Skip to content
Home » Best Free Antivirus Software for 2024 » Avast vs Eset

Avast vs Eset

I. Introduction

With cybersecurity threats continually evolving, having a robust antivirus solution in place across all of your devices remains essential. However, the crowded antivirus marketplace offers countless options, making selecting the right software for your needs a daunting task. Two popular choices for guarding home users and businesses are Avast Antivirus and ESET NOD32. This comprehensive comparison examines Avast vs ESET across critical categories like malware protection, impact on system performance, pricing, and ease of use to help determine the best choice for securing your endpoints.

A. Brief Overview of the Importance of Choosing the Right Antivirus Software

Antivirus software serves as a critical pillar of defense against the daily onslaught of viruses, ransomware, spyware, botnets and sophisticated cyber attacks intent on stealing data or encrypting files for profit. With new threats constantly emerging globally, running advanced antivirus safeguards across all your devices continues growing ever more vital.

However, antivirus platforms exhibit major differences in detection rates, system demands, remediation capabilities and usability. Picking the wrong solution can lead to compromised endpoints, sluggish system performance, or time wasted struggling with convoluted interfaces. Selecting optimized antivirus tailored to your budget and technical needs saves you from endless headaches down the road.

B. Introduction to Avast and ESET

Founded in 1988, Avast offers scalable antivirus products for home and business users combining next-gen scanning built around machine learning with low resource utilization. Features include customizable scanning options, WiFi intrusion detection, privacy controls like secure deletion and more.

ESET launched in 1992 specializing in advanced endpoint security leveraging cloud-based analysis to identify emerging threats rapidly. The NOD32 antivirus product delivers robust malware protection to home users via proactive defense layers to block known and never before seen attacks. A polished remote management console adds enterprise-level control.

Now that you understand their high-level histories and capabilities, let’s explore how Avast and ESET stack up based on the experiences of paying customers along with impartial testing benchmarking their safety and performance.

II. User Reviews and Ratings

Examining real user opinions on antivirus software can provide early insight on satisfaction rates even before assessing independent testing results. TrustRadius—a leading B2B reviews and research platform—offers a helpful comparison point through their verified user reviews of both Avast and ESET solutions.

A. Summary of User Reviews and Ratings on TrustRadius

After analyzing 233 Avast Business Antivirus reviews along with 196 for ESET Endpoint Antivirus across security, support, ease of use and value, several interesting takeaways emerge:

Overall Ratings

  • Avast – 4/5 stars
  • ESET– 4.2/5 stars

Standout Features

  • Avast – Low system demands, affordable pricing for features
  • ESET – Minimal performance impact, strong update reliability

So ESET garners higher overall satisfaction based on the collective user reviews, but Avast wins on value perception.

Let’s examine what users specifically called out regarding their functionalities, strengths and weaknesses.

B. Comparison of Features, Pros, Cons, Pricing and Support

Avast Pros Highlighted

  • Strong at catching malware threats fast
  • Lightweight performance impact
  • Easy to implement on endpoints
  • Remote deployment at scale
  • Solid malware definitions updater

Avast Cons Highlighted

  • Can miss more sophisticated threats
  • Occasional false positives flagging safe files
  • Confusing dashboard menu navigation

ESET Pros Highlighted

  • Extremely reliable malware blocking
  • Low false positives disrupting workflows
  • Scales across networks with no noticeable lag
  • Polished centralized remote management
  • Quick, knowledgeable support reps

ESET Cons Highlighted

  • Lagging identity theft protections
  • Requires more endpoints tweaking
  • Cloud console has slight learning curve

Pricing Comparison

Product Regular Price Discounted Price
Avast Premium Security $95 per year $80 first year
ESET NOD32 Antivirus $80 per year $60 first year

Customer Support

Both offer 24/7 live chat, email ticketing and North America phone support with agents widely praised for friendliness and technical issue resolution speed.

While Avast tend to field more how-to and navigation questions, ESET receives higher marks resolving antivirus configuration and compatibility issues.

So in terms of real user experiences, ESET maintains an edge for satisfying advanced protection, performance and management requirements at scale while Avast proves the more budget-friendly solution adept at covering essential security basics across home and small business settings without ads or upsells hindering usability.

Now that we’ve covered real user perspectives, let’s explore how their safety and resource efficiency claims hold against rigorous independent testing benchmarks to establish more objectively their capabilities and limits.

III. Independent Lab Tests

Reputable independent security research firms like AV-Test Institute, AV Comparatives and SE Labs conduct in-depth testing year-round on all major antivirus solutions involving tens of thousands of malware samples, URLs and targeted attack vectors.

Let’s compare Avast vs ESET using the latest testing data across critical safety and performance assessments published over the past two years from these impartial infosec analysis labs to gauge their protection and demands.

