ESET Review

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Score 9

Threat Protection

  • Protection against: malware, Spyware, web protection, and ransomware
  • Local firewall protection
Plans & Prices:
  • ESET NOD32 Antivirus- $39.99 per year per device
  • ESET Internet Security- $49.99 per year per device
  • ESET Smart Security Premium- $59.99 per year per device

Payment Methods


ESET NOD32 Antivirus, commonly known as NOD32, is an antivirus software package made by the Slovak company ESET. Established back in 1992, Eset is a true veteran in the industry with over 1000 employees & over 110 million users in 202 countries and territories. ESET has the longest unbroken run of VB100 awards for malware detection of any Internet security vendor in the world – over 12 years in a row, which is a world record.

Frankly, their titles and rewards would take a separate page, so just to name a few most recent, there were:

  • Customer Choice Award (Gartner 2017)
  • Top 5-star rating (SC Magazine 2017)
  • Top Security Product of the Year (Digital Citizen 2017)

So, it is a well known and highly valued company with heritage and trust in the market. But does the product and its protection capabilities justify all the buzz and keeps up with the times? Let’s have a closer look and see for ourselves.

During our research on antivirus software, we’ve identified five key criteria for you to consider when choosing an antivirus software: 1. Threat Protection 2. Resource consumption 3. 24/7 protection/real-time scanning 4. Extra must-have features 5. Platforms/Devices accessibility. Our reviews will examine each antivirus software in accordance with how well it delivers on these five criteria.

How ESET meets the 5 criteria?

1. Threat Protection

Malware Protection
ESET claims to use a multilayered technology that goes far beyond the capabilities of basic antivirus & protects the users against all types of malware, including viruses, ransomware, rootkits, worms, and spyware.
Endpoint Antivirus provides protection with antivirus and anti-spyware, virtualization support, host-based intrusion prevention system (HIPS), exploit blocker, advanced memory scanner, and cross-platform protection. It also includes data access protection for anti-phishing and scanning.

Spyware Protection
Spyware can secretly monitor your actions on your device, capture passwords, banking credentials, and credit card details. ESET vault system is capable of designing and maintaining strong and safe passwords to keep you away from potential hacking programs that attempt to worm their way into your accounts.

Web Protection
The ESET system is scanning along your entire device as you’re surfing the Internet, detecting which websites are safe to visit & blocking the possibly dangerous websites and downloads. If something malicious is found in the search results you will be notified by Web Shield & blocked from the possibly dangerous websites and downloads.

Phishing Websites ProtectionPhishing means attempts to acquire user’s sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, or banking and credit card details by fake websites. ESET prevents users from accessing web pages known for phishing by parsing messages body and subjects to identify URLs. URLs are then compared against phishing database and rules to decide whether it is good or bad.

However, it is impossible not to mention, that many independent lab tests claim that while coping easily with the most classic viruses detection and deletion, ESET has not scored well in the phishing and spyware protection.

2. Resource Consumption

ESET solutions are famed for their low system impact, keeping you protected without slowing you down. ESET Antivirus doesn’t seem to be causing distinctive lags for an average PC.

3. 24/7 Real-time Scanning

ESET antivirus software is constantly running in the background and monitoring your system, as long as the device is on, detecting & blocking the malware before it gets on your hard-drive. In addition to that, it offers a scheduled scan option where you can set up regular full scans.
The only thing you should be careful about though – is that the software is not updating itself automatically, but needs you to click the “update” button manually every once in a while, in order to have the latest version of the virus signatures database and stay safe from the threats.

4. Extra Protection Features

Cloud-powered scanning
ESET LiveGrid® evaluates malware-related data from users around the world to find the latest threats.

