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Latest ESET Promotional Offers
- Full protection against all threats including worms, trojans, rootkits, and spyware
- Protection from email threats and spam
- Protection for passwords, credit cards and SSNs from online threats
- Nice anti-theft protection - great for notebooks
- Free online scan
- 30-day free trial
- No chat or phone support
- No online backup included
A full-scale security suite includes antivirus protection, firewall, spam filter, parental control, and some form of privacy protection. However, none of those features will do you a bit of good if the entire computer is stolen. The most exciting addition in ESET Smart Security is a full-featured anti-theft system that will help you recover a lost or stolen computer. On the surface, ESET Smart Security looks almost the same as ESET's standalone NOD32 antivirus. However, you'll notice some important differences as soon as you install it. In particular, the suite encourages you to immediately configure the online console from which you manage anti-theft features. The firewall also pops up right away asking what sort of network you're connected to: home, work, or public.
The Anti-Theft module in the new product does several things which, although not preventing theft in the first place, could help considerably in getting a stolen device back. You install Smart Security and register the machine with ESET. Then, if the device is stolen, it can be accessed remotely, so the device can declare its location whenever it's within Wi-Fi range. If your device is fitted with a camera, you can also take photos of its new "owner," which may help trace him or her. Finally, if need be, you can wipe the hard drive remotely, reducing the value of the device. This is a good feature set, but bear in mind that it can't do much if the thieves themselves wipe the hard drive.
In terms of what ESET can protect your PC from, it includes an exhaustive list of abilities that includes the ability to detect viruses, spyware, adware, spam, rootkits, keyloggers, phishers, Trojans, browser hijackers and most anything else hackers continually release every second of the day. To combat these emergent threats, ESET employs ThreastSense technology and cloud-based reputation technology. During tests conducted by AV-Test, ESET did well in the usability tests but struggled with the protection and repair tests.
The interface is clean and simple, to the point of minimalist, but covers all the essentials, if you dig around. There are panes covering scan, update, setup and tools. The Tools pane includes a statistics panel, system inspector and a way to burn a rescue disc.
According to our research, Eset is extremely low impact on PC hardware, making it a great choice for older PCs or entry level systems. Av-comparitives.org puts Eset in the top 20% in terms of impact, calling it either "fast" or "very fast" in every single one of their performance test metrics and earning itself an Advanced+ Award in the performance category. If you're low on system resources (meaning your PC has seen better days) Eset Smart Security is a great choice.
Low Impact on System Resources
ESET manages to do all the work of a full-featured security suite without putting a drain on system performance. Averaging the results of booting a test system 100 times with ESET installed and with no suite, I found it took just 7 percent longer to boot. That's hardly noticeable. Repeated runs of a script that times how long it takes to fully load 100 websites didn't take measurably longer under ESET's protection.
Help & Support
ESET provides extensive online support through articles, educational videos, support news, a user forum, quick guides and user guides, and updates. It is a bit difficult to find ESET's support phone numbers and email address online. They route you through their online support before releasing direct contact information. They also do not provide live chat support. We eventually discovered their phone number and support hours through the site map. For up-to-date product information and industry news, you can follow ESET on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.
ESET Smart Security is a well-designed IS suite, particularly geared to mobile PC users. Its anti-theft offering is, as far as we know, currently unique in this product area and could be very valuable in recovering a stolen machine. Its individual components consistently earned good scores in my tests and on independent lab tests. And it won't put a drag on your system performance.