A. Overview of Independent Lab Tests Conducted on Avast and ESET

AV-Test Institute Testing

Germany-based AV-Test operates globally since 2004 applying systematic evaluation methods reflecting real world conditions faced by home and enterprise users. Testing spans three primary categories conducted continuously year-round:

  • Protection – Detection rates assessing malware blocking capabilities
  • Performance – System impact during active scans and baseline idle periods
  • Usability – False positive rates and endpoint infection remediation success

SE Labs Testing

Launched in 1998, UK cybersecurity testing firm SE Labs simulates targeted attacks monthly against both business and consumer security software to evaluate detection and response rates across phishing, blended threats, ransomware and more.

AV Comparatives Testing

This independent lab provides reputable antivirus testing reports going back to 2004 on all major vendors. AV Comparatives focuses specifically on whole product security performance, malware protection, false positives assessments and more based on huge enterprise-grade datasets.

B. Comparison of Test Results Between Avast and ESET

AV-Test Results

Testing Category Avast Premium Security ESET Endpoint Antivirus Industry Average
Malware Protection 99.5% 99.7% 98.7%
Low False Positives Yes Yes Varies
Performance Impact Slight Very Low Varies

Interpretation: Both stop virtually all malware with minimal false flags and performance hit

SE Labs Results

Testing Category Avast Premium Security ESET Endpoint Antivirus
Detection Rate 100% 100%
Protection Rating AAA Award AAA Award
Performance Impact Light Light

Interpretation: Perfect results blocking modern threats with low system demands

AV Comparatives Results

Both earned Advanced+ Awards certifying high detection rates and low false positives after 8 months of intensive and extensive testing against over 2,000 malware samples daily.

Key Takeaways

  • Nearly flawless protection scores across all testing firms
  • Extremely high threat detection with remarkably few false alerts
  • Limited drain on endpoint resources during active monitoring

So while reviewers noted potential minor weaknesses around maximizing sophisticated threat response capabilities, the impartial testing data confirms both easily live up to claims around providing consistent, lag-free protection tailored perfectly for home users based on near perfect detection rates and false positive avoidance exhibiting virtually no performance decline – though ESET perhaps holds a microscopic edge minimizing system requirements.

Having covered safety and speed testing takeaways, let’s transition our focus toward comparing Avast and ESET’s core security features determining threat prevention and attack surface protection depth.

IV. Security Features

Beyond sheer malware blocking rates, the depth and scope of protection layers built into consumer antivirus software plays a pivotal role separating adequate solutions from those offering advanced, proactive threat analysis and response essential for combating modern attack tactics.

A. Detailed Comparison of Security Features Offered by Avast and ESET

Let’s explore how Avast vs ESET stack up across these key security components:

Core Antivirus Engine

The central malware scanning engine underpinning overall protection capabilities.

  • Avast – Combines signatures, heuristics, emulation tools, machine learning and cloud querying against continuously updated threat data streams and behavioral analysis frameworks honed using datasets spanning over 400 million endpoints to catch 99.5% of threats rapidly with no signature updates required. Requires steady internet connectivity for maximum scope.
  • ESET – The in-house developed ESET ThreatSense engine conducts signatureless malware scanning leveraging cloud lookups along with advanced heuristics and machine learning models trained on vast shared telemetry pouring in from 110 million sensors worldwide to catch 99.7% of threats and identify benign files reliably. Still provides offline protection, albeit with detection tradeoffs.

Web Shield

Blocks access to known malicious sites and infections transmitted through web traffic.

  • Avast – Prevents connections to dangerous websites and terminates processes initiated through malicious payloads. The DNS-based Web Shield isolates suspicious traffic routing it to an isolated environment during analysis for maximum safety.
  • ESET – The cloud-augmented Network Protection feature blocks connections to C2 servers and other malicious IP ranges using reputation data continually updated from sensor arrays across the globe. The HTTPS scanner strips away SSL to inspect encrypted traffic for threats.


Monitors network traffic between endpoints and external servers, blocking unauthorized communication attempts.

  • Avast – While lacking a built-in firewall, the Intelligent Antivirus functionality passively monitors network activity for signs of lateral movement, reconnaissance activities or other suspect behaviors indicating potential intrusions to trigger containment response limiting endpoint infections. Requires internet connection.
  • ESET – Comes built-in with a highly customizable firewall managing permissions for hundreds of trusted applications with options for specifying protected ports along with configurable packet filtering rules and extensive logging support. Perfect for advanced home users needing tailored network traffic oversight controls.

Ransomware Shield

Specialized layer insulating critical files and data against unauthorized encryption or modification attempts.

  • Avast – The sophisticated Behavior Shield safeguards documents and other sensitive content by actively blocking unsanctioned changes to content or data structures by unrecognized applications – thwarting malicious file encryption tries in real time.
  • ESET – Anti-ransomware coverage gets bolstered through dedicated scanner options and the ESET LiveGrid cloud-based early warning ecosystem powering the blocking of even never before seen ransomware variants based on code pattern heuristics and behavior analysis rather than purely signatures or definitions.

So ESET pulls ahead slightly regarding advanced firewall management capabilities, but both remain closely aligned providing the full spectrum of security modules sufficient for defeating nearly all common attack vectors facing non-enterprise users.

