Review: VirusBarrier blocks viruses from harming your devices

Scan your iPad or iPhone for viruses to keep them from reaching your computer.

While most people have some form of virus protection on their home computer, few think to do the same for their iPad or iPhone, devices that are just as powerful and just as open to infections from malware as a desktop PC or Mac. Even though the number of viruses targeting those devices is small, viruses can easily pass from an iOS device to a desktop when plugged in. With all this in mind, Intego's VirusBarrier is designed to scan and block viruses on your device.

VirusBarrier has been around for a couple of years and in that time has been fine-tuned to work fairly well at scanning for and catching viruses on iOS devices. The problem is that scanning must be done actively because passive applications from third parties don't work very well on these devices. So an e-mail attachment must be just about opened (hold your finger down and open it with VirusBarrier to do a scan) before you can check it. You can also check Web sites, Dropbox folders, FTP disks, and WebDAV disks. Updates are frequent for the virus definitions but are also active, meaning you need to update them--and it takes some time.

The idea behind VirusBarrier is sound--an app that stops viruses from moving through your iPhone or iPad to a computer in your home. However, because it requires so many updates and active scanning, and because the interface lacks a clear tutorial or instructions, it is not ideal for casual users who prefer to set and forget.

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