VPN Internet Security
Safe Browsing secures your device’s internet connection to guarantee that all of the data you’re sending and receiving is encrypted and secure from prying eyes. It’s especially needed if you are using social media, shopping online and internet banking. ESET provides their customers with a Safe Browsing VPN with 30+ Server Locations included, which keeps encrypted their internet connections & is an excellent addition for the antivirus suite. (unavailable for the basic package)

Effectively filters out spam on the user’s endpoint device and scans all incoming emails for malware. (unavailable for the basic package)

Banking and Payment Protection
Keeps your money safe with a special secured browser for online shopping and payment gateways. Automatically protects you on internet banking sites. (unavailable for the basic package)

Parental Control
Block unwanted internet content by categories or individual websites and keep your kids safe online. (unavailable for the basic package)

Password Manager
Easily manage and keep all your passwords secure in one place. (unavailable for the basic package)

Personal Firewall
Prevent hackers from gaining access to your computer and stay invisible to other users in public Wi-Fi networks. (unavailable for the basic package)

Mail security
Using their own proprietary engine, ESET Mail Security is preventing spam from reaching the users’ mailboxes. Includes SPF and DKIM validation, backscatter protection and SMTP protection. The second layer of protection built into ESET Mail Security provides detection of suspicious or malicious attachments to prevent users from being infected.

Browser Manager
Easily allows users to clear history, cache and tracking cookies from their web browsers.

Remote PC virus removal
An ESET support specialist takes control of your device remotely. System scan and diagnostics identify any malware infection and it is being removed from your system. (At additional cost)

USB Security
ESET antivirus application to secure your external portable hard drives and USB flash drives. (At additional cost)

5. Platforms/Devices Accessibility

Regarding the compatibility, ESET is designed to safeguard computers running Windows, Mac OS, and all devices running iOS and Android, meeting the highest modern standards in the industry.

Windows users who get ESET’s Multi-Device Security package, which also includes licenses for ESET’s Mac, Android and Linux software, will have to settle for the basic NOD32 Antivirus or intermediate Internet Security programs rather than the top-shelf Smart Security Premium. More important, there’s no unlimited plan or product offered, so customers with many family members (or many devices) will have to pay a lot to be completely protected.

Windows OS

Mac OS



User Experience

All the versions of ESET across many platforms share the same – simple and easy to use interface. It’s also a very easy program to download & install and. As soon as you click the download link, the program installs itself and starts scanning your system for the threats right away, with no need of manually setting up anything. The number of settings and tools though might be a little confusing for the less tech-savvy users.


ESET NOD32 Antivirus

$39.99 / Year

  • A basic package
  • All the main features
  • Parental Control
  • lacking most of the important extra features

ESET Internet Security

$49.99 / Year

  • Most popular package
  • Containing the Email Scan
  • Parental Control
  • Firewall
  •  lacking a Password Manager
  • Lacking file Encryption

ESET Smart Security

$59.99 / Year

  • The complete edition
  • Maximum protection package
  • Password Manager
  • Secure Data

All of the three options include a 30 Day Money Back Guarantee trial version, giving you the opportunity to try the software in action, before deciding how much you are ready to invest.

Support and Customer Service

Multiple contact channels are available, letting you receive the needed information easily.
For the starters, ESET hosts an extensive FAQ on their website. The website also features a live chat for the instant contacts.
On top of that, the platform provides an around-the-clock phone support line, as well as a standard email inquiry support, with reasonable response times and knowledgeable insights.

Pros & Cons

  • Remarkably easy to set-up and install
  • Includes Free tools such as System Boost
  • 30-days money back guarantee
  • Mobile protection comes only with the extended version
  • Some important features are only available in the advanced packages

Bottom Line

With about 30 years of history, NOD32 is the antivirus with the biggest longevity.
ESET is an overall powerful antivirus with good malware protection and the ability to protect a computer’s firmware, that boasts some expert-level tweaks and tools.
Actually, it seems that there are more features than you might expect for a pure antivirus app, including many advanced options and settings, that may be confusing and useless for beginners.
ESET’s malware protection is decent and its system impact is moderate, but its multi-user licenses are on the pricey side, and its products don’t offer as many extras as its competitors.

The basic accessible antivirus package doesn’t include some important security features like firewall, spam filters, and a password manager, though all of these are included with a more inclusive Internet Security package, that costs substantially more than standard ESET NOD32 Antivirus. There are other antivirus programs, that include these tools and don’t cost as much as the more advanced ESET program.
Overall, ESET’s malware protection is decent and its system impact is moderate, but its multi-user licenses are on the pricey side, and its products don’t offer as many extras as its competitors.