Experts Reviews on ESET Antivirus Solutions: Whether it is Worth to Apply or not

Highly configurable security with some expert-level features


ESET NOD32 Antivirus has combined unbiased testing lab outcomes and it is not all the time simple to make use of, however skilled customers ought to admire its superior options and low-level configurability.


  • Minimal efficiency affect
  • Extremely configurable
  • Expert-level system management
  • Covers as much as 24 gadgets for Three years


  • Combined outcomes from testing labs
  • Not many options
  • Could be complicated
  • ESET Internet Security is solely a bit costlier

This is our all-in-one roundup reviewing each ESET client safety answer for 2021. On this web page, after our transient intro, you’ll discover

(a) a full analysis of the entry-level ESET NOD32 Antivirus, together with our critiques of the extra options integrated with the remainder of the vary:

(b) ESET Internet Security, and

(c) the top-end bundle ESET Smart Security Premium

You’ll be able to soar to the critiques of these individual products by clicking on the hyperlinks within the bar on the high of this web page, however keep in mind that this text is actually designed to be learn throughout, because the options of ESET NOD32 Antivirus are additionally current within the higher-level safety suites, after all.

Bratislava-based ESET was based by a bunch of mates some 30 years in the past to market their NOD antivirus software. As of late it has a broad portfolio of merchandise protecting all the foremost platforms, and is utilized by 110 million prospects all around the world.

ESET’s home user vary begins with ESET NOD32 Antivirus, a stripped-back product which focuses on the antivirus, anti-phishing and anti-ransomware fundamentals. However there’s nonetheless a significant plus in that it helps Windows, Mac and Linux gadgets (many baseline antivirus merchandise are now Windows-only).

Costs start at $40 for single system, one-year license. That is not dangerous, but it surely‘s lacking any introductory low cost; Bitdefender AntiVirus Plus is $20 in year one, Trend Micro Antivirus+ Safety $30, before they rise to $40 on renewal.)

The package starts at solely a marginally costlier $60 for a one-year subscription, and a 5 system, three-year license prices $220 for the first time period, $300 on renewal.

That is not dangerous, however once more, selecting a vendor with a steeper low cost can prevent plenty of case. Kaspersky Complete Security‘s 5 system, three 12 months license is $150 for the primary time period, for instance, although it is the same $300 on renewal.


(Picture credit: ESET)

Putting in ESET NOD32 Antivirus is simple: hand over your e-mail address, select just a few key settings (would you just like the app to detect probably undesirable packages, are you cheerful to share knowledge about how you utilize this system with ESET?), and it is up and working.

After set up is full, ESET NOD32 Antivirus routinely launches a full system scan. That might not all the time be handy, but it surely does not seize many assets, and we had been in a position to proceed utilizing our evaluation system as normal.

Working high benchmark PCMark Professional before and after set up confirmed NOD32 minimize our rating by a mere 1.3%. Some do higher – Kaspersky’s efficiency hit was a tiny 0.6%, Bitdefender’s 1% – but it surely beats Avast (3.2%), Norton (3.3%), Trend Micro (4%) and more.


ESET NOD32’s interface works much like many different antivirus apps: a easy dashboard shows your present security standing, you may launch a full system scan with a click on, and there is a sidebar which enables looking this system‘s other options and tools.

This is clear and easy, and even the greenest of safety newbies ought to shortly really feel at house. However do not be fooled, there’s extra to the app than you would possibly suppose.


ESET’s scan sorts are extra restricted than a lot of the competitors: there are simply Full System, Detachable Gadgets and Custom scans (the latter checks your alternative of files, folders or drives).

There isn’t any Fast Scan, no less than as commonplace. You’ll be able to create scan profiles to run extra restricted checks, but it surely‘s removed from intuitive, and until you go exploring ESET’s menus you could by no means understand the choice exists.

