Antivirus vs Antimalware. Which one to choose?


Antivirus and Antimalware are two common terms used in computer security.  Many people are confused what these two software actually do. Are they different? If yes that which one should they use? Before differentiate between these two we need to first understand virus and malware terms.

What are virus and malware?

In simple words we define these terms as follows.

What is a virus?

Virus in a computer is a destructive programs developed by a bad programmer to damage other programs and data in the computer. And they also replicate themselves to spread to other computers via different channels.

What is a Malware?

In modern days bad developers programmed dangerous things which are not damaging data but steal data from the computer and use the viruses to spread to other computers.

Virus vs Malware

So Malware is anything malicious which affects the normal functionality of the computer. And Virus is a kind of malware which spreads from one program to another. check for the difference between Virus and Malware.

Virus is the first kind of malware emerged in 90s. So term virus and antivirus get more popular. New kind of malware increased after 2010 and now term malware and anti-malware are used widely.

Difference between Antivirus and Antimalware

Anti-virus and Anti-malware looks similar to protect the computer from malicious activities but they have different methodology and expertise to do this. Let’s See what is the difference between Antivirus and Antimalware.

Antivirus usually deals with the older, more established threats, such as Trojans, viruses, and worms. Anti-malware, by contrast, typically focuses on newer stuff, such as polymorphic malware and malware delivered by zero-day exploits.

Antivirus vs Antimalware

Antivirus Antimalware
Antivirus software are well capable to stop traditional viruses as they have a large database of virus definitions. Antimalware software are more focused on latest threats other then traditional viruses. Usually they don’t have the virus definition. They work on behavioral technology.
More capable to protect from traditional threats More capable to provide zero day protection from dynamic nature threats.
Modern antivirus also includes the antimalware protection in their security solution. Antimalware have now started integrating antivirus scanning engines in their software. They may provide this through cloud platform.
Two antiviruses can conflict with each other but an antimalware can be installed along with them. Antimalware don’t conflict with any other security software even not with another antimalware.


Unlike viruses, malware are dynamic in nature. In the 90s, Viruses were a force to reckon with. As a result, viruses became the most dreaded form of malware. Advancement in computer knowledge has brought about solutions to almost all virus attacks. An antivirus protects your computer against malicious software which may transferred from internet or through flash drives. Antivirus will detect such program files before they replicate and eliminate them completely.

An antimalware on the other hand does pretty much the same thing however it is more focused on new forms of malware. Basically anti malware use a behavioral technology to detect the unknown threats. Antivirus is more efficient in dealing with viruses, trojans and other forms of already known malware. An anti-malware is more effective in dealing unknown threats.

An anti-malware will remain running on your computer every time every minute. It scan the files used by computer and remove if any file found suspicious or harmful. What makes an anti-malware different from an antivirus is that the definition of a malicious file for an anti-malware changes more often. In most cases, an anti-malware needs to remain connected to the internet to keep updating it self.

Which one should choose? Antimalware or Antivirus

The question is worth to ask as people get confused between these two kind of software whereas their working looks almost same. But I want to clear one thing that they both have different methodology to detect the threats. Modern cyber security threats are emerging very fast and daily new kind of method are invented by the bad coders. In my opinion you should install both of them for maximum level of protection. Below links can be useful for you to select the reputed & experienced security software.

Best Antiviruses

Norton, Bitdefender, McAfee, Trend Micro, Webroot, Eset, Avira, Avast, AVG etc..

Best Antimalwares

Malwarebytes, HitmanPro Alert, Emsisoft, Zemana etc..

We recommend you in combination with one antimalware and one antivirus product to keep you protected from all possible threats. As I am using in my Laptop Norton Security + Hitman Pro Alert + Malwarebytes. And this combination is very effective and is also light on system resources.

I chose Norton Security due to its strong virus definition, Smart firewall, community Insight and Tamper Protection.

I chose Hitman Pro as it has feature like keyboard input encryption, Webcam protection, USB Protection and Crypto Protection to protect from ransomware. It also uses a behavioral cloud based technology to scan the suspected file with other antivirus engine to detect any possible threat.

I chose Malwarebytes Pro as it has strong database of malicious Urls. It protects from bad urls, malicious advertising urls etc. along with its strong antimalware database.

This combination give me full proof protection from mostly all kind of threats and I am able to surf the internet without any fear and without any restriction. Please share your thoughts about this and also suggest best combination as per your experience.


Q: Does Antivirus have Anti-malware capability?

A: Mostly modern antivirus claims having the capability of malware protection.

Q: If Antivirus includes antimalware then why they are still calling themselves as antivirus?

A: As we know, viruses were more deadly and feared in the 90s to the extent of making news headlines. This explains the reason as to why many companies use the name antivirus. While an antivirus is used to deal with plenty of other malware threats besides viruses, the market seems to be understanding the term virus more.  Thats why mostly companies are changing their product name with security like total security, complete security etc.

Q: If antivirus software includes antimalware capability then still we need separate antimalware software?

A: Actually different security product have different methodology of protection. So there is no harm to keep an another software for second opinion. It makes sure that we are fully secured.


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