Types of Antivirus

Antivirus programs are the indispensable line of defense for any user who operates a computer or portable device, such as tablets or smart phones. types of antivirus purpose of antivirus

Antiviruses are a fundamental tool so that our operating system is clean of malicious programs and protects us from all external threats. purpose of antivirus

Antiviruses provide almost all the security that a home user may need for basic everyday operations: surfing the Internet, downloading files and using documents that come from other sources, such as those that we can find on a pendrive or memory card. memory. purpose of antivirus

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In this post we are going to know everything about antivirus, how they work and types of antivirus that exist in the market, as well as some useful tips and tricks, since knowing what types of antivirus exist and what is the specific task that they fulfill in our system.

What is an antivirus and how does it work?

Computer viruses have advanced by leaps and bounds , making them increasingly difficult to detect.

Beyond the operating system that we use on our computer or mobile device, it is essential that we have a good antivirus installed , and well updated with the latest definitions. purpose of antivirus

An antivirus in reality is a very complex security tool, both in its operation and in its development. If we understand how they work and what are the different types of antivirus that exist , we will be able to overcome any problem that we may have in the case of being infected with a computer virus.

By definition: antiviruses are computer programs whose main objective is to detect and protect us from computer threats to which we are exposed when we use the computer to carry out our tasks.

They keep all kinds of malicious software and threats at bay, such as:

  • Computer viruses 
  • trojan horses or trojans
  • worms or worms
  • rootkit
  • spyware

To keep us safe from dangers and threats, an antivirus app analyzes in real time the operations we carry out with our computer, trying to identify if the files we download or store contain portions of embedded code, called “Signatures”, that identify them with any of the known computer virus codes. purpose of antivirus

Every known virus has an identifiable code pattern, giving each threat the appropriate identity. This code is called ” Signature”, and we could say that it is the DNA of the virus itself. If the antivirus identifies a signature in a file that is compatible with any of the signatures it has stored, it will immediately take measures to prevent it from spreading.

That is why it is so important that the antivirus is updated, since if it is, the database with hundreds of thousands of virus signatures that it contains will also be updated, which offers us better chances of being protected.

Beyond having an antivirus installed on the system, it is very important to have safe browsing habits, that is, not to go anywhere and open any file that falls into our hands, these are more than important points when it comes to being safe. purpose of antivirus

Virus detection techniques

The virus detection technique most used by antivirus is the so-called “Signature verification technique”, which is a strategy that involves checking one or more files in search of certain patterns, the so-called “Signature” detailed above in this post. purpose of antivirus

Unfortunately, this type of detection cannot always be safe, since it depends on our antivirus having its database updated at the moment.

The other most well-known type of analysis is called “Heuristic Verification Technique” and basically consists of anticipating the discovery of the computer virus based on learned behaviors. This type of technique is not one of the most appropriate or safe, since in addition to the procedure being much slower, it can generate a high number of false positives, that is, to indicate a file as a virus when in reality it is not. . purpose of antivirus

The third method for detecting computer viruses is the so-called “Behavior Blocking Technique”, which basically consists of analyzing the actions carried out by the programs that we have installed on the computer in search of any that could represent a danger, such as For example, trying to remove a firewall blockage or access certain files on the system, both actions that should be considered suspicious.

Depending on the type of antivirus system in question, one of these methods will be used. It is possible that a combination of the three is used, in order to obtain a better result when detecting and decontaminating the system of any type of threat. purpose of antivirus

Types of antivirus

As with other categories of software, we can find antivirus applications that fit any of the needs that the user may have, that is why we can even have online antiviruses , which are free, and whose services we can use without have to download or install any software to our PC.

However, this type of antivirus in the cloud is not the most appropriate to protect our system, since it depends on an Internet connection, and if it is lost, we are left without protection.

