ESET Antivirus Review – Its Effectiveness, Features, And Pricing Reviewed For 2024

Our Verdict

ESET NOD32 is a trustworthy antivirus solution to use

ESET’s packages for business and individual consumers, including NOD32, will serve as excellent antivirus security solutions.

With top-notch malware protection, well-designed user interfaces, and plenty of features, users can be sure that they’re getting the latest threat detection technology as well as comprehensive protection from web threats such as malicious websites and phishing attacks.

For those looking for reliable antivirus protection from a trusted provider with good customer support resources, ESET is absolutely worth considering.

Pros

  • Very good protection for Windows and Android
  • Minimal system performance impact
  • Features include webcam protection and secure browser
  • Advanced diagnostic tools provide a comprehensive overview and security reports

Cons

  • Not very beginner-friendly
  • Parental controls could be improved

In this ESET Antivirus review, we’ll comprehensively explore everything from the product’s features to its usability and pricing. When it comes to the quality of computer security, choosing the right antivirus software is essential for safeguarding your devices, after all.

We’ll explore how ESET offers protection against online threats while maintaining excellent performance and usability. Read more in this ESET NOD32 Antivirus review to see whether it can compete for the best antivirus title.

What is ESET NOD32?

Founded in 1987, ESET is a Slovakian digital security company. Now, with over 1bn+ users worldwide, ESET is one of the biggest names in the antivirus market.

The company has been in the business for over 30 years. In that time, ESET has established its name as an antivirus software developer catering to both personal and business use. It is widely spread in Europe, with North America following right behind.

ESET NOD32 uses advanced machine learning and cloud malware protection tools to present users with highest level of online security.

Is ESET NOD32 Safe?

ESET antivirus continuously scans your computer for malicious software. All malicious files then get quarantined and deleted. It also detects and monitors incoming and outgoing communication to prevent malicious code from infiltrating your system.

So is ESET NOD32 Safe? We say yes! It constantly scans for malicious software on your device and flags any threats found. If it finds a virus, ESET can quarantine the file. This way the file can be isolated from the rest of your system, to protect your data and keep you safe.

ESET - Great Anti-Theft Threat Protection Software

ESET continuously checks incoming and outgoing communication on web and email to ensure no malicious code penetrates your defenses or damages your data. The antivirus also has proactive protection features, such as advanced heuristics that can detect known attacks before they do any damage.

Once the antivirus detects an attack, whether from incoming files or processes running on your system, security measures block the threat before it can spread or cause harm to other devices connected to yours.

ESET Plans & Pricing

ESET’s packages are divided into two groups – home and business. Home users can purchase packages such as Essential, Premium, Ultimate, or device dedicated plans. Business users can select from four business-oriented packages.

ESET Home Packages

If you’re using ESET for personal or family use, the pricing for ESET packages is as follows:

Plans Starting Price (year one) Devices Compatibility Features
Essential $59.99/yr 3 Windows, Mac Safe payments, privacy protection, anti-phishing, and Wi-Fi protection
Premium $69.99/yr 3 Windows Password Manager, encryption for sensitive files, and threat detection
Ultimate $204.99/yr 10 Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Chromebook VPN and Identity protection
EssentialPremiumUltimate

Essential – $59.99/year 

Essential security is ESET’s entry plan that will best suit those looking for simple antivirus protection with a malware protection.

The plan comes with 24/7 real-time protection, quick scan option, and safe banking and browsing tool. While the features are fairly basic, the plan will help you secure up to 3 devices.

Premium – $69.99/year 

This plan adds additional features like encryption of sensitive data and a reliable password manager.

That said, the plan is similar to the entry one regarding the level of security offered. However, if a password manager is something you’ve wanted to get, do consider the Premium plan.

Ultimate – $204.99/year 

The last ESET antivirus package includes a large variety of features that are missing in the more basic antivirus plans. The provider includes such features like identity theft protection and identity recovery (up to $1M), a VPN, and enhanced privacy. 

The plan also allows securing up to 10 devices on one subscription. And while the price point is pretty steep, the plan will work for those worried about online identity theft.

ESET Mobile Security for Android

This includes anti-spam and anti-phishing defense, a sophisticated firewall, and several additional security layers for heightened security.

ESET Parental Control

This product allows parents to monitor their children’s internet activity online. It blocks certain websites or applications parents deem unsuitable for viewing or use by the child. These restrictions can be adjusted from the parent’s mobile device and set up according to their preferences.

ESET Business Plans

ESET also has tailored plans developed to provide optimal protection from cyber threats for larger organizations or enterprises.

These include Protect Entry, Protect Advanced, Protect Complete, and Protect Elite. All these have different features based on individual needs, that can be further customized.

The cost of ESET’s business plans depends on the scale of the organization and the security features included.

