ESET Internet Security ReviewTime: Nov. 4, 2020
Every security company must carefully manage the functionality of its antivirus, security suite and mega security suite so that the user can see a benefit at each level. ESET Internet Security achieves this mark. In addition to the expected firewall, spam filter and parental controls, ESET Internet Security also includes webcam security, online banking protection and a home network analyzer. It has many features, but not all of them are of the best quality. The old-school firewall in particular is unusually annoying when fully on, and the parental control system only filters web content.
At a glance, the spacious main window of this suite looks exactly like the standalone antivirus program. ESET's blue-eyed cyborg mascot looks unfathomable from one corner. A large status indicator dominates the display. If it's green, that's fine. Three blue button fields cross the bottom of the screen. In the antivirus component, these buttons start a virus scan, check for updates and link online to your ESET account. The buttons in the suite scan for malware, initiate payment protection to secure banking, and run the network scanner.
Not everyone needs parental controls or wants anti-theft software, so ESET does not enable these components by default. You can install them during installation if you want, or add them to your setup later.
ESET forgoes the quick scan offered by many competitors, but the full scan completed in 51 minutes, better than average. In addition to the unusual UEFI firmware scan, the custom scan option now offers a scan of the system registry and WMI databases, each looking for links to infected files and malware disguised as data.
Using a source of malware hosting URLs recently discovered by researchers at MRG-Effitas, we verified ESET's ability to block the latest malware. A very good protection score of 93% was achieved, mainly by blocking all access to dangerous URLs. The pioneers in this test are McAfee, Sophos, and Vipre, all of which achieved 100% perfection.
ESET's Host Intrusion Prevention System (HIPS) is designed to prevent attacks that exploit vulnerabilities in your operating system or applications. When we achieved the real feats of the CORE impact penetration testing tool, ESET actively blocked 52%, which is better than many other products. No exploit violates security because the test system has been completely patched.
Device control in ESET is probably more suitable for a business environment than a home environment. It allows you to control a wide variety of device types, including card readers, imaging devices, and Bluetooth devices, as well as traditional external drives. For example, you can block all USB drives, but allow exceptions for certain drives or users. Some tech-savvy parents may use Device Control to prevent their kids from mounting potentially infected USB drives, but the functionality is likely to outpace the average user.
Both the antivirus and the suite have an impressive page of security tools, some of which are for your own use and some of which are for a technical support agent. It took me a while to find these shared tools in the sequel. You need to click on Tools in the menu and then click on More Tools in the lower right corner of the screen that appears. The most important is SysInpector, which records the state of your PC and provides the ability to see what has changed from one snapshot to another. Be sure to run this scanner and save a basic snapshot in case you need it to diagnose a problem later.
As mentioned above, you can use any of your NOD32 licenses to protect a Mac with ESET Cyber Security (for Mac). Of course, you can also use a suite license for this purpose. If you have licenses to spare, you can even install ESET on your Linux machines, although Linux malware is rare.
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