What Is Real-Time Virus Protection?

Real-time virus protection is a common feature in antivirus software. You can find it both free and premium versions of many popular types of antivirus software. It lives up to its namesake by offering real-time protection against viruses and other forms of malware.

The Basics of Real-Time Virus Protection

Also known as background guard or auto protect, real-time virus protection is an antivirus software feature that automatically monitors your computer for viruses in real time. What does that mean exactly?

With real-time virus protection, the software will scan any data at the same time when the data is loaded into your computer’s memory. If you launch a program, open an email or browse a website, data will be loaded into your computer’s memory. Real-time virus protection simply means the antivirus software will scan this data for viruses and malware.

Real-Time vs On-Demand Virus Protection: What’s the Difference?

Real-time protection isn’t the same as on-demand virus protection. While they both offer protection against viruses and malware, they operate in different ways.

As previously mentioned, real-time virus protection works by scanning data for viruses and malware as the data is loaded into your computer’s memory. In comparison, on-demand virus protection scans data for viruses and malware at a time of your choosing. Your computer’s antivirus software won’t perform an on-demand scan unless you tell it to. It will, however, perform on-demand scans around the clock whenever data is loaded into your computer’s memory.

Why You Should Use Real-Time Virus Protection

Regarding cybersecurity, there’s no substitution for real-time virus protection. A virus can strike in the blink of an eye. Clicking the wrong link or downloading the wrong file, for instance, can result in an infection. Real-time virus protection prevents infections such as these by scanning data as its loaded into your computer’s memory. If the software detects a virus or any other form of malware, it will block it so that it doesn’t infect your computer.

Virus and malware are designed to cause harm, so it’s important to protect your computer from infection. With real-time virus protection, you can rest assured knowing that all data is scanned for viruses and malware as it’s loaded into your computer’s memory.

Of course, you should still take advantage of on-demand virus protection as well. If a malicious file goes unnoticed during a real-time scan — which shouldn’t happen if you use the right antivirus software — an on-demand scan may catch it.