Antivirus and Security Software: Why You Need It

Understanding the distinction between antivirus and internet security is crucial to protect your devices and personal data from online dangers.

Although a VPN offers one level of security, antivirus software provides a different form of protection. Moreover, additional security measures safeguard against ransomware, identity theft, and other threats. In this article, we’ll delve into the details of internet security software, clarify some common misconceptions, and answer frequently asked questions.

The difference between antivirus and internet security

In short, antivirus protects you from threats that exist on your device, while internet security protects you from threats on the internet.

Antivirus software detects and removes malware, including viruses, worms, and trojans. It scans your computer—on demand and in real-time—for malicious software and acts to neutralize threats. 

On the other hand, internet security encompasses a broader range of protection, including antivirus capabilities, plus additional layers like firewalls, privacy controls, VPNs, and protection against phishing and hacking. 

Internet security vs. antivirus: Which is better?

Internet security and antivirus protect against different threats, so one is not better than the other. They work in tandem. 

For basic protection, antivirus may suffice. However, internet security suites offer more extensive safeguards for comprehensive defense against various threats, especially when frequently using the internet.

Surfshark One: The best internet security provider

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Surfshark One is our top pick among internet security providers for 2024. It provides an all-inclusive solution that safeguards against a range of digital threats. It combines traditional antivirus functions with advanced features such as a VPN for online privacy, ID theft protection, and a mechanism to alert users of personal data breaches. Surfshark One ensures comprehensive protection across all devices, making it an excellent choice for users seeking extensive security measures.

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How to remove a virus using Surfshark One

To remove a virus using Surfshark One, you’ll need to follow a series of straightforward steps tailored to your specific device. Surfshark’s antivirus feature is designed to be user-friendly and effective across various platforms, including Windows, macOS, and Android. Here’s a condensed guide to help you get started:

For Windows users:

  1. Start by opening your device’s Surfshark application and navigating to the Antivirus tab.
  2. Click on the ‘Install Antivirus’ option to begin the installation of the antivirus component.
  3. After installation, press ‘Continue’ to start your first scan, allowing Surfshark to search for any threats on your device.
  4. Once the scan is complete, you can see the number of files scanned and whether any threats were found.
  5. Remove any threats immediately through the Surfshark app.

For macOS and Android Users:

The process for Mac and Android is similar to Windows. You must download and install Surfshark, select the antivirus feature, and scan to remove threats.

Remember, to use Surfshark Antivirus, you must have a Surfshark One or Surfshark One+ package, which you can purchase from their pricing page. This comprehensive approach ensures that your devices are protected against a wide range of digital threats, maintaining your privacy and security online.


Surfshark One is our top recommended internet security solution. It performs well against malware and is user-friendly for all levels of experience.

New customers can benefit from a generous discount for subscribing through Comparitech, and you can protect unlimited devices simultaneously.

Understanding viruses and protection

How do computer viruses spread?

Computer viruses spread through infected files, email attachments, malicious websites, and unsecured network connections. They can replicate and transmit themselves to other systems, compromising security and functionality.

What is virus protection software?

Virus protection software is designed to detect, prevent, and remove malware from computers and networks. It monitors system activities for suspicious behavior, offering real-time protection against threats. But it might not offer on-demand scans of your entire device.

How does antivirus work?

Antivirus software scans files and programs, comparing them against a database of known threats. It can also employ heuristic analysis to detect unknown malware based on behavior. Detected threats are then quarantined or deleted to prevent damage.

Device-specific concerns

  • Do I need antivirus for Windows 10? Yes, despite Windows 10 having built-in protection, additional antivirus software strengthens defense against sophisticated malware.
  • Do tablets need virus protection? Yes. Like any device, tablets can benefit from virus protection to guard against malware and security breaches.
  • Do Android phones get viruses? Yes, Android phones can get viruses, mainly through malicious apps or websites.
  • Does iPhone need antivirus or malware protection? No, iPhones don’t require antivirus or malware protection. While iOS is known for its robust security, being cautious and informed about potential vulnerabilities is wise. Official app stores and avoiding suspicious links remain best practices.

FAQs about internet security software

Can internet security software slow down my computer?

Modern internet security software is designed to be lightweight, minimizing the impact on system performance. However, you might notice a slowdown during antivirus scans.

How often should I update my internet security software?

Keep your software updated at all times. Most programs offer automatic updates to protect against the latest threats.

Can I use free internet security software?

While free options exist, paid solutions offer more comprehensive protection and support.

How do I choose the best internet security software?

Consider factors like feature set, performance in independent tests, user reviews, and device compatibility.

How Many Different Microsoft Windows File Types Can Be Infected With a Virus?

Virtually any file type can be infected, but commonly targeted file types include executables (.exe), scripts, and MS Office document macros.