PROS / ESET has an option for mobile protection.
CONS / It doesn't detect ransomware threats.
VERDICT / ESET has many features to detect the difference between good and bad files, though it did score lower than average in overall protection and performance while running security scans.
Editor’s Note: Top Ten Reviews uses test results from the independent laboratory AV-Test as part of our review process for the best antivirus 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 antivirus software.
Editor's note: ESET has informed us that the ESET NOD32 Antivirus does protect against ransomware. We will fully evaluate and reflect this additional information when we next update the Antivirus reviews.
ESET NOD32 Antivirus works to protect your Windows 10 computer from malware such as viruses, worms, Trojans, spyware and rootkits. It hasn't been programmed to recognize ransomware, a type of aggressive malware that locks you out of your computer until you have paid a fee to the ransomware creator. Despite this, ESET gives you adequate antivirus PC protection, as well as mobile protection if you purchase the additional mobile protection license.
The integrated email protection scans for viruses and other malware in messages you receive and their attachments. The software also scans USB drives immediately after you plug them in to protect you from external threats. It scans files in real time as they open to ensure malicious files don't cause any problems. This also means you don't need to wait before opening a file, since ESET starts scanning for and blocking harmful ones right away. It scored 100 percent on AV-Test's usability tests, which means it easily detects the difference between good and bad files and only block true internet threats.
There was a significant slowdown of the test computers when AV-Test looked at ESET's performance on Windows 10. In several instances, specifically when attempting to install new applications or copy files, computers ran significantly slower than average, so ESET received a much lower score than our top-ranking computer virus protection software.
ESET Antivirus for Windows 8
ESET ranked higher among our top Windows 8 antivirus software than it did for Windows 10, partly thanks to the improved performance in independent testing. In tests AV-Test performed in June 2016, ESET scored perfectly in detecting malware threats. It also received 100 percent for correctly telling the difference between a legitimate threat and a good file, allowing the good content through. These evaluations used over 17,000 viruses and 1.3 million good files for testing. ESET dipped just below average for performance, however, scoring only 83 percent for slowing down the computer more than higher-ranked antivirus software on Windows 8.
ESET Antivirus for Windows 7
When AV-Test evaluated it as an antivirus for Windows 7, ESET scored 100 percent in usability, meaning it properly discerned between legitimate threats and good files or websites. However, it has below-average scores against widespread and emerging malware. Although it didn't make our list of top Windows 7 antivirus programs, ESET is decent antivirus software with comprehensive features, including the ability to scan and protect against threats coming in through external media, such as USB drives and email messages.
ESET Antivirus for Windows Vista & XP
ESET Antivirus is included on our antivirus for Windows Vista lineup. During the December 2010 evaluations, AV-Test showed that ESET is just as effective at protecting against malware threats as the basic Microsoft Security Essentials included with Windows Vista computers. However, in subsequent years, ESET has evolved to become a powerful antivirus. It is also important to note that during this last round of independent testing, AV-Test evaluated ESET 4.2, the current version during the testing year. ESET's current version is more powerful and also compatible with Windows Vista computers.
ESET also has a place on our Windows XP antivirus lineup. It is a good choice for security software among IT professionals who need to manage a wide range of workstations and networks that may include Windows XP or older stations. It provides all types of computer and data security, including file download scanning, antiphishing and host intrusion preventions (HIPS) to stop malware. ESET detects malware as well as the majority of its competitors do, yet it requires fewer system resources than most Windows XP antivirus software. The last evaluation from AV-Test showed ESET capable of easily blocking more malware threats than most of it competitors, though it was slightly below average in its ability to identify and protect against newly released threats.
Help & Support
For technical support, you can contact ESET via email, telephone and live chat. While the email support option is available anytime, telephone and live chat are only available on weekdays for about 12 hours. For self-support, you can find solutions, videos and an encyclopedia of threats on ESET's website.
ESET NOD32 Antivirus delivers comprehensive antivirus protection. It protects against malware by examining files that seem threatening, even if they aren't in a list of known threats. The software also protects you from email threats and external media. This is a viable option to protect your computer as you seek your next antivirus software solution.