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AntiVirus or AntiMalware?

I’m sure you’ve heard the horror stories. A colleague clicked on something he shouldn’t have and now all of his files are encrypted. A family member opens an unknown email and now pop-ups are appearing all over the place. A friend downloads “a free movie” and now can’t access her WiFi.

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Unfortunately, these things are a common peril of using the Internet, and it’s getting worse. Today more than ever you have to protect your computer. The best protection is layered protection, consisting of both antivirus AND antimalware. What’s the difference you ask? Below we will try to answer that question for you.

 

Antivirus software is a utility application designed to detect, prevent and clean up computer viruses which may attempt to infect your computer system. Most antivirus programs include an auto-update feature that permits the program to download profiles of new viruses, enabling the system to check for new threats. Antivirus is designed to combat computer viruses but most modern AV software will also combat a range of threats beyond traditional viruses – including worms and trojans. Antivirus software also looks at things your computer is doing to try to find virus-like behavior and block it before infection starts. This is called heuristic protection.

 

Antimalware software is a utility application designed to prevent, detect and remediate malicious software, spyware, potentially unwanted programs (PuPs), and other suspicious applications on individual computing devices and IT systems. Antimalware protects against infections caused by many types of malware: including viruses, worms, trojans, rootkits, spyware, keyloggers, ransomware and adware.

 

They sound very similar right? In truth they do overlap in some areas, but they each have their niches of expertise. Antivirus software was designed from the beginning to block, root out and remove viruses. That’s what they do best. But today, the majority of invasive malicious software is of the malware variety, not actual viruses. Most of the big name antivirus software companies have expanded their offerings to address the influx of malware. So many AV programs now also claim to be able to prevent, detect, and remove SOME forms of malware.

Antimalware on the other hand was designed to specifically detect, block, and remove many different types of malware. A good analogy is this: antimalware is like general practitioner physician, an MD. An MD has to have knowledge of a wide range of ailments & symptoms of them in order to be able to diagnose and treat many problems successfully. Antivirus is like a specialist surgeon. A specialist has a very intensive, but very narrow range of knowledge in a specific area. Your MD and various specialists work together to provide you with comprehensive medical care & treatment. That’s how most antivirus & antimalware work together to provide comprehensive protection from malicious software to your computer.

 

Geek Easy Computers recommends this setup to provide the most protection for your computer. Everybody has their favorite antivirus, but the general consensus is that MalwareBytes Pro is the best antimalware software currently available.

According to MalwareBytes “…there are many infections that Malwarebytes AntiMalware does not detect or remove which any antivirus software will, such as file infectors. It is important to note that Malwarebytes AntiMalware works well and should run alongside antivirus software without conflicts.”

Of course there are exceptions, and it is possible that your favorite antivirus won’t like running with a similar application. Also, both types of software typically use active scanning to protect your computer, which uses resources, so verify that your computer has enough “muscle” to run them and your productivity applications.

 

Our official antivirus recommendation is to have the best product available. With that in mind, we do recommend BitDefender as the ideal solution for home protection. It has been in the top-three rankings consistently over the past three years. It received perfect scores in AV-Test’s June 2015 rankings for protection, performance and usability. It received a perfect ranking in AV-Comparatives last Real-World Protection test. MalwareBytes also lists BitDefender Total Security 2015 as fully compatible with their product.

 

For more information:

AV-Comparatives Results: Real-World Protection August 2015

AV-Test Results: Best Antivirus Software for Windows Home User June 2015

Malwarebytes AntiMalware: Awards and Testimonials

Malwarebytes AntiMalware: Malwarebytes Compatibility with Antivirus Products

 

If you have any questions contact us below, on Facebook or Google+, email or just stop in! If you’re looking for more ways to protect yourself on these dangerous webs, see our previous blog post: How to Avoid Malicious Software!

 

Geek Easy Computers – Making Technology Easier!

 

 me_smile Adonis Pointer is a photographer, a collector of vintage razors, and a certified technology geek!
Adonis has been involved in computer technology since well, a LONG time! He has been involved in nearly every aspect of the industry from sales to repair to training to consulting. As the Social Media Manager he writes the majority of the posts on the Geek Easy Computers blog.

 

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