Compare Antivirus Lab Test Results:

ESET 2016 Review: Superb Anti-Malware & Phishing Protection

By: Danielle P

ESET antivirus and its more advanced bundles provide an Internet Security solution with the strong point being superb anti-malware and phishing protection.

Placed on the high end of antivirus test results, ESET won't disappoint should you choose it to protect your devices.

TRY NOD32 Antivirus

In this ESET review I will include and research every feature, test its performance and protection, and discuss the benefits and drawbacks of this product specialized in phishing protection.

Superb anti-malware & phishing protection - ESET

ESET - Superb anti-malware & phishing protection

Pros and Cons

  • Ransomware protection
  • Excellent hands-on test
  • Limited parental control
  • Not the best performance and protection scores

30-Day Money Back Guarantee

ESET offers the best solutions for its clients' needs with a 30-day free trial before purchase.


Should you purchase a package and for some reason need to cancel your subscription, ESET stands by its policy of a 30-day return policy.

All in all, this gives you 60 days to evaluate ESET's products free of charge. 

But I can assure you it will not take that long as you'll be satisfied straight away!

Background of ESET

The acronym/word ESET stands for Essential Security against Evolving Threats; however, it was actually inspired by the name of the Egyptian goddess of marriage, love, and health.

Back in 1987, two friends, Miroslav Trnka and Peter Paško, came up with an idea after discovering one of the first computer viruses. In 1992 they teamed up with Rudolf Hrubý and founded ESET and its antivirus software NOD in Bratislava, Slovakia.

Today the company has expanded into one of the industry leaders of Internet Security and heuristic detection, which is a technology that predicts the nature of emerging viruses and in turn develops defenses against them before they can wreak havoc on your system.

ESET has over 100 million users with 500% growth in the last few years because of its proactive detection and prevention antivirus mechanisms.

It now has offices worldwide in San Diego, Montreal, Kraków, Prague, São Paulo, Buenos Aires, Singapore, and Australia. 

ESET strives to let its clients "Enjoy Safer Technology."

Comparison: Which ESET Product is Right for You?

ESET can proudly boast superb anti-malware and phishing protection antivirus products.

All three products are licensed for 1 year and 1 device, except for the premium package which provides coverage for 6 devices.

ESET may not be the most sophisticated antivirus provider out there in terms of additional features, but what you get is certainly of high quality to ensure effective cyber security and anti-malware protection.

The antivirus engine is powerful and includes ransomware protection.

The Multi-Device Security product comes with a convenient single license for PCs/Androids and Macs.

So, let's have a look at the selection of products:

Comparison Table of ESET Home Products

ESET Comparison Table of Home Products

My Recommendation

For the best antivirus experience with the much-needed additional features, Smart Security is your best bet in terms of value for money. If you have a big family and need a multi-device license, then Multi-Device Security is the way to go.


Business Packages

ESET provides business packages for different business sizes ranging from small offices and home offices with 1-15 people, medium businesses with 16-999 members, and enterprises over 1000 people.

There are select number of product types and bundle solutions depending on the needs and preferences of the business clients ranging from endpoint security, remote management, mobile security, two-factor authentication, gateway security, encryption, sharepoint security, and so much more.

ESET is also famous for providing Internet Security that covers a dynamic range of industries like healthcare, education, finance, and government.

Key Features

Here is a breakdown of each feature so that you can get a better idea of what to expect:

Antivirus Scan

An anti-malware scanner is at the heart of any antivirus package, and ESET is no different with its fast and superb anti-malware scans.

There are several scan selections on the computer scan panel, namely: a full scan, custom scan, and removable media scan. The only scan that is not available is a quick scan.

However, it is definitely worth emphasizing how quick ESET's scans take that there is no need for a quick scan per se.

Scan selection panel on ESET

ESET's scan selection panel

I perform all the tests on the same dedicated standalone PC to ensure that all the results I gather are comparative across all the reviews.

The PC has a clean Windows 10 64-bit installation and all available Windows updates have been installed.

The computer hardware has 4GB of RAM with an Intel Core i7 CPU 3.20 GHZ.

