Antivirus vs. Anti-malware: Which Do You Need?

Antivirus vs anti-malware:

Antivirus and anti-malware are two types of security software designed to protect your devices from different types of threats. While their functions overlap to some extent, there are some notable differences between them.

Antivirus Software

In the online world, viruses appeared before antiviruses. The first antivirus software was created in 1987 by German security expert Bernd Robert Fix. He created it to end the Vienna virus. This portrays the primary functions of antiviruses. That is, to seek and destroy traditional forms of malware, such as viruses, worms, Trojans, and ransomware.

By using the combined detection methods Antivirus remove virus or malware infection from the computer. This includes associating files and programs against a database of known malware signatures.

And as a match is located, antivirus software deactivates the threat. In simple language, the antivirus program can detect, prevent and remove infections and potential threats from devices. But nowadays cybercriminals and hackers use advanced technology and new ways to get into the devices of other users.

Therefore, the Malware infection is nastier and more complex to remove using an antivirus program. For this case, the anti-malware software is created.

Anti-malware Software

The Antimalware software offers a huge range of protection to the device. This is capable of targeting different types of complex malware programs than that of a normal virus. Here is a look at some of the classy threats.

  • Adware and Browser Hijacker
  • Spyware
  • Rootkits and Polymorphic malware
  • Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs)

Anti-malware tools often use heuristic analysis and behavior-based detection. They identify and block suspicious activities that may indicate the presence of malware. Antiviruses also use heuristic analysis. It is the process of comparing codes to a signature database for early detection of malicious programs. Yet, anti-malware software surpasses antiviruses since it uses multiple detection methods to identify old and new threats.

Can Both be Used?

One of the main differences between antivirus and antimalware software is that the antivirus program offers overall protection whereas the antimalware program handles the more complex issues.

So, if you are a normal user who won’t browse deep in-search in the internet then an antivirus program is enough to protect the device.  But if you are a deep web user and perform deep searches then cybersecurity is the main priority. In this case, using the anti-malware software is recommended.

The anti-malware program helps you to stay safe from specific online threats more commonly employed by hackers and cybercriminals.

It’s worth noting that you can use both antivirus and anti-malware to boost your security. Both of these programs complement each other and provide an extra layer of protection. However, there are other ways to ensure online security and privacy apart from antiviruses and anti-malware.

For example, using a VPN on your PC, laptop and other devices. In the past few days, users generally focused on installing an antivirus program to protect their system while browsing suspicious websites and downloading suspicious files.

But now the threats are more dangerous and to protect sensitive information, such as bank account details, which scammers can exploit using a VPN connection is safest and trending. Since this is the case, antiviruses or anti-malware may no longer be used for basic internet browsing. With a VPN, you no longer have to worry about your sensitive information, passwords, financial transactions, and personal data.

Why Use a VPN for Your Protection?

A VPN protects your data during transfer. This encodes the data, by making the real identity invisible to hackers or cybercriminals. Sometimes, even your internet provider won’t have access to your data if you use a VPN. However, it depends on the VPN provider you choose.

Many of us daily connect to unsecured public Wi-Fi networks. A VPN can protect you even while connected to public Wi-Fi. It can encrypt your data to shield your device from potential threats lurking on the same network.

This software can mask your IP address, making it difficult for third parties to track and associate your online activities with your identity. You can also use a VPN to bypass geographic restrictions and access content that may be blocked or limited in your region. This is particularly useful when travelling or when certain websites or services are unavailable in your location.

Keep in mind that some VPN providers also offer their own antivirus or anti-malware software. Using a VPN with such software can further boost your cybersecurity and improve your web browsing experience.

Best Solution for Cybersecurity Needs & Practices

Well, antimalware and antivirus programs are undoubtedly the best practices for protecting online security and keeping your device safe. However, using a VPN connection along with the antivirus or antimalware program is recommended to be safe from nasty and complex malware and malicious threats.

This will keep your online concealment and add an extra cyber defence tool to deal with potential threats. But despite these online tools, staying updated about the latest online threats is still important. You should also implement certain measures to keep your cybersecurity top-notch. Such measures include:

  • Update your software regularly

Each update on your PC, laptop, or smartphone is crucial for online protection—updates remedy weak spots that cybercriminals would otherwise exploit. If you ignore updates, you give cybercriminals more opportunities to break into your system.

  • Aware of common cyber attack attempts

Cybercriminals find new ways to exploit internet users all the time. Yet, if you stay informed about how attacks occur, you are less likely to fall victim to them. In the case of phishing attacks, they are among the most common forms of cyber attacks. Cybercriminals try to impersonate legitimate sources, including friends or family members. They will try to make you click on suspicious links or ask for personal information.


So, these are the notable differences the antivirus and antimalware infection. It doesn’t matter what you are using its important to stay safe online and prevent online threats from invading your system.