Canceling an ESET plan is simple – visit your account page and follow the instructions to stop your subscription. Once you’ve done this, you won’t pay again and can use the product for the remainder of your license period.

Can I Get ESET for Free?

ESET’s antivirus products and ESET NOD32 Antivirus aren’t free. However, the firm offers a 30-day trial period, after which you need to purchase a subscription. This trial period gives you enough time to test out the service and decide if it’s worth investing in.

Subscribing comes with a range of benefits, such as round-the-clock virus scanning capabilities to detect unknown threats. Users can also access exclusive malware signatures, anti-phishing features, network attack protection technology, and more.

ESET NOD32 Security Features

ESET arguably has one of the most feature-rich antivirus suites available. The antivirus solution protects against malicious software and cyber threats through a combination of artificial intelligence and sophisticated heuristics.

Dual Protection System

ESET’s Dual Protection System combines antivirus and antispyware engines for comprehensive protection.

This dual-layered approach enhances detection rates and response times for real-time threat identification – powered by a database of malicious files in the cloud – offering users a worry-free experience with maximum security.

The difference between antivirus and antispyware software is that antiviruses protect against known viruses, Trojans, malware, ransomware, and other malicious software. They can also detect, stop, and remove existing threats from a machine.

Antispyware protects the user’s computer from secretly gathering personal information and will only target spyware, such as keyloggers and data miners.

ESET Antispyware protection

ESET’s Dual Protection System combines its award-winning antivirus and antispyware engine into a single solution for comprehensive protection against viruses, rootkits, Trojans, ransomware, malware, and more.

This dual layer of security helps to ensure complete coverage as antivirus and antispyware software look for different types of threats.

With both scanning engines in place, it ensures better detection rates and faster response times when responding to new threats and security vulnerabilities.

By using predictive analytics to identify unknown threats, including ransomware variants, it allows for in-depth scans that detect even the newest forms of malware with unmatched accuracy.

The cloud-powered scanning feature also accelerates the process of picking up on changing cyber threats faster than other antiviruses, making it stand out from conventional systems, which rely only on local databases and come with associated performance costs.

Anti-Phishing

ESET Anti-Phishing enhances online security by promptly identifying and blocking potential phishing attempts, even for new URLs that haven’t been previously identified.

While Google blocks over 100 million phishing emails daily, there are still many that can bypass their system. That’s why there are separate tools dedicated to preventing these attacks. ESET Anti-Phishing blocks access to phishing sites before they can get their hands on your important information, such as financial credentials.

When an attempt is launched, the ESET client will identify and block it immediately, alerting you of a potential attack. It will run through its vast database and detect any attempts to redirect you to known phishing sites, preventing them from hacking your credentials.

ESET Anti-Phishing protection

If a new URL hasn’t previously been identified by ESET but is deemed suspicious by one of its algorithms, either based on signatures or machine learning techniques – for example, recognizing similarities with existing sites – then the system will issue a warning before you access the domain.

The vast database of suspicious sites is regularly updated, making sure the latest threats will be quickly noticed so they can be blocked.

ESET’s Firewall

ESET’s Firewall feature controls network traffic and prevents malicious software from entering or exiting computers and networks. It provides a secure connection to the internet and can be configured by creating filter rules that allow or deny specific connections.

The firewall allows users to create custom rules based on IP addresses, ports, protocol types, and applications, giving you total control over your security.

Added firewall protection from your native app

The most important aspect of ESET’s Firewall is its ability to deeply inspect content and match it against a detection database for the identification of threats. This helps protect devices from known threats and those with unknown sources, such as zero-day vulnerabilities and new variants of existing malware.

This reduces the risk of undetected data exfiltration, automatically blocking suspicious traffic to keep you safe from cybercriminals.

Compared with other antivirus solutions on the market today, which may offer basic firewall protection, ESET stands out for its deep packet inspection capabilities powered by AI.

With AI-enabled network filtering systems, entire streams are considered in order to detect malicious behavior, meaning the system can stand up against advanced, evasive, and polymorphic threats.

Advanced security measures such as deep packet inspection can help defend you from data theft and unexpected cyber threats.

Ransomware Shield

ESET Antivirus comes with a Ransomware Shield feature designed specifically to protect users from malicious ransomware attacks, safeguarding against file encryption attempts and programs locking files, unauthorized alterations to system settings, and denial-of-service attacks.

ESET Ransomware Shield

To activate this, go to Settings, Advanced Setup, Computer Protection, and Ransomware Shield, and then enable it by checking the box to ensure your data is secure at all times.

Ransomware attacks increased by 200% between 2019 and 2022 in the United States, underlining this cyber threat’s persistent and escalating nature. ESET’s Ransomware Shield is one of the best solutions out there, offering a robust level of protection without being too intrusive or slowing down the system.