ESET - Full scan in process

Full scan in process on ESET

The duration of the first full scan was: 13:03 Minutes while the second full scan took 59 Seconds.

ESET - Zero threats found on full scan

Zero threats found on ESET full scan

Full scan time of ESET

Full scan duration of ESET

Independent Test Scores by AV-Test

AV-Test is a notable and independent antivirus testing lab with very reliable results.

The scores for ESET are as follows:

AV-Test scores ESET

ESET AV-test scores

As you can see, when it comes to protection and performance scores for AV-Test's standards, the scores are not up to par with top competitors such as Bitdefender or Kaspersky.

If you want to compare all the lab speed tests, AV-Test scores, and our home user tests across all the antivirus vendors, then refer to our antivirus comparison table. Hands-on Performance Test

AV-Test is extremely reliable and accurate, but one should always test out the waters for oneself.

I did just that by running a hands-on test to see if ESET is a force to be reckoned with.

I conduct all the home user tests on the same PC system that I mentioned in the Antivirus Scan section above.

My objective is to probe 3 parameters:

  1. CPU Usage
  2. Memory usage
  3. Hard disk (read/write) usage

These factors are then monitored during 3 crucial stages:

  1. A clean windows installation without any software.
  2. A full antivirus installation following software updates and a computer reboot.
  3. During a full scan process of the antivirus.

Here are the results for ESET in easy-to-understand graphs:

ESET's System Performance Impact

System performance impact by ESET

Idle - Windows 10 without ESET

Windows 10 without ESET - Idle

ESET idle installation CPU and memory usage

CPU and memory usage by an idle ESET installation

ESET during a full scan - CPU and memory usage

CPU and memory usage by ESET during a full scan

The score for ESET after I ran the hands-on performance test is therefore 97%.

Superb Anti-Malware Blocking

ESET's antivirus engine is built to detect malware that is designed to stay hidden from detection.

You can set your mind at ease with ransowmare protection and the fact that ESET whitelists safe files based on a reputation database so that scans are ultra-fast and users don't experience unnecessary notifications.


ESET's anti-phishing

Anti-phishing on ESET

ESET boasts superb phishing protection against fake websites that masquerade as legitimate sites or banks in order to obtain personal and financial information.

ESET maintains a list of fraudulent sites that is constantly updates to keep all its clients in the loop about the latest fraudsters, and the company also invents innovative mechanisms to detect sites based on suspicious behavior.


It is extremely convenient and saves time when spam mail is deleted and filtered out for you before it reaches your inbox. 

ESET believes in a decluttered inbox that contains no traces of unsolicited mail, phishing attempts, fraud attempts, and scams.

This spam filer has settings by which users can filter out spam according to language, country codes, character sets, and other parameters.


Additional Features of ESET

Secure Browser

Online banking is a big thing these days, and therefore ESET has a defense system in place to prevent all kids of attacks and identity theft.

The banking protection opens a secure browser for safe online payments.


A firewall is also a security measure needed to defend against attempts of identity theft with network attack protection and botnet protection.

ESET's firewall settings lets users create filters, rules, zones, exceptions, and advanced options.

Users can stay invisible on public WiFi zones with the firewall data protection in place.

Firewall on ESET

ESET firewall

Botnet Protection

ESET ensures that any attempts of hackers to create a botnet, or group of computers that have been setup to forward malware to other networks and computers, are stopped right away.

HIPS (Host Intrusion Prevention Systems)

All entry points into a system can be monitored with this powerful tool as well as driver loading, process creation, and specific system activities. The HIPS also blocks intrusion attempts, or it gives the user the option to allow or reject suspicious activity.

Network protection firewall - ESET

ESET Network protection firewall

Parental Control

If you need comprehensive protection for your kids then look no further than ESET!

Parents can manage their kids' online activity with the new Safer Technology feature that enables website and application blocking, limits time usage, and allows additional time or access in response to a child's request.

Parental control on ESET

ESET Parental control


This feature can locate, track, and lock a missing device. If you can't retrieve the device, you can erase the content on the device remotely.

