Antivirus software provides limited protection of data. When data leaves from a users machine, it goes through numerous networks on the way to its final destination. This leaves the data completely vulnerable to theft, and could lead to man-in-the-middle attacks.
Often Antivirus software claims that it provides for the protection of data against online threats, but in reality once the data leaves from your computer to the open internet, it could be exposed to potential threats and attacks. It can easily be seen by third parties, stolen, collected, altered, stored or made to vanish by the use of sniffers, or any other intelligent techniques or software. Antivirus software provides no protection against such threats, with many complaints reported where user IDs are stolen, and bank accounts have been compromised despite the use of a good Antivirus solution.
The use of a reliable VPN service, along with the antivirus software installed on VPN servers, appears to provide much better results against online threats. A VPN service provides the additional layer of security which not only provides the secure tunnel between user and end destination over open internet, but it also transmits data in an encrypted format (128 or 256 bit encrytion methods). Further, the use of firewalls at a VPN server adds even more security for end-users by not only blocking many threats but also by hiding a users IP address. This makes it much more difficult for known threats to locate specific machines, and provides protection from malware as malware cannot specifically target a known IP address.
In summary, it is clear that the use of a properly encrypted VPN service provides complete protection against online data threats. Your data is effectively protected from third parties who try to scan, sniff or steal your data packets.