ESET Antivirus Review

ESET review
In this ESET Antivirus review, we look at what the software has to offer, to help you decide if it's a good choice for you.

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ESET Antivirus is an antivirus provider that offers excellent protection for home networks and computers. It provides internet security plans for businesses of all sizes, from those just starting through to enterprise operations.

This review will help you decide whether to install ESET antivirus or choose another internet security provider.

In this review

ESET Antivirus Overview

ESET Antivirus is an antivirus provider that specializes in home protection. It offers three different tiers of protection for home users; all of which are reasonably priced.

For this, it offers the basic antivirus features you would expect such as phishing blocking, protection from ransomware, and malware protection. You can also get parental controls, and other useful features like password management, and a two-way firewall.

As a basic antivirus program, it performs fantastically. It is also easy to use, and uses virtually no system resources for scans or whilst running in the background. You can also tailor your antivirus subscription to suit exactly the number of devices you need which not many other security companies provide.

It is not without its flaws, however. For example, ESET Antivirus does not offer a VPN. Also, some of the tools like device scan scheduling can be a little tricky to use.

Overall, this is a decent antivirus package at a decent price.

Pros

  • For the most part, easy to use and install.
  • Requires minimum system resources for scans and background work.
  • Reasonably priced.
  • Basic antivirus protection is really good.
  • Has a flexible range of home-use price plans.

Cons

  • Difficult to schedule scans.
  • Does not offer a VPN service.

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What can you expect from ESET Antivirus?

As mentioned, there are three different levels of security offered by ESET Antivirus – home, business, and enterprise. For this ESET Antivirus review, we are concentrating on its home protection package.

This is an ideal package if you want full antivirus protection for your various connected devices such as a desktop computer, smartphone, tablet, or laptop. In the sections below, we look at the different aspects of ESET Antivirus so you can gain a clear idea if it’s suitable for your needs. 

ESET Prices

If you want to try before you buy, ESET offers a 30-day free trial of its antivirus software which is a huge benefit. If you are considering buying this software, we advise trying the trial first so you can see how it performs on your device.

In terms of price plans, there are three different packages available for home usage:

  • ESET NOD32 – $29.99 per year.
  • ESET Internet Security – $39.99 per year.
  • ESET Smart Security Premium – $49.99 per year.

The pricing is on par with other antivirus software, and the features you get are not too far off. For example, you can subscribe to McAfee for $39.99 per year, but this also includes a VPN.

Alternatively, Norton 360 which is another popular provider costs $24.99 per year for 1 PC. NOD32 is the most basic package and this gives antivirus protection, protection from ransomware, and basic Windows protection.

If you want to use ESET, you should pay $10 extra per year as Internet Security offers some important features. These include hacker protection, safe transactions, safe online banking, and safe connections across your network.

The Premium security package is more circumstantial and depends on what you require. Essentially, for $20 extra (compared to NOD32), you get safe password management and photo encryption.

Features

Now that you understand the pricing, let’s take a brief look at what features you can get in the different packages:

  • Firewall.
  • File Encryption.
  • Anti-theft.
  • Parental Controls.
  • Password Manager.
  • Webcam Protection.
  • Wi-Fi Scanner.
  • Malware Protection.
  • Browser Protection.

These are the most important features and there are more depending on which package you choose. It is also important to note that you can get protection for Windows, Linux, Mac, and Android devices – not all antivirus providers offer this.

Basic Antivirus Protection

The basic antivirus protection of this software is fantastic. It essentially protects your device from external threats – this is what you need! At a rudimentary level, it can detect suspicious files using its database of known threats.

Also, it has an active malware engine that monitors the behavior of your devices and looks for problems. It also has an effective anti-phishing defense and can easily detect and neutralize ransomware.

Malware of course is a given, and it has first-rate malware protection too. It is on par with other malware detection from providers like Norton and Bitdefender.

There have been many external tests from antivirus labs for the performance and reliability of ESET. Generally, it holds up well and usually scores 100% for detecting and neutralizing known, and new malware threats.

The Internet Security and Smart Security Premium packages also have parental controls. These are quick to use and are great if you have children who regularly surf the web or use social media.

