iPhone Security Software – ZoneAlarm vs. Bitdefender

Julia Thomas | 12.07.16 | 0 Comments

Apple, the most valuable brand in the world, takes a lot of pride in the fact that its devices are ‘inherently secure’, or so the company claims. Inherently secure, that basically means secure by default – is there such a thing nowadays?

More importantly: do you want to take the risk of not installing an additional security appjust because Apple says you shouldn’t? We feel pretty confident in assuming that your personal data is a little too important to take such a risk.

What’s it to them anyway – why would Apple even care if you want to take extra precautions by installing an additional security app? Prestige, more than likely.

Sure, we understand that’s important for a company that has been at the forefront of technology for over a decade and is, as said before, perceived as the world’s most valuable brand.

Around the time Apple made the ‘inherently secure’ claim, evidence indicating a less positive outlook on iPhone security surfaced, as one could read in stories about Xsser Trojans (known for being able to steal data from iOS devices), WireLurker (malware, penetrating iOS security via USB), and forensic experts pulling data from locked iPhones.

We’re not really interested in prestige, we care about the security of your devices and the information stored on those. We applaud you for taking the time to investigate the available options for further securing your iPhone!


Mobile Security for iPhone still in its infancy

We’d love to tell you that providers of mobile security are on top of their game when it comes to protecting your iPhone. This is not yet the case, but providers are catching up fast, and by now many of them have released dedicated iPhone security apps.

However, most of these apps are stripped down versions of security apps built for Android devices. In this article, we’ll take a look at two of the most well-respected security software providers, ZoneAlarm and Bitdefender, to see how well they’re delivering iPhone security.

Bitdefender: where is your iPhone security app?

Bitdefender is a highly rated provider of security software, and it is surprising, if not annoying, that it seems almost impossible to find a Bitdefender security app for the iPhone!

It is no problem to find the Android security app on the Bitdefender site, which can logically be found under the ‘Mobile Security’ moniker. But, there is no iPhone equivalent available, not even a stripped down version of it.

The way it works is as follows: you choose the Bitdefender security product you want to purchase – we like the Bitdefender Total Security Multi-Device 2016 suite.

After that, you manage the software and the devices it is installed on, including your iPhone, by means of a Bitdefender app called Bitdefender Central, available in the App Store. No mention of this on the Bitdefender website. A definite lack of info on their account.

Why make it so hard to find an option to run Bitdefender on iPhone? Such an option is a great addition to the product portfolio that many (potential) users will greatly appreciate.

Bitdefender: Total control over your digital security

OK, now that we’ve let off a little steam, we can tell you about the Bitdefender Central app, which is in fact more than an app. It’s a so-called ‘security hub’ that takes care of the security of all devices you installed the Total Security Multi-Device software – the so-called ‘connected devices‘ – Windows, Mac, Android and iPhone.

Conveniently, from your phone (or from any of the other connected devices), you can control security settings and available tools for all connected devices. The portfolio of different tools that are part of this Bitdefender security hub is impressive!


Pay attention: please keep in mind that Bitdefender Central is not a security suite itself – You can download the app from the App Store, but you need the actual security suite installed too.

First of all, the interface is clear, simple and effective, which makes the whole process of managing security on all your devices very convenient. The fact that you can actually run the security on all devices from one single location is fantastic, and probably the greatest advantage Bitdefender Central has over other security software packages. However, it’s not the only advantage. Another cool thing is that you can scan for malicious software on all of your devices remotely, from virtually anywhere! Optimizing your systems can also happen remotely, which is obviously exactly what you want to do if your malware scan detected something.

Actually, the whole process of managing the software on all connected devices is pretty easy, due to the great ‘helicopter view’ you have. Updating the software, checking the status on different devices and keeping track on everything that’s happening on all fronts. It’s easy as pie.

To round things off, running the Bitdefender Central app, and with it the Total Security software, has very little effect on your iPhone’s performance.

Bitdefender offers a great tool, which includes a specific iPhone app to run it, they just forget to mention this little detail. I find it hard to believe, to be honest – especially since the app works great on the iPhone. Let’s call it a temporary lack of info for now.

We’ll check back later to see if anything has changed in their information delivery.

ZoneAlarm Mobile Security

“The app that protects you from hackers”. Good to know! Apparently, in 2015, almost 1 million iPhones were hacked. Phones loaded with personal, often sensitive information. Information that users would want to protect, obviously.

The ZoneAlarm Mobile Security app does that exactly. It offers a wide protective shield that enables you to handle your finances, roam the internet, check emails and shop online without any problems.

ZoneAlarm protects you against hacks, phishing attacks and makes sure you do not connect to Wi-Fi networks that are considered to be unsafe, while offering a ranked list of secure Wi-Fi connections to connect to instead.

A vulnerability advisor that makes sure your software is always up to date with the latest updates completes the ZoneAlarm Mobile Security app. A fairly simple, but very effective plug & play type application setup that doesn’t require a lot of technical baggage from the user to use efficiently.

In Conclusion: a Crooked Comparison

The two security software providers under comparison in this article have chosen very different ways to offer iPhone users their products.

The ZoneAlarm app is typically an app that you would expect when you download it from the App Store. It is a standalone app, one that works immediately after installation. It does what it promises, and does it well.

The Bitdefender app is a completely different ballgame. It is only helpful to those who already bought a Bitdefender security suite. The fact that the Bitdefender Central app is free is a moot point – you already invested in the software. The free app is a nice little extra. It does offer a great additional value in the sense that you can run the whole software package from the phone, but without the software, it is of no use.

Bitdefender users will definitely benefit from the Bitdefender Central app. iPhone users that are looking for options to protect their device, are better off installing the ZoneAlarm Mobile Security app – which is also free.

We love antivirus software that provides protection for all of your devices. Check out our top antivirus recommendations and secure your digital life today.

Julia Thomas

Julia is known for creating trusted computer systems, and correcting technical issues. Julia enjoys taking her computer systems knowledge and turning it into valuable content to help users make great decisions. After work you’ll usually catch her enjoying a nice dinner with friends or watching a good movie.

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