Antivirus for Android

Everything you need for your Android protection is covered with ESET's built-in antivirus, anti-spam, text/call screening, and anti-theft features for the safety of your personal data.

Protection for Android comes in two products: Mobile Security and Parental Control.


Antivirus for Mac

ESET provides different products for Mac users namely: Cyber Security, Cyber Security Pro, and Multi-Device Security.

These products do everything that the Windows products can but are just adapted for the Mac operating system.


Easy-To-Use Control Panel

ESET prides itself on a straightforward and clean user interface that is easy to use with its remote management that operates from a single console via a remote administrator. 

The main page of the interface boasts a status-indicator that let's users know the status of the PC's health. If the bar is green with a check mark, then all is hunky-dory, but if it turns yellow or red, then you need to act on it and run scans.

The NOD32 Antivirus home screen doesn't require much from the users; about 2 clicks for adjustments at most. There are links to other settings and pages such as Update, Tools and Setup, Computer Scan, and Help and Support.

The Tools and Setup section holds a copious amount of helpful tools like log files and statistics, the scheduler, a rolling bar graph to depict file activity which can be an early sign of an attack, and a quarantine for suspicious files. 

The most important tool is the SysInspector which presents all running processes with an assessment of how dangerous the files and downloads might be.

If your PC is cluttered with lots of infections and malware, NOD32 Antivirus's onscreen link leads to ESET's SysRescue Live bootable disk image for download and installation.

System Requirements

The system requirements for ESET's Smart Security and NOD32 Antivirus home products versions 9.x, 8.x, and 7.x are as follows:

You will need a Windows operating system such as 7, 8, 10, XP, or Vista. 1GHz 32-bit or 64-bit processor, 512 MB of RAM (Windows Vista needs 1 GB) , and 320 MB of free disk space.

Windows XP users need 400 MHz 32-bit or 64-bit processor, 128 MG of RAM, and 320 MB of free disk space.

Android users require version 2.3 or higher.

Top-Notch Home User Support

For any questions about downloading and installing ESET, entering password and username information, products, removal of viruses, and the submittal of a sample virus, ESET customer care has you covered.

There is email, live chat, and telephone support.

For live chat and telephonic support, each region differs in terms of numbers and hours, so it's best to check their website to find out particular details.

For those in the US, customer care can be contacted from 6:00 am to 5:00 pm Pacific Time [GMT-8], Monday-Friday.

There are always other options to get immediate answers on the website, such as the user forum which is available 24/7, the knowledge base videos, customer advisories, the threat encyclopedia, support news, or the option to submit a case online.

Before you can email a customer representative or submit a case online, there are different categories of FAQs with answers and step-by-step guides that usually provide clients with all they need in terms of assistance.

Certifications and Awards

Virus Bulletin conducts a regular independent comparative test on anti-malware solutions. It has awarded ESET with the longest unbroken line of VB100 awards since 2003, which is a certification of products that meet the basic standards for anti-malware solutions. This is a record for any Internet Security provider in the world.

ESET has also seen awards from SC Magazine, which gave them Five Stars, and Maximium PC that awarded ESET the Best Antivirus Software of 2013.

ESET products are also tested and certified by independent antivirus organization such as AV-Test, AV-Comparatives, ICSA Labs, Microsoft, and more.

Value for Money

Is ESET worth your time and money?

I'd say if it has everything you want in terms of antivirus detection and protection, then you're making a great choice in terms of price and what you get.

Users can go about their day worry-free with the superb anti-malware and phishing protection antivirus engine.

My Conclusion

  • Ransomware protection
  • Excellent hands-on test
  • Limited parental control
  • Not the best performance and protection scores

With top-notch customer care, an easy-to-use control panel and interface, and superb anti-malware and phishing protection, you can't go wrong with ESET whereby you can "Enjoy Safer Tecnology" all day every day.

All that's left for you to do now is decide which version is right for you!


ESET specializes in protection from phishing along with quite good malware protection. Try it for 30 days for free and you can be sure your system is safe from human error.

Date published:March 10, 2018
8.6 / 10 stars


We promise to only send really good deals and important updates. No spam.