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What is The Difference Between Firewall and Antivirus

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Some people always want to poke their nose in people’s affairs and then trouble other people. In our case, some so-called hackers try to hack information due to which Cybersecurity was made to ensure that these do not affect our computer’s hardware, software, etc. 

In order to secure our computers, we find ourselves amidst a cold war, Firewall vs antivirus. They both are meant to secure your computer but are somehow different.

In this article, we are going to see the difference between Firewall and Antivirus and hopefully, pick a winner out of it.

Cybersecurity:-

Cybersecurity is known by many terms such as computer security, information technology security, and electronic information security is the program used for protection of the computer systems, hardware, software, networks, data, and electronic devices from malicious software, theft, or damage and attack on the computer systems.

It is very important in business to have cybersecurity so that no important information gets hijacked or to prevent the system from shutting down which will hinder the work that can cost them some money.

Application security is one of the aspects facing more cyberattacks, to protect our computers, laptops, phones, or whatever device user is working with, we have antivirus programs like Antivirus and Firewall.

Types of Cyberattack:-

There are different types of cybersecurity and their names are:

1.Network security: It is a type of cybersecurity used to protect a computer’s network from intruders like hackers.

2.Information Security: It is used to save the data’s privacy and integrity in both storage and transit.

3.Operational security: It is also called procedural security, it basically protects the data from falling into the wrong hand.

4.Cloud security: It is a set of applications procedures, technologies used to protect IP addresses, data, services, etc.

5.Application security: It works to keep the software, hardware, and devices free of any threat, as applications are more available on the internet, there are more chances of a threat to enter our device through the internet.

There are different types of application software, these are:-

1. Encryption programs

2. Anti-virus software 

3. Firewall

Anti-virus:-

Anti-virus, also written as antivirus or Av software is a computer program that was initially made to protect computers from malware by preventing, detecting the malware, and then removing it.

What is The Difference Between Firewall and Antivirus

Malware is another additional name for malicious software components like viruses, spyware, hijackers. It is basically a code made by cyber attackers to harm the computer systems.

The name ‘Antivirus software’ gives users a hint of what they are, that is,  it is software originally found to work against viruses and computer threats such as spam, a scam, online banking attacks, etc.

But due to the reproduction of new malware, now it also works to protect the computer from any type pf harmful things such as ransomware, dialers, fraud tools, trojan horses, spyware, malicious browsers, browsers hijackers, keyloggers, etc that may affect computer’s performance, steal the information or slow down the computer.

Antivirus Softwares are implemented in Software and it removes corrupt files as well as software from our computer and network. Anti-virus software works on file level meaning it can only detect and scan the potential harm on file storage, it does not concern harm that can happen on the hard disk.

Antivirus scans the new software downloaded, it can use different methods to detect any virus such as Sandbox detection, Signature-based detection, or by Heuristic detection and then some antivirus keeps the virus in

Sometimes Antivirus detects an important file as malware and immediately deletes the essential file that can affect the windows operating system, this condition is known as a ‘false positive’.

This usually happens in Microsoft based applications as immediately deleting the file is set as default in it. To recover from such problems requires a large amount of money so this is one of the drawbacks of Antivirus.

These are some of the most famous and widely used Antivirus Softwares by computer users at the present time.

Many users get confused between Antivirus and Anti-malware but there is nothing to get mixed with each other because it both means the same thing, the slight difference between anti-virus and anti-malware is that latter is the updated version of the first, anti-malware just deals with a new version of the malware like zero-day attacks whereas antivirus deals with pre-existing viruses.

How to use Windows Defender:-

We have mentioned many anti-viruses above in the article, but Windows 10 has an in-built Defender tool that can be used to secure your computer. In this section, we are going to use it to do a quick scan.

To do that, you need to follow the prescribed steps:-

Step 1: Launch the settings by either searching it out from the start menu or by right-clicking on the start menu and then select “Settings” from the appeared window.

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Step 2: From the appeared window, you need to select the Update & Security option.

