Antivirus software development

In this article we will tell you about the principles of antivirus software and give details about the different types of antivirus software. Choose the antivirus that’s right for you.

The principles of antivirus

An antivirus is a program that looks for viruses, trojans, worms, backdoors and other unwanted software on the user’s computer. As a rule, anti-viruses are developed for the Windows family of operating systems like TotalAV antivirus software, which hints at the following features of this operating system: 

  • high prevalence

  • high vulnerability to attacks

  • High potential of the anti-virus market due to its high commercialization (and most releases of Windows are paid-for operating systems)

  • low computer literacy of its users

If you look at the work of an anti-virus, it can easily be mistaken for a virus, but only with a plus sign. The anti-viruses working methods include monitoring network traffic, listening to ports, controlling services, modifying and deleting files, gathering statistics and sending data to the software developer, a fair amount of processing power. 

All this is done for the user’s benefit and in the name of saving his data. By the way, because of this feature, it is highly not recommended to install two antiviruses on the same machine at once.

Different anti-viruses fight against malware in different ways. All antiviruses can detect viruses but, unfortunately, not all can cure them effectively. An anti-virus may include several modules, depending on the release and what the anti-virus company is capable of. 

The modules may be as follows: a module for detecting unwanted software, a module for analyzing suspicious program behavior (heuristic module), a quarantine module to isolate suspicious files, an update module to keep new threats up to date, a “healing” module for infected files, a firewall module, and some others.

Basic methods of combating viruses

The anti-virus lab – the developer of the anti-virus – detects the virus, analyzes it, and identifies the so-called signature. These signatures are entered into a database whose updates are regularly downloaded manually by the user or on a schedule. A message from the antivirus that the virus database is out of date signals a weakening of the protection and an increased probability of catching a fresh virus.

Advantages of this method:

  • Proven reliability. The method has been used for a long time and is successful, it is the main method of virus detection

  • It is very fast


  • The problem of an avalanche-like increase in signatures. As a result, the signature databases grow to an obscene size, so that the second advantage of the method is lost

  • The problem of detecting new viruses. That is, the detection of new viruses is as if it were a problem of antivirus developers. Many anti-viruses have a built-in “send to scan” function which should be used freely

Heuristic detection methods

The essence of this method is to analyze the behavior of all running programs. If the system suddenly detects “suspicious” behavior of an application, it triggers an alarm and the heuristic module informs the user of the potential threat.

Advantages of the method:

  • Very promising, in the future the capabilities of the heuristic module will increase and the computer and information will be better protected from unexpected and emerging threats

  • The heuristic module can react to threats that are not in the signature database

Disadvantages of the method:

  • False positives on safe events. As a result, the user may disable the heuristic module in annoyance, reducing protection

  • Due to the way the heuristic module works, there is a problem with excessive computing power consumption


The firewall is designed to protect against network threats – from the local network and the Internet.

This module is not always included in the standard set of antivirus, often the firewall is developed, delivered and sold as a separate program. The essence of the firewall is to control both incoming and outgoing traffic by restricting the ability to establish connections to certain remote resources.

Advantages of a firewall:

  • Firewall settings ensure that only trusted resources can communicate with the network

  • Can be installed on the network gateway of the local network, i.e. on the server that “gives” Internet access to computers, such as schools, while not wasting computing resources of the user’s machines.

Disadvantages of the firewall:

  • The disadvantage of the firewall logically follows from its advantage: to set up a high-quality firewall requires a good knowledge of network protocols and the peculiarities of network applications

  • A firewall that works with “default” settings can provide little protection against anything

The best antivirus programs and their pros and cons

Avast Free Antivirus.

This is a free antivirus that offers us even more features than some paid services. The system provides protection against encryption viruses, conducting safe Internet payments.


  • Network security audit

  • Password manager

  • Availability of an emergency drive

  • Additional Wi-Fi scanning

  • Web security


  • Weak phishing protection

  • Password manager functionality is very limited

360 Total Security

Another free tool to protect your system from viruses and malware. In addition, it offers additional tools to clean the system, utilities to speed up the work. The developers position their product under the slogan “Simple but powerful”. 


  • Functioning of several engines for protection

  • Minimum load on OS

  • Checking downloaded files

  • Additional utilities for speeding up and cleaning


  • No network screen

  • No help information about the program

McAfee Total Protection

Antivirus with comprehensive protection for an unlimited number of devices. Includes antispam, firewall, parental control, and secure data storage capabilities. Powered by new Real Protect technology that uses behavioral threat detection techniques. 


  • Password Manager

  • The system is designed for multiple devices

  • Parental control feature


  • Users complain about the slowness of tech support