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11906: Differences Between a Firewall and Antivirus Software


Firewalls, Antiviruses, etc.

What is the difference between a firewall program and an antivirus program?

A firewall is a gatekeeper between your computer and the outside world. A firewall controls what passes through your computer’s outside connection, such as incoming transmissions to your computer from the internet, other computers or networks, and usually outgoing transmissions from your computer.

Antivirus (AV) software is a resident detective. AV software finds and neutralizes malicious software on your computer. AV programs may also detect malicious software as it is downloading, such as email attachments.

Security suite products usually include both a firewall and an AV component.

Firewalls and AV software can sometimes interfere with Drake and other programs that are not a threat to your computer.

Firewall interference typically results in a blocked transmission attempt.

  • A firewall may prevent Drake from transmitting returns, picking up acknowledgments or checking or sending email.  You usually can resolve these problems by configuring the firewall to “permit” or “allow” certain Drake executable files to access the internet. See “Configuring A Firewall” in Related Links below.

AV software may erroneously identify a Drake file as a threat, an event referred to as a “false positive”. The AV program typically quarantines or otherwise disables the file.

  • The file is no longer useable, which can prevent Drake from functioning in a variety of ways.  When running Drake, you may receive a message that the file can’t be found.
  • Call Drake Support for assistance. Resolving this problem requires that
    • the AV supplier corrects the AV virus definition; and
    • after the AV definition has been corrected, you restore or replace the file. See “Configuring an Antivirus” in Related Links below.

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