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Difference between Firewall and Antivirus

Firewalls and antivirus software are both security mechanisms that secure the computer systems and network architecture from viruses, worms, Trojans, and other cyber threats. However, the vulnerabilities in both scenarios are different. The primary distinction between a firewall and an antivirus is that a firewall functions as a barrier for incoming system traffic. In contrast, antivirus secures the systems against internal threats such as harmful files, etc. Both Firewalls and Antivirus work in various ways. For example, the firewall focuses on inspecting data travelling from the internet to the computer. On the other hand, an antivirus focuses on malicious software inspection procedures such as detection, identification, and removal.

In this article, you will learn about the difference between Firewall and Antivirus. But before discussing the differences, you must know about Firewalls and Antivirus with their advantages and disadvantages.

What is Firewall?

A firewall may be defined as a network security tool that checks and filters incoming and outgoing network traffic in accordance with the predetermined security regulations set up by an organization to secure it against unethical behavior. It acts as a barrier between the public internet and a private internal network. The primary goal of utilizing a network security firewall in a network system is to allow non-threatening traffic in while keeping harmful traffic out.

How does a firewall Work?

As previously mentioned, a firewall keeps track of all network traffic entering your computer system. It acts as a barrier between your network and the internet to secure your computer system. Firewalls examine the origins of data packets and filter malicious and permitted network traffic. Additionally, they do deep packet inspections to find malicious traffic that might try to get beyond the firewall.

Types of Firewalls

There are various types of firewalls. Some important firewalls are as follows:

1. Packet Filters

It is also known as screening filters and screening routers. A packet filter passes (forwards or discards) a packet after applying a set of rules and making a decision based on the output. Although IP spoofing, source routing assaults, and micro fragment attacks can compromise packet filter security. Stateful packet filters and dynamic packet filters are examples of advanced packet filters.

2. Circuit Gateway

It is comparable to an application gateway but has more features, such as creating a new connection with a remote server. Additionally, it has the ability to modify the packets' source IP address to utilize the end user's IP.

3. Application gateway

It is also known as the Proxy server. Since it acts as a proxy or substitute, controls the flow of application-level communication, and shields the source IP from prying eyes.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Firewall

There are various advantages and disadvantages of the firewall. Some main advantages and disadvantages of firewalls are as follows:


  1. It is a security tool that secures a computer system by creating a wall between the system and malicious sources. Firewalls shield computers from virus damage and block all trojans using their pre-set criteria.
  2. Hackers constantly have malicious intentions when using a system or the internet. A firewall provides security to those who wish to abuse or access various sources.
  3. Firewalls monitor all sources and traffic that may harm the computer system since they might be harmful or undesirable sources and prevent them.
  4. Personal information is protected by a firewall so that it may not be compromised. It provides anonymity and blocks any undesirable websites.


  1. If a firewall is running in the background, it might have an impact on the performance of RAM resources and processor power. As a result, the total system performance slows, but the hardware firewall is less effective in slowing it down.
  2. Hardware firewalls are more expensive than software firewalls and therefore require more maintenance. Thus, software firewalls are less expensive and may be utilized for personal purposes.
  3. Many large organizations use IT staff and expertise to handle the firewall because it is not manageable by anyone else.

What is Antivirus?

Antivirus software system scans a system for worms, viruses, and other threats and finds, stops, and gets rid of them. Most antivirus programs have an automatic update capability that downloads the latest virus profiles and scans for new dangers. It should be installed on every system, but picking the right program is very important.

It was originally developed to identify, protect, and eliminate viruses from a system. Some common instances of antivirus software are McAfee, Norton, BullGuard, etc. Emails are a typical way for malware to access the system, and the email's attachments could contain viruses. If the antivirus finds any such programs that may have a security risk to your system, it can block, repair, or entirely remove the software from the system.

How does Antivirus Work?

Antivirus software prevents malware or viruses from harming your device by identifying, quarantining, and removing the dangerous code. Modern antivirus applications update themselves constantly to provide improved defense against new viruses and malware. Antivirus software employs a systematic threat detection, identification, and removal approach.

1. Detection

The antivirus software firstly detects the malicious file or program.

2. Identification

It determines whether the threat is a worm, virus, trojan, etc.

