Malware protection is more vital than ever, with a drastic increase in ransomware, spyware, and other malware within the last year alone. The majority of us have antivirus apps installed on our laptops and desktop computers, but what about mobile phones?
Whether you own an iOS or Android device, you need antivirus software installed to protect your system as well as your data. Since many of us use our mobile phones more than any other piece of technology to surf the web, check out social media, and bank online without an antivirus app, we could be exposing ourselves to many online dangers.
Fortunately, there are many dedicated antivirus apps for Android and iOS. Read on to learn more about the best antivirus solutions for mobile users in 2023 and learn why you need antivirus if you’re not already using it.
Our leading team of experts has tried almost every antivirus solution that’s available. Among the various mobile antivirus apps we have tested, only a few have made our shortlist below. Read on to learn more about each of these and why we have chosen them.
At the top of our list is McAfee Mobile Security. Aside from offering various subscription plans that come with mobile antivirus apps included, the specific mobile antivirus plan will suit users who only want to protect their iOS and Android devices.
McAfee is one of our favorite antivirus providers, and its app for mobile devices doesn’t fail to disappoint. While there are a couple of differences between the appearance of the iPhone and Android phone apps, the features are the same.
Some of our favorite features include the constant malware protection, which detects viruses online and in any email attachments that you may come across. As well as this, there is the option to run scans on your mobile phone to ensure that your device is healthy. As well as this, McAfee can inspect installed third-party applications on your phone and remove any malicious apps that may affect your device’s health.
As you surf the web, McAfee ensures you don’t become the victim of a phishing scam with its active phishing protection. This will prevent you from clicking on websites that contain phishing links.
Since lost and stolen phones are becoming the norm, McAfee includes anti-theft tools on its apps for iOS and Android devices. You can prevent any third party from installing the Mobile Security app and also take a snapshot of the thief if your phone is stolen. There is also the option to automatically lock your device if the passcode to it is incorrectly guessed three times in a row.
While not considered an anti-theft feature, the app lock is another great privacy tool for your iOS or Android phone. You can securely lock applications containing sensitive data, such as your notes folder or social media apps, meaning only you can access them.
A wi-fi security scanner is active and will check for any vulnerabilities or odd behavior when you connect to new public wi-fi hotspots or private networks. This is a good feature since many cybercriminals use public networks to spy on other users and infect their devices,
Many people are wary of installing security protection on their mobile devices because it can take up a lot of storage and affect your mobile’s performance. Fortunately, McAfee’s iOS and Android apps can actually speed up your device and improve battery life.
You can enjoy both a free iOS and Android antivirus app with McAfee or upgrade to enjoy extra features such as the ad-blocker and VPN. The premium McAfee Mobile Security price is $29.99 per year if you purchase it as a standalone product.
Norton Mobile Security provides excellent antivirus protection for both Android and iOS operating systems. Although it doesn’t offer a free version of its antivirus app for mobiles, the features on offer make its app well worth paying for.
Norton Mobile Security provides a great iOS and Android antivirus app to protect your operating system from malware. Whether it is by blocking your access to potentially malicious websites, advising you not to click on dangerous links, or stopping you from becoming a victim of a phishing scam, your device should stay free from malware and viruses.
As well as protecting you while you surf the web, Norton’s mobile antivirus is also active in protecting you from risky apps. This feature is powered by Norton Mobile Insight and can scan apps before you install them to check that they aren’t dangerous, and will run routine checks of your apps to ensure that none of them contain adware or malware.
As well as the above, Norton checks how much data old and newly installed apps collect on you and where in the world this data is being sent. This is a great privacy feature as it helps you uninstall apps that may be severely infringing on your privacy.
Another great feature of the Norton app for mobile phones is wi-fi security. When you connect to a new wi-fi network, this tool can check for any security issues on the network and alert you so that you don’t risk being attacked by cybercriminals.
Norton also monitors the dark web, checking for any of your email addresses, and will alert you if it comes across any. This is a necessary privacy and security feature since account breaches are becoming more commonplace on the web.
You can also take advantage of Norton’s built-in VPN service. This additional tool will protect your personal data as you surf the web and can hide your online activity from the network provider you’re using.
