Tech Tips

February 08, 2018

Local Antivirus vs. Cloud-Based Antivirus: The Pros & Cons

With cyber threats multiplying daily, every company workstation needs a business-grade anti-virus. But which solution is right for you? A locally-installed antivirus or a cloud-based security suite? Let's weigh the pros and cons.

When it comes to antivirus solutions, what's better nowadays? An on-premise managed antivirus you pay for once (per computer) with yearly renewals? Or a cloud-based antivirus for which you pay a monthly subscription fee?

Both receive regular updates to protect against new viruses & malware. Many cybsecurity vendors have both an on-premise and a cloud version of their solutions. Each option has its own pros & cons, and can make sense depending on your environment.

Let's review these pros & cons. (Please note, they are limited to business-grade antivirus only.)

On-Premise Antivirus Pros:

  • Lower cost, typically a single yearly payment
  • Highly configurable
  • Server-based management console

On-Premise Antivirus Cons:

  • Large file sizes taking up space on your hard drive
  • May need manual updating (tech labor)
  • Less control over users introducing malware via USB drive or email attachments
  • No/minimal monitoring capability
  • Need an on-premise server to manage a corporate deployment

Cloud Antivirus Pros:

  • Comes with additional protections (e.g. phishing alerts, hardening)
  • Automatic updates, making security more reliable
  • Agent-based install (a small background app)
  • Runs invisibly
  • Manage hundreds of computers' antivirus from one Web-based console
  • Shorter interval between new malware discoveries and AV updates on your computer

Cloud Antivirus Cons:

  • Higher cost, typically a monthly subscription payment
  • Can interfere with other cloud-based services (unless both are configured properly)

From our perspective, cloud-based antivirus wins over on-premise. The update schedule alone means better up-to-the-minute protection for each & every device. Also, with many companies moving to the Cloud, there aren't enough internal resources to manage an on-premise security application effectively.

Two examples of cloud antivirus (as part of a larger security suite):

Malwarebytes Endpoint Protection (Cloud Service)

BitDefender Business Security


Need a cloud-based AV solution setup for your workstationsPlease email us at and we’ll be happy to help!