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ESET Antivirus Review: A Simple and Clean AV

ESET Antivirus Review: A Simple and Clean AV

Based in Bratislava, Slovakia, ESET started its antivirus program production path, producing software for users and companies. ESET has a robust security system with high scores in third-party testing labs. Their product's protection covers Windows, macOS, Linux, and Android. And with their security solution covering over 100 million users, they must be doing something right.


Excellent phishing protection
Top scores third-party labs
Useful free tools including a rescue tool


No VPN included
Short on many extra features provided by competitors


Quick Stats

Free Version
Included VPN
Not Available
Money-Back Guarantee
30 Days
Price (1-year subscription)
Security Level


You might be wondering, is ESET the antivirus for you? We at will go through an in-depth review showing you the ESET features to help you decide if it's the product for you.

Security and Protection

Relating to ESET security and all antiviruses, for that matter, we prefer using unbiased third-party testing labs. Therefore, in this report, we will be checking ESET effectiveness from the point of view of AV-Test and AV-Comparatives.

1. Third-party lab test results

Third-party testing labs are experts with well-constructed criteria and testing methods for AV products, providing an unbiased opinion on product security.

  • AV-Test lab

    • 6/6 points for protection, as ESET is capable of identifying malware without fail.
    • 5.5/6 points for performance, as to how much ESET takes up from the device's resources.
    • 6/6 Points for usability, meaning a low false-positive rate (i.e., unlikely to mistake infected files for infection ones).
    • According to the AV-Test lab, ESET's total score is 17.5/18.


  • AV-Comparatives

    • ESET scored 3/3 stars in the departments of malware removal and real-world testing. The 3/3 stars in malware removal are based on testing 40 new malware programs at the time of the test in which ESET scored 90/100 points, earning it an Advanced+ certificate.
    • The 3/3 stars in real-world testing refer to its ability to detect phishing websites, while the false-positive rate remains as low as possible. The test is done by exposing the tested programs to 758 test cases of domains and downloads.
      • ESET had the lowest false-positive rate with only one false-positive result, with the average false positive being 17 among the tested antiviruses while protecting against 99.3% of harmful material. This Earns it an advanced + award in this department as well.
    • Malware Protection Test: ESET had a 3/3 (Advanced +) score regarding malware detection. This was done by testing 10102 Test cases with a 99.98% detection and block, with two false positives.
    • Malware Removal Test: This test was unfortunately outdated, as it was last updated back in 2018. Despite that, the results were a full 3/3 stars with an (Advanced +) score.
      • ESET managed to score 90/100 points to remove 40 different malware that had already infected a device.


  • SE Labs

There were no test results regarding ESET antivirus in SE Labs' latest tests. Still, two other labs tested the product, and we can say that ESET rates were pretty good in both.

SE Labs rank products from AAA being the highest score, AA (Intermediate), and B (Lowest score).

2. Firewall Protection and IDS


ESET provides a firewall protection service to protect your network from harmful traffic. It can be accessed through the settings menu into network protection and adjusted from there.

Note that Firewall protection is only available in the Advanced Protection and Premium Protection plans.

Read about our top antivirus software Norton 360 and Bitdefender.

Plans and Features

ESET has three products which include the Basic Protection, Advanced Protection, and Premium Protection plans.

1. ESET Basic Protection

The NOD32 antivirus, which has high scores when tested in independent third-party labs, provides robust protection against all types of malware, whether it's viruses, ransomware, or spyware.

This plan is compatible with Windows, macOS, and Linux.

2. ESET Advanced Protection 

This has the ESET internet-security features, including the addition of online banking and payment protection to protect your transactions online. ESET Advanced Protection features are:

  • The banking and payment protection acts by opening a 256-bit encrypted tab whenever a transaction process is detected, allowing you to pay online while remaining safe.
  • The network protection allows for network scanning of devices connected to the network to assess the network's safety and make sure no threat is present around. 
Wi-Fi hacking is often much easier than hacking devices connected to the network, depending on the type of Wi-Fi encryption protocol, with the WEP being the easiest to hack.
  • Anti-theft is another feature you can get with the advanced bundle allowing you to locate your device if lost or stolen.

This plan is compatible with Windows, Android, macOS, and Linux.

3. ESET Premium Protection

This is the ESET smart security premium, which provides the ultimate full package, including: 

  • ESET Secure Data allows for the creation of an encrypted drive. This means if a hacker gets hold of your files, they wouldn't be able to use them unless they get the deciphering key. This can be useful to store your sensitive work-related data or personal photos.
  • ESET Password Manager is another add-on included in this plan. A password manager helps you create and store strong passwords that are saved in an encrypted format. The passwords are then reused when needed using a master password that decrypts the required stored password.
Using the same password, again and again, runs the risk of getting hacked across all your accounts when hacked on one, while using different passwords runs the risk of forgetting them. Password managers are the perfect solution.

