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What is the Difference between Antivirus and Anti-malware?

difference between antivirus and anti-malware

Difference between Antivirus and Anti-malware

All anti-malware are antivirus, but not all antivirus are anti-malware. With the rapid increase in cybercrime, there have been plenty of terms thrown around to define different internet security issues.  Cybersecurity is a serious issue, and lack of awareness can cause loss of valuable data. Therefore, whether you are buying a new phone, a desktop, or a laptop, you must know the difference between antivirus and anti-malware. In this process, you will be able to choose the right security for your system.


An antivirus is referred to a type of software that can remove malicious and junk files from your system.  This software detects various harmful codes from your computer. An antivirus targets only a specific subset of viruses including worms and Trojans. They can remove the harmful files, but cannot prevent them from attacking your system.


Anti-malware is a type of software, installed to protect the system from malware. Some of the malware are Trojan, virus, spyware, adware, worms, rootkits, and phishing. When a file or data is added to a system, anti-malware will check whether these files match to the definitions of any known malicious software. If infected files are found, anti-malware will quarantine that file and protect your system.

An Effective Comparison to Understand the Difference Between Antivirus and Anti-malware

There is quite a difference between antivirus and anti-malware. Clear all your doubts with a useful comparison between the two.

  • Antivirus deals with older viruses whereas anti-malware deals with the latest threats.
  • Antivirus protects users from predictable malware whereas Anti-malware protects users from the unpredictable threats.
  • Antivirus updates at a slow pace whereas anti-malware updates are much faster.
  • Antivirus is much more effective, when it comes to removing malicious files from external hard disks, USBs etcetera whereas anti-malware is beneficial towards online junk files and attachments.
  • Antivirus protects against two threats, whereas anti-malware protects against seven.

However, even though anti-malware is more useful for your system, but it is safe to have more than one security system to be on the safe side. Having multiple layer security system is a smart approach. It will keep your system safe and provide 360-degree security. So now that you know the difference between antivirus and anti-malware, choose the best option for yourself.

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