ESET NOD32 Antivirus 8.0.304.0
ESET NOD32 Antivirus is a popular choice for users looking to ensure PC protection against viruses, Trojans, worms, rootkits, dialers and other types of malware. Wrapped in a user-friendly interface, the tool comes at a reasonable price and has delivered very good performance results over the years.
Configurable installation pack
The setup procedure is fast and requires a bit of attention. ESET asks users to enable or disable detection of potentially unwanted programs (PUPs), depending on their preference. There is also the possibility to disable the proxy server or switch from Internet Explorer settings to custom mode.
Users may also pick the av's behavioral pattern when updating program components and restarting it afterward, as well as protect the configuration settings with a password in case the computer is shared between multiple users. A scan can be run as soon as installation is done.
Clean and intuitive interface
Compared to other antivirus applications that usually go for the flashy look or trendy Metro UI appearance, ESET has remained loyal to simplicity throughout the years. It adopts minimal visual elements and prefers to let users focus on its functionality instead.
Different kinds of scans and real-time protection
The program integrates a few types of scan modes. It can look only for popular malware-hiding areas such as Program Files and the Windows directory, verify custom files, folders and drives (contextual scan is available), check removable media devices like USBs and DVDs, or take the entire computer for a spin in deep scanning mode. The real-time guard identifies malicious activity as soon as it is detected.
Advanced scanning setup for experienced users
While first-time users may rest assured knowing that ESET's default scan settings are enough to provide PC safety against malware, the experts may open the tool's configuration panel and fiddle with settings for each scan mode. For instance, the real-time guard can be on the lookout for local and network drives, file access, creation and execution, and PC shutdown events.
Settings can be configured when it comes to the scan targets, heuristics, HIPS, gaming mode, boot sectors, runtime packers, cleaning level, file extensions and size, archives, activity logs, startup and PC idle-state scanning, and exclusions, to name just a few.
Extra layers of security and other safety measures
ESET NOD32 Antivirus also has security features dedicated to filtering applications and emails, blocking e-threats while surfing the web, and preventing phishing. Each one comes with its on configuration set.
In addition, it is possible to create a rescue CD to boot Windows in case of heavy infections, monitor file system and network activity, investigate threat and spam statistics, schedule tasks, and take multiple PC snapshots to compare file changes.
Users may record and inspect log files for suspicious events, manage the quarantine, modify proxy settings, activate event notifications via email, customize alerts and notifications, disable context menu integration, and much more. Worth mentioning is that all settings may be restored to their factory parameters.
Evaluation and conclusion
ESET NOD32 Antivirus comes bundled with numerous helpful features to help users prevent security breaches and malware infiltrations. Unless the PC is currently under scan, the app's presence is barely noticeable, so users may carry on with their normal activity without feeling disturbed (especially when deactivating notifications or switching to gaming mode).
CPU and memory consumption remains minimal, scans are performed rapidly, and ESET is known to deliver very good results concerning detected malware and false positives. To sum it up, users unfamiliarized with ESET by now are most likely to find it dependable, while those who've been using it for years are probably sticking to it due to great ratings on all counts. Additional features can be found in ESET Smart Security.
Reviewed by Elena Opris, last updated on November 28th, 2014
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