Online antivirus programs have the benefit, in addition to being always up-to-date, of allowing us to analyze, find and eliminate infectious programs from our computer after we have verified the infection, that is, at a point where installing an antivirus may not be possible, or that the own action of the virus does not allow the action of the antivirus. purpose of antivirus

That is why the best way to stay safe is to install a good and always up-to-date antivirus on the computer , but also pay attention to the indications that it offers us when it detects suspicious movements, since if we ignore these notifications, we can quickly get caught up in trouble. purpose of antivirus

Another way to categorize antivirus is in relation to its price. In the current market, the truth is that having an expensive antivirus does not mean at all to be perfectly protected against all risks, since the money we pay for the software is most likely due to its after-sales service, and not due to to some magical detection ability.

Today we can find first-rate free antivirus, such as the one integrated with Windows 10, or even some of the “Lite” versions of recognized antivirus software such as AVG or Avast can offer us a high degree of security.

There are not so many differences between a good free antivirus such as Microsoft Defender and other paid ones, since both will offer us a high degree of security, basic, but what is necessary for the normal development of user activities, that is, those people who do not require your antivirus to provide VPN, integrated firewall, sandbox and other utilities more oriented to power users. purpose of antivirus

Now, antiviruses can not only be differentiated by their price or by being in the cloud or being installable. Antiviruses can also be differentiated according to their purpose. This means that antiviruses are not capable of analyzing and eliminating all types of existing malware, that is, viruses, Trojans, worms and other types of threats. For this reason antiviruses are differentiated into the following categories.

Types of antivirus according to their purpose

The three columns on which antiviruses rely to do their job are prevention, identification, and elimination.

There are three different antivirus models on the market:

Preventive antivirus

This type of antivirus is characterized by its ability to prevent any threat from accessing our system based on anticipation. One of the main disadvantages of this type of antivirus is the use of resources. This running software is housed in the main memory of the computer, thus subtracting usable resources for other system processes, which can slow down its operation.

Antivirus identifiers

This type of antivirus fulfills the function of identifying any type of threat that wants to access our system, or that is already lurking before. To fulfill its task, this type of antivirus constantly analyzes our computer’s system in order to find code sequences compatible with malware and other threats.

Decontaminating antivirus

As the last type of antivirus we have those antivirus designed with the aim of eliminating any of the threats that may have been detected in the system. Many of them may even try to recover the state our system was in before the infection.

To learn more about the purpose of this type of antivirus , at the end of this post you will find more information about it.

Types of antivirus according to your specific objective

Among the best known malicious programs, we find:

  • so-called spyware, also known as spyware,
  • viruses that facilitate so-called spam,
  • pop-up windows,
  • the change of the home pages of our browser,
  • specific malware for information theft,
  • websites that contain malicious code,
  • phishing
  • rootkits
  • and many other techniques …

There are specific tools that allow us to have a certain degree of security against each of these threats and prevent their actions. Generally, a good antivirus is capable of providing all of them in the same package, which is recommended for most users.

However, it is possible to obtain these tools separately , which can be beneficial for the user, as they can choose which of these protection options on the market is the most suitable for their needs.

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These protection tools are as follows:


Basically, antispyware software are programs specifically developed with the aim of analyzing, detecting and eliminating all spyware-type programs, which are those applications that have been installed on our computer without permission, that is, they are hidden from our eyes, and that we have installed inadvertently through other softwares. This is a common practice with which we must be careful.

These programs are installed on our computer in order to collect and send information about our consumption and browsing habits to external servers, data that is then sold to other companies that use them for the purpose of improving advertising strategies, in the best of cases. .

If you want to know which are the best antispyware applications, we recommend reading this very interesting post on the subject, by clicking on this link.


Antimalware-type applications are developed with the aim of blocking and eliminating any malware that wants to access our computer. As we know, “Malware” is all that software with malicious code that sneaks into our computer in order to damage the operating system, applications or documents that we may have stored on the device.

There are multiple tools of this type on the market, each one developed with a particular objective. However, one of these apps, Malwarebites Anti-malware is one of the most used since it is capable of offering us an effective solution in many scenarios.


Also known as “Antipop-ups”, this type of antivirus was developed in order to be able to identify and eliminate the appearance of pop-up windows when we surf the Internet with our favorite browser. Although today most modern browsers include their own way to avoid these pop-ups, the truth is that anti-adware applications are still very useful when it comes to removing specific pop-ups .

