ESET introduced yesterday version 6 of their line of security products, Nod32 Antivirus and the more feature-rich Smart Security. The progress in both suites is marked by integration of new components, such as “Idle-state Scanning”, “Scan while Downloading Files” and “Update Rollback”.
These make for the common ground in ESET products, while features such as Anti-Theft, Parental Control, Personal Firewall, set Smart Security apart from Antivirus. Overall improvements in the 6th version of ESET products refer to heuristics, cloud-based reputation and a slightly changed interface, which also presents new options.
The Anti-Theft feature is among the most prominent in this release because it tackles a serious problem, that of having your laptop stolen. Introducing this component is a result of online surveys showing increased usage of mobile computers (laptops and netbooks) when connecting to the Internet, which are obviously more susceptible to being stolen or lost.
Should an act of thievery befall you, “Anti-Theft” component can help you prohibit access to all computer accounts, except for a fake one, thus protecting your files. Since all mobile computers these days come with a webcam, the utility of the feature extends even farther, as it automatically accesses the camera and starts taking pictures of whoever is handling the device, without their knowing.
Moreover, all activity on the missing device is recorded and it can even provide details about the location of the device, based on a map of visible Wi-Fi networks in range. All this can be achieved by simply visiting my.eset.com and marking the device as missing.
At the moment, Anti-Theft is also present in Nod32 Antivirus beta, but only for testing purposes. When the stable releases of the products come out, this component will be available only in ESET Smart Security.
Since there are too many examples of antivirus updates messing up users’ computers, ESET introduced in its products the possibility to undo an update. Update Rollback feature can take snapshots of update files. If a new update has a negative impact on the system, you can eliminate it and return to an earlier release.
Scan speed has not been neglected, and ESET has cut down on the time required to complete this operation by whitelisting safe items based on a file reputation database. In order to keep the impact on system resources to a minimum, in-depth scans are performed when the computer is idle; however, this does affect the autonomy of the battery, if you’re using a mobile computer.
The new version of the products shows clear progress, compared to their previous major release. However, ESET seems to be reluctant to introducing components that have been part of other security suites for a while. Among these is sandboxing, identity protection and central management of security products installed on other devices in the LAN.
Some reputable security packages also bundle in system optimization tools: defragmenter, cleaning junk files or removing duplicates. Moreover, in some cases, there is even a remote assistance component that can be used to fix other computers running the application.
As far as looks are concerned, some changes are noticeable, but no major interface redesign to reflect the current trend that slants towards a simpler layout fit even for beginners. One of the most obvious changes, besides reordering the options in the menus, is the possibility to temporarily disable protection components individually, for a preset period of time.
To ESET’s advantage, they are the first to introduce an anti-theft feature into a security suite designed for PCs. And considering that computing is increasingly mobile, this is no small feature. Besides this, version 6 of their products increases the efficiency of the protection engines and how in-depth scanning is carried out.
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