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Difference between anti virus and firewall?


patience
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Hey

I have problem regarding antivirus and firewall. I installed avg antivirus on my pc, but virus attacked on my system again, somebody told me to install any firewall. I am using cable internet. Can anyone help me with the difference between anti virus and firewall? Thanks in advance.

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Just to be a tiny bit more descriptive (not that there's anything wrong with Rkiver's) ...

Antivirus removes malicious applications on your computer, but others can do other things like scan files your using on the fly. Like downloads.

Firewall denies/allows network connections going too, going through, and going out of your computer.

A virus usually gets into your computer through user fault. Ways like a dodgy web site, a file you downloaded that has malicious code, an email etc etc. Ways that go through your Firewall because the way they get in is via traffic that's used. Like web surfing I mentioned before. If the virus is still on your machine, it means that AVG's virus database is out of date, either try another antivirus app (google avast, its another free one) or wait until AVG updates the virus database and finally removes it.

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Know that even if you have anti-virus software, its only as good as your latest definitions, and if you update and scan reguarly, you may still get infected at some point. If there is an attack that uses some other techniques to get into your system, like a browser flaw or 0-day attack, and not a virus, to attack you, it can then get in and bypass the virus software alltogether to download malicious software. Not every virus scanner is going to pick up every virus. This is just something you will have to live with, but you should, at a minimum, have a good software firewall, virus scanner and spyware scanner on your system and update your definitions daily if not every few hours. Sound paranoid? Well, I'v never been whacked or infected either.

Another thing, its one thing to have a scanner, another to bypass it yourself by downloading things from torrents and sites you may visit that might be of an elicit nature. How and where you go on the internet is as important as what protection you use. If you are still using Internet Explorer for example, or not updating your plugins, like shockwave, flash, silverlight, media players, quicktime, etc, or even windows itself, then you are at risk.

You should scan every file you download, and if they are small enough, use a service like Virus Total for double checking smaller files(They have a file size limit for uploads). I personally don't rely on one scanner alone: http://www.virustotal.com/

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  • 2 months later...
Hey

I have problem regarding antivirus and firewall. I installed avg antivirus on my pc, but virus attacked on my system again, somebody told me to install any firewall. I am using cable internet. Can anyone help me with the difference between anti virus and firewall? Thanks in advance.

Don't trust the windows firewall, use something like ZoneAlarm or Comodo Free Firewall to protect yourself no matter what, they will do a better job than the built in windows firewall.

http://www.zonealarm.com/security/en-us/home.htm?lid=en-us

http://www.comodo.com/home/internet-security/firewall.php

For the antivirus side, you could consider Avast 5 its free, popular and comes loaded with security features or you could choose to buy Kaspersky the world's number one and best antivirus software.

http://www.avast.com/en-au/index

http://www.kaspersky.com/

Making sure you computer is fully patched, along with the antivirus and firewall is very important but like digip mentioned above its true, you will never be 100% secure, there are always other methods for a malware/virus to get into your computer.

Edited by Infiltrator
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Under Vista/7 Windows firewall is actually quite good, and tbh I would regard ZoneAlarm as a festering heap of garbage. I've not used Comodo personally, so I can't comment, but if you know what your doing then Windows has very good protection built into it.

As for antivirus, I like AntiVir free, which aside from it advertising the full version every time it updates, is reliable, dependable and unless it has found something won't make its presence known. Avast also looks good (but I've not used it), and Microsoft Security Essentials (which is based on Forefront, an enterprise level application) is very good, has found many bad things on my warez VM and is idiot proof (seriously, you would have to find breathing complicated to be unable to use it). The MS product is also free and should be installed along side Windows Defender.

Also, if you doing warez and you don't know what your doing, then stop. Dodgey stuff is dodgey.

So, to wrap up, install MS Security Essentials and Defender, and unless your machine is connected directly to the internet without a router, you can probally not bother with a seperate firewall app. Also, make sure you have automatic updates turned on, and install them ASAP. lack of updates will screw you over faster than any AV or FW software can save you.

http://www.microsoft.com/security/pypc.aspx

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Under Vista/7 Windows firewall is actually quite good, and tbh I would regard ZoneAlarm as a festering heap of garbage. I've not used Comodo personally, so I can't comment, but if you know what your doing then Windows has very good protection built into it.

I was actually referring to the XP build in firewall, as many users are still using this old OS. Besides, I am also

running Win7 and do find its built in firewall and overall security really good.

I personally don't like Forefront, but I agree with u its very good. Plus the IT company that I work for uses it and at one stage they had to use a different anti virus to scan all the machines, and it was really surprising to see what forefront was not able to detect.

Furthermore, not to run the risk of infecting myself with warez I always use a sandbox application or VM, when opening something that I don't know if its safe or not.

Edited by Infiltrator
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