Difference Between Antivirus and Anti-Malware Software

With so many intrusion programs around these days, it is very easy to get confused between the definitions of antivirus and antimalware. Both are malicious programs for any computer system and can take away mental peace of the user forever, but speaking of technical details what precisely are the differences in between them? There aren’t many, but having the knowledge could be helpful. Also, the security programs these days come in various flavors to confuse the computer users even more. As for sure, this would leave many less geeky, or rephrase it as more normal-human-being computer users wondering what actually are the differences between antivirus and antimalware software?

antivirus software

We tried to explain very briefly.

Difference between Virus and Malware

As you might know already, viruses are computer programs but they are usually built for malicious reasons – to harm your computer or fetch data away. However, a virus is a piece of coded program that is created to intrude your computer, exploit its best possibilities and corrupt your system, could possibly erase the data stored on it as well. Malware is a much broader term, basically and umbrella term that includes viruses as well as spyware, Trojan horses, ransomware, adware and other malicious programs. Put this way, all viruses are malwares but not all malwares are viruses.

However, this had been a very simple briefing and that can’t really define a complicated term like difference between virus and malware. Viruses have around for really long time and their nature of attach and intrusion haven’t really changed much. The legacy had to be made wider in order to find smarter ways, hence the smarter hackers came up with keyloggers, rootkits, worms etc. and all these are sorts of viruses.

For easier understanding in the consumer end, companies that make security software for computers have chosen the term antivirus as a marketing term. Because anti-malware would be an alien term for the most consumers out there, while antivirus sounds much easier and it rhythms well too!


Few Suggestions

In case you had been planning on getting your computer a new security program, here are threenarrowed-down options:

  • Norton Antivirus Plus: A new version of this software is released every year by Symantec. The software interface is straight forward; slightly complex but still goes easy even on the newest of users. A new version is released every year; current edition is 2016.
  • Bitdefender Antivirus Plus: The current 2016 edition offers a very effective anti-ransomware tool, in case you had been receiving a lot of those in the past few months. Bitdefender Antivirus Plus happens to be the #1 anti-malware program of 2015.
  • Avast Antivirus: The free version is just basically an antivirus with few other impressive features; but if you buy the paid version of Avast you get a whole set of anti-malware tools like the anti-spyware, firewall etc. and a dedicated VPN service.


Don’t compromise on your computer’s security. If a malware attack ever happens, once is enough to devastate everything you have on your computer.

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