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ESET NOD32 Antivirus Review

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PROS / This software excels at protecting your computer from almost all types of malware, such as viruses, spyware and Trojans.

CONS / The software is a resource hog.

 VERDICT / This is a decent anti-malware program that shields you from most threats, but the trade-offs in computer performance makes it inferior to the top products in our review.

Editor’s Note: Top Ten Reviews uses test results from the independent laboratory AV-Test as part of our review process for the best anti-malware software. AV-Test looks specifically at protection, performance and usability on multiple versions of Windows operating systems, and it performs these evaluations several times throughout the year. We use the most current AV-Test scores available at the time of our review. It is possible that new AV-Test scores will be released after our review goes live on the site. We will consider these scores during our next review of the best anti-malware software.

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Editor's note: ESET has informed us that the ESET NOD32 does protect against ransomware. We will fully evaluate and reflect this additional information when we next update the Anti-Malware reviews.

  1. This score, taken from AV-Test.org, reflects how well anti-malware programs detect and remove threats from an infected computer.
    Higher is Better.
  2. 7 ESET
  3. 100%
  4. 100%
  5. 100%
  6. Category Average

ESET NOD32 is malware removal software that protects your computer from almost all digital threats, such as viruses, Trojans, rootkits and keyloggers. Furthermore, it almost never identifies safe programs and files as one of these threats. However, it hogs your system's resources, which slows down your other applications and computer activity.

Every few months, AV-Test evaluates all the anti-malware software on our side-by-side comparison chart. The lab tests each malware remover's protection, performance and usability. Unfortunately, ESET NOD32 earned middling scores in these tests.

The protection test puts anti-malware software up against more than 14,000 threats that could harm your computer and measures how effective they are at detecting and removing these threats. At the time of this writing, ESET NOD32 had 92 percent in this test – which was the average score among the malware removers we reviewed.

AV-Test also conducts a performance test to gauge how well each program utilizes your computer's resources. The best anti-malware software uses as little processing power as possible to avoid slowing down other computer activity. ESET NOD 32 underperformed in this test by scoring only 75 percent – the average score among the malware removers in our review is 83 percent. So you can expect at least some lag when you use your computer while ESET NOD32 is running. This can include other applications, downloads and uploads as well as video games and streaming content.

The final AV-Test score we use in our review is for the usability test. This assesses how often anti-malware software yields false positives, saying a safe element is actually a threat. ESET NOD32 performed excellently on this test with 100 percent.

This malware remover has almost all the detection and removal tools we look for. It scans and removes common viruses, spyware, rootkits, keyloggers and more. But it lacks protection against one of the most vicious types of malware – ransomware. This is when hackers seize control of your system and do not release it until you send them money. It's a huge risk and a terrifying experience when it happens to you.


ESET NOD32 is an adequate anti-malware program that protects your computer from known and potential threats. But the drag it puts on your computer resources and the lack of protection from ransomware keep it out of the top tier of our review of the best malware removers.

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