To start off, ESET has been awarded more Advanced+ ratings from AV-Comparative than any other anti-virus vendor. The products boast extremely high detection rates and very low false positives rates, indicating a powerful, yet discerning anti-virus technology. ESET’s advanced memory scanner enables an improved detection of persistent malware that often employs multiple layers of encryption. ESET employs multiple layers of its own, analyzing code and updating known and generic virus signatures for makeup and behavior. The cloud-powered scanning feature whitelists safe files based on a file reputation database, speeding up scans.
ESET’s vulnerability shield blocks attacks trying to exploit network vulnerabilities, and the separate firewall further prevents unauthorized users from accessing your computer. A portable device control allows you to prevent unauthorized copying of your data to an external device, such as a USB drive, CD, Bluetooth device, or FireWire. ESET sells a separate USB drive-specific security product. ESET’s computer anti-virus, along with its mobile protection, has an anti-theft feature. If your device is lost or stolen, you can send a one-way message to your laptop, track the location from a separate computer, and spy on the thief—if there is one—through your computer’s webcam.
ESET’s top-tier virus protection comes with the sacrifice of some computer speed. Independent IT lab tests have shown that ESET’s Smart Security blocks threats exceptionally well, but it slows down the operating systems used. The company doesn’t offer any protection for Apple iOS products.
Price (*subject to change)
- NOD32 Antivirus $39.99 (1 year, 1 PC)
- Cyber Security $39.99 (1 year, 1 Mac)
- Smart Security $59.99 (1 year, 1 PC)
- Multi-Device Security $84.99 (1 year, 3 computers + 3 Android devices)
- Premium Mobile Security $19.95 (1 year, 5 devices)
- DriveSecurity $8.50 (1 year, 1 USB drive)
Free trial offer
ESET offers a free 30 day trial for their premium mobile app and anti-virus products with the exception of Multi-Device Security, which cannot be tried for free.
- AV-Test certified with a 99.7% threat detection rate
- Locate and retrieve missing phone with a GPS locater, remote lock and siren, and uninstall protection
- Real-time, on-demand scanning
- Detects potentially unwanted apps
- Includes SMS & Call Filter
- Anti-Phishing protection
- Portable device monitoring
- Anti-Virus and Anti-Spyware – Receive real-time protection while you surf and browse
- Personal Firewall – Protects your network, keeping your private data safe
- Portable Device Control – Prevent unwanted data from copying to external devices
- Anti-Phishing – Protects against attempts to steal your personal information while you shop and manage your banking online
- Parental Controls – Block more than 20 pre-set website categories or add your own
- Social Media Scanning – On Facebook, scan your newsfeed and messages for malware; On Twitter, protect your profile, posts, and people you follow from malicious links
- Exploit Blocker – Protects from attacks on web browsers and PDF readers; eliminates lock screens and ransomware
- Anti-Spam – Blocks unwanted emails from your inbox
- Anti-Theft – Tracks the location of your computer and allows you to watch thieves via a built-in camera
- Security Training – Provides continuing education via tips on how to defend against cyber threats, scams, and hackers
In 2013, ESET’s anti-virus technology was given an Advanced+ rating—AV-Comparative’s highest score—with no reservations. ESET’s Smart Security scored very high on the real-world protection test, blocking 99.1% of the threats presented. Most notable was that it didn’t wrongly block any clean domains or files—a pretty rare accomplishment for anti-virus software. ESET had excellent performance scores but the computer was a little bit slow downloading files.
AV-Test’s late 2013 testing showed that ESET’s Smart Security provides excellent protection against 0-day malware attacks. It also had a perfect score in detecting the AV-Test reference set, or malware discovered in the last four weeks. ESET did slow the computer down, though, and so received a poor performance score.
Tune-up & Speed
ESET’s anti-virus products do not currently include any tune-up features .
ESET has been BBB accredited since 2009. Its A+ rating is the result of relatively few complaints, adequate response to those complaints, and good resolution of customers’ concerns. We noted complaints about customers having refunds delayed and experiencing slow customer service help. As far as the product itself, one customer complained that ESET was excellent at detecting viruses but didn’t do as well in cleaning them up.
Time in Business
Founded in 1992, ESET has been in business for 22+ years.
Though headquartered in Slovakia, the company has a U.S. branch located in San Diego, CA.
ESET’s subscriptions come with cyber-security training within the product itself in addition to the online knowledge base available to all internet users. This includes a threat encyclopedia step-by-step video tutorials of solutions to common problems, and online case submissions. ESET’s U.S.-based live customer assistance is available via email or over the phone at (619) 630-2300.
- Windows 8.1, 8, 7, Vista, XP
- Windows Home Server 2003, 2011
- Mac OS X Mavericks compatible
- Android 2.3 and higher
- 256 MB RAM
- 12 MB memory
- Minimum 240×320 pixel touch screen
- 500+ MHz processor
- Microsoft Windows 8
- Windows 7
- Windows Vista
- Windows XP
- 300 MB free storage