Recently there are a lot of activities in the cyber world be it hacking, attacking a personal computer, data breaches, and many more (To know more about cybersecurity read our blog). Here I am going to discuss the difference between antivirus and firewall.

The sole purpose of these activities is to get profit through our data, ransom awareness, or any other source.

What is Antivirus?

You may have downloaded certain files from the internet in the form of documents, music, or video, it’s that point when a virus comes to your computer by attaching itself through your downloaded file.

Like we humans need a vaccine to withstand a deadly virus, in the same way, computers need a vaccine and it is called antivirus. An antivirus is a program that you install on your machine and all it does is, knows the authenticated software from the source and if it suspects any foreign or malicious code within that software it removes it.

Advantages of Anti-Virus

Various types of computer viruses are designed to indulge in malicious acts. Some might even totally erase all data and crash a system.

  • Trojans.
  • Malware.
  • Phishing attacks.
  • Spyware.
  • Suspicious fake website links that indulge in several frauds.
  • Email related frauds after hacking into email systems.
  • Spam emails.
  • They can protect passwords and prevent their leakage.
  • They can sniff out suspicious activities which affect the performance of a computer.
  • It can sniff out even a new undefined virus by its activities and signature before it can cause any harm, even though it might not be able to identify it.
  • The application then will be able to quarantine the virus and protect the computer.
  • It blocks spam messages distracting advertisements.

Functions of Anti-Virus

Detection: The software detects a virus or an attempt to infect the system with a malicious virus which can cause some damage to the system.

Identification: The application then tries to identify the virus, type of virus, and its characteristics.

Removal: After detecting and identifying a virus, the software tries to remove the virus from the system. It can also quarantine the virus so that it can cause no further harm.

What is a Firewall?

We saw how antivirus protects a computer that is it focuses on protecting a single computer.

But firewalls are designed to protect many computers at once, that is they do not protect computers uniquely instead they protect the whole network on which these computers are connected.

In this way, they achieve to protect a lot many computers at once.

Therefore a firewall is also called a network protecting device.

Advantages of Firewall

  • A firewall prevents hackers and remote access.
  • It protects data.
  • It ensures better privacy and security.
  • It protects from Trojans.
  • A network-based firewall, like a router, can offer protection to multiple systems, while an OS-based firewall can protect individual systems.

Functions of a Firewall

  • The main function of a firewall is packet filtering.
  • It acts as an application proxy, commonly referred to as an application-level gateway.
  • Stateful firewalls which are dynamic, stateless firewalls.
  • Deep packet inspection, DPI, firewalls.
  • Management functions.

List of Firewalls

  • Palo Alto
  • Watchguard
  • Checkpoint
  • Fortinet
  • Sophos
  • Forcepoint
  • Juniper
  • Fortinet

Differences between Firewall and Antivirus:

Firewall Antivirus
A firewall is a security network designed to protect computer systems and networks from malicious attacks. Antivirus is is a software utility program designed to protect a system from internal attacks from viruses, trojan horse, spyware etc
The general term used for a firewall is “packet filter” because it filters any incoming data packets for suspicious contents. Antivirus identifies and corrects any weaknesses found in the computer system.
The main purpose of a firewall is to monitor network traffic and restrict any unauthorized entry The main function of an antivirus is to scan, detect, prevent and remove any existential threat to the computer system
A firewall works at a network protocol level to safeguard against any unwanted intrusion An antivirus will  only scan for any harmful programs that are present in the system such as viruses, worms, Trojans etc
One of the limitations of a firewall is that it cannot block any internal attacks and also those attacks that bypass its network coverage One of the limitations of an antivirus is that it is cannot check read-only files.
DEC SEAL was the first commercially viable firewall program that came out in 1992. Its creation was spearheaded by American computer scientists Brian Reed and Jeff Mogul. The first documented removal of a computer virus was by an actual antivirus software was in 1987 when a German computer security expert, Bernard Robert Fix, created a programme to remove a virus that had infected files in a DOS-based system


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