3. Removal

Antivirus takes steps to remove the infected file based on the detected problem. It has the ability to block, repair, or fully remove the software from the device and restore the original backup program.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Antivirus

There are various advantages and disadvantages of antivirus. Some main advantages and disadvantages of antivirus are as follows:


  1. The main goal of an antivirus application is to defend the system against viruses and some other kinds of malware. The entire system's performance will be affected by viruses, and they will also corrupt your data. All of these are possible without your knowing. Your system's antivirus program finds and gets rid of malware before it can harm your system.
  2. Viruses may also enter your system via spam emails and advertisements. You may continue getting emails and adverts even if you are not interested in them. The virus causes irreparable damage once it has entered your system, and an antivirus works by preventing ads and spam emails.
  3. Most antivirus software has a firewall capability. Antivirus software with a firewall feature protects your computer in two ways. It means that all information submitted or received will be double-checked here. As a result, no hackers may extract any sensitive data from your system.
  4. Other types of hazards may be encountered while visiting the web. Cybercriminals may steal your MasterCard and checking account information from untrustworthy websites. One of the methods for overcoming this is to use antivirus software. When you use an antivirus program, you will protect your sensitive information while surfing the web.
  5. Much premium antivirus software requires a monthly/yearly subscription fee, but certain antivirus software's entirely free. These free antivirus software offer nearly the same level of protection as subscription-based software.


  1. There is no guarantee that free antivirus software will give you complete security. Most of the free antivirus solutions available only provide a basic level of protection. Furthermore, they can only detect particular types of threats. You must also utilize a firewall to provide complete protection.
  2. Another disadvantage of a free antivirus product is the lack of customer service. There will be no customer service provided until you purchase the premium version. The only way to resolve an issue that arises is through forums and information bases.
  3. Using antivirus software consumes a large amount of RAM and a hard drive. It might significantly reduce the overall speed of the system. Furthermore, the scanning approach may also generate lags in the network.
  4. The virus or threat can bypass antivirus protection when security flaws exist inside the operating system or networking software. The antivirus software will be ineffective if the user doesn't take action to stay updated.
  5. Apart from paid versions of antivirus programs, free antivirus programs must earn revenue in some way. Advertising is one method of achieving them. Many of these adverts damage the user experience.

Key differences between Firewall and Antivirus

Difference between Firewall and Antivirus

Here, you will learn about the key differences between Firewalls and Antivirus. Some of the main differences between Firewalls and Antivirus are as follows:

  1. A firewall is implemented both on the software and hardware levels. In contrast, antivirus software is only implemented at the software level.
  2. A firewall contains IP spoofing and routing counter-attacks. In contrast, antivirus software doesn't have any counter-attacks after eliminating the malware.
  3. Antivirus software provides scanning, which includes detection, identification, and eradication. In contrast, a firewall checks and filters incoming and outgoing traffic.
  4. In a firewall, the attack is inspected based on incoming packets using a set of rules. In contrast, antivirus inspects and scans infected harmful files and applications.
  5. Firewalls only deal with external threats or attacks. In contrast, antivirus protects against both external and internal threats.
  6. The firewall protects the system from all types of threats. In contrast, antivirus software only protects the system from viruses.
  7. Firewall attacks on the incoming data packets. In contrast, antivirus software attacks malicious programs live on the system.

Head-to-head comparison between Baseband and Broadband Transmission

Here, you will learn the head-to-head comparisons between Firewalls and Antivirus. The main differences between Firewall and Antivirus are as follows:

Features Firewall Antivirus
Definition A firewall is a special sort of router or interface that inspects all data packets arriving or exiting a network. These data packets should pass through the firewall, which inspects the data and determines whether or not to allow it. An antivirus is a software that scans the system, detects, and prevents any harmful files and programs from entering the system.
Basic It is mainly designed to protect the system and networks from malicious attacks. It is mainly designed to protect the system from worms, viruses, spyware, and Trojan horse.
Implementation It may be implemented at both the software and hardware level. It may only implement at the software level.
Threats It deals with only external threats. It deals with both internal and external threats.
Operations performed It checks and filters incoming internet traffic on the system. It checks damaged files and software and protects against viruses.
Programming Its programming is complex. Its programming is simple and easy.
Protection It secures the system from all types of threats to the system. It protects the system only from viruses.
Counter attacks Counter-attacks are possible, like routing attacks and IP Spoofing. There are no counter-attacks possible after removing the threat or malware.
Inspection of attack It checks the threat or virus from incoming data packets. It checks the threat from the malicious program.


In summary, both firewalls and antivirus software are built on the same concepts but with different implementations. They can detect hidden weaknesses within the computer or across the network, and a firewall serves as a barrier between the computer and the network. At the same time, antivirus software is used to identify and remove malware such as rootkits, Trojan horses, spyware, and keyloggers from the computer. Simply put, a firewall monitors and filters incoming and outgoing data to protect your system from unwanted access while connected to the internet. Antivirus is software that is intended to prevent viruses from entering the system.

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