Virus scanners, for the most part, rely on ‘signatures’ to find viruses/malware, which means:

  • The virus/malware has been ‘found’ or submitted
  • A ‘signature’ has been defined for it
  • The signature file has been updated
  • The signature file on your computer has been updated

That’s why the first question a virus scanning tech support guy will ask is: ‘Is your signature file up to date?’

ICE works differently.

ICE blocks program files from getting written to the computer, and since malware and (most modern) viruses need to write to a program file, they will be blocked.

While there is significant overlap between ICE and virus scanners, they actually do different things.

Virus scanners are focused on detecting and removing known viruses, malware, adware, and spyware, but ignore legitimate (but unneeded) programs  and malware that a signature hasn’t been written for.

Prevention is better than a cure.

ICE keeps the computer working the way it does now.

So ICE prevents ANYTHING (including both known and unknown viruses, malware, adware, spyware and legit crapware) from getting installed.