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Difference Between Firewall and Antivirus

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What is a Firewall?

A firewall can be hardware or software or a combination of both that provides protection and secures a particular computer or a network of computers. It filters IP packets sent from the external unauthorized network to the computer. This protection is so strong that it allows only legitimate and authorized users to access the system. 

A firewall is not a new concept. Firewall has been protecting various networks and systems for the last 25 years. A firewall is a network security technology that works as a shield between an internal network and external sources such as the internet, detecting and blocking digital data that do not follow its regulations.

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What is an Antivirus?

An antivirus program is a type of software that protects a computer from harmful viruses and malware from both diverse sources. In most cases, a firewall will not be able to defend a system from a harmful virus intrusion that might interrupt or ruin the system. 

As a result, antivirus software should always be installed on computers to ensure that this element of security is taken care of.


Difference between Firewall and Antivirus

Firewall Antivirus
A firewall is a security network that can be either hardware or software, or both, and is meant to protect computer systems and networks from harmful intrusions. Antivirus is a software utility application that protects a system against internal attacks such as viruses, trojan horses, spyware, and so on.
A firewall is referred to as a “packet filter” because it examines all incoming data packets for potentially malicious information. Antivirus scans for vulnerabilities in the computer system and makes the necessary adjustments to strengthen the system’s defenses against attack.
For the most part, a firewall’s job is to keep an eye on network traffic and prevent unauthorized users from gaining access The primary role of an antivirus is to search, monitor, identify, prevent, and eradicate any existential danger to the computer system.
A firewall protects against unauthorized invasion at the network protocol level. An antivirus will simply check the system for any potentially dangerous applications such as viruses, worms, Trojan horses, and so on.
One of a firewall’s drawbacks is that it cannot prevent internal assaults or attacks that evade its network coverage. Antivirus software has the drawback of not being able to check read-only files.
A firewall software called DEC Seal debuted commercially in 1992. Computer scientists Brian Reed and Jeff Mogul from the United States were the driving forces behind the development of the system. In 1987, a German computer security specialist named Bernard Robert Fix developed a tool to eradicate a virus from DOS-based system files that had become infected.

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Advantages of Firewall


Types of Firewall

Packet filters: Packet filters are also known by the name screening router and screening filter. It actually decides whether a packet should be forwarded or discarded based on outputs.

IP spoofing, source routing attacks, and small fragment attacks can all compromise the packet filters’ security. Dynamic packet filters and stateful packet filters are two complex types of packet filters.

Application gateway: It is also referred to as the Proxy server. It acts as a proxy or substitute, controlling the flow of application-level communication while concealing the originating IP from the outside public.

Circuit gateway: It’s identical to an application gateway, but it has some more features, such as the ability to create a new connection between itself and a distant host. It could also convert the source IP address into packets from the end user’s IP address. This is how the source’s original IP address is hidden.

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Functions of Firewall

There are so many factors like risk profile, vulnerabilities, the criticality of the organization’s operational area, resources necessary, etc that decide the complexity level of the firewall.


Limitations of Firewall

One limitation of a firewall is that it cannot prevent internal attacks. Authorized attacks cannot be identified and prevented by firewalls. Some software firewalls can affect the performance of the system as it occupies RAM resources and can consume processing power.


Functions of Antivirus

Antivirus functions include detection, identification, and removal of viruses. This software conducts a detailed analysis of the system and scans the files and programs to detect and identify them, followed by deletion. 

functions of antivirus

Advantages of Antivirus


Generations of Antivirus

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Limitations of Antivirus



Let’s wrap up by quickly summarising the main difference between antivirus and firewall.

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