The app scanned our test 50GB of executables in a relatively speedy 18 minutes, a detailed match for Development Micro (16 minutes) and Kaspersky (19 minutes.) Some rivals test solely new or modified files after the primary run, although, so for instance Kaspersky’s second run lasted just below three minutes. ESET took the identical 18 minutes every time.


AV-Comparatives’ Actual-World Protection Test matches 17 of the highest Windows antivirus engines in opposition to each well-known and the very newest malware.

The July-October 2020 abstract report noticed ESET attain solely 13th place with a safety ranking of 99.3%. The good news: it simply beat Avira, who additionally managed 99.3% however had extra false positives. The dangerous information: Microsoft Defender was extra correct than each, with a safety charge of 99.5%.

AV-Check‘s August and October 2020 Residence Windows Person checks found ESET blocked 100% of check threats. As that’s extra widespread with AV-Check, we often test earlier outcomes to see if an engine is constant over time. ESET’s newest Web Safety product solely seems in the latest two checks, although, so that knowledge is not available but.

ESET did not fall down on its file detection, although, instantly quarantining each menace as soon because it touched our onerous drive.

It did not fairly work out that manner with ESET, although, as NOD32 Antivirus appropriately realised our simulator was a menace from the file alone, and blocked it earlier than it might run. That tells us exactly nothing about ESET’s conduct monitoring, however we will hardly blame NOD32 Antivirus for that; all it may possibly do is block the threats we give it, and the app did that exceptionally properly.

Blocking malicious sites

ESET NOD32 Antivirus comes with two URL filtering layers: the simplest protects you from phishing websites, whereas the opposite makes use of a number of applied sciences to dam extra common web site risks.

Conveniently, each layers are constructed into the core engine. There isn’t any want to put in browser extensions or fear about which browsers are protected or supported, you are routinely lined for every little thing that accesses the net.

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There are plenty of configuration options, too. Most are on/off switches which you will hardly ever use – you may disable scanning for HTTP websites, for example, although that’s most likely a nasty conceptbut you may create useful blacklists and whitelists of websites which ought to all the time (or by no means) by blocked.

Very similar to ESET’s antivirus safety, we do not have sufficient knowledge to be utterly certain how good its URL filtering could be, however small-scale testing does present some very constructive indicators.

Device control

ESET’s bonus instruments begin with Device Control, an uncommon feature which permits defining what occurs when customers join a number of system sorts to the system: exterior storage, a USB printer, Bluetooth system, scanner, sensible card reader, modems and extra.

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Choices include making gadgets read-only, displaying a warning to customers or blocking them completely. Guidelines can apply to all or particular gadgets (‘block all USB storage aside from x, y, z’), some or all person accounts, and the system logs all system connections for evaluation later.

It is a highly effective system, way more succesful than G Data‘s comparable Gadget Control characteristic, but it surely‘s additionally difficult to arrange. There isn’t any easy library of prebuilt guidelines, and no user-friendly visible rule creator. Instead you are principally selecting technical choices from lists and hoping you perceive them appropriately (test the Assist web page on the feature).

More features

ESET NOD32 Antivirus does not have the lengthiest of characteristic lists. There’s not one of the generic privateness or safety instruments you will typically see elsewhere: no password supervisor, no ‘file shredder’, no junk file cleaner or anything similar.

The few extras you get are tucked away on the Tools menu. Here, you may view logs, see what this system has blocked, watch working processes, obtain ESET’s bootable SysRescue cleansing software, and extra.

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A few of these are a bit doubtful. The System Cleaner claims to warn you of key Home windows settings which have been modified from their defaults, for example, maybe due to malware. Sounds nice, however in actuality it does not give you almost enough info to make a transparent determination.

There’s a lot better news elsewhere, fortuitously. ESET SysInspector is a selected spotlight, an excellent software which takes a snapshot of your system and highlights attention-grabbing objects: working processes, community connections, essential files (HOSTS), necessary Registry entries and extra. It is not for rookies, however if you happen to‘ve used prolonged activity managers like Sysinternals’ Course of Explorer you will quickly really feel at house.

