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Today I had my Internet provider to install Internet Fiber at my place. I've been asked whether I wanted the antivirus service.

I am aware you can (and should) install an antivirus on your computer. However, I don't really get the point (and how it works) of an antivirus/firewall directly provided with the Internet connection.

My question is: why would someone have a firewall/antivirus provided by the Internet provider, rather than locally on their own machine?

  • It might have been an antivirus for the ISP provided router – Sefa Jan 4 '18 at 9:46
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It is not clear what exactly you got offered. My guess is that they either provide you with some anti virus product you can install on your computer or they offer to do deep inspection or similar on all your traffic to detect and block malware attacks.

The last option essentially means that they put your system behind some deep inspecting firewall or intrusion detection system or (transparent) proxy, similar to what you have in enterprise environments. This will probably not scan encrypted connections (like HTTPS) for malicious content and only rely on domain blacklists for such content. Such option could not provide the same protection as a local antivirus but it might offer some useful additional protection.

But again, I'm just guessing what they actually offer you since details about the offer are missing from your question.

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Antivirus on the connection catches viruses before it hits each computer.

You are also assuming that all your devices in your network can and have anti-virus. With the growth of the Internet of Things (IoT), you have a lot of devices without antivirus protection (like your lightbulbs).

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