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What is the difference between Antivirus and Antimalware?

We all have heard these two terms, virus and malware. We know that these are not good for our electronic gadgets and we need something to remove or stop them. So we have antivirus and anti-malware. We have used many antivirus and anti-malware software’s but do we know what is the difference between them. No, they both are not same things. In this post, we will let you know about how antivirus is different from anti-malware.

Before starting, we need to know how virus is different from malware. Well, they are same things yet they are different.


A Malware is a malicious software which include virus, spyware, adware and more. It is a broader term. While, a virus is specific type of malware which is deigned to replicate itself and spread in the system. So a virus is a kind of malware.

“All viruses are malware but all malware are not viruses.”

How Antivirus is different from anti-malware?

Antivirus software is used to fight against virus. It is all about prevention and cure. An antivirus software will not prevent files that have viruses from being downloaded onto the computer. It tries its level best to keep virus away from computer. However, if a virus is downloaded on the system, the software will detect it and will stop it from being getting activated. Although the infected file is still in the system but it is not affecting the system due to the antivirus.


With advancement in technology, virus has also got advanced. However virus is easily detectable and can be stopped by an antivirus. But modern malware are sophisticated in hiding and hides at the place where it cannot be found by antivirus.

Here comes the role of antimalware. Antimalware has got some special tools which are used to remove these kinds of malware which cannot be detected by antivirus. Unlike, antivirus, antimalware not only detects the malware but it also removes it completely from the computer.

An antivirus cannot perform the function of an anti-malware.An anti-malware also works as antivirus.
It is suitable for PCs at home or systems which are not much immune to virus.These are used in workplaces which are more prone to virus.
It is used for small viruses.It is used for dangerous viruses like spyware.
It is used only for viruses. It can be used for viruses, worms, spywares, malware etc.
It only detects the virus and prevents them from affecting the system. It do not removes them. It not only detects the malware but also removes them from the system.

Top three free antiviruses:

  • 360 Internet Security: It has got good interface and installs quickly, even on affected system. There is a built-in feedback form for the customers. The only drawback is the proactive defense behavior monitor which displays many popup queries which requires a user decision.
  • AVG Antivirus: It provides excellent protection and provides effective virus cleanup. It has got secure deletion file shredder, free of cost. Although, the installation process is bit lengthy and it does not installs quickly on affected system.
  • Avast! : It has got streamlined user interface. It can install and scan in safe mode. It has got weak phishing Although, it provides website reputation check which is one of its own.

Top three free anti-malware:

  • Malware bytes: The most popular antimalware offers 14 days free trails. It not only removes malware but also removes rootkits. Along with this it repairs the file which got affected by malware.
  • ComboFix: It backs up the registry, checks to see if a user have Windows Recovery Console installed in the system and then it does scanning through 40+ stages. It gives a detailed report on malware and removes them. Interface is not that fancy although.
  • Avast!: When it comes to fight against malware, avast is the leader of the warriors. It is free of cost but offers features of paid ones. Complete quick scan and removal of rootkits is one of the most important feature of this.

In today’s world, everyone is using internet and there are high chances that a malware or virus will affect your system. Just by clicking on a wrong URL can do this task. There are many fake apps which attracts user by showing deals, prizes and gives heavy malware in returns. So, make sure you are using the internet in a safe way. Install a good antimalware and always scan external devices before using them.

About the author

Atish Ranjan

Atish Ranjan is an established and independent voice dedicated to providing you unique, well researched and original information from the field of technology, SEO, social media, and blogging.


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  • Hello Atish,

    I would say that you’ve presented an awesome post today. Yes, many of us confuses between Antivirus and antimalware software. But I’m familiar with this difference as it is my fascinating topic.

    As you said, amtimalware is more powerful to detect the harmful spyware and effectively removes the same. I use Quick Heal Total Security for my Lappi and PC, it has antimalware program to offer great protection.

    Thanks for writing the post in a clear manner, hope it would help your readers to differentiate between Antivirus and Antimalware.

  • Hi Atish!

    Great post as usual. I’ve been using Norton and Antispyware however, I’m going to try out AVG as I use that on my mobile. I use Malwarebytes at work too. These are all great programs to use. Thanks for sharing! Gladly passing along!


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