The annual subscription for Mobile Security with Norton costs $29.99, which is hefty. However, the level of antivirus protection you get in return makes this price well worth it.
Bitdefender offers a great Android antivirus app with its Bitdefender Mobile Security. Unfortunately, it doesn’t provide antivirus support for iPhones. However, its Android app is first-rate and packed full of excellent features.
Of all the Android antivirus apps on the market, Bitdefender’s is one of the best. You can enjoy this app as a standalone product and download it from the Google Play Store or enjoy it as part of an antivirus package.
There is real-time protection with this Android security app so that you can receive alerts if you come across malicious websites that may contain phishing or fraudulent links. As well as this, there is On-Demand scanning that allows you to check the health of your Android device whenever.
You can also rest assured that every new app you download will be scanned with Bitdefender’s On-Install scanning feature. This ensures that you don’t accidentally install an app that is full of, say, adware.
In terms of performance, Bitdefender won’t drain your battery. In fact, its light app is designed to have zero effect on your phone’s speed, ensuring that you don’t notice it running in the background.
There are some excellent privacy features with Bitdefender. Firstly, there is the App Lock, which enables you to protect sensitive data in your app. You’ll only be able to access these by entering a passcode.
As well as the above, there is a built-in VPN. While most antivirus apps don’t offer a VPN, more and more have started to since they provide users with essential privacy and internet security while surfing the web. Unfortunately, Bitdefender only offers 200MB of data per day with its VPN, which is extremely limiting.
You can keep your Android device safe should someone steal it or you accidentally lose it, thanks to the anti-theft features. You can remotely wipe or lock your Android device to keep your privacy intact, as well as locate it. You can even send a message alert to it so that you can locate your device.
Overall, Bitdefender offers one of the best Android antivirus apps for mobile phone users, which is why it has earned a spot on our list.
There is no Kaspersky mobile antivirus for iOS users; fortunately, Kaspersky Internet Security is a great Android antivirus product, which comes packed full of security features to protect your device.
Kaspersky makes our list of the best antivirus for mobile due to its free Android antivirus. The free app has many great features to ensure you enjoy constant malware protection. There is advanced technology in place to protect your device and block malware and viruses such as Trojan horses.
You can also carry out manual scans via the Android app to check your apps and files and ensure there are no viruses hiding in them which could cause damage to your device. With the free version, you can also take advantage of Android Wear support to ensure your smartwatch is protected as well.
A final and necessary feature that is available on Kaspersky’s free antivirus is the anti-theft features. You can remotely wipe your device if it is stolen to ensure that your data privacy is not compromised.
If you decide to use Kaspersky’s premium version of its Android antivirus, then you can enjoy extra features such as automatic scanning. You won’t need to manually launch scans since the Kaspersky app will do it for you, meaning you can sit back and relax.
Other useful features on the paid antivirus for Android plan include an App privacy lock. This enables users to protect all of their most private apps with a PIN, ensuring that none of their personal data and information will be compromised if the device falls into the wrong hands.
As well as this, there is phishing protection. Kaspersky will block you from phishing websites and filter out text messages that contain phishing links.
Overall, we’d recommend Kaspersky as the best free Android antivirus for mobile users; although its Premium plan is good, it isn’t full of as many features as some of the other mobile antivirus apps on this list.
Avast Mobile Security offers apps for Android and iOS. Its free version is full of excellent features such as malicious app protection and tools to improve your device’s performance.
Avast offers great iOS and Android antivirus apps, including free antivirus. Some of the features on the free version of Avast’s Mobile Security include the ability to run regular scans on your device to remove malware. As well as this, Avast’s mobile antivirus apps will block you from accessing malicious links on the web and help you to verify the security of every single wi-fi network you connect to.
Not only does Avast protect your device from viruses and other malware on the internet, but it scans new apps before you install them. This means you won’t accidentally install an app that could contain malware, such as malicious bots.
As well as this, both the free and premium versions of Avast’s Android antivirus apps come with exceptional anti-theft features. You can track your device’s location if you lose it and also remotely wipe the data from it. If you upgrade to the premium version, you can even secretly take photos of your phone’s thief.
