Antivirus vs VPN – Which Protects You Online Better in 2021?

TechTips & TricksAntivirus vs VPN – Which Protects You Online Better in 2021?

There is no denying that the internet is a dangerous place to be in. Several threats ranging from hackers to malware lurk everywhere in the cyber world. From multi-national companies to anonymous cafe visitors, these culprits endanger everyone.

As these online threats tend to got more dangerous, we all looked for ways to be more safe and protected online. As a result, VPNs and antiviruses have surfaced to be the most popular tools that offer a wide range of security solutions to protect our devices.

Antivirus vs VPN – Which Protects You Online Better in 2021?
Image Source: le VPN

Let’s take a quick look at them- Antivirus is a software program that protects your device. It continuously monitors your system and looks out for any new files that can be a potential threat to your system. Whereas, A VPN, is a network that protects your devices when they are online by encrypting the data entering and leaving your device.

The VPNs and antiviruses tend to perform the same task that is to protect our privacy and provide almost similar features. We are often confused, which will be better to safeguard our privacy.

Here we will try to compare the two services and find out which one serves the purpose better.

What is an Antivirus?

The main motive of using antivirus software is to boost the security of your device. This software aims to look out and block any virus or any malicious threats that can be dangerous to your phone or laptop.

Any good antivirus software is able to detect and wipe out all sorts of malware: adware, trojans, worms, ransomware, and more. An antivirus works by gathering information about online threats and then updating their virus definitions on your device. So it is essential to regularly update your antivirus otherwise it will become ineffective.

Antivirus vs VPN – Which Protects You Online Better in 2021?
Image Source: Cyber News

What are the benefits of an antivirus?

Antiviruses are like your shield while you are browsing the internet. Suppose if you accidentally click on an infected link or want to download an infected file, the antivirus can easily recognize the danger and will be able to remove it. Some of the benefits of antivirus are as follows:

No supervision needed

Antivirus works quietly in the background and does not disturb the user. They virtually do everything in the background and are low maintenance hence they do not require you to intervene in their work.

Read: How To Scan Your PC For Malware

Free version

A lot of antiviruses offer a free version of the software and many of them are completely free. If you are using a Windows PC or desktop, you already have windows defender installed.

Also Read: How to Scan Your Phone For Malware And Viruses?

Sandbox mode

If you doubt a file to be infected, you can use sandboxes which are isolated testing environments. In this mode, you can open the suspected file without infecting your device.

Read: How To Secure Website From Hackers And Viruses?

What is VPN?

Just like an antivirus, a VPN (Virtual Private Network) also safeguards you from online threats such as hackers but the way it works is totally different from antivirus. It protects you by routing all your data traffic through an encrypted virtual tunnel to a remote server. This disguises your IP address and thus your location, and data is invisible when you use the internet. This shields your private information from criminals, and even the internet service provider (ISP).

Antivirus vs VPN – Which Protects You Online Better in 2021?
Image Source: SHU Blogs

What are the benefits of a VPN?

While antiviruses provide you passive mode of protection, VPNs are just their opposite. The Benefits of VPN are as follows:


VPN encrypts your network with AES- 256 encryption which provides top-level privacy.

Read: Do I Need A VPN At Home?

Change of Location

VPNs let you maintain your anonymity by hiding your IP address as well as your location. Therefore you can also view content that is unavailable in your country.

Read More: NordVPN Review: 8 Pros And 3 Cons Of Using NordVPN


VPN enhances your privacy by masking your browsing history from your internet service provider and keep your data hidden from advertisers.

Read: How can a VPN make your internet faster 

Extra features

Apart from encrypting your data, A good VPN offers a variety of additional features that add up to its usefulness.

Read: Benefits Of Using VPN

Protect Multiple Devices

Premium subscription of VPN providers secure your connection on more than one device simultaneously and even let you log into public Wi-Fi safely.

Also Read: 6 Best VPNs For A Dedicated IP Or Static IP

Which is better? Conclusion

Both Antiviruses and VPN offer digital security but in different ways. Both are designed to complement each other and not compete with each other. In fact, using antivirus software along with a VPN is the best practice since you are protecting your device and your internet connection simultaneously.

A VPN guards you against several dangers like tracking, spying, man-in-the-middle attacks, and more. And if you click on a dangerous link, your antivirus can take over and minimize the danger caused to your device.

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Taiba Hasan
Taiba Hasan
A tech enthusiast with a Post Graduate degree in Computer Applications, trying to make technology less complicated for novice users.
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