There are alarming reports of growing microbial resistance to all classes of antimicrobial agents used against different infections. Also the existing classes of anticancer drugs used against different tumours warrant the urgent search for more effective alternative agents for treatment. Broad-spectrum bioactivities of silver nanoparticles indicate their potential to solve many microbial resistance problems up to a certain extent. The antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, antiprotozoal, acaricidal, larvicidal, lousicidal and anticancer activities of silver nanoparticles have recently attracted the attention of scientists all over the world. The aim of the present review is to discuss broad-spectrum multifunctional activities of silver nanoparticles and stress their therapeutic potential as smart nanomedicine. Much emphasis has been dedicated to the antimicrobial and anticancer potential of silver nanoparticles showing their promising characteristics for treatment, prophylaxis and control of infections, as well as for diagnosis and treatment of different cancer types.