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ESET Smart Security Review

PROS / ESET Smart Security is effective against malware as well as phishing attempts.

CONS / Some of its competitors are slightly better at detecting malware.

 VERDICT / ESET Smart Security is almost as good at protection as the very best.

ESET Smart Security is an internet security suite that protects from malware such as viruses, worms, Trojans, spyware and rootkits. Different types of malware use creative approaches to infiltrate the computers of unsuspecting victims, and this security software can protect your system from hidden dangers. Computer viruses, for example, replicate themselves by spreading from computer to computer. Worms can take advantage of vulnerabilities to spread themselves over networks. Trojan horses pose as harmless until they are in position to unleash damage. Spyware gathers as much data as it can about your personal identity and online behavior. Rootkits burrow deep into operating systems and grant themselves supervisory control. In addition to guarding against these sorts of malware, ESET protects you while you’re online by blocking phishing attempts and scanning email for threats. Furthermore, it protects against malware in external media. By using heuristic analysis, which looks at a file’s behavior, ESET stops viruses so new they aren’t yet in the threat database. It also scans files in real time as they are invoked.

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Although it has enough features that go beyond entry-level antivirus software to justify its categorization as an internet security suite – firewall, instant messaging protection, social media protection, bootable rescue CD, parental controls – ESET Smart Security does not contain some of the features associated with products that wound up higher in our internet security ranking. It does not have instant messaging protection. There is no virtual keyboard or online backup. It does not automatically download critical system patches. And there is no file shredder to completely remove deleted files.

  1. Windows 8.1 protection test results from AV-Test, April 2014
  2. 13 ESET Smart Security
  3. 100%
  4. 100%
  5. 100%
  6. Category Average

This is one of the easiest internet security suites to use. Navigation presents no challenges. The default setup assumes a beginner and there is an advanced mode option. Scheduling, report logging and adjusting settings are not difficult to accomplish. It can make decisions on its own without asking for human intervention. There are keyboard shortcuts for easy navigation. A convenient laptop mode protects without draining the battery.


ESET is in our review of best internet security software because of its comprehensive antivirus protection, antiphishing and additional security feature set. It performs well in performance tests by independent test labs, although it doesn’t quite match the results of the top 10 internet security suites. In addition to being AV-Test Certified, this internet security software has also passed muster at Virus Bulletin 100, ICSA Labs and West Coast Labs Checkpoint.

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