ESET Smart Security 7 Beta – Review

key review info
application features
  • Antivirus / Antispyware
  • (6 more, see all...)

Smart Security is ESET’s all-in-one protection suite for home users. A new beta (for version 7) has been launched at the beginning of the week, which brings to the table a hefty set of minor improvements.

The installation process has not changed much, but the number of steps has been shortened because the screen with selecting the installation mode (typical or custom) is no longer available.

As a result, the only steps remaining are just the necessary ones, for enabling the connection to Live Grid and the detection of potentially unwanted applications.

Just like in the case of the Antivirus, we had to wait a while before making the aforementioned settings and the actual installation to begin, for routine checks like computing the disk space available.

Immediately after installation you have to define the security preset for the currently connected network (public, home, or work), as well as activate the Anti-Theft feature, which consists of providing the name for a new, fake user account. This is particularly useful for mobile computers, as it enables you to track down the device in case it gets stolen.

Once the computer is marked as stolen in the online console ( – an ESET account is needed to access it), the device is automatically rebooted and all user accounts are locked; the thief will be able to access the fake account instead, with no access to data on the machine.

Furthermore, when the unit connects to the Internet, the tracking routine is deployed. The actions consist of sending details about the computer activity (screenshots from the desktop), activating the built-in webcam, and taking pics of whoever is staring at the display, as well as approximating the physical location based on data picked from the Wi-Fi networks around.

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Looks have not changed much compared to the previous release of the package, but some of the components have been replaced by new ones while others have been removed from the main application window completely.

The “Document protection” option has been removed from the “Setup” menu. In this release it is present in the advanced configuration panel.

Control over removable media has been replaced by the “Device control” feature, a more powerful alternative that allows you to set access restrictions to external devices or content stored on them.

Based on information (name of the vendor, model, and serial number) provided by the user, this component can identify the gadgets plugged into the system and prevent users or groups of users from accessing them; alternatively, in the case of storage media, the content can be assigned the read-only attribute.

The firewall component is specific to Smart Security, and the developer increased its prowess to shield the computer from malicious attacks. Apart from Vulnerability shield, a new technology also available in NOD32 Antivirus, it now brings to the table the possibility to add exceptions for the intrusion detection system (IDS).

This should help the power user customize the firewall behavior on IDS detections. There is a long list of alerts available, and you can define some parameters such as the direction of the connection, the application involved, remote IP address, as well as the action to be taken: allow or deny, show alert on screen, or just log the detail.

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Also new in this release is the possibility to view the IP addresses involved in a malicious activity. These addresses are automatically collected and blacklisted in order to prevent connection.

In Smart Security 7 you can view, modify, remove them from the blacklist, and even lift all connection restrictions by adding an IDS exception.

Except for those that address components particular to ESET Smart Security, the list of improvements present in this revision is the same as in the case of the Antivirus.

You will benefit from added protection thanks to the Vulnerability shield and Advanced Memory Scanner feature (part of HIPS module). The first delivers more advanced filtering options for detecting attacks, while the second can check programs for suspicious behavior when their state changes.

Malware removal is more efficient in the case of threats that previously required standalone tools to be eliminated from the system. This has been achieved by integrating into the application the most popular of said cleaners.

Additionally, mail compatibility has been improved, as the plugin is now integrated in the new version of Microsoft Office 2013 and Windows Live Mail.

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The Good

The firewall component is more flexible, as it incorporates the possibility to create exceptions for IDS (intrusion detection system) detections. On the same note, you have more control over the IP addresses that have been blacklisted as a result of involvement in malicious activity.

The Bad

The product is currently in beta, hence a work in progress.

The Truth

The new ESET Smart Security seems to be sturdier than ever. It tightened protection by introducing new mechanisms for detecting threats, and it increases the flexibility of the firewall with new options.

NOTE: Since this is not the final version of the application, our rating remains set to the default 3 stars.

We have 30 licenses to give away for ESET NOD32 Antivirus. In order to win one of them, you are expected to come up with a smart post, positive or negative, about the application in the comments section below.

The campaign ends Monday, June 24. Winners will be notified by the end of the next week; needless to say that we need valid email addresses in order to contact you.


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user interface 3
features 3
ease of use 3
pricing / value 3

final rating 3
Editor's review