ESET NOD32 Antivirus 5
Compatible Operating Systems: Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 (limited support for Windows NT 4.0 with Service Pack 6).
Price: $39.99 Direct or $32.99 per seat for 5 to 10 seats.
- Clean and Safe Email scanning for email systems like Microsoft Outlook.
- Performs additional levels of scanning on removable media.
- ESET SysInspector and ESET SysRescue simplify diagnosing and cleaning of infected systems.
- ESET NOD32 Antivirus has numerous speed, security and usability upgrades.
- Advanced Protection Status screen informs you of threat detections.
- New interface and keyboard shortcuts simplify use for visually impaired users.
In March 2009, Slovakian company ESET released version 4 of their ESET NOD32 Antivirus software and ESET Smart Security Suite. Both of these Internet security products provide proactive detection of new viruses and malware, using ESET's ThreatSense technology. In this latest version, the user interface has been improved to make it more intuitive and user-friendly. There are new keyboard shortcuts to help visually-impaired users find their way around the product. ThreatSense now has more than 20 new features to improve its performance in diagnostics, recovery, and malware detection. ESET NOD32 Antivirus is password protected, to prevent strangers from uninstalling it.
What sets ESET's security software apart from most of its rivals is that it doesn't rely on recognizing the signatures of known threats. Instead, ThreatSense proactively thwarts threats based on program behavior. As Dan Clark, ESET's Vice President, pointed out, a delay of anything up to 24 hours may occur between the detection of a new malware threat and the availability of a signature to deal with it. ThreatSense is able to deal with new threats immediately, because of its signature-independence.
Dan Clark went on to point out that ESET's products are very light on system resources, which means they can effectively extend the life of older systems.
There is an energy-sipping battery mode which extends the battery life of laptops and mobile computers without compromising security protection.
The Advanced Protection Status screen keeps you informed via pop-ups of any threats encountered. Pop-ups are suppressed when full-screen applications such as presentations, games or video players are active.
Threats do not always enter your system or network through the channels you may suspect. ESET NOD32 Antivirus has a smart scanner which checks SSL-encrypted channels, such as POP3S or HTTPS and will also inspect compressed files looking for hidden threats, altogether detecting more threats than many of its rivals.
In tests using PassMark Software, in December 2009, ESET added only 15% to boot time compared to a system with no security software installed. Its closest rival in this test was Panda Antivirus, which added 25% to boot time. The worst performer here was AVG Antivirus 9.0, adding 128 percent. ESET also had the least impact of all products tested on the time it took to launch Internet Explorer, adding just 32 percent. Its closest rival here was Kaspersky Antivirus, adding 75 percent. The worst performer in the Internet Explorer test was McAfee Antivirus, adding a massive 321 percent.
In extensive testing conducted by AV-Comparatives.org, ESET's antivirus has been awarded their top score of ADVANCED+ more often than any rival product. Their verdict in 2008 was that ThreatSense provided "the best proactive on-demand detection". In AV-Comparatives' proactive unknown threat detection tests, ESET scored the best of any of its rivals, successfully dealing with 56 percent of all threats, followed by BitDefender Antivirus and Kaspersky Antivirus, each detecting 50 percent of threats.
ICSA Labs certifies ESET NOD32 Antivirus on Windows Vista, Windows XP and Windows 7 for both cleaning and detection of malware threats.
West Coast Labs awards Checkmark certifications according to how well products detect and remove threats. ESET currently holds Checkmark certifications for both removal and detection of malware. Altogether is holds 18 certifications by West Coast Labs.
CheckVir has awarded ESET more Advanced certifications than any other vendor.
In tests conducted by Virus Bulletin between May 1998 and April 2010, ESET was the only product that detected 100 percent of "In-the-Wild" viruses. "In-the-Wild" viruses are real-world viruses that at least two independent testers have reported to the Wildlist Organization. ESET achieved 100 percent for both on-demand and on-access detection. Its closest rival in this test was Norton Antivirus, missing 4 Its threats on-demand and 31 on-access. The worst performer in this test was AVG Antivirus, which failed to detect a massive 745 threats on-access and 234 on-demand.
ESET integrates with popular e-mail clients such as Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Express, Windows Mail, Windows Live Mail, Mozilla Thunderbird and other POP3/IMAP mail software, to keep your e-mail free of malware and viruses.
The Smart Security Suite includes a firewall, which can be set in 'training' mode, where it takes a more active role in system protection. It has new sophisticated self-defense functionality to prevent malware from disabling it. The malware scanning module has been optimized for speed and can now handle large archives more quickly and thoroughly. Access to USB drives and removable media can be blocked or allowed by configuration, and any AUTORUN files they contain can be scanned before being allowed to execute.
The suite also includes a handy utility for system administrators - SysInspector. SysInspector will scan your system and create a full XML report which can be used by technical support or system administrators to diagnose issues on systems and networks. It allocates a risk level to system elements and processes, and also has an antistealth module to detect rootkits. Users can exclude any parts of the log that contains private or sensitive data before sharing with technical support. The utility can also easily compare different versions of the log to determine what has changed between scans.
If SysInspector is useful for diagnosing issues, SysRescue swings into action to solve them. If a system has been infested with malware, or won't boot, SysRescue can be used to create a bootable rescue CD to help repair and clean up the system.
On December 1, 2009, a user, dtrav1987, left a glowing review of the ESET suite on PCWorld. He is responsible for keeping the computers running in an educational environment. Schools are notoriously difficult to effectively secure against malware and other threats, due to the surfing habits of students. This user's school was infected by the Conficker Virus. The outbreak left hundreds of the school's computers useless. He simply mounted the HDDs externally and let ESET scan them. The average scan time was between 20 - 40 minutes depending on hard disk size. The Conficker Virus was removed immediately and other issues were cleaned up following ESET's simple procedures. The school also implements protection from AVG Antivirus, but in this instance, AVG failed 100% to clear up the issue. To quote dtrav1987, "...the best way to prevent all those problems from occurring is to be proactive. ESET is beyond proactive, its truly (sic) an amazing product."
Another PCWorld user review, by CrescentMoonCorp, was also fulsome in its praise, describing ESET NOD32 as a powerful virus protection software. This user had tested McAfee, Symantec, BitDefender, Kaspersky, Norman and Avira products, but had found only ESET NOD32 to be reliable and compatible with other security software. He found the scanning speed fast and the memory usage low.
ESET NOD32 Antivirus Version 4 performs extremely well in independent labs tests, and, judging by user-submitted reviews in PCWorld.com, people on the front line of system protection seem to be very impressed by its proactive malware detection and blocking abilities. When people in the field recommend a product, that is a high endorsement.
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