Essentially, for antivirus protection, it performs really well and we have no reservations about its protective capabilities.

Usability / Control Panel

Unless you have extensive knowledge of antivirus software and computers, you want an antivirus program that is easy to use. The basic control pane and home screen of ESET could not be easier to understand.

In the center, next to their robot mascot, you will see a large status box – if it’s green, you are protected – simple! Aside from this, various tools like a full scan and software updates are found on the left-hand side.

Generally, it’s easy to use and you shouldn’t struggle to activate the protection and do scans on your devices. The only downside we found was the clunkiness of the scan scheduling feature.

If you want to schedule weekly scans, for example, the process is a little unintuitive. Also, it does take a fair few steps to set this up! We suppose that at least once you have done it, you don’t need to do this again.

Still, the process could certainly be improved. For installation of the software initially, the wizard and process are also simple. You can complete the entire installation in around 5 minutes. 

System Impact

How much an antivirus program impacts your system performance is something to consider. This is especially true if you only have a basic computer. Luckily, ESET has a minimum system impact.

It will happily run in the background without consuming too many system resources.

After installation, it will only use approximately 2% of your system resources – this is virtually nothing in the grand scheme of things, and many other idle programs will use a similar amount of resources every time you use your devices.

This is a welcome piece of info and it is certainly better than other antivirus software like Bitdefender and AVG that consume far more resources whilst running. The full system scan is also relatively minimalistic – on average it will use just 12% of your system resources.

This means that you can perform a system scan whilst still doing other things on your device too. Please bear in mind that the first system scan you do will take longer. Subsequent scans will be much quicker because ESET learns which files can be ignored after the first scan.  

Customer Service

Hopefully, you should not need to use the ESET customer service – the antivirus software is simple to use after all. However, if you do encounter issues, they offer dedicated customer support from 06:00 – 17:00 MON-SUN (US Pacific Time).

This is OK, but we would like to see 24/7 customer service availability. Other antivirus providers like Kaspersky, for example, do offer this. In terms of contact methods, there is a live chat and email support together with the phone line.

Also, we like that they have a large database of information, tutorials, and instructional videos. If you are comfortable finding things out for yourself, their support center is certainly packed with useful information.

For example, they have full installation guides, guides on how to transfer your license, and a troubleshooting section.

Is ESET Antivirus Worth it?

So should you invest in ESET Antivirus?

For comprehensive protection, and to give yourself peace of mind when using your devices online, this is certainly a great choice. It is reasonably priced compared to other providers and is also incredibly simple to use.

We also love that it uses minimum system resources, and performs scans with virtually no impact on your device’s performance. For basic antivirus protection, malware protection, and ransomware protection, this antivirus software holds up really well.

It also has some useful features that we like such as AES-256 encryption, webcam defenses, and browser protection. However, and this is important. It lacks the complete package of features that some other antivirus providers offer.

For example, it does not have a VPN. Nor does it have a file shredder. It is therefore important to look at what you need. If these things are not important or you will never use them, ESET Antivirus is definitely a solid choice for home or small business security.

Check out this review of the 10 best antivirus.

Questions?

ESET Antivirus FAQs

Here’s some simple, jargon-free answers.

ESET has an advanced malware scanner that produces quick full system scans.

This is a popular choice for people who need a high-powered antivirus engine. Features include device encryption, anti-theft protection and diagnostic tools but it depends what tools you require.

Norton has different tools available such as VPNs (virtual private networks), advanced parental controls and identity theft protections. Depending on the tools you find most useful it would be worth comparing both antivirus packages for Norton and ESET.

ESET has different plans for mobile and desktop devices so the pricing structure is quite complex. Prices are for one device per annum and the price increases for each added year and additional device. 

Desktop Packages including antivirus software are:

ESET NOD32 Antivirus (£29.99), ESET Smart Security Premium Plan (£49.99), ESET Internet Security Plan (£40). There is an initial 30 day free plan for home use and free business trial for business use. It would be advisable to check the company website for most up-to-date prices as there are quite a few available depending on the device being used.

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