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What is Antivirus software? Defined & Explained with examples(2021).

Industry: Cyber-security | Internet Security

Here’s everything you need to know about antivirus software:


Just wanted to check what’s antivirus? Well, you’re more than lucky! In this blog, you will find every information about antivirus softwarare. Every single day, there are 350, 000 malware detected at the least. There are over 970 million pieces of malware circulating over the internet while you are reading this informative blog. (A data from AV test institute).

After reading this blog post, you will be sure about the following topics:

  • What is a virus and What is an Antivirus?
  • Types of Antivirus based on OS Compatibility.
  • Examples of Antivirus software?
  • How does antivirus software work?
  • Advantages and disadvantages of using antivirus software.
  • How to choose the best antivirus software?

Let’s understand what is an antivirus?

Before knowing about antivirus, let us know what is a virus?

A virus is a malicious program that attaches itself to a host program and forms multiple copies of itself gradually while hiding behind another program. For example, if the virus is 1kb in size, it can multiply and grow itself by 1 million copies.

What can a virus do to your computer?

  • It can slow down your computer
  • It can corrupt or destroy your data present on your computer
  • It can help a potential hacker to steal your data

I get it. Who created these viruses is your question! The obvious answer is a hacker or cybercriminals.

So now the virus is making you and your computer worried, right? 

Need not worry. This is where Antivirus software comes into play.

What is an antivirus?

Antivirus is a program made to detect and deal with a malicious program called a virus. This antivirus program will contain the core elements to identify the virus. It prevents the virus from multiplying or replicating itself.

For your easy understanding, Antivirus software is software that is programmed to detect, prevent and remove the virus hidden in your computer.

What does antivirus software do?

Scans -> Detects -> removes

The antivirus software scans your computer files for any malware or any malicious codes hidden in the files.

The antivirus software is also capable of scanning your compact disk and USBs.

After the process of scanning, detecting, and removing malicious files, the antivirus software makes sure your computer is virus-free.

How does antivirus software work?

  • The main work of antivirus software is to search and kill the viruses hidden in your PC.
  • What other things the antivirus will look for? The anti-virus software will also look for malicious programs like worms, trojans, adware, spyware, and more.
  • The antivirus software once installed on your computer will prompt a scan option in your monitor screen.
  • The company that builds this antivirus software will have a database of already known viruses and other malware and train their antivirus software to scan and find these malicious programs.
  • So during the process of scanning, the antivirus software which is installed on your computer will compare your files with the database and check for a match.
  • If any file matches the database or is similar to it, they are segregated and removed from your PC.

Advantages of having Antivirus Software:

Your PCs without antivirus software will be affected as soon as you connect to the internet. Hackers or cybercriminal programmers evolve constantly in uploading a piece of code called the virus. 

More than 60,000 pieces of viruses or malware are created by these hackers globally.

So, I can recommend you install antivirus software as soon as possible.

Now let’s see the advantages of having antivirus software installed on your computer.

  • Detecting and removal of viruses, ransomware, and malware.
  • Stopping Identity thefts and Phishing links.
  • The antivirus software warns you about dangerous websites or links when you click one
  • Keep your passwords encrypted while using online
  • Helps your computer run smoothly.
  • The antivirus software keeps running in the background to make sure you don’t fall click or download any malicious files during your work.

Dis-advantages of having Antivirus Software:

However, the antivirus software also has some drawbacks/cons. I have listed the main significant disadvantages of antivirus software.

  • The antivirus software installed on your computer can take up more space 
  • Antivirus software alone cannot provide you complete security from cyberattacks. You may need a firewall.
  • Even though you have installed antivirus software on your computer, the virus or a piece of malicious code may bypass the antivirus software. Your antivirus software may act as the gateway to the virus entering your computer.
  • When you install free antivirus software, no customer support will be provided. The free version will work only for a limited time. You will also have frequent ads popping often.

Best Antivirus Software in the Market

The below-listed antivirus software is listed in no particular order. They are just explained for their features and explained why they are the best in the market.

These products are reviewed based on the following criteria:

Note: If you are thinking of buying antivirus software for your use or your company, use the following criteria to purchase antivirus software.

OS Compatibility: 

Antivirus software must have the capability to work Windows, Android, iOS, and Mac. The companies that build the antivirus software works in such a way that it works on most of the OS versions. That is why this criterion is chosen to be first.

Security Features: 

Any antivirus software must not only prevent computers from viruses but also provide security against Malware, Ransomware, Adware, Spyware, worms, trojans, etc…


The size of the antivirus and the smoothness while processing even in older OS versions or slow working computers is very important. Some antivirus software catches up more space in your computer that might slow down your computer.

User Interface:

This criterion tells whether you need to be an IT expert to use antivirus software.

Let’s see some of the best antivirus software in 2021:

Norton 360 

Norton 360 works with a unique scanning engine that is powered by heuristic analysis and machine learning, making it capable of scanning, finding, and removing all of the newest and most advanced types of malware. 

Norton provides one of the strongest cybersecurity products in the market.

McAfee Total Protection

McAfee’s product protects your devices from almost all the known threats and is most suited for home networks. 

McAfee’s iOS app is ranked as the number one antivirus app of 2021.


Intego is exclusively designed for macOS. Intego can scan 800,000 files in under 2 hours. Intego also has antivirus software for windows but I would not recommend it since it is not as efficient as the version used for Mac.


Bitdefender is one of the powerful antivirus software in the market. It uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to scan the malware and deal with it. Bitdefender has a massive database of malware. Bitdefender is a cloud-based antivirus scanner.


AV is most suitable for non-technical users or beginners, I would say. TotalAV is powered by Avira’s virus protection technology that specifically catches 99% of malware – viruses, trojans, and ransomware.

Kaspersky Internet Security

Kaspersky is one of the popular antivirus software. Kaspersky is one of the best antivirus software which secures your device from almost any malware. It is the best antimalware software and also offers browser security for online financial transactions.


So now that you have come to the end of the blog post, I hope I have provided you with enough information about antivirus software. In this blog, I have spoken about the general information on antivirus software and will get in-depth about antivirus in the following blog post.

Thank you for taking the time to read.

Let me know in the comments, if I have missed anything or if you need any suggestions, or even if you want to suggest anything to us anything. Will be happy to answer and receive your thoughts on this antivirus software blog.

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