Final verdict

An attention-grabbing antivirus that boasts some expert-level tweaks and tools, however is let down a bit by very combined outcomes from the unbiased testing labs.


IF ESET NOD32 Antivirus looks brief on options, that’s most likely as a result of the corporate has saved most of its instruments for ESET Web Safety.

Upgrading will get you a firewall, for example. A spam filter. Parental controls, webcam safety, community monitoring, additional community assault and botnet safety, plus an anti-theft characteristic for Home windows. And an Android app, too.

All this may be yours for simply $50 for a single device, one-year license. That is solely $10 greater than an equal ESET NOD32 Antivirus license, and you can save much more cash by including gadgets and years.

Is the suite actually value your time, although? Let’s see.


Set up most safety suites and you’ll get a firewall that blocks community assaults, and makes no less than some effort to intelligently determine which of your apps must be allowed to make web connections, and which must be blocked. Suites from suppliers together with Bitdefender and Symantec do an important job of constructing these choices all on their very own.

Set up ESET Internet Security and its firewall begins in automated mode, which permits all outgoing site visitors with out making any filtering makes an attempt, and blocks uninitiated site visitors from the net. That has a bit worth in a technical sense, but you can do a lot the identical with Home windows‘ built-in firewall.

The primary downside right here is that, until you go exploring the Firewall settings, you could by no means understand there is no filtering for outbound site visitors. If a course of tries to get on-line, it may possibly.

The second downside is that even if you happen to spot the problem and allow ESET’s different Interactive Mode, the firewall nonetheless will not make any choices itself, and as an alternative asks you whether or not it ought to belief any software which makes an outbound connection.

We do imply any application, too. Whereas smarter firewalls might know to belief Chrome, for example, ESET’s providing raised an alert.

Spam filter

ESET’s spam filter is a succesful junk mail blocker which works by integrating into Microsoft Outlook, and, simply in case anybody is nonetheless utilizing them, the traditional Outlook Categorical, Home windows Mail or Home windows Reside Mail.

Though that sounds very dated, the Outlook extension is surprisingly succesful. You’ll be able to select whether or not to scan incoming, outgoing and browse emails, choose an motion to take (delete, transfer to the Junk or a specified folder), add customized textual content to the topic line, and log the spam rating to know any false detections.

There’s even the flexibility to course of all the present emails within the present folder, maybe to wash up a cluttered Inbox since you‘ve not had an honest spam filter earlier than.

Correctly measuring antispam accuracy takes a really very long time and numerous samples, however to get an concept of ESET’s capabilities, we offered it with 100 emails flagged as spam (some appropriately, some not) by the industrial SPAMfighter.

Extra options

The corporate does not boast about it, however ESET Web Safety contains webcam safety which goals to stop your webcam from being hijacked by malicious apps.

We tried this out by working an obscure command line software to seize a webcam picture, and ESET observed it instantly, popping up a warning, and not permitting webcam entry till we had authorized the app.

This is powered by a really configurable rules-based system, so you may all the time enable entry to some apps, all the time block others, perhaps immediate for just a few, or, if you happen to by no means use the webcam, simply routinely block every little thing. You do not have to discover these guidelines if you‘re not – ESET will handle everything routinelyhowever we’re pleased to have the choice.

The Banking and Safety characteristic opens your default browser in a hardened kind which ESET says makes it harder for keyloggers to seize personal data. We examined this with a keylogger of our personal, and it labored as marketed; we captured keypresses in different apps, however not the browser.

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ESET’s Parental Controls are also very fundamental, with assist for content filtering however nothing else, not even fundamental performance like limiting web entry or system use by time. It really works, however does not add plenty of worth to the bundle.

ESET’s Anti-Theft characteristic works very like many competitors, and should allow you to trace your system location, use webcam picture seize to get a view of its location, or ship a message to its finder. There are loads of cell providers which do a lot the identical, but it surely‘s good to have one that covers Windows.

