3 key differences between antivirus and antimalware that you should know

In case you have some kind of malware on your device, they could end up stealing passwords, personal data, putting the proper functioning of the equipment at risk or even encrypting the files to ask for a financial ransom in exchange. That is why it is essential to be well protected.

Anti-virus vs. anti-malware

But are there really differences between a anti virus and a antimalware? Although both options serve to improve your security and prevent computer attacks, each of these programs has some differential characteristics. However, as you will see, you will be able to combine them and be more protected.


An antivirus, which is the most traditional, allows you to protect a system mainly against viruses. It will protect against any download that we make, for example of a program that we are going to install. If it detects that it is malware, it will issue a warning or delete it directly before it is downloaded.

An antimalware will protect against a wider variety of threats. For example, we may include trojans, worms, browser-affecting adware, etc. It will act more against files that may already be inside the system and that affect the performance or usability of the equipment.


Another difference that we can find is when detect threats. In this sense, an antivirus will mainly detect known viruses. It is based on detecting malicious software that has been previously classified as a threat. Basically, it compares any file that arrives on your system or that you have saved, with a list of known threats.

On the other hand, antimalware is also capable of detecting unknown or 0-day threats. It can detect certain behaviors that make the program suspect that it is a security threat. It can detect many types of files that are malicious and can seriously compromise security.

Windows antivirus problems

recent threats

An important difference is that antiviruses can be said to be a more traditional protection. They are not as well trained to detect various and more current threats, which can put our privacy at risk on the Internet and affect the data we share on the network.

On the other hand, antimalware applications are going to have greater capacity to deal with more sophisticated threats, recent ones or that may even have different objectives. It will be a more versatile type of program, although you will always be able to combine it with a good, more traditional antivirus.

In short, as you can see, there are differences between an antivirus and an antimalware, beyond the name. Having your computer well protected is essential and you can always have several programs of this type to improve security. There are even antivirus browser plugins you can install.

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