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Stand-Alone Vs. Cloud-Based Antivirus Programs for Clients

Stand-Alone Vs. Cloud-Based Antivirus Programs for Clients

Stand-Alone Vs. Cloud-Based Antivirus Programs for Clients

For computer users across virtually all mediums, protection against viruses and related threat types is vitally important. Antivirus software is one of the top resources utilized to protect against these risks, and broadly speaking, there are two types of such software to choose from: Stand-alone antivirus software and cloud-based antivirus software. 

At PC Laptops, we're proud to offer a variety of the best desktop and laptop computers in Layton and other parts of Utah, plus all the important protections your device will need against viruses and other potential threats. What are these two forms of antivirus software, and which is best for your needs? Here's a primer on each to consider.

Stand-Alone Antivirus Software

The first forms of antivirus software to exist for computers were available via floppy disc and CD, which would be inserted into the device and make changes to protect it from within. These are forms of stand-alone antivirus software, and while these days it is possible to get this type of protection through the cloud, the old versions of antivirus programs that remain available are almost all offered in a stand-alone manner. So what exactly does this mean?

As the term suggests, you'll need to install this type of antivirus software onto your device itself. While the format for doing so has likely changed from those early days where floppy discs and CDs were used, you'll still be responsible for getting the software itself onto your device. Once it's there, you can utilize the program yourself to ensure that your computer is kept safe at all times.

While one of the brilliant parts about using this type of antivirus software is that it takes up very little space on your hardware once installed, it's also a bit more cumbersome to handle as well. In order to do anything with your device, you'll need to have this antivirus software installed on it first. If that isn't the case, then inserting or otherwise connecting your electronic device into another can result in potential risks from viruses and other types of malware without antivirus software running on your device.

Cloud-Based Antivirus Software

The more recent form of antivirus software to be developed is the cloud-based option, which involves a different method altogether. Rather than having to install the software onto your device, a cloud-based antivirus program is downloaded by you from an outside source, then gets to work protecting your device instantly.

As opposed to downloading the antivirus software directly onto your hardware, where it then runs from there, a cloud-based system downloads a similar program that's then in charge of protecting your device. Once you've done that, a link is created between your device and the outside server containing the antivirus software. It doesn't take up any space on your hardware to run, but at this point it does require an Internet connection in order to continue working properly.

While cloud-based antivirus software is incredibly convenient and easy to use, there's a distinct possibility that you can be blocked from using it if your Internet connection goes down. If this happens, you'll no longer have the necessary protections you'd expect on your device as an antivirus program won't be able to do its job until you go back online.

Today, the vast majority of antivirus setups are cloud-based. However, there are still some settings where you might prefer stand-alone antivirus software as well. Our next few sections will go over the variables to consider when choosing between them.

Possible Drawbacks

Both these systems come with potential drawbacks depending on your own preferences. If you're looking for antivirus software that will run in the background no matter what you're doing, then stand-alone antivirus software is less than ideal. Instead, cloud-based systems are much better suited to this kind of use due to their lack of impact on your system performance.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, cloud-based systems run the risk of being unavailable if your internet connection goes out. This is particularly true for those who live in locations where the only internet connection available is via cellular data service, meaning that there's no guarantee of reliability when it comes to keeping your antivirus software functional.


One area where these two are relatively similar is in the features they offer. Both types can handle all the basic functionality you need from an antivirus program, including scanning your system for viruses and other types of malware, routing out the bad stuff before it has a chance to do any harm, then waiting in the background to make sure that everything stays safe.

One difference between these two settings is in how they handle automatic updates. While stand-alone antivirus software needs you to check and confirm whenever an update is available, cloud-based solutions offer automatic updates without your intervention. This can be a good thing if you like to stay up-to-date on the latest options for protecting yourself against viruses and malware; however, it may not be too beneficial if you don't enjoy frequently checking for new system software.


Finally, cost will be a big factor for many considering their options here. Once again, pricing tends to be pretty similar between these two: Antivirus companies tend to offer both options on a subscription basis, where you pay a fee every month for access to the software.

However, if you decide on cloud-based antivirus software for your device, then there's one more cost that might come into play. Since cellular data service often costs extra money each month, it's possible that your cloud-based antivirus solution will end up costing just a bit more -- but this additional cost is often easily drowned out by the benefits you receive.

For more on choosing between stand-alone and cloud-based antivirus software, or to learn about any of our computers for sale or computer repair services in Layton and nearby areas, speak to the pros at PC Laptops today.