Bratislava-based ESET was founded by a group of friends some 30 years ago to advertise their own NOD antivirus software. Nowadays it has a wide portfolio of products covering all the major platforms and is used by 110 million clients all over the world.
ESET’s house user range starts with ESET NOD32 Antivirus, a stripped-back product that focuses on the antivirus, anti-phishing, and anti-ransomware basics. But there is still a major plus because it supports Windows, Mac, and Linux devices (remember, many baseline antivirus products are now Windows-only).
Costs are mid-range, running from $40 for one device, one-year license, up to $160 ($240 on renewal) to cover five apparatus for three-years.
ESET Internet Security provides a spam filter, parental controls, and a safe browser to protect online banking transactions. The package enables blocking unauthorized programs from accessing the webcam, while an anti-theft attribute (Windows-only) can help find your lost notebook.
There are many layers of network security, including a firewall, monitoring for dangerous traffic patterns, and a Connected Home Monitor which scans your house devices for vulnerabilities. ESET Internet Security includes Android support, also.
Costs start from a reasonable $50 for one device, one-year permit, and rise to a more expensive $190 ($270 on renewal) outlay to pay five apparatus over three-years. That is not expensive — Kaspersky Internet Security is priced substantially the same — but there are better deals around. By way of instance, Bitdefender Internet Security 2020 charges a standard $170 for the exact same five apparatus, three-year protection.
ESET Smart Security Premium expands the package a little more using a password manager and encryption for your documents and folders. These are extremely useful, but also relatively tiny additions, and the sort of features you’d find in mid-sized suites elsewhere.
A five apparatus, three-year license prices a chunky $220 for the initial term, $300 on renewal, as an example. Bitdefender Total Security 2020 could cover the very same apparatus for $140 initially, $200 on renewal. And products that are priced similarly to ESET usually have more performance.
Avira’s Prime package can also be $270 to pay five apparatus for three-years, for example, but that is because it has unrestricted use of Avira’s VPN, an extremely valuable extra.
Installing ESET NOD32 Antivirus is rather straightforward: hands over your email address, choose a few important settings (do you like the program to detect potentially unwanted programs, are you pleased to share information about how you use the program with ESET?) , and it is up and running.
After setup is finished, ESET NOD32 Antivirus automatically starts a complete system scan. This may not always be convenient, but it does not use many tools (approximately 20% CPU and 20-40% for our drives) and we could keep on using our inspection as usual.
In case you enabled the check potentially unwanted programs’ attribute, there is a chance you will get more warnings than you anticipated. We were repeatedly warned about copies of an IObit Malware Fighter installer, for example — it is not the best of antivirus apps, but it is not in any way a security threat.
ESET’s executables and data files catch approaching 800MB of hard disk space, relatively high for a plain antivirus program, but testing shows it is surprisingly lightweight. PassMark’s Consumer Security Products Performance Benchmarks 2020 Edition 2 report examines the performance effect of 15 Windows internet security products across 23 metrics. It’s a really in-depth study, and ESET’s outcomes are hugely positive, with the company making an impressive third place (Norton Security came, Kaspersky Internet Security was second).
The package did well with our self-protection outcomes, also, where we simulate various attacks to determine if malware may disable a security program. We tried deleting documents, terminating procedures, shutting internet connections, disabling filter drivers, eliminating autostart configurations and more, but none of our attempts put the smallest of scratches in ESET’s digital armor.