With Avast, you can also see how much time you’re spending on apps on your mobile phone. As well as this, Avast’s app insights can let you know how much data each app is collecting about you and learn which apps should be used when disconnected from the internet.
You can even ensure that your mobile device offers you the best performance at all times by utilizing the junk cleaner, which provides you with more storage space. As well as this, you can use the RAM boost to speed up your device when carrying out mobile activities.
By upgrading to the paid version, you can add an extra layer of protection to apps with a PIN code, ensuring that no thieves or third parties gain access to your sensitive data or documents. As well as this, you can enjoy Avast’s VPN service, which is one of our favorite VPNs of 2023.
Avira is another popular antivirus provider that offers both free and paid-for antivirus apps. Better yet, there is support for Android and iOS devices.
Avira offers one of the best antivirus apps. With Avira, you can enjoy constant malware protection that blocks viruses from infiltrating your device. You can also run scans to remove any malicious software from your device.
One of the best things about Avira is that it enables you to update your iOS or Android system automatically. By keeping your device up to date with the latest software, you can guarantee that you’ll enjoy the best protection against online threats.
There are many anti-theft tools on both the free and paid version. You’ll be able to locate your device if you misplace it or should it get stolen. Should you lose your device, you can also rest assured that your contacts will be safe since the Avira antivirus app for mobiles backs up your contacts automatically to Google Drive or your email account.
You can free up space with Avira’s device analytics section. You can see how much storage is available so that you can know whether or not you need to remove apps. Furthermore, a photo cleaner tool removes duplicates of photos, providing you with more storage space.
On the paid Avira plans, you’ll have protection from phishing links online. As well as this, web protection will determine the safety of a website before you visit it to make sure that you don’t unknowingly access a website that could steal your personal data.
You can even enjoy identity protection; Avira will monitor your email address online and alert you if it is ever included in a security breach. Since data leaks have become more prominent in the past few years, this is an essential feature.
The final provider of our best antivirus for Android and iOS list is Trend Micro Mobile Security. This app will protect you from many forms of malware so that you enjoy a safe internet experience.
With Trend Micro’s apps for Android and iOS, you’ll have constant protection when using browsers. Trend Micro will prevent you from visiting malicious websites which could harm your mobile phones. There is even protection against ransomware so that your system files don’t become infected with this.
Trend Micro also blocks ads and trackers to ensure that you have a more private and enjoyable internet surfing experience. The app will also alert you if you’re connected to a potentially dangerous wi-fi network to avoid attacks from cybercriminals.
A social media scanner checks how much your Facebook app knows about you as well as many other apps on your phone. This can help you to know whether or not to uninstall certain apps from your mobile.
Like many of the other providers on this list, you can implement an app lock on your mobile phone. This is a great choice if you’re concerned about members of your family or friends accessing your device and apps without your consent.
Finally, there are also some anti-theft features to help you find your device if it gets stolen. Furthermore, you can wipe it remotely to stop thieves from accessing all of your personal data.
If you want antivirus software for your mobile, then you need to ensure that you look for an antivirus app that offers the following features:
Yes! You most definitely need to download antivirus software onto your mobile phone. Android phones don’t come with any built-in malware protection, meaning your device is exposed to viruses and other forms of malware.
While iOS devices do enjoy slightly more protection from malware, they are not completely immune to viruses. Therefore, if you use an iPhone, we would still recommend using antivirus on your iOS device.
Without antivirus, you are putting yourself at immense risk every time you visit a website or use an internet-based app. To avoid unintentionally installing a Trojan or becoming a victim of ransomware, you must use antivirus on your mobile device.
Many of the best antivirus providers for mobile phones offer a free version. But is free antivirus safe? Not all free antivirus products are good for your device, and so we only recommend using free antivirus apps from reputable companies.
It is also worth mentioning that free antivirus, even from a good company, may have limitations. You will be unlikely to enjoy access to the advanced features that a premium plan would offer you, such as phishing protection. Considering that phishing scams are prominent online, it might be worth upgrading to enjoy the extra protection.
I’m Madeleine, and I'm a writer that specializes in cybersecurity, tech products, and all things related to the internet.
I have a keen interest in VPNs and believe that everyone deserves internet freedom and security. I wr...
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