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Step 3: Now, go to the Windows Security tab from the left panel and then click on the Open Windows Security button.

What is The Difference Between Firewall and Antivirus

Step 4: From the Appeared Windows Security screen, you need to click on the Virus & Threat Protection tab from the left panel and then click on Scan Now.

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This way you can scan and eliminate all the malicious virus that you have.

You may like to read our detailed guide on What are The Symptoms of a Computer Virus?

Worst Malware Of The Recent Time

1. EMOTET

What it does:-

Emotet started life as a banking Trojan designed to steal sensitive information and has since evolved into a modular, self-propagating platform that can deploy spam campaigns and spread other strains of malware.

It’s the number one cybersecurity threat today, though its activity tends to slow during the summer months while its developers add new features and capabilities.

How it spreads:-

Emotet can spread through phishing and spam emails (often using the names of controversial public figures to fool you into clicking links), and via malicious websites and attachments.

It can also make itself look like a message from one of your (infected) contacts, then spread from one system to another over a network.

Worst Malware Of The Recent Time
Emotet is currently the biggest malware threat and uses devious ways to spread

Deviously, Emotet can tell if it’s being run in a virtual machine and lay dormant on a computer in a bid to thwart anti-malware developers.

How to avoid it:-

There are usually no obvious signs of an Emotet infection. However, if your PC starts behaving oddly, it’s worth checking it with an up-to-date antivirus scanner. To be on the safe side, make sure macros are disabled in Microsoft Office.

2. JOKER

What it does:-

Worst Malware Of The Recent Time 1
Joker disguises itself as legitimate apps and subscribes you to premium services

Joker is a premium dialler that disguises itself as a legitimate Android app in the Google Play store. It sends messages to expensive phone numbers and subscribes victims to premium services without their knowledge or consent. It can also download additional malware to an infected device.

How it spreads:-

You become infected by installing what appears to be a legitimate app, complete with convincing-looking user ratings. Google has removed hundreds of such apps over the years, but new versions sneak past the search giant’s vetting process with annoying regularity, thanks to small changes to Joker’s code.

How to avoid it:-

Don’t blindly install apps from Google Play – always read the reviews carefully. Check your phone bill regularly to make sure you haven’t been signed up for any services without your knowledge.

If you have, try to unsubscribe. Identify and remove the infected app from your phone by working out which one it’s most likely to be.

3. AGENT TESLA

What it does:-

Agent Tesla is a RAT – Remote Access Trojan – that logs your PC keyboard activity and clipboard content, and attempts to steal personal information and login credentials from email clients, web browsers, and the Windows Registry. It then sends all harvested data back to the attacker.

Agent Tesla has been around since 2014 but, in recent years, it’s evolved and become more popular. Most recently, it was found to be stealing Wi-Fi passwords.

How it spreads:-

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Agent Tesla spreads through phishing emails to steal your persona! data

Like a lot of malware. Agent Tesla is spread through phishing campaigns and has been widely used in coronavirus-themed spam, with messages appearing to have originated from WHO (World Health Organisation). It’s also been found in malicious Office documents.

How to avoid it:-

Don’t click any links in emails or Office documents if you’re not certain where they’ll take you.

Get into the habit of scanning documents with your antivirus program rather than blindly clicking them. Be sure to avoid opening documents with a double extension, such as ‘covid19.doc.rtf.

4. DRIDEX

What it does:-

Dridex is a financial Trojan that tries to steal a victim’s passwords, banking details, and personal information. It can monitor activity on your PC, download other malicious files, and take screenshots. It’s been active since at least 2014.

How it spreads:-

Usually, you get infected with Dridex through phishing emails and malicious files. However, it can also be installed via another piece of malware, such as Emotet.

How to avoid it:-

Dridex is designed to be very hard to spot. Take the steps we’ve mentioned previously, such as not clicking links in emails or opening mysterious documents.

5. RYUK

What it does:-

Ryuk is named after a character from the Japanese comic book series Death Note and is a particularly nasty form of ransomware.

