I wish we lived in a world where we didn't need antivirus, firewalls, or security packages, but we don't. Anyone is exposed to malicious attack, malware, and phishing. They can impersonate our identity, hijack files and ask for a ransom for them, or we can simply be the target of a random virus that has no other purpose than to bother. To detect and avoid these risks, security software is essential. The ESET Internet Security 2018 suite is much more than just an antivirus, and we will analyze why.
All antivirus manufacturers claim that their product is the best. It would be nice if a father spoke ill of his children. But, in reality, the antivirus market is very similar to that of mobiles. There is no perfect terminal for everyone, but there is a perfect phone for each user. Thus, our opinion about an antivirus will depend on how it adapts to the computer and to daily activity. In this sense, ESET Internet Security is capable of meeting the demands of almost anyone . In addition, it includes a couple of very interesting additions. Therefore, we can say that we are facing one of the best antivirus on the market.
How to install and configure ESET Internet Security
ESET is no stranger. Veteran computer users will remember NOD32, one of the antivirus programs that dominated the 1990s. Today, ESET has several comprehensive security products available. In this analysis we are dedicated to the most requested software of the brand, ESET Internet Security .
After selecting the version of ESET Security you want, a simple executable file will be downloaded that will start the online installation. You need to enter the email address to receive a license number by email. This number activates the software in its full or trial version, as requested by us. It is possible to add the email both on the ESET website, and in the installer itself. Once the installation is complete, ESET Internet Security will run a quick scan of the system, lest we have a virus or threat that has gone unnoticed.
A discreet, lightweight and low-intrusive antivirus
There are two things that stand out since we started the antivirus for the first time. The first thing that is appreciated is the little memory it consumes. At the time of writing, the ESET Sentinel only needs 65 MB of RAM. The company's effort to provide an antivirus that does not weigh down the computer is appreciated. It is a very interesting advantage for users of more limited or older computers.
Second, it highlights the functionality of the default settings. Not everyone needs such specific options as parental control or the anti-theft system. Therefore, ESET keeps these components disabled. If the user needs them, all they have to do is open the ESET interface from the Start menu, or from the quick access on the taskbar, and go to the corresponding screen.
Although this does not affect the capabilities of the program, the appearance of ESET is very pleasing to the eye . The interface is sober, functional and elegant. Also, it doesn't harass us with pop-up screens. Sometimes the pop-up bombardment only manages to startle us, rather than inform us. ESET notifies what is strictly necessary, through a semi-transparent notice that is not annoying.
Analysis for all tastes
The tab "Computer analysis" allows us to access the possibilities of searching for viruses and threats on our computer. The options we have are the usual ones. We can carry out an in-depth analysis of the computer, analyze removable drives (such as USB memories) or review individual files, dragging them within the dialog box. The engine in charge of protecting us is based on NOD32 technology, a veteran multi-layered security tool against online and offline threats.
The next tab deals with the antivirus update. ESET updates the suite automatically as soon as there is something new in the virus and malware databases. Even so, a manual update is possible, in case of need or urgency.
Innovative battery of safety tools
Well, so far everything is quite familiar. It is in the "Tools" and "Settings" tabs where we find the most interesting points of this security software.
One of the most common concerns of users is how to know if someone else is connected to the WiFi network. Seeing the router's LEDs blink makes more than one nervous. Well, we are in luck, because ESET has thought about this frequent circumstance. The “Home Network Protection” tool lets you know which devices are connected to WiFi . At a glance we will know the names of the computers, as well as their IP addresses. Likewise, the program offers the option to edit names, to grant a family identification to each device.
But it does not stop there, because we can thoroughly analyze network security . To do this, ESET Internet Security searches for vulnerabilities in the router and all connected computers, by simulating various attacks. It is a process that may take a few minutes, but it offers quite significant results from the robustness of our home network. Since WPA2 security encryption proved vulnerable, WiFi is worth keeping an eye on.
The component "Payment protection and online banking" is more interesting than it might seem at first. The security package has its own browser, specially protected and prepared for making payments, banking inquiries and financial transactions. It doesn't matter that we don't remember to use this tool. When we want to access the bank's website from our usual browser, ESET will detect it and invite us to use its protected browsing.
