Adware vs Trojan Horses: Difference and Comparison

Adware and Trojan horses are software that is introduced into individuals’ personal computers or desktops even without their knowledge.

They are considered malicious at times as they may either control the OS or even might watch the activities of the user including their fields of interest or their hobbies.

But they are not always malicious and that depends on the intentions of the developer.

Key Takeaways

  1. Adware is unwanted software that displays advertisements, while trojan horses are malicious programs disguised as legitimate software.
  2. Adware generates revenue for its developers, while trojan horses can cause various forms of harm to the user’s system.
  3. Adware is more of a nuisance, while trojan horses can lead to severe security breaches and data theft.

Adware vs Trojan Horses

Adware is software that displays unwanted advertising on a computer or mobile device. Adware is bundled with other software or downloaded unknowingly from the internet, and once installed. Trojan horses are malware that appears as legitimate software but are harmful.

Adware vs Trojan Horses

Adware is software that comes along with easy to open or other free-to-open software or apps. It is sent along with other software so that it can’t be detected easily as it could hide behind the mask of the software.

They aren’t considered as harmful as all that they do is to help their developer keep a constant check over what the user’s field of interest is.

Trojan horse is a disguised malicious software that enters a system in the form of some other software or under the name of another app.

They can’t be recognized easily if a computer or a system doesn’t have a proper antivirus security system. They are dangerous as they can completely take over a system and give all access to hackers.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonAdwareTrojan Horses
Malicious IntentionNot reallyYes
Major ObjectiveMonitor the userTakes over the system
Gives Profit to DevelopersYesNo
Watches Over The UserYesNo

What is Adware?

As the name suggests, it is software that is held responsible for all the unwanted ads that pop up on our screens.

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They enter a computer system through much other free-to-open software that users might click on by mistake.

This releases the adware onto the system. Adware can’t be considered a serious threat to the system or the user.

But they breach the privacy of the individuals who use the infected system or desktops.

This is done by watching over the daily activities of the users and identifying what they like and what they don’t.

After this is done, adware developers keep giving pop-up windows to the user’s browser with all the things they might have been interested in previously.

By doing this, the developers gain plenty of profit via the advertisement as there are chances the user might open the pop-up window.

Adware is similar to spyware as it keeps a watch over all the activities that a user does and it is also difficult to get rid of.

If a computer or the system does not have an antivirus program, then adware might be difficult to eradicate and cleanse the system.

A few examples of adware software are Gator and Appreach.


What is Trojan Horses?

Trojan horse is malicious software that invades a personal computer and eventually takes over the entire system.

They enter the system through unknown names in such a way that the user wouldn’t suspect anything.

This disguise helps it in accomplishing its mission of stealthily entering the computer and slowly taking over the functions.

Once it has entered the system, it can give access to the developer who might as well be a hacker.

It allows such hackers unauthorized access to the computer there making the user’s system open to threat and therefore vulnerable.

Trojan horse is very harmful if not detected early as it can be attacking prominent systems that include security systems of different nations.

It can take all the data and information the system has stored and can use it to blackmail institutions or even countries as a whole and threaten their security.

Once it has gained total access to the system, there is no understanding of what might happen as the hacker can now do as they please.

To prevent their entry is the only option that computer owners have as after their entry, there is barely anything that can be done.

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Trojan horses can be prevented from entering a system even via a disguise by installing antivirus software.

The antivirus system has to be strong and always upgraded to make sure that there are no loopholes through which the malware can enter.

A few common Trojan horses are Rootkit and Beast Trojan.

Main Differences Between Adware and Trojan Horses

  1. The presence of adware can be understood by the user after they start seeing pop-up windows with ads but on the other hand, the presence of Trojan horse can’t be understood unless they take control of the whole operating system.
  2. Adware is not as harmful as Trojan horse as they only keep a check on all the user activities. The trojan horse takes over the entire system.
  3. By Trojan horse, its developers don’t get any monetary profit as they aren’t gaining money through it whereas adware developers do get a monetary benefit through all the ads that they sell.
  4. Adware enters a system through free-to-open apps or software whereas a Trojan horse enters the system under a disguise of other names or even mails.
  5. A strong antivirus system is needed to protect from Trojan horses whereas regular antivirus software can also prevent the entry of adware.
Difference Between Adware and Trojan Horses

Last Updated : 04 July, 2023

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6 thoughts on “Adware vs Trojan Horses: Difference and Comparison”

  1. I work in cybersecurity and can confirm that this article perfectly explains the important differences between adware and trojan horses.

  2. This article is a helpful resource for anyone looking to understand the risks associated with adware and trojan horses.

  3. The article’s explanation of how adware operates and its similarities to spyware is quite enlightening. This is valuable information for those seeking to enhance their cybersecurity knowledge.

  4. The comparison table is especially informative. It clearly defines the malicious intentions of adware and trojan horses, making it easier for users to recognize potential threats.

  5. This article provides a comprehensive understanding of adware and trojan horses. It’s a must-read for anyone looking to deepen their understanding of cybersecurity threats.

  6. The article does a great job of outlining the major differences between adware and trojan horses. It’s crucial for users to be aware of these distinctions to safeguard their systems.


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