Pros / ESET prevents unauthorized applications from accessing your webcam.
Cons / It doesn’t work on iOS devices.
Verdict / ESET offers good malware detection on Windows and Mac computers, as well as on Android mobile devices.
ESET Smart Security Premium found 99 percent of the Windows malware we used during our in-house tests, though it struggled in our Mac tests, only blocking 71 percent of those threats. This was surprising since this computer protection software typically performs very well in both PC and Mac protection tests. But we couldn’t get the virus definitions to update properly on our Mac test computers, which we believe may have contributed to the low scores during this round of protection tests.
Other third-party test labs gave ESET high scores for malware protection, too. And in the past we haven’t had the issues we did during our Mac tests. When considering all test scores from multiple labs, ESET scored very well for both Windows and Mac malware protection. So we really don’t have any reason to believe it won’t do well on your computers or laptops, regardless of the operating system.
ESET has several good security tools available for both Mac and Windows computers and laptops. These include a personal firewall that monitors your internet connection to ensure no one is trying to piggyback on your connection or use it to send a threat into your network. Both operating systems work with ESET parental controls to block harmful content from your children and setting time limits for when they can be online. On both Macs and PCs you also have password managers that help protect your login credentials so they can’t be swiped by internet snoops or identity thieves.
The Windows component of ESET Smart Security Premium includes safe banking tools that provide extra protections while you bank or shop online. It also has social media tools that protect you from malicious links or downloads shared on your account that look legitimate. These aren’t included with the Mac component of this program.
Though neither the Windows nor the Mac version comes with a VPN, ESET does have webcam monitoring. This function monitors your webcam to ensure unauthorized apps can’t access and turn it on without you knowing, giving you an extra layer of security and privacy.
ESET isn’t compatible with iOS cellphones, tablets or other mobile devices. It does work with Android devices but is very limited in the tools available. At the moment only antitheft and block call features work with Android, and you have to pay extra for the parental controls to work on Android cellphones. We found that both Norton Security Premium and Kaspersky Total Security work well with iOS and Android mobile devices and offer a lot more tools for both.
ESET Smart Security Premium is one of the best computer protection programs for Windows, and, despite our difficulties, we feel it’s a good choice for Mac computers, too. One of the best features is the webcam monitoring that ensures apps don’t have access to it without your permission. The parental controls are also good for blocking your children’s access to inappropriate content and setting time restraints. ESET has a few tools that work on Android mobile devices, but it isn’t compatible at all with iOS cellphones or tablets.