Traditional or Cloud Antivirus Solutions – Which is Best?

Antivirus programs are vital to protect your PC, laptop, and your other devices from any harmful spyware, malware, ransomware, and adware. Both domestic users and companies alike are beginning to understand the importance of cybersecurity and taking steps to address potential threats.

Yet, when it comes to choosing antivirus software, it can be difficult to decide between traditional options or the latest cloud-based solutions. So – cloud antivirus vs traditional antivirus programs – how do you determine which is the best choice?

Traditional Antivirus Solutions – The Issues


Antivirus programs scan files and check them against a virus database. If it finds a program or file matching a definition in its database, it removes it from the device. However, as there are millions of virus definitions out there against which files must be compared, it’s easy to see why this can pose problems to developers of traditional AV software.

While developers want antivirus software to be as easy as possible on computers, the amount of activity during a scan means that all-too-often, they become so slow that, during a scan, they may even be unusable. Yet, antivirus software must have as many up-to-date virus definitions as possible to provide optimal service. Without this, countless new viruses popping up each day can enter and attack the computer system, making the software useless.

Cloud Antivirus Solutions – Solving The Problems?

Cloud antivirus programs have been designed to solve this exact problem. Cloud solutions keep all of the virus definitions on the provider’s server. Since the millions of comparisons aren’t being made on the computer itself, there is less impact on the device’s performance during scans. This means it’s possible to carry on working with no unwanted interruptions.

Even better, cloud antivirus software always remains up-to-date as the provider takes care of all of the definition updates on the user’s behalf. This means there is no need for the user to check for updates.

Are There Any Downsides To Cloud AV Solutions?

One of the biggest issues with a cloud-based antivirus solution is that to obtain complete real-time protection the user has to have a working internet connection. If the device isn’t online, any running programs or open files aren’t being checked against the most up-to-date antivirus definition database.

One further issue is that, since everything is carried out via the internet, whole files usually aren’t being sent by the device to the antivirus software to be scanned. Rather, only some of the file information is sent to the software to be evaluated. If something suspicious shows up that is inconclusive, the entire file may then be flagged up and sent for full scanning.

Are There Any Solutions For Cloud AV Issues?

Although a device isn’t entirely protected by a cloud AV application while not online, it is still safer offline as risks are limited. Also, since the majority of cloud antivirus programs will keep some data on the device, the programs run regularly will usually be safe.

Cloud-based software also uses several methods to protect your systems and computer such as behavior monitoring. This method checks how files act to ensure they’re safe. When those behaviors are spotted, the software will block the program or file and notify the user, allowing the malware to be removed safely. Behavior monitoring will check for files that modify “hosts” files, send large numbers of emails in short time frames, change “auto-run” registry keys or generate executable programs.

Why Opt For A Cloud-Based Antivirus Solution?

Since the antivirus provider’s server has many users connected to it at the same time, instant protection can be obtained from new viruses affecting the devices of the other users. This is possible as, when a malicious program or file is spotted anywhere, updated definitions enter the primary system, giving immediate protection from the new threat.

These days, cloud solutions have begun to be incorporated into the more traditional antivirus software solutions, so it’s likely that soon, all AV software will be found in the cloud. Even better, cloud-based software is more affordable and can help to save time since there’s no need to regularly carry out device scans or update and maintain traditional AV software. With these advantages in mind, it’s easy to see why cloud-based antivirus programs are overtaking the more traditional options.