ESET Internet Security and ESET Smart Security Premium are both good products that scored very high in our own tests and in other independent labs’ malware protection tests. We gave ESET a protection score of 99 percent, which is also the average score when considering other labs’ test results. It blocked webpages that have malicious links and downloads as well as phishing schemes. The program also stopped malware from downloading, so there was no chance these threats could infect our computers.
The firewall that comes with ESET’s internet security and premium security programs work alongside the one included with your Windows 10 operating system, giving you a second layer of protection to catch anything Windows misses. You can control what the firewall monitors, including botnets and network protection. If you use the Wi-Fi monitoring features, ESET will make sure no one is piggybacking on your internet connection and causing your network to run slower.
This program includes specifically designed social network monitoring that watches your connections and activity while on sites like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. It lets you know if a link intends to send you to a malicious website where known threats are hidden, or if someone is attempting to break into your account to gather personal information or post offensive material disguised as you.
The vulnerability features look for weak spots on your computer, such as outdated software, and help you find a solution to secure them. This is a good way to clear out applications you no longer need so your computer runs faster. It also strengthens vulnerabilities where ransomware and hackers tend to sneak in.
The included parental controls let you block inappropriate websites by selecting a filter category, such as violence, drugs or pornography. You can also set time limits for when your children can be online and how long they can have access to the internet.
Both the basic and premium internet security packages come with safe banking and shopping tools. When you add a site’s URL to the protected website list, a secure browser shields your personal information from being tracked or swiped by online snoops. ESET Smart Security also includes encryption so anything saved or shared on your desktop, online or through USB drives is scrambled so if they’re swiped by someone who shouldn’t have them, they will be unreadable.
A password manager isn’t included with ESET Internet Security, though it is included with its premium version. Neither program has a VPN. They’re also among the handful of programs that don’t offer online backup storage to premium subscribers. This is a nice service to keep important documents, files and images safe in case your computer crashes or becomes infected with malware. If you’d like online backup storage with your internet security solution, read our review of Bitdefender that offers a comparable security program.
ESET is among our top picks for internet security software for its comprehensive antivirus protection, antiphishing and additional security features. There are a few features found in other premium programs that aren’t included with ESET’s, but the parental controls, password manager, social media monitoring and personal firewall all work together to provide you very effective protection while online.