Difference between Firewall and Antivirus

Firewall and Antivirus are similar in that they both offer protection from malicious activity directed at the device. However, there exist fundamental differences that are exclusive on both. Their functions are also quite distinct and one should never be used instead of another. While antivirus deals mostly with internal attacks within the computer, Firewall works to protect your private network from external interference and attacks from devices outside the network.

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Difference Between Firewall and Antivirus

Here are major differences between the two:

  • Firewall is integrated on both the software and hardware parts of the device. Antivirus is a software program only installed in the device.
  • Firewall monitors and filters packets of data entering the network. Antivirus on the other hand only scans the data already inside the device for malicious programs.
  • Firewall deals with external data. Antivirus deals with internal data.
  • Firewall has the ability to initiate counterattacks through IP spoofing and routing attacks in case of an external attack. Antivirus has no ability to counterattack.

Difference Between Antivirus and Antimalware

Malware and computer virus are terms used interchangeably especially by the less tech-savvy individuals. However, the two do not mean the same thing. While a virus is a piece of code that is capable of replicating itself and attaching itself on a computer's main program for execution, a malware is a general term for all programs that have the ability to cause malfunctions on the computer. Therefore, a virus is a type of malware but a malware is not a virus.

An antivirus is therefore a software program designed to identify viruses, worms, Trojan horses, and such types of malicious codes that have the ability to affects a computer's functions. An antimalware, on the other hand, is a more enhanced software program that offers more protection on all general types of malicious softwares, viruses, and programs such as spyware and adware that can affect the computer's functions. It therefore deals with both viruses and other types of malwares.

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5 Differences Between Virus and Antivirus

Just as it is in their words, these two words are antonyms of each other even in their functions. A virus is a piece of code that adversely affects a computer's function. An antivirus is a software program designed to get rid of a virus. To further differentiate them, here are five differences:

  • A virus is a piece of computer program, much more like pieces of codes that have the ability to replicate themselves. They perform functions contrary to what the computer is supposed to do. An antivirus is a computer software that has a set of instructions that tells it how to identify viruses and get rid of them.
  • A virus code can replicate itself. An antivirus program cannot replicate itself. It however, is updated regularly by manufacturers to give it new definitions of new viruses.
  • A virus has the ability to install itself and attach itself to a computer's main program. An antivirus must seek permission from the user to be installed in the computer.
  • Viruses perform their own set of instructions given by a cyber-attacker against the will of the computer user. An antivirus does precisely what the user tells it to.
  • Viruses are easily transmitted from one computer to another through the internet and memory devices such as flash disks and other files. Antivirus cannot be transferred unless installed by the user.

Difference Between Antivirus and Antispyware Software

As stated, an antivirus is a computer software designed to identify, remove, and protect the computer from viruses, worms, and Trojan horses. A virus is a piece of code or program that can replicate itself and execute a set of functions that may compromise the computer.

An antispyware software on the other hand is a type of an antimalware program designed to specifically deal with spyware programs and get rid of them. Spyware is a computer program that is capable of installing itself and hiding in the computer's hard drive and collecting sensitive personal data including internet usage data. This data is then transmitted to another computer, usually to the person who launched the attack. The antispyware therefore protects the user from such a program and helps get rid of it once detected.

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