Firewall vs Antivirus: What’s the Difference and Do You Need Both?
When it comes to protecting yourself online, there is a lot of confusion. Between VPNs, two-factor authentication, antivirus software, and firewalls, there are so many ways to protect yourself that it can be difficult to keep track of them all.
A big mistake people make is buying a service and wiping their hands. They will think, “Well, I have this program highly rated so I’m completely safe!” Unfortunately, this is not enough.
If you really want to protect your gadgets, you will need to understand the programs you are using. Firewalls and antivirus programs are both incredibly useful, but they often get confused. People may use one and think they don’t need the other, which could weaken their overall security. Thanks to our sponsor, Total VA, we’ve created a guide to these two security tools: what they are, how they’re different, and how they can help you.
What is a firewall?
If you’re not quite sure what a firewall is, think of it as a modern take on a medieval guardian. Hundreds of years ago, armored guards stood outside their city’s front door, keeping a close watch on any merchants who brought their wares for trade. Your firewall is a digital guard that monitors data entering and leaving your system.
Just as an armored guard would stop suspicious visitors, your firewall also prevents suspicious data from entering your system. Basically, a firewall is a protective barrier separating your devices from the dangers of the Internet.
But it’s not like antivirus software, which neutralizes malware on your phone or computer. It will also not search for files; it’s just a guard that checks the network’s data flow and makes sure it’s safe before it enters your device.
Guards are useful, of course, but they can’t solve or catch every problem. For this you will need anti-virus software.
What is antivirus software?
This is an essential asset in your security toolbox. Antivirus software works in the background to protect you while browsing the web. It is designed to proactively find and remove digital threats, such as malware, Trojans, etc.
Antivirus software is an essential part of your digital security system. If you don’t have it, a virus could sneak into your computer after just one wrong click or download.
This is because digital threats are absolutely pervasive; you’ll even find them on children’s websites. Unfortunately, even apparently government-run websites are not always secure. Criminals set up copycat sites that look like the real deal to let their guard down.
Conclusion: Viruses are everywhere. The crooks work incredibly hard to invade your devices. That’s why you need antivirus software to do the heavy lifting for you.
Conclusion: do you need both?
Yes. While the two programs are incredibly useful, they do not perform the same tasks. You will need as much protection as possible, so you should step up your security measures and use both.
Remember: Antivirus software works in the background to protect your devices. Firewalls are like guards that watch over the entry of dangerous data. When the two work together, cybercriminals find it difficult to invade your digital life.
When it comes to staying safe online, one option stands out above the rest.
Kim’s choice for total online security
TotalAV The award-winning antivirus security suite offers comprehensive protection you can count on, with built-in protection against adware, ransomware and malware. TotalAV’s Safe Site browser extension automatically detects and blocks dangerous phishing sites, so you always know you are entering your private data on the right site.
Best of all, you can protect up to five devices on a single account. It works with your Windows PC, Mac computer, iPhone and Android smartphones.