The Difference Between A Virus And Bloatware

When a computer is moving slow, many users don't care about the specifics of the problem; if it's making things slow, get rid of it. Others may panic at the very first sign of trouble, thinking that a virus is nearly the end of the world. You need to know the difference between viruses and bloatware in order to avoid having future problems and to keep calm in situations that aren't as dire as they seem. Here's some computer performance insight to help you understand what matters.

What is A Virus?

The term virus is different between professionals, let alone the semantics in different dictionaries. For the purpose of this article, the malware definition of software written to cause system damage and performance problems is in use. They're written for all kinds of reasons, from attempting to steal information to simple mischief from brilliant but unchallenged minds.

Most viruses encountered by the standard user are out of sheer bad luck, either from visiting a website that was compromised, clicking an advertisement for a fake service or downloading a fake version of a program. Despite the paranoia of some users who may not be familiar with how easy it is to broadcast bad software to random users, home computers aren't specifically targeted. Those problems are for major business leaders and politicians.

The usual path to virus infection in modern computers involves opening a file. Viruses are like any other program, and can only be launched if the user downloads and executes the program. 

It's extremely rare to be the victim of an unknown, unfixable virus. You may be one of the first victims of a new threat, but a fix will eventually be found. The payoff for virus writers is to either show advertisements on your computer that you can't help but click, which pays a small amount of ad revenue. Other viruses are like fishers, simply creating fake antivirus programs or other services to convince you to pay. This is where the corrupted spelling of phishing in internet lingo comes from, as they're just waiting for a victim to take the bait.

Your Issue May Be A Bogged-Down Computer

Not all unwanted programs are viruses, though they can be installed in the same way. Many legitimate programs such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, WinRAR and McAfee anti-virus are attached to installers for programs you want, and will install themselves as a package deal. Programmers are often paid to advertise trial programs for other programmers with this technique.

Modern versions of these installations require a checkbox that you can uncheck to remove the unwanted extra software packages, but there are still times where the programs will install without asking permission first--a slight shade away from being a virus. Your computer may be loaded with many programs installed in this somewhat-unethical way, and the issue becomes more complex if a third-party programmer modifies the installed programs with their own intentions.

Both viruses and potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) can be handled by a skilled computer repair professional. For targeted desktop and laptop repair including virus removal and hardware replacement, get in contact with a computer technician at a location such as Computer Exchange as soon as possible.