The interesting Anti-Theft function is intended for laptop users . To activate this option, you need to create an account with the ESET Anti-Theft service. In this way, we identify ourselves as the legitimate owner of the device, in prevention of any attempted theft or loss. Thus, we will be able to carry out protection and location actions in the event that an unscrupulous friend of others decides that our beloved computer is better at home. We can mark a device as lost and start monitoring. If the laptop tries to connect to the Internet, ESET locates it using the WiFi networks in the area. In addition, it allows you to log into Windows automatically, and use the webcam to identify anyone who is using the computer.
The configuration hides an impressive range of options
The virtues of ESET Internet Security continue within the "Settings" tab. Here we can do whatever we want. Literally, whatever we want. And it is not an exaggeration. However, this has a trade-off. ESET Internet Security offers such a wide array of options that the average user can be a bit overwhelmed. If we don't want to complicate our lives, it is better to rely on the remarkable balance of the default settings. Before encouraging us to handle things, we must know well what is being done.
Within the computer protection section, we find very interesting options. ESET offers a tool to dispel one of the biggest fears of laptop users: the webcam . Mark Zuckerberg himself has his webcam covered with a piece of black duct tape. If the creator of Facebook sees fit, we should consider it mandatory. Even so, even if the hacker cannot see us and use our image, he can take advantage of a vulnerability in the webcam to take control of the computer. However, any intruder who wants to tamper with our webcam will have to deal with the protection that ESET provides. That is not little.
Another very interesting aspect is the Player Mode. Although the antivirus package has a very discreet consumption, gamers need all the power of their equipment to enjoy the games in conditions. Therefore, ESET offers a mode that optimizes the suite for gamers, streaming sessions, online presentations, and so on. Resource management is maximized without losing protection against viruses and malware.
Comprehensive protection against phishing, spam, network attacks ...
It seems incredible that ESET Internet Security does so many things and needs so few resources to do so. In reality, many of the tools are disabled or limited by default, since the average user does not need them in their day to day life. In a professional or specialized environment, it is possible to explore all the power and possibilities that antivirus offers.
An example of this is Device Control. Device control is a monitoring of the use of card readers, USB sticks and even Bluetooth devices. The degree of customization is such that exceptions and device groups can be created to allow or prohibit external hardware connections at our discretion.
On the other hand, ESET's built-in firewall pairs with the Windows firewall. In case Windows misses something, the ESET firewall should kick in. In automatic mode, it will allow outgoing connections and block unsolicited incoming ones. At the same time, it adds a protection against network attacks (IDS) and a shield against ransomware. Thus, threats that try to encrypt our files are blocked, and then ask for ransom for them.
However, in Interactive Mode any connection to the network is monitored and the corresponding permission is requested. But this is not all. It is possible to collate the information of any URL or web page that we visit. ESET will inform us if the connection is trusted or there are reports of suspected malware . Similarly, filter mode allows you to create safe zones, rules, and exceptions. We should only modify the default options if we know exactly what we are doing.
Another new feature of this edition is the UEFI scanner. The UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) is more or less the current equivalent of the old BIOS. Under normal conditions we should not even notice that it is working. Only a malware attack will trigger the warning.
Email client protection is much more than just a spam filter. ESET integrates with the mail manager in search of possible malware, and works with both POP3 and IMAP. The default settings provide robust protection. However, no one is free from false positives. Therefore, we can manually edit the lists and exceptions of addresses that we know are safe.
Impressive advanced settings, but only for experts
The configuration tools hide a vast world within the advanced configuration. As we said at the beginning, there is no 100% perfect product, but there is the perfect product for each user. In this sense, ESET makes an effort to adapt to the greatest number of needs, putting all the details of the antivirus at our fingertips . So much choice overwhelms anyone, but if we know where to look and what to touch, we can mold the software like a glove to our computer.
In conclusion, ESET Internet Security combines all the power of the NOD32 antivirus engine with a wide range of well-known options, and interesting new features such as the anti-theft system, Game Mode or UEFI scanning. On many occasions it is claimed that the best antivirus is made up of common sense and caution when browsing. However, there are times when even the most cautious is a victim of phishing. Spyware makes everything but noise, and the list of viruses is diversifying every day. If you are considering options, we recommend that you consider purchasing the ESET Internet Security suite. And to enjoy your computer quietly.