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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 antispyware program that shields you from most threats, but the trade-off 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 antispyware 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 antispyware software.

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

  1. This score, taken from AV-Test.org, reflects how well antispyware 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 spyware 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 antispyware software on our side-by-side comparison chart. The lab tests each spyware remover's protection, performance and usability. Overall, ESET NOD32 performed decently in these tests.

The protection test puts antispyware software up against more than 14,000 threats that could harm your computer and measures how effective it is 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 spyware removers we reviewed.

AV-Test also conducts a performance test to gauge how well each program utilizes your computer's resources. The best antispyware 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 spyware 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 lag in other applications, downloads and uploads, video games, and streaming content.

Where ESET NOD32 excelled was in usability. In this final test, AV-Test assesses how often antispyware software yields false positives, saying a safe element is actually a threat. ESET NOD32 performed excellently on this test with 100 percent.

This spyware 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 provides limited support compared to other companies in our lineup. While it does have a live chat service, which is a nice convenience, it is only available to answer questions and concerns from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, not on the weekends.


ESET NOD32 is adequate antispyware software 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 spyware removal software. Overall, it provides decent protection, and you will seldom experience false detections, but customer service is limited.

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