Difference between Viruses and Malwares (Antivirus vs Antimalware)

One of the most frequently asked questions in online Software Security Forums is the difference between Viruses and Malwares (Antivirus vs Antimalware). 

Let us answer this right now so that it serves as the base when we later talk about Antivirus and Antimalware solutions. 
  • Virus: Viruses were very popular in the early 1990s, when the internet was relatively new. They were meant to infect and replicate and make the users’ experience with computers and the internet bitter. 
  • Malware: It is a general term which has been used for malicious programs which include adware, spyware, rootkits, exploits, Trojans, worms etc. In short, all viruses are malware, but all malware are not viruses. 
The question which usually follows the above question is:
“Would my Antivirus program keep me safe from all types of Malware?”

The answer to this question is a straight NO! Antivirus programs are meant to deal with viruses. A complete protection against malware is only guaranteed by installing a complete package of security software solutions (Internet Security or All in One Security). When employees of different vendors were asked the same question, they nodded in affirmative, but at the same time, hinted that users would be safer if they purchased the complete package, and not just the system antivirus. All the major antivirus vendors like Kaspersky, Bitdefender, Norton and McAfee have been providing security for the system, protection against online threats, safeguarding your online identity and building a personal firewall for you. This multilayered secure environment makes the internet a safe place for you. Since malware have been extensively used for stealing information from victims for quite some time now, it is essential that all types of malware are blocked. Most of the antivirus packages provide you cutting –edge technology and protection against even zero-hour threats due to their integration with the cloud. They forward the virus database to the cloud, reporting of the most recently launched threats. Definitions are dynamically updated and sent to systems connected to the cloud all over the world, thus preventing the spread of the infection.

Anti-malware and Antivirus programs essentially have the same goal- denying access to malicious programs into the computer/server/network. MalwareBytes, one of the leading suppliers of Antimalware software, clearly mentions that the programs is meant to remove malware and is less directed towards the removal of traditional viruses. The best solution is to scan your system for viruses and other vulnerabilities, disable it for some time and then scan the computer for malware.

What is the difference between Antivirus and Internet Security Software?


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