ESET Smart Security Premium 22.3% Discount

Is Eset Smart Security worth buying?

To find out whether it actually works how it says it does, I tested its usability, prowled through its features, assessed its internet security protection, and put ESET customer support through its paces in order to give you the answer. With so many robust solutions available on the ever-crowded antivirus software market, can it offer more than simply solid virus detection and some cool privacy protection add-ons?

Some of the standout features where Smart Security Premium shines through include the following: Independently Proven Antivirus Protection ESET includes some antivirus protection that has been proven to be among the most effective on the market. Features Firstly, the package is available for Windows 10, 8.

In addition to featuring impressive virus detection and internet security abilities, ESET Smart Security Premium includes some other programs that are helpful in keeping your system running in tip-top condition. It is possible and conceivable that malware could penetrate a computer at a low enough level to corrupt the UEFI code.

Knowing that both your operating system and the firmware it boots from are clean of malicious code is the only way you can have total peace of mind that your system is running clean.

Major kudos to ESET on this one for stepping outside of the box almost literally! Additionally, files are automatically scanned on open, creation, and execution. I was particularly pleased to see that users are given the ability to change any of these default configurations. This makes it easy to configure some very specific scanning rules—such as automatically checking executables but disabling file open protection otherwise. Additionally, the system is by default smart about how it applies its various levels of protection, but as with the scanning rules, any of these options can be tweaked so that the scans run exactly how you would like them to.

For instance, files that have not been changed since the last time a scan run are not checked again. On the latter front, ESET has clearly gone to enormous lengths to ensure that all common platforms are covered—the in-browser script detection works whether it runs aboard Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Microsoft Internet Explorer, or Microsoft Edge.

It does this by carefully observing the characteristics of the host operating system and monitoring it for signs of suspicious activity. HIPS is a seriously powerful form of antivirus protection that is often seen running on enterprise-grade endpoints such as servers and workstations—and for good reason. I give ESET a thumbs up for including this. ESET allows you to turn on idle state scanning from within the advanced options menu of the antivirus configuration.

Idle state scanning will automatically initiate a silent scan of your files and directories while the computer is in idle mode—including when the computer is on screensaver mode, locked, or when your account has logged off. This is a feature that I was particularly pleased with. I enabled this feature and locked my computer for twenty minutes during the evaluation process. It was great to know that while I was out gardening, the scanning engine had automatically kicked in and scanned my directories for threats.

Thankfully, the team at ESET made this realization before I did and this is another area in which the program truly excels. If a threat is detected, the user is immediately notified and the download is frozen. I tested out this feature using my own test piece of malware and am pleased to report that it functioned precisely as I expected it to. Phishing Protection On the internet security side of things, ESET Smart Security Premium contains an anti-phishing engine which automatically intercepts and blocks web pages known to have disseminated material linked to phishing and social engineering attacks.

I like the fact that you have the option to proceed to access the page anyway and can report incorrectly blocked pages to improve the accuracy of the feature for other users. Additionally, I liked how the ESET phishing filter has a whitelist so you can add websites that have been incorrectly flagged as phishing sites. I liked how it is possible to configure the system to enter into gaming mode whenever a full-screen window is opened click "advanced setup" and "tools" to turn on this option. That means, of course, that those using their computers as multimedia centers—or simply watching a movie on them—can use this feature to do so without being distracted by popups about scans and other operational details.

The email filtering component can also integrate with Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Express, Windows Mail, and Windows Live Mail and provides users with plenty of control as to what behaviors they would like to configure for emails found to be effective.

Personally, I abandoned desktop email programs years ago, but many corporate users are still required to use them. Having tested the integration, I would have full confidence in its ability to intercept and protect against any "document attachment" received that proved to be more than just that.

Ease of use Smart Security Premium has a simple and visually pleasing interface. I liked how the program easily and quickly mapped out all my connected drives making it easy for me to configure scans of only specific parts of my system such as a USB stick that I was temporarily working with. If I wanted to run an on-demand scan, for example, I only had to click a button. While the various advanced scan options, for their part, were nicely nested in a sub-menu on the right-hand side of the screen.

So how does ESET do when it comes to handling customer interactions? The knowledge base also leads nicely into the email ticket and live chat functionalities. The live chat support can be accessed from a completely different URL. However, the difference is marginal and I stick to my usual recommendation of not attempting to economize on essential protection for your operating system.

Subscriptions ranging from one to three years are available and the pricing is tiered based on the number of machines covered. In terms of payment options, Paypal and all major credit cards are accepted and ESET also provides a free day trial which can be downloaded directly from its website.

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The programs also use heuristic scanning and monitoring to look for telltale signs of an attack. Any new and suspicious files are uploaded to ESET's malware lab for analysis. The resulting fixes to new threats are distributed to the company's million users several times per day.

