When we talk about alcohol-based disinfectants, we are most commonly referring to ethyl alcohol. At concentrations of 60-80% it is a good virucidal agent. Their main drawback is that they evaporate quickly but require long contact times to be effective – in addition they are highly flammable and can damage surfaces.
In contrast quat-based disinfectants (more correctly known as quaternary ammonium) are widely used as disinfectants and are also good cleaning agents. They are highly stable and have a rapid action with bactericidal, fungicidal and virucidal activity.