It's fairly common these days for families to have multiple computers connected to one shared network. After all, it's cheap and easy to set up a router and let the whole family access the internet via the same wireless connection.

However, if one computer goes down with a serious virus, is there any threat to the others? Some users worry that if one computer on their shared network requires virus removal, the rest might too.

How viruses spread

As we covered in a previous post, computer viruses are much like the ones that infect humans. They rely on a host file to spread, and that file must be actively downloaded to a computer in order for it to be infected.

The concern that viruses might spread to other computers on a network stems mostly from the knowledge that these threats can self-replicate. However, that function doesn't necessarily apply across networks. In short, the other computers on a shared network will need to actively download the virus to be affected.

At the same time, that doesn't mean other computers are protected if one catches a bug. Users who share files between two computers might accidentally transfer a virus from one to the other. And other types of malware can spread via wireless network. The Conficker worm was one of the world's most notable computer worms, and it infiltrated millions of computers worldwide.

Play it safe

Ultimately, it's best practice for users to disconnect an infected computer from the shared network until the virus is removed. Seeking professional virus removal in Maryland might allow consumers to avoid spreading an infection to other machines on their home network.