 It mostly targets businesses and enterprise organizations and encrypts all files before generating a ransom note demanding payment in Bitcoin. It can manually delete both system backups and shadow copies, making it almost impossible to recover from.

How it spreads:-

Ryuk can be installed by an attacker who has gained access to the system but is more commonly introduced by other malware, such as Emotet or TrickBot. Once running, it will attempt to disable any antivirus software.

How to avoid it:-

Ryuk targets firms that have the funds to pay up, but you could still get infected, especially if you succumb to the likes of Emotet.

Make sure your antivirus software is running and up to date, and that any backups you make are stored offline or away from your network.

5. XHELPER

What it does:-

Featured xHelperUpdate resize 800x506 1

This malicious Android app has been around since March 2019 and displays ads on your device and attempts to download other apps. It can hide and reinstall itself if removed and, until early this year, was impossible to fully remove – even surviving factory resets.

How it spreads:-

Attackers direct Android users to apps hosted outside the Play store that can be sideloaded on phones and tablets, bypassing Android’s built-in security. Once installed, the apps install the xHelper Trojan.

How to avoid it:-

If you start getting bombarded with annoying pop-up ads or notification spam, there’s a good chance you have xHelper on your phone.

Remove it by installing and running Malwarebytes for Android (www.malwarebytes.com/android) or by following the steps for removing the Trojan here.

6. TRICKBOT

What it does:-

Trickbot, like Emotet, started life as a banking Trojan and has similarly become more flexible and modular. It can steal personal information, gather details about the infected device and network, and download further malicious content.

It can also create scheduled tasks in Windows, to keep itself running without your knowledge, and even disable Windows Defender.

How it spreads:-

Trickbot can be spread via phishing campaigns, in malicious Office documents, and as a secondary payload through the likes of Emotet. It can also spread across a network by infecting other devices.

How to avoid it:-

Watch out for signs of changes to your system or network, and for unauthorized account access. Don’t open emails or documents from unknown sources. If you suspect you’ve been infected, remove the threat using antivirus software, change your passwords and contact your bank.

WILL MY ANTIVIRUS KEEP ME SAFE?

Provided you have a decent antimalware software installed, keep it up to date at all times and run regular full scans, you should be safe from all the major threats we’ve covered in this feature.

That said, there are also dedicated free tools available – including ones from the main security firms – which can detect specific threats and keep you safe. These include EmoCheck (Visit Here), which can find and block Emotet, and Emsisoft’s range of free ransomware-decryption tools.

Firewall:-

To protect the computer from malicious software, a Firewall can either be Hardware or it can be Software and the name is derived from the fire protecting wall.

Both are used to protect the computer from malware over the internet but the Hardware Firewall protects the computer system from external threats and a Software Firewall works to prevent harm from internal threats. Let’s get a piece of knowledge about the Software Firewall.

A firewall is also known as a personal Firewall and a Host Firewall is a program used for safeguarding our computer from threats over the internet from unauthorized access.

It is already installed in the operating system on the computer by the user and protects that single computer as well as notify the computer of any possible threat trying to connect with our network

The firewall monitors the ingoing and outgoing traffic out from the computers and then gives entry to only those networks who follow the configurable rule and act as a bridge between our network and the Internet and Firewall does not let any unauthorized data to enter the computer.

Types of Firewalls

It scans the incoming packet for any defecting code, IP address, a Protocol destination address, TCP, or UDP protocol, internet control message type, and then based on it allows or blocks the packet hence protecting the computer system from any threat.

In the windows operating system, the system comes with an already inbuilt software Firewall which can be accessed through the control panel but a Software Firewall can not protect the computer from every single threat that is why it is highly recommended to have both Firewalls, Software as well as Hardware firewall to completely protect the computer system, important data.

Packet filtering, Application filtering, and Proxy server are three types of firewalls and have their distinct functions to perform. A Firewall let the users choose the commands from the Operation menu as this Firewall is a menu based application.

I would recommend reading our guide on Types of Firewalls: The Definitive Guide.

