FINE CORE SECURITY COMPONENTS, BUT SOME OF THE EXTRAS ARE WEAK.
WHEN ESET FIRST suite-ified its NOD32 Antivirus, we weren’t all that impressed. Most of the extra features felt tacked on to meet a checklist.
But in the years since, ESET has layered in features that have turned this into an absolutely worthwhile suite. It’s very much focused on core protection capabilities — it doesn’t have the advanced social media stuff of Trend Micro or the sophisticated parental controls of Symantec, for example — but it protects against an awful lot of threats.
That protection includes anti-malware that managed to detect 100% of zero-day threats in AV-Test’s benchmarks, as well as anti-phishing, a sophisticated (but not terribly user friendly) firewall with DDOS protection, a secure browser for online banking, and new antiransomware tools for locking files from modification. It also has a tool that polls the local router for vulnerabilities and checks if the webcam is live. An important addition in this latest version is the script-based attack protection, which stops certain Windows Powershell scripts from executing, which has been a significant attack vector in recent months.
It does have parental controls, but they’re in the old-school device centric model and not a touch on the new user-based and cloud managed tools you find in some of the other suites. The identity theft protection is also relatively minimal. This uneven quality of components is mirrored a little in the interface, which mixes managed security with older style fine control. It’s okay for advanced users, who know what a network map looks like and what a firewall does, but less technical users might find some of the options rather arcane, especially when it comes to firewall and network management.
While we reviewed Internet Security, ESET also offers a version called Smart Security Premium, which adds a password manager and file encryption.
ESET INTERNET SECURITY
Anti-malware, anti-spam, anti-ransomware, firewall, web site filtering, parental controls, secure browser, system optimisation and cleaning