4 Uses of Antivirus Software for Computers

Antivirus software programs ‌protect computers from viruses and other malicious programs. Antivirus software provides real-time protection from the background from the moment of installation.

Computer viruses can replicate like real viruses. Viruses spread like this when infecting your computer. An infected computer may slow down or stop functioning correctly. The only protection against these harmful programs are antivirus software.
AntiVirus Software Uses

Here are 4 uses of antivirus software for computers.

  1. Antivirus Use To Stop Viruses
  2. Antivirus Use To Detect and Eliminate Viruses
  3. Antivirus Use To Examine Viruses and Malware
  4. Antivirus Use To Recognize Spyware

1. Antivirus Use To Stop Viruses

The primary function of an antivirus program is to stop viruses from infecting a computer. Antivirus programs shield computers through the use of virus scanners. Once the scanner detects a corrupt file or program, the antivirus software either deletes the file or quarantines the corrupt file. Quarantining prevents the infected file from interacting with the rest of the system software.

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Antivirus software also stops viruses through the boot-time scan method. Some viruses are smart enough to duplicate even after deletion, especially if the operating system is still running. However, with a boot-time scan, the system shuts down and restarts, and just before restarting, the antivirus does a thorough scan of the hard drive to detect hidden malware and viruses. Since the operating system isn’t active, there is a zero chance for the virus to avoid deletion.

2. Antivirus Use To Detect and Eliminate Viruses

Another important use of antivirus software is the detection and elimination of viruses. Antivirus programs detect viruses using four methods: signature-based, sandbox, heuristic and behavioral-based detection.

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Signature-based is the most common method for detecting viruses in a computer system. The antivirus compares scanned files against a database containing known virus signatures. In the sandbox detection method, the antivirus software runs a suspected application in a virtual environment and monitors the actions and behavior.

Pro Tip:

Heuristic detection is often used together with signature-based detection. Heuristic detection helps the antivirus program detect new or modified malware versions. Here, the antivirus looks for patterns of code that signify the presence of a virus. Finally, behavioral-based detection detects viruses while running.

3. Antivirus Use To Examine Viruses and Malware

Malware and viruses are often considered the same, and little difference exists between both. Malware refers to any harmful software intended to infect the host’s computer, while a virus is an example of malware. A virus infects files and then spreads whenever a user opens the file.

an image with malware detected code warning

Creators of antivirus software usually have an immense database of already known malware, and by using this database, antivirus programs can examine files for malware and viruses. Antivirus programs come equipped with a scanner that scans every file entering the computer and opened by the user. The scanner examines any suspicious file and runs a comparison check to known malware and viruses.

4. Antivirus Use To Recognize Spyware

Spyware are hostile software programs created to access a computer, gather private data and then send the data to an external party without the user’s consent. Spyware software exposes users to data breaches and personal information misuse. Spyware also slows down network performance, making ordinary user tasks more difficult.

an image with Spyware text digital 3D

An antivirus program starts once installed on a computer by running a deep scan. This scan is used to identify any spyware already existing on the computer. Once the antivirus program recognizes spyware on the computer, the next step is to delete the spyware from the system to prevent further harm.

When Was the First Time Antivirus Was Applied?

an image with finger touching antivirus button on virtual screen

The first antivirus was deployed in 1987 by security expert Bernd Fix. Before then, scientists were thinking of a way to stop “the Creeper,” the first known virus in 1971. Ray Tomlinson, the American programmer, created “the Reaper” to fight off the Creeper. In reality, the Reaper was more of a “benevolent” virus program with the sole purpose of combating the Creeper.

McAfee, Inc., one of the leading cybersecurity companies, was created in 1987 as well and also released the first McAfee virus scan.

What Is the AntiVirus Most Beneficial Application?

Antivirus programs provide many benefits to a computer system. The primary function of antiviruses is protecting against viruses. The best antivirus for computers protects against malware, viruses and other threats by eliminating any malicious files that may cause problems for the computer.

an image with beneficial word written on paper

Antiviruses also protect from phishing attacks, which is another benefit. The program stops unauthorized third-party attempts to access the computer’s data.


Antivirus programs also scan devices attached to the computer for any potential threats.

What Are the Antivirus Components That Make It Useful?

Antivirus programs have several useful components, including the following.

  • A virus scanner that scans and detects new threats on the computer. The virus scanner scans files and folders and installed applications for viruses.
  • The firewall that defends the computer against known threats. A firewall prevents malicious software from accessing the computer.
  • The adware blocker or AdBlock that removes unnecessary and intrusive ad material from websites.
  • The spam filter that detects and stops spam or virus-infected emails from getting to the email inbox.

Can Antiviruses and VPNs Work together?

an image with vpn opened on laptop vector illustration

Users can protect their network connection and devices by using a VPN and an antivirus program. VPNs and antivirus programs safeguard the security of computer systems using different means. As such, a VPN and antivirus software can work together.

With cybersecurity, more is better. So companies shouldn’t think in terms of Antivirus vs. VPN and pick one over the other. Instead, the focus should be on using both together.

Is the Antivirus Beneficial?

Yes, antivirus is beneficial. The benefits of antivirus for computers include a firewall that protects users from phishing and spyware, ads, spam blockers and protection from viruses and malware.

Is Antivirus an Application Software?

An antivirus program is not an application software but a utility software. An application software only performs tasks as directed by a user. Utility software helps the computer system run and function smoothly.

Matthew Innes Matthew is an avid technology, security, and privacy enthusiast while also a fully qualified mechanical engineer. I love to see the crossover between these two fields. When he's not working or studying he can be found fishing, playing guitar, playing video games, or building something.
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