Difference between Firewall and Antivirus

Now, let’s just see the difference between firewall and antivirus. And see whether we have to pick between them.

Both are used by computers, laptops, desktops, as an anti-malware program to prevent any threat from entering the computer and affecting the performance of the computer. Both the software perform a totally different function from each other and are based on different patterns.

Firewall name is derived from the wall that stops the fire from spreading, exactly as Firewall stops the virus from spreading, on the other hand, Antivirus software term basically derived from its function of fighting against Viruses. A Firewall can be of two types, Hardware, and Software but Antivirus only concerns Software.

A Firewall acts as a bridge and inhibits the data from entering the devices whereas an Anti-virus software scans, detect, and then deletes the malware from the device. 

A firewall lets the packet enter and then scan it whereas Antivirus software scans the software or data first and if not finding any malware in it, it lets the software enters the computer.

In between, Antivirus and Firewall, no one is better than the other as they perform a totally different function form each other.

But we can say that having both Antivirus as well Firewall will safeguard the device much better than having only one program as Firewall inhibits the traffic over the internet by observing its defecting code, IP address, a Protocol destination address, TCP, or UDP protocol, internet control message type and then accepts the inbound network.

The virus can still enter the computer through applications, links, download things, or through the flash drive and harm the computer system or slowing it down so as to stop it from spreading or proliferating,  Antivirus scans the unwanted guest and then deletes it.

That’s all for the difference between firewall and antivirus. We can not decide which program is better but the one thing is decided that a user should have both programs to have a better safeguard for our devices against any harmful malware.

Antivirus:- A software program that is used to protect your operating system against malware like viruses, spyware, worms, keyloggers, application control, exploit protection, ransomware protection, etc.

Firewall:- A software or a hardware program that is used to protect your PC or network against malicious network communications.

With a firewall, you are able to control the communication of your PC or network. In simple words, you are able to control who can communicate with your PC or network.

Protect Your Windows PC with TinyWall (Personal Firewall)

TinyWall used to be a companion app for the built-in Windows firewall, which lets you manage that tool’s various settings to make it more effective against potential threats. With TinyWall 3 (Download Here). 

however, developer Kéroly Pados has completely rewritten the software, transforming it into a standalone firewall. As a result, it can now be run alongside – or without – Microsoft’s security solution.

TinyWall’s interface has undergone a little fine-tuning, and benefits from better performance, new hotkeys, more useful defaults, and unified batch operations. 

By becoming a firewall in its own right, TinyWall now offers enhanced security as a result of boot-time filtering, which allows the firewall rules to come into effect before the program even starts, protecting you much earlier.

It also offers support for (and automatic handling of) UWP (Universal Windows Platform) applications from the Microsoft Store.

There’s full support for Windows File Sharing, too – previously, you needed to employ a workaround to get this up and running – and the addition of raw and ‘promiscuous’ socket filtering provides extra security from apps that attempt to monitor or create network traffic.

What is The Difference Between Firewall and Antivirus

The software now automatically allows child-processes of whitelisted executables (particularly useful in the case of online installers), and the firewall will no longer disconnect running apps when the protection feature is triggered. TinyWall’s installer has also been rewritten, and now provides additional options.

On the downside, the changes to the firewall mean that the software no longer runs on 32-bit versions of Windows, and Vista support has been dropped as well.

Upgrade the Windows Firewall with Simplewall

Windows 10 comes loaded with its very own Windows Defender Firewall, but it’s not the most intuitive security software and doesn’t offer much control. 

Simplewall (Download Here), on the other hand, provides a staggering array of settings, so you can decide precisely which apps and Windows services are granted network access, and stop potentially malicious tools using your internet connection behind your back.

The software is a great way to block suspect apps from getting online (and sending who-knows-what to who-knows-where), but with the right setup, Simplewall can also stop Microsoft from collecting data and spying on you, and even halts Windows updates in their tracks.

1. There are two ways to add a program to Simplewall: the first is to drag and drop the icon straight into the tool; the second is to right-click anywhere within the window and select ‘Add file’,  then navigate to your chosen app through File Explorer and press Open. By default, your program is added to ‘Disabled apps’. 