You can stop suspicious-file collection from your system and still get full protection. Some malware will infect the UEFI to be out of reach of most antivirus software. ESET's Gamer mode senses when software runs full-screen indicating that a movie or game is in progress and maximizes performance while minimizing interruptions. You can scan any file by right-clicking it in Windows Explorer. Antivirus Performance All three ESET Windows antivirus programs use the same malware scanner, which did fairly well in recent lab tests but was still a notch below the best.

Our own tests, conducted in the spring of in our Utah labs, showed that ESET's scanner caught 99 percent of malware — about the same as Bitdefender but a step behind McAfee and Trend Micro's perfect scores. London-based SE Labs gave ESET a 99 percent overall score in all four of its quarterly evaluations, ahead of competitors like Trend Micro which averaged 97 percent and McAfee averaging 96 percent. It was behind Kaspersky, which averaged percent accuracy for the year.

All the other antivirus brands we regularly review did better. Security and Privacy Features As noted above, ESET NOD32 Antivirus offers only the malware-protection essentials, and it leaves out the hardened browser and email-attachment scanning we think are necessary. The new window uses only secure HTTPS connections, blocks browser extensions and encrypts your keystrokes to foil keylogging malware.

Internet Security can also prevent the webcam hijacking, but on our machine, the routine Windows 10 Device Census background program triggered an ESET alert as it tested the webcam. There's also a two-way firewall with a handy one-click rule maker. Should your Windows computer be stolen or lost, the anti-theft feature built into ESET Internet Security can activate the webcam to shoot pictures of the thief, take screenshots and transmit the machine's location to the rightful owner as long as the system is online.

But it can't lock the machine or wipe the hard drive. The parental controls on ESET Internet Security can keep kids in line by blocking specific websites or entire categories of sites. There's no way to schedule online timeouts, however. ESET's Connected Home Monitor scans the local network, builds a map of devices — from routers to notebooks to video doorbells — and looks for vulnerabilities, outdated firmware and factory-default passwords. The password manager has a handy virtual keyboard, but there's no file shredder to complement the file encryption.

Our custom benchmark measured how long a computer's CPU takes to match 20, names with 20, addresses in an OpenOffice spreadsheet. Before we installed Smart Security Premium, the OpenOffice benchmark took an average of 6 minutes and 54 seconds to complete its task.

This time rose to 6: That's a passive performance loss of less than 1 percent, perhaps the smallest we've ever seen. The first full-system scan took nearly 42 minutes to examine , files. Subsequent full scans went faster, averaging a bit more than 24 minutes, as the software learned which files to ignore. That took a bit more than 11 minutes to run through 4, files. That's not quick at all, although network speed might affect it somewhat. During a local full-system scan, the OpenOffice benchmark test took an average of 7 minutes and 52 seconds to finish, a performance hit of only 14 percent.

That's the smallest of all paid Windows antivirus programs we've reviewed recently, and less than even Microsoft's own built-in Windows Defender. By contrast, the online quick scan dragged out the Open-Office completion time to 10 minutes and 7 seconds, a whopping 47 percent system hit. Don't use the online scanner unless you must. It's the rare antivirus interface that can be resized and run full-screen. Starting a full scan is two clicks away from the interface's home screen, and you also can drag-and-drop an object onto the screen for examination.

On the other hand, ESET remains one of the hardest security programs with which to schedule scans. You have to dig into the More Tools part of the Tools category, four clicks from the Home screen, and manually create scheduled scans as a task. Other antivirus brands let you schedule scans with a mere click or two. The home screen has a green bar with a check mark when everything is secure. That bar turns yellow if something's amiss, and red if the system is under attack. Along the left side of the home screen is a column of main categories, including Computer Scan, Update, Tools including the password manager, network monitor and encryption and Setup.

While an update or scan goes on, a black dot next to the name of the category bounces up and down. The Help and Support section lets you access the company's knowledge base or send a support request. ESET doesn't require you to set up an online account to use its software, but it doesn't hurt to have one. Installation and Support I started by downloading a 5. After I picked my preferred language, the beachhead in turn downloaded the full installer. Once you pay with a credit card, use ESET's License Manager or enter a license key, the software is ready for installation.

I agreed that ESET could take snippets of potentially dangerous software from my system and I had it install the company's protection against potentially unwanted applications PUA , the annoying adware and browser hijackers that can be hidden in free downloads. Finally, I installed the optional password manager, file encryption, parental controls and anti-theft features. ESET staffs its tech-support hotline only from 6 a. Pacific time on weekdays, not exactly helpful to North American home users who work 9-to But you can also interact via chat or email, and the ESET website offers self-serve troubleshooting and fixes, how-to videos, an extensive knowledge base and a Top Solutions section.

ESET is ahead of its competition on both counts. But it's behind most of its rivals on protecting Windows systems from malware infection, the primary job of antivirus software.

We look forward to the next round of ESET lab tests. If you're a person who feels smart enough to avoid phishing scams, malicious online ads and other common malware-infection vectors, and you prize CPU speed above all else, then maybe ESET antivirus software is for you. But everyone else should consider Kaspersky or Bitdefender software.

Tom's Guide.

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