Banking and Payment Protection

ESET’s Banking and Payment Protection feature provides enhanced security for online banking, offering secure access to financial institutions. Encrypted information transmission and compatibility with specific web browsers protects and safeguards users’ credentials during financial transactions.

Access the Banking and Payment feature through the app

Users can open a secure browser to access banking sites from the main ESET program window. While connected through this secure connection, information is encrypted to protect it against any interference from potential hackers or malicious data interception. You can then rest assured your information is safe.

Banking and Payment Protection also supports Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) settings, allowing you to connect with a remote device securely and safely – though this feature is only compatible with Firefox and Microsoft Edge web browsers if the device has an ARM processor.

Newer web browser versions may not be supported immediately, either, so it’s worth checking for compatibility.

All in all, ESET Banking and Payment protection ensures user credentials for banking and payments are kept safe and secure.

Advanced Machine Learning

ESET Antivirus employs advanced machine learning and AI to offer proactive and customizable protection against cyber threats, including zero-day attacks and sophisticated malware, making it an ideal choice for data security.

AI can help fight malware by analyzing patterns from known threats to detect new ones. The technology provides a multi-layered detection system where most decisions are based on detailed data analysis rather than simply recognizing executable file names or hash values.

This enables ESET Antivirus to provide improved real-time protection capabilities even against newly discovered malware and exploits that may not yet have been classified with malware signatures.

Globally, there are approximately 5.18 billion internet users in 2023 – and a huge number of potential victims of cybercrime. Antivirus ESET uses AI to classify files and categorize them as malicious or safe, as well as to determine whether they should be flagged as potentially hazardous.

ESET Advanced Machine Learning

Its advanced heuristics can identify malicious behavior, going beyond clear traits present in malware variants that avoid traditional scanners to remain undetected until execution starts.

It also employs whitelisting techniques, which will only allow trusted files, thereby blocking any unknown applications from running. This is especially useful to combat targeted malware attacks that often come disguised in rogue applications and software updates.

ESET can be customized to detect threats according to user-defined rules to better protect your networks, connected devices, and information. This level of customization makes it an ideal choice for individuals concerned about protecting their data from cyberattacks.

Script-Based Attack Protection

With ESET Antivirus, users gain protection from code injections and executable attacks. These attacks see malicious code embedded in webpages or downloaded via emails or instant messaging. Script-Based Attack Protection analyses every script executed on the system to detect potential dangers before they can do harm.

Script engines are monitored for dangerous activities, running scripts first in an isolated environment to analyze behavior before allowing them to run on the user’s system. Scripts can be blocked if they engage in malicious activity, such as dropping malware payloads or establishing a connection with suspicious remote hosts.

To ensure maximum security levels, users can also set rules for permitted scripts to further limit their exposure to threats from the execution of untrusted scripts.

Script-Based Attack Protection

This feature offers powerful protection against malware attacks that originate from webpages and files sent over networks or by emails – two major vectors by which malicious programs can infect systems.

Most users find the script-based attack feature easy to manage and configure, allowing full control over which scripts are permitted or blocked. There have been reports of people finding the scanning process slightly slow compared to other antivirus programs, but such cases are likely to be outliers.

ESET Performance

When it comes to performance, ESET is a solid choice for users seeking comprehensive digital security.

AV-Test security report gave the product a 5.5/6 for both Protection and Performance. At the same time, the Usability got a full 6/6 score, since no false positives were detected.

This shows how efficient ESET is in its ability to protect PCs without impacting system performance.

ESET Compatibility and Ease of Use

ESET antivirus software excels when it comes to usability with an intuitive interface, clear presentation of features, advanced data protection, and user-friendly setup options, making it a highly recommended choice for both individuals and businesses.

All of the features found in ESET’s antivirus exams are presented clearly within the primary dashboard, allowing for quick monitoring and adjustment when necessary. There are no complex settings or menus to navigate, meaning even novice computer users can feel comfortable using the product immediately.

New systems can be set up without hassle through this app, making life easier for users who want to protect their data quickly and efficiently, and the system provides notifications about license status to keep you up-to-date on your subscription.

Another useful app offered by ESET is the Secure Authentication App, designed especially for businesses and individuals in need of two-factor authentication services.

This allows easy installation and deployment of these authentication services without needing lots of technical knowledge or help – something business owners will find immensely useful.

All in all, ESET is easy for anyone to set up and manage. With its robust protection features and reliable performance, as seen in independent lab tests, this software is highly recommended for both home and business use.

How Does ESET Compare Against Other Antiviruses?