What is The Difference Between Firewall and Antivirus 2

2. Click the Services tab. Adding a tick next to service moves it from ‘Disabled apps’ to ‘Enabled apps’, but only make changes to Windows services if you know what you’re doing. 

What is The Difference Between Firewall and Antivirus 3

Tick the boxes to configure the UWP Packages and ‘User rules’. It’s also worth monitoring open connections by visiting Network (Beta), then pressing Refresh.

3. In the ‘User rules’ tab, you can create or edit rules for app network requests. Right-click the pane, select ‘Create rule’ and name it.

Next, tick the radio button to decide whether this rule applies to all or specific apps. If it’s the latter, select them in the table below. 

What is The Difference Between Firewall and Antivirus 4

4. Depending on the connection, add the IP address to ‘Rule (Remote)’ or ‘Rule (Local)’. Direction lets you choose whether the rule affects apps on your PC connecting to the network (Outbound) or vice versa (Inbound). Change Protocol and Family, if required, and whether your rule blocks or allows an app’s connection.  Click Save. 

5. Having configured Simplewall, you still need to enable it. When you’re all set, click ‘Enable filters’.

What is The Difference Between Firewall and Antivirus 5

A pop-up warns that invoking this will ‘deny network access to apps’, which is exactly what you want. Before you confirm the current settings, make sure the box marked Disable Windows Firewall is ticked. Click ‘Enable filters’.

6. If any apps not currently enabled are running, a prompt appears above the notification area showing important details about the app’s attempted connection.

What is The Difference Between Firewall and Antivirus

You can permanently Allow or Block network access, or temporarily ‘Block for now’.  If you received multiple notifications, click the down-arrow to switch to the app and take action.

7. You can add a time limit to an enabled app, between two minutes and six hours. In the notification prompt, click the stopwatch and choose how long network access is allowed; a or, in the main window, right-click any app, select Timer and choose the time period. You can also choose ‘Disable timer’  to remove any time restrictions.

What is The Difference Between Firewall and Antivirus 7

8. Simplewall provides a way to manage multiple time- limited apps. Click Edit and select ‘Purge timers’ (or Ctrl+Shift+T). This moves all time-enabled apps to ‘Disabled apps’.

What is The Difference Between Firewall and Antivirus 8

Clicking ‘Purge unused apps’ sends any app that’s not actively connecting to the internet to the ‘Disabled apps’ list.

9. Simplewall lets you block Windows telemetry data, which means it stops Microsoft spying on you. To ensure this is running, click File, Settings, Rules.

What is The Difference Between Firewall and Antivirus 9

Under Blocklist, El ensures ‘Block M$ spying/telemetry servers’  is ticked. You can also block Windows updates and Microsoft apps. When you’ve finished, click Close.

10. To transfer your configuration to multiple computers, click File, Export. Using File Explorer, create an V F XML ‘profile’ and save it somewhere accessible, such as OneDrive.

Open Simplewall on another computer, press Settings, Import Band open this profile. Now, you won’t need to define which apps have network access every time.

How To Enable Firewall in Mac 

Mac is considered to be one of the most secure operating systems and it’s not coming with any antivirus program but it’s coming with an inbuilt firewall program that is disabled by default.

To enable the firewall, open the system preferences by pressing the Command + Spacebar and search for the system preferences or click on the “System Preferences” under your dock.

Click on the “Security and Privacy” tab.

How To Enable Firewall in Mac

Click on the Firewall tab and click on the “Turn on Firewall” tab to enable it.

How To Enable Firewall in Mac 1 1

Click on the Firewall options and click on the Plus icon if you want to create a custom rule for any application.

How To Enable Firewall in Mac 1 2

Wrap-up:-

In this article, we have tried to find the difference between Firewall and antivirus. Both of them are good in their own manner.

On one hand, we have antivirus, that is there to detect the virus, and then delete it. And on the other, a firewall is a program that acts as a barrier between the malicious 

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