If you want to know more about adware and the different ways to eliminate it from our system, we recommend reading this interesting article, which you can access by clicking on this link.


Antispam-type applications are responsible for making reading our email a simple thing, since these tools are used so that no spam mail, also known as junk emails, reaches our inbox. If these apps weren’t controlling email traffic, a simple task like reading our emails would be a real nightmare, since we would have to filter through thousands of emails that we don’t care about at all.

Currently, mail services have these services on their own servers, performing all this task automatically, which allows that no unwanted mail reaches our inbox, since it is the system itself that send directly to trash.


Although it is not specifically an antivirus, the Firewall, also known by many as firewalls, can be considered as a tool of this type as well, since it fulfills a prevention task that allows us to have a containment against any threat that tries to reach the ports of our computer.

The use of a Firewall is highly recommended on those computers that are constantly connected to a network or the Internet, since the main function of the Firewall is to manage and analyze the incoming and outgoing traffic of the networks, and when it finds any suspicious activity , block it.

Types of antivirus according to their function

Antivirus applications can act in different ways and with different methodologies in order to control the threats that may arise while carrying out our daily tasks. Despite this diversity of behavior, antivirus can also be classified into categories that allow us to be clear about what each of these antivirus is for.

The antivirus categories according to their function are the following:

Antivirus removers and repairers

The specific purpose of this type of antivirus is none other than to focus on eliminating any of the threats that may have accessed the system, but they also have the possibility of being able to return it to the state it was in before the moment of the attack, a Very important function since it allows us to save some time when we go back to working with our things.

Antivirus detectors

Antivirus of this type fulfill the mission of analyzing and detecting the presence of a computer threat in any of its forms, informing the user by means of a notification. The user will have to decide which will be the appropriate strategist for the elimination of the virus that the antivirus detector has found. In most cases, action should be taken through the use of anti-virus immunizers.


As a general rule, this type of antivirus is considered one of the safest, since they were developed with the aim of anticipating any infection. They are also known as protective antivirus , and to accomplish their task with better results, they are usually installed in the memory of the computer, from where they analyze and detect any suspicious alteration of the processes that take place there, such as the copying of files, the execution of applications and other tasks.

Resident Antivirus

It shares with immunizing antivirus the characteristic of having to be installed in the main memory of the computer. The main function of the resident antivirus is to analyze all the requests of the applications that we run since we launch them, in order to detect if they carry out any suspicious activity.

The fact that these types of antivirus reside in the memory of the computer reduces its performance.


Finally, this type of antivirus offers the possibility of simulating the behavior of the different applications that we have installed on the system, in order to check how they behave in different scenarios, which then allows you to establish patterns and act if they are carried out. suspicious operations.

Types of antivirus according to their category

To conclude with this complete report on the types of antiviruses and their classification , from this point on we will know the different categories of viruses according to their operation or place of installation.

Passive Antivirus

They are those applications that do not offer permanent protection, because they are not always working, since we have to execute them manually.

Active Antivirus

They are all those applications that, although they are always running on our system, do not perform a constant protection task, although they are performing some action related to security.


There is a great variety of online antiviruses services, that is to say, those antiviruses that reside in the Cloud. This type of antivirus does not require that we have it installed on the computer, since it performs all the pertinent analyzes to search for viruses directly from the Internet.

Online antiviruses cannot work as a constant protection of our equipment, but they are very useful to have a way to clean any type of virus from the computer when all else fails. antivirus types


They are the classic antiviruses programs that must be installed on the computer to be protected.

Antivirus Brands

Here we detail the main providers on the market:

  • Microsoft Defender
  • Kaspersky Total Security
  • AVG
  • Bitdefender Plus
  • Total AV
  • Norton 360 Deluxe
  • McAfee Internet Security
  • Avira
  • Trend Micro Maximum Security
  • ESET Smart Security Premium
  • Avast
  • Sophos Home Premium
  • PC Protect

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