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A firewall is a software componet that regulates the internet use of programs already installed on your system. Most firewalls do only that. However, there is something called a 2 way firewall. A 2 way firewall is a firewall that scans files being downloaded to your computer and stops unauthorized programs from using your internet connection to visit websites. Why is a 2 way firewall best. Well it helps to stop the potentially harmful code or malware as it usually called from infecting your computer. By anti virus system you must mean anti virus software. Anti virus software is programs that try to search for, find and remove or neutrilize a virus.

A simple firewall like the Windows Firewall in XP and Vista protects you from outside attack by making your computer's ports invisible to outsiders and by refusing to accept incoming data packets that were not requested. Third-party personal firewalls also control which programs can use your Internet connection to contact sites outside your computer - so they offer two-way protection.

An antivirus utility scans the files and Registry on your computer to detect and remove viruses and other malicious software. Its realtime component prevents malicious programs from installing or launching in the first place.

The two are quite different and both necessary.

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9y ago
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12y ago

A firewall is a program that sits in between you and the internet, it analyses incoming and outgoing traffic to try to intercept threats to your security. It's mainly looking for hacking attempts. As long as your internet connection is open its like an open door to hackers. A good firewall will make your PC invisible to most hackers. If they can't see you they can't break in.

Its not foolproof, so an anti virus, an anti Trojan, an anti adware and an anti spyware are your next line of defence. They scan everything on your system looking for malware ( malicious software) that is installed or running.

Some security programs have 'real time' scanning so also watch for changes as they happen, like a firewall does.

You need a number of different security programs to deal woth different problems. Here are some good freeware ones. Zone Alarm firewall Kerio firewall

Shields Up security site, check your firewall works

Spywareblaster works with Internet Explorer and Firefox. It won't uninstall spyware that is already on your PC,

but it will prevent hijacks and other malicious changes to your browser. -Ewido anti Trojan

Ad-Aware SE Personal anti adware

Spybot Search and Destroy anti spyware Avast Antivirus -BitDefender can be used as a second, on demand anti virus. Cr*pcleaner Registry cleaner and privacy tool

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15y ago

They are nothing alike.

A firewall is a security system consisting of a combination of hardware and/or software that limits the exposure of a computer or computer network to attack.

A computer virus is a software program capable of reproducing itself and usually capable of causing great harm to files or other programs.

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14y ago

Antivirus (Antimalware) protects the computer from malicious programs that may affect the performance of your computer or steals your personal information. Whereas, a firewall protects you from hackers. Firewall also helps to avoid unauthorized transfer of information through the network. This means both firewall and antivirus defends your computer against malicious and fraudulent programs. The best free antivirus software is actually a combination of several different free software programs. If you combine the right programs, you will have a good level of protection for your computer. The free software will protect you from virus, malware, spyware, hackers, phishing, scams, fraud web sites, and a lot more. All of the freebies on our list will give you real time protection against threats both known and unknown.

Here are the freebies:

1. Antivirus: Choose one - Avast or PandaCloud.

2. Antispyware: Choose one - Malwarebytes or Spyware Doctor.

3. Firewall: Choose one- Zone Alarm or Sunbelt

4. Secure web browser: Explorer 8 and/or Firefox.

5.Anti-hack tool: SnoopFree Privacy Shield

6. Fraud and phishing filter: We recommend that you use both WOT (Web of Trust) and Site Advisor.

7. Sand Box: This is for for added safety, virus protection, etc. We recommend Sandboxie.

So, in my view, the difference is not so important.

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14y ago

*Firewall* refers to the software and hardware which inhibits connections into and out of a network and/or a computer connecting to the Internet directly or through a network.

*Anti-Virus* refers to the software which will find programs and/or files which are either executable viruses, trojans, or other types of malware already installed on a computer or (possibly) about to be installed on a computer and files damaged by said executable programs and (possibly depending on options) quarantine, remove, fix, or otherwise "deal with" said malware.

Some *Anti-Virus* software now includes *Anti-Spyware* which finds tracking cookies and keyloggers and other items which might be used by marketing companies or identity thieves to "spy" on a user

*Firewall* options are also included with some *Anti-Virus* Packages now, and since ONLY ONE of each of these programs should ever be installed and run on a given computer at one time in order to avoid self-cancelling errors, users should ensure that this is NOT the case if a separate *Firewall* is being installed or turned on (such as Windows Security Center's Firewall) at the same time. Install & Run ONLY ONE *Anti-Virus* program and ONLY ONE *Firewall* program at a time in order to avoid problems with both programs that force an uninstall of both and reinstall of ONLY ONE along with possible breach of security during the time when both were installed.

Often Software that includes both will be called something different such as "Net Security" or "Internet Security" or some variation of that and will list all that it includes.

Other similar programs that do other helpful things are Anti-Adware programs which do not generally conflict with each other and are not always adequately included in the combo packages above. There are MANY good ones for free and for buy with tons of options.

But, buyer (or freeloader) beware... even the spammers offer software to get rid of the spam trojans they will cause to invade your computer when you click on a certain link sometimes, so unless you chose to seek the software out at a site recommended by a reputable service or reporting network, it might not be worth the trouble to click that next link that promises that it can remove all those nasty trojans it has just listed so conveniently for you even though you never thought to ask it to do that for you on your own. You might just want to HARD RESET your browser or even your windows or even your computer itself if you have to...

ANYTHING but hitting that button and starting that program...

or hitting any button and starting that program.....

Oops! Endless popups until you pay someone to get rid of it again!



A firewall is a piece of software or hardware that controls all communication, into or out of a network.

An antivirus is a piece of software that recognises patterns in files on your computer, or sometimes while files are in transit to your computer, that correspond to known viruses.

When somethign communicates with a computer over a network, or the Internet, it usually uses a protocol called TCP/IP. This protocol basically "listens" for data which identifies itself as being aimed at a partcular port number.

To give an example, a computer could have a webserver and an email server on it. IF you want to get a webpage from that computer you request the webpage by entering a URL. The webbrowser, internet explorer, or firefox for example, will take the URL you entered, or clicked on, and send a request on port 80 to that computer. The webserver is listening on port 80 for any requests, takes that request and send back the information to you.

At the same time someone could have sent an email to that computer. The email server software will be listening on port 25 for the email data.

The software knows to ignore any requests not on the port that it is listening to.

This is rellevant because a firewall will essentially identify data, based on the port it's attempting to use, and allow or deny that data through to it's destination.

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Q: Whats the difference between a firewall and a antivirus system?
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