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Elsewhere, ESET’s Linked Residence Monitor lists gadgets linked to your community and raises alerts for any new connections. It could actually scan your community for open ports, weak router passwords and different vulnerabilities, too. The module did not discover something attention-grabbing for us, but it surely‘s value a fast test, anyway.

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ESET Web Safety additionally provides assist for Android to its Windows, Mac and Linux lineup.

That is not fairly as huge a deal because it sounds, as a result of ESET already provides a free version of its Cellular Safety and Antivirus app. It is not superiorsimply Antivirus and real-time safetybut it surely could be all you want.

Upgrading does embrace a pile of extras although, from cell variations of the desktop instruments (anti-theft, banking safety, Linked Residence network monitor), to an app locker, a safety audit in your apps, and extra.


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Prime-of-the-range safety suites often add some main new options to tempt potential prospects, like the total VPN entry you will get with Avira Final.

At first, ESET Smart Security Premium appears comparatively disappointing, with the bundle solely including a password supervisor and file encryption system to the ESET Web Safety characteristic checklist.

In actuality, the suite is higher than it sounds. The password supervisor is not the standard underpowered app you will get with some safety suites, for example – it has a stunning variety of options. And the encryption system makes use of the identical DESlock technology as ESET’s business-oriented Endpoint Encryption merchandise.

Pricing begins at an inexpensive $60 for a single system, one-year subscription. There are reductions as you add extra gadgets and years, however these aren’t nearly as good as you will see with some distributors, so ESET Smart Safety Premium can appear comparatively costly if you happen to‘re protecting plenty of gadgets.

Is the suite value a glance? That is your name, however these are the extras you will get.

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Password manager

ESET’s Password Manager is not as highly effective as specialist standalone apps like Dashlane and LastPass, but it surely‘s smarter than the efforts you get with most safety suites, and it covers the basics well sufficient.

Huge platform assist contains apps for Mac, Android and iOS, and browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Edge and extra.

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You are in a position to import passwords from Chrome, Firefox and a spread of different password managers (1Password, Bitwarden, Dashlane, LassPass, extra.)

When you‘re up and working, the browser extensions help you generate safe passwords, saving your credentials, syncing them across all of your gadgets and routinely filling in net kinds.

The service highlights particularly weak and reused passwords, serving to you see potential issues earlier than any weak accounts are hacked (well, hopefully).

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The Password Supervisor isn’t in regards to the browser extensions, although. A local Windows app permits looking your logins and launching no matter websites you want. A Sharing Middle can securely share knowledge with different ESET customers, and it is even doable to seize and reuse passwords for Home windows functions, as well as web sites.

There’s loads of performance right here, and the Password Supervisor was heading for a thumbs up. Then, sadly, a disastrous replace meant the app largely stopped working, we misplaced entry to our passwords, and a sudden mass of one-star critiques on the app shops informed us we weren’t alone.

We’re not counting that as a significant black mark for ESET. It was a significant usability difficulty, however our credentials weren’t compromised and the issues should all be mounted by the point you learn this.

We will not completely ignore such a critical bug, although, and neither do you have to. For those who‘re planning to utilize the password supervisor, take the total 30 days of the trial, and check it, in-depth, with each app and browser extension you plan to make use of.

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Secure data

ESET’s Safe Information permits you to create an encrypted vault on a tough drive, USB stick or different system.

Open the vault with the proper password and it acts like a digital drive or folder. Save or copy recordsdata to the vault they usually‘re routinely encrypted; open or view them they usually‘re decrypted. You do not have to fret in regards to the technicalities, although, as a result of the vault works identical to some other drive or storage system.

Safe Information is a easy and efficient option to defend your most necessary files from snoopers, and it is not a characteristic you will get with most safety suites. You will get freeware instruments that carry out comparable duties, although, and on steadiness we’re unsure Safe Information or the Password Supervisor are sufficient to justify signing up for ESET Sensible Safety Premium. Points and limitations with ESET’s suites imply ESET NOD32 Antivirus is our decide of the vary.