Here’s a quick comparison table with ESET compared to some of their top competitors:

Antivirus Test Ratings Starting Price Devices / Subscription Free Offerings Money-Back Guarantee
ESET Protection: 5.5/6
Performance: 5.5/6
Usability: 6/6
$49.99/Year 1 30 Days 30 Days
TotalAV Protection: 5.5/6
Performance: 6/6
Usability: 6/6
$19.00/Year 3 Free Version 30 Days for Annual Purchases and 14 Days for Monthly purchases
Surfshark Antivirus Protection: 4.5/6
Performance: 4.5/6
Usability: 6/6
$3.35/Month Unlimited Free Version 30 Days
CyberGhost Antivirus AV Not Tested $3.19/Month 7 Free Version 45 Days
Norton Protection: 6/6
Performance: 6/6
Usability: 6/6
$29.99/Year 1 7 Days 60 Days
Nord TP AV Not Tested $3.19/Month 5 30 Days 30 Days

ESET is a reliable antivirus option with impressive test ratings, scoring well with AV-Test for protection, performance, and usability.

It’s worth noting that each antivirus software has its own strengths. For instance, TotalAV offers strong protection and is user-friendly, while Norton includes a free password manager. If you want to learn more about different protection options, check out our comprehensive review of the best antivirus software on the market.

How to Set Up ESET NOD32 Antivirus

After purchasing ESET, follow the below steps to set it up and start using it. Take note that you need to uninstall any other antivirus programs or firewalls before you install ESET.

  1. Step 1: Select Your Language

    After you double-click the installation file, you’re required to select a language. Choose your preferred language and click “Continue” to proceed further.
    Step 1: Select Your Language
  2. Step 2: Enable Features

    Enable all of the features, such as the ESET LiveGrid feedback system, detecting potentially unwanted applications, and the Customer Experience Improvement Program by clicking Allow All And Continue, or make your selections accordingly.
    Step 2: Enable Features
  3. Step 3: Connecting To The ESET Home Account

    If you need to manage ESET security for multiple devices using one account, you can choose to connect your device with an ESET Home account by entering your ESET login credentials.
    Step 3: Connecting To The ESET Home Account
  4. Step 4: Activation Options

    Choose activation options according to whether it’s a free trial or purchased product, along with additional details, if necessary, such as the license key. It’s important to ensure that the right package has been selected. Then click Continue.
    Step 4: Activation Options
  5. Step 5: Installation Wizard

    The installation wizard will detect which program is suitable based on your issued license and pre-select the optimal version for your device. The process can take a few minutes to complete, depending on the device’s specifications.
    Step 5: Installation Wizard
  6. Step 6: Finishing Setup

    After successful installation, click Done to exit the Installation Wizard. All modules will be downloaded, and protection will be initiated simultaneously. Some features may only be functional once the download is completed.

    If there are any leftovers from previous versions installed, such as files and folders, you’ll be asked if they can be safely removed for further optimization of product operation.

    Step 6: Finishing Setup

The process of installing ESET security products for other platforms such as Mac, Android, or iOS is similar, but each may present slightly different configurations during setup.

ESET Customer Support And User Reviews

In online ESET antivirus reviews, customers often praise the product’s effectiveness and performance, giving it a rating of 4.1/5 on Trustpilot. Here are some of the experiences they’ve shared.

One user’s review of EST NOD32 antivirus reported that their computer team recommended using Windows Defender, but this proved insufficient and resulted in data loss. Switching to ESET provided significant protection against attacks, with the customer appreciating the quality of the product.

Trustpilot 5-star ESET review #1

Another user has been using ESET for eight years and was highly satisfied. In their ESET Endpoint Antivirus review, they noted the program had successfully intervened to eliminate problems and threats.

Trustpilot 5-star ESET Endpoint Antivirus review #2

A third user had ESET installed by a technician several years before and had since renewed their subscription. They noted that the software effectively detects threats such as Trojans, and they feel confident about its ability to deal with security issues.

Trustpilot 5-star ESET Internet Security review #3

Finally, in one ESET internet security review, a customer stated that it offered worry-free virus protection, which was effective in catching threats and viruses without slowing down their system or causing problems. They said they wouldn’t use any other antivirus software besides ESET.

One of Trustpilot's 5-star ESET reviews

Overall, these customers had positive experiences with ESET’s virus protection products when it came to preventing potential threats on their systems, both for personal and business use.

Our Other Antivirus Guides

Going beyond this comprehensive ESET review, our experts have compiled a wide range of antivirus guides in a range of other niches, including:

FAQs

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Nick Saraev

Nick Saraev is a writer & entrepreneur who pivoted from a path in medicine to forge a series of successful digital media businesses. He's been featured in Popular Mechanics, Apple News, & Bloomberg, and is an Amazon Kindle best-seller. He has extensive experience in the tech and SaaS industry, writing in-depth guides to help users grasp technical concepts better.