This plan is compatible with Windows, Android, macOS, and Linux.


ESET extra features

Eset provides with its plans a plethora of added features for its users to enjoy. Here we will discuss further some of these features:

  • SysRescue Live Tool

This product allows you to boot the anti-malware before your operating system fully boots. It is done by downloading the SysRescue Live tool on an external drive and keeping it for later as a failsafe in the event it is needed. SysRescue Live tool is downloaded from their website.

Some types of malware require the use of your operating system to function. SysRescue Live can remove malware before your device boots, preventing malware from retaliating. 

Some types of malware affect your ability to boot your PC altogether, rendering many antivirus services obsolete, as you wouldn't be able to start/run the antivirus. 
  • ESET AV remover tool

It is a tool that helps you to remove some types of antiviruses that feel impossible to uninstall thoroughly.

  • Gamer mode

Gaming mode allows users to play games or watch media without updating interruptions while reducing the CPU use of your system.


It can be activated by going through setup, then computer protection, followed by gamer mode activation.

It is not recommended to keep gaming mode on at all times as it disables updates and scheduled tasks, which are essential to maintain a secure environment.

User Experience


ESET has a user-friendly interface that anyone can use, even if you are new to their program. Using the side menu, you can scroll between the available options.

Pricing and Payments

Here are all the pricing details you need to know about the plans:

Plans Basic Protection Advanced Protection Premium Protection
One device

$39.99/ 1 year
$59.99/ 2 years
$79.98/ 3 years

$49.99/ 1 year
$79.99/ 2 years
$109.98/ 3 years
$59.99/ 1 year
$99.99/ 2 years
$139.98/ 3 years
Two devices

$49.99/ 1 year
$74.99/ 2 years
$99.98/ 3 years

$59.99/ 1 year
$94.99/ 2 years
$129.98/ 3 years
$69.99/ 1 year
$114.99/ 2 years
$159.98/ 3 years
Three devices $59.99/ 1 year
$89.99/ 2 years
$119.98/ 3 years
$69.99/ 1 year
$109.99/ 2 years
$149.98/ 3 years
$79.99/ 1 year
$129.99/ 2 years
$179.98/ 3 years
Four devices $69.99/ 1 year
$104.99/ 2 years
$139.98​/ 3 years
$79.99/ 1 year
$124.99/ 2 years
$169.98​/ 3 years
$89.99/ 1 year
$144.99/ 2 years
$199.98/ 3 years
Five devices $79.99/ 1 year
$119.99/ 2 years
$159.98/ 3 years
$89.99/ 1 year
$139.99/ 2 years
$189.98/ 3 years
$99.99/ 1 year
$159.99/ 2 years
$219.98/ 3 years
Six devices N/A $99.99/ 1 year
$154.99/ 2 years
$209.98/ 3 years
$109.99/ 1 year
$174.99/ 2 years
$239.98/ 3 years
Seven devices N/A $109.99/ 1 year
$169.99​/ 2 years
$229.98/ 3 years
$119.99/ 1 year
$189.99/ 2 years
$259.98/ 3 years
Eight devices N/A $119.99/ 1 year
$184.99/ 2 years
$249.98/ 3 years
$129.99/ 1 year
$204.99/ 2 years
$279.98/ 3 years
Nine devices N/A $129.99/ 1 year
$199.99/ 2 years
$269.98/ 3 years
$139.99/ 1 year
$219.99/ 2 years
$299.98/ 3 years
Ten devices N/A $139.99/ 1 year
$214.99/ 2 years
$289.98/ 3 years
$149.99/ 1 year
$234.99/ 2 years
$319.98/ 3 years

Free trial

ESET has a 30-day trial period on its products, so you can try them before you decide to make a purchase.

Money-back guarantee

ESET has a 30-day money-back guarantee for users to enjoy the product and decide whether it meets their expectations or not.

Payment methods

  • Major credit cards ( Visa, Mastercard, American Express, JCB).
  • PayPal.

Final Verdict

ESET is a product that provides high security and high protection to its users. Therefore, it may be shot on extra features other competitors offer. However, if your goal is device security with less emphasis on other features, then this might be the product for you.

Read about our top antivirus software Norton 360 and Bitdefender.
Does ESET include a firewall?
Does ESET include a VPN service?
Is ESET compatible on all devices?
How do I download the SysRescue Live tool
Is there a money-back guarantee for ESET?