ESET NOD32 Antivirus Review: Next Level Configurations Awaiting

Published on December 15, 2019
ESET NOD32 Antivirus Review: Next Level Configurations Awaiting
via Image

An impressive antivirus with some software and experience, but recently trending down due to bad AV Comparatives test results.

A group of friends formed ESET in Bratislava around 30 years ago to release their NOD antivirus software. This already has a wide range of products spanning all the major platforms and is used by 110 million people worldwide.

The antivirus ESET NOD32 is the main product of the agency. It is much more concentrated than some of the competition on the core antivirus problem. There is no password manager or other bonus extras even no file shredding. But the package does not have features short. It has more than most, if anything.

There is of course security for malware in real time. A reputation service for cloud-based files helps you quickly detect the latest malware and detects and blocks scam websites from a module.

ESET NOD32 has additional layers for blocking exploits, protecting against RSM, and detecting attacks by using JavaScript and PowerShell.

A system control module reduces the risk of infection by monitoring optical storages, USB drives, external hard drives, and even FireWire and Bluetooth communication systems.

Recent improvements include automated machine-learning to boost zero threat detection, an adaptive anti-phishing program, and host Intrusion Prevention Program improved tracking of actions.

If all this power is not sufficient, you can change the way the package works with more than 150 profile settings.

A single one-year PC license, typical of a premium packet, is priced for ESET NOD32 at $40.

If you have multiple systems in place to protect, steep discounts are much better for ESET. A three-year license for five computers costs only $160, or $10.66 per device year.

But consider ESET Internet Security if you’re looking for this kind of multi-system license. This provides other safety features such as firewall, antispam, locks, defense for webcams, etc. The five-computer3-year license costs $190, which suggests $12.66 per unit year, is just slightly costly.


Our email address was required to activate a free trial for up to 30 days. Otherwise the installation was running correctly, the main ESET NOD32 product was downloaded and installed, automatically updated, and an initial scan was carried out.

No great surprises were found in checking the installed files. They were electronically signed and well organized, a fair 450 MB hard disk storage, and just a few processes have been applied to our test system and limited assets have been used.

If you want to improve your security, you may want to browse ESET NOD32, which gives you a lot of adjustments and options.

Another antivirus can require you to activate or disable email scanning. ESET lets you choose the email clients you want to add, scan receiving and sending emails, monitoring protocols, what you need to do if you have a threat and nearly 40% more settings.

Even though that sounds like low level geekiness, don’t completely ignore it. If a peculiar bug or conflict causes a big ESET NOD32 problem in your computer system it could be crucial to resolve the problem or even to use system tweaks like this.


The interface of ESET NOD32 works much as a number of antivirus applications. There is information about your security status, a system scan button and a sidebar that enables other features and tools of the program.

Types of scans are restricted to full, custom, and removable. There is no option for quick scan like other antiviruses, but since the latest or changed files are only tested after their first test, the typical machine scan is usually very quick.

A detailed Settings dialog allows you to control how scans and real time protection work, and to enable additional features and play them.

The Tools menu has better news. You can view logs, view the program blocked, view processes that run, download the SysRescue cleaning bootable tool for ESET and more.

ESET NOD32 overall has more capabilities than a mere antivirus App might anticipate. Startups may disregard sophisticated options and make the program work, but professionals who understand Device Control and the intense configurability of ESET also appreciate the importance of this.


ESET has shown its reliability in the evaluation of our malware, but we have also checked ESET scores with the major research labs in order to get a full picture of its efficacy.

The real-world analysis for AV Comparatives was not successful for ESET in 2019. In a summarized February –May survey, ESET Internet security ranked 15th out of 16 with a 98.4 percent coverage score, with another 98.4 percent in the July–October study.

Windows Defender achieved so in both trials, with safety levels of 99.6 percent and 99.3 respectively. For July-September 2019, the SE Lab’s Home Anti-Malware Survey was better than that with ESET Internet Security came seventh out of 15 contestants. Yet SE Labs still ranked ESET higher than Trend Micro, Avira and Avast.

We usually test antivirus programs against our own design simulator, so that we can have a feel for the actions of our clients. This time, though, this appeared to be impossible because ESET had not before seen the document. Scanning engine regarded the file as a risk before it could run.

These findings give an extremely mixed view of the skills of ESET. It is obviously far off from the most reliable engines, but we are not convinced that the findings from AV Comparatives are rational. It makes it understandable that Laboratories will check antivirus products by default, but if you can and want to customize ESET-advanced features, such as the power device control, then the protection can be enhanced in many respects.

We also have good news, and in this case, an antivirus won’t slow you down. The reliability effect of the ten security products is assessed by 23 key metrics from the PassMark Security Products Reliability Benchmarks 2020 study. With the apparently lighter Windows Defender in 9th spot, ESET trampled most of the competition in second-place place just behind Norton Protection. The precise effects can rely on your equipment and how you use it, but generally speaking we agree ESET NOD32 Antivirus should have minimal impact on most devices.

Final words

ESET NOD32 has some deceptive laboratory results and it is not always easy to use, yet professional consumers should still enjoy its advanced and in depth configuration functionality.

Read Next: Best Apps In 2020: Antivirus Apps For Android

Enjoyed this video?
"No Thanks. Please Close This Box!"