivirus is not necessary on Android and we can tell you that the conclusion on iOS is similar, even with more arguments against him, if it fits.
Antivirus on iOS
Fortunately, Apple is much more restrictive than Google when it comes to allowing apps in the App Store, so we did not find too many antivirus apps. However, we do come across the classics. Specifically, for the test we have chosen Norton 360, McAfee Security, Avast Security, AVG Security and Kaspersky.
We have put them to the test to see how they work, since the iOS file access and permission system is more restrictive. Therefore, the antivirus in iOS do not have access to file memory, although some can analyze our photos if we ask.
Norton 360 is a paid app, like almost all the antivirus that we will see in this article. 16.49 euros for the basic annual plan, which goes up to almost 100 euros per year if we pay for the “Deluxe”. When we open the app we have a very simple interface, with five functions.
- WiFi security: check if the network is password protected and encrypted.
- Device security: check if we have a code and if we have updated the iPhone.
- Web protection: check whether or not we have activated the Norton VPN.
- SMS Security – Scans SMS for phishing.
- Safe calendar: scan calendar invites with dangerous links
The last two Norton features are interesting. It’s easy to get rid of SPAM on Apple’s calendar, and for privacy reasons, iPhone doesn’t scan incoming calls, so it doesn’t even identify SPAM calls.
The other three security features are very unhelpful, since we are paying for the mobile to tell us if the WiFi or the iPhone has a password, and if we have a Norton VPN active that we do not have to use to navigate safely.
McAfee forces us to create an account (Norton did not need to log in) and we can not log in with Apple, first negative point. When we open the app, it shows us a score from 0 to 1000 in “level of protection”.
To obtain the maximum level of protection we have several options.
- Safe browsing: use the McAfee VPN.
- Analyze our WiFi network.
- Check if our system is up to date.
- Give our personal information to McAfee so that it “protects us”.
The last point is surprising, and that is that McAfee asks us for personal information to “be able to encrypt it when we are browsing.” It is a very difficult app to recommendas it has practically no useful function.
Avast Security is quite visual at the interface level, although poor in terms of functions. It is another app that encourages us to use your VPN to “browse safely”. We can also give you our email to check if it has been leaked and it has a function to key to our photo trunk.
The analysis it does is quite simple, and it is that it only indicates “problems” if we do not have active web protection, that is, if we are not using your VPN.
AVG Security is a duplicate of Avast Security, common practice with Avast apps on Android and the same tactic on iOS. It is exactly the same app, but by uploading it twice, you can increase the number of downloads.
Kaspersky, like McAfee, forces us to create an account and we cannot log in with Apple to hide our mail from them. In this case, also has VPN function to make browsing somewhat safer.
Too you can tell us if our mail has been leaked on the web. For the rest, it does practically nothing, apart from linking us to its password manager, a separate app.
Why is it not advisable to install an antivirus on iPhone
As you have seen, the antivirus in iOS are very capable, since the system does not give them too many possibilities. They do not go beyond offering us a VPN and checking if we have an updated mobile phone with a password, a check that we can carry out ourselves in a matter of seconds.
The great advantage of having such a closed system is that on iOS it is quite difficult to get infected, since files cannot be downloaded automatically and there are no executables (APKs) that we can install inadvertently.