However, while the snapshot testing paints an accurate picture at one fixed point in time, longitudinal false positive benchmarks help determine reliability and stability holding up over months of real world usage spanning multiple signature definition updates.

B. False Alarm Tests and Additional Features Comparison

Beyond basic protection features covered already, minimizing erroneous malware detections and providing extra security tools add important value.

False Positives Testing

False positives describe when legitimate non-infected files get flagged incorrectly as malware – disrupting normal computing activities through unwarranted alerts and file quarantining.

Over 8 months of testing benign system files across both solutions:

  • Avast Premium Security triggered 7 false alarms, earning it a designation as very reliable.
  • ESET NOD32 Antivirus generated 3 false flags, considered extremely reliable.

So while both maintain impressive stability and precision, ESET demonstrates slightly higher accuracy rates over time detecting legitimate files properly.

Additional Features

Feature Avast Premium Security ESET NOD32 Antivirus
VPN Service No No
Password Manager Yes No
Webcam Guard Yes Yes
Data Shredder Yes No
Gaming/Movie Mode Yes Yes

Avast pulls ahead in terms of extra privacy, performance and data elimination tools. But ESET offsets with higher testing marks stemming from world-class core antivirus capabilities.

Now that we’ve fully covered security protections along with reliability benchmarks, let’s shift our focus to examining specialized functionality differences handling secure transactions and browser integration critical for maximizing day-to-day safe computing.

V. Specialized Features

Alongside comprehensive monitoring and malware scanning, purpose built features facilitating safer online banking and shopping as well as tight browser security integration continue growing in importance as frequent hacking target vectors.

A. Banking and Payment Protection

Avast vs ESET takes divergent approaches when it comes to reinforcing financial transactions through dedicated utilities:

Avast Online Security

The proprietary Avast Online Security browser plugin equips Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox with powerful multilayered monitoring mechanisms defending users against financial fraud attempts, data harvesting drives, cryptomining scripts and other attacks targeting online purchases and banking sessions. Key capabilities include:

  • Real time website reputation lookups validating safety
  • Terminates suspicious processes and network connections
  • Blocks phishing domains spoofing legitimate vendors
  • Provides virtual debit card details when transacting

So Avast focuses specifically on anonymizing payment data through one-time virtual credit cards along with proactive phishing and fraud site blocking during checkouts.

ESET Secured Browsing

Alternatively, ESET Secured Browsing takes a broader approach to enabling safer web use by guarding browsers like Chrome, Firefox and Edge against a wider range of web-based threats including:

  • Blocking fraudulent ecommerce pages
  • Shutting down malicious ads injecting crypto miners
  • Halting tech support scams from loading
  • Filters unwanted cookie tracking attempts

Rather than concentrates solely on transactions, ESET emphasizes general privacy hardening and malvertising protections synchronized across Windows, Mac, iOS and Android devices.

B. Browser Extension Capabilities Comparison

Let’s further compare how the Avast Online Security and ESET Secured Browsing browser extensions stack up protecting popular web browsers like Chrome and Firefox:

Avast Online Security

  • Adds virtual credit card details when making purchases for hiding actual payment info
  • Blocks known fraudulent sites directly through browser enforcement
  • Requires manual enablement when accessing financial logins

ESET Secured Browsing

  • Automatically blocks a broader spectrum of malicious sites and ads
  • Enables cookie filtering and social media trackers blocking
  • No specific shopping protections beyond fraud site termination

So Avast focuses narrowly on transaction-level threats during checkout flows while ESET emphasizes continuous privacy enforcement and malvertising blocking unrelated directly to the payments context.

Based on these specialized capabilities for reinforcing vital online banking and buying workflows, Avast pulls ahead for users prioritizing payment security specifically while ESET excels as a set-and-forget ad blocker and tracking script kill switch benefitting general browsing outside financial contexts.

Now having covered the full gamut of protection capabilities scope, let’s shift our attention toward comparing Avast and ESET across hardware resource usage, pricing and support experience factors also weighing heavily on product selection.

VI. Pricing and Support

Alongside security merits, practical elements like affordability and access to technical troubleshooting assistance play a major role in determining overall user satisfaction with antivirus software.

A. Pricing Plan and Available Features Comparison

Here’s how Avast and ESET’s consumer focused paid antivirus suites compare based on MSRP pricing for licensed use across a single PC or Mac desktop:

Product Price Term Devices Covered Notable Features
Avast Premium Security $100 per year 1 Year 1 PC Firewall, VPN, Cleanup Tools
ESET NOD32 Antivirus $40 per year 1 Year 1 PC Low System Impact, Simple UI

Judging solely by upfront affordability, ESET NOD32 Antivirus provides the most wallet-friendly antivirus solution focused purely on delivering smoothly running, set-and-forget malware blocking without unnecessary bells and whistles resulting in bloat.

Avast Premium Security offers greater depth via specialized utilities for extraneous threats beyond viruses and Trojans alone at the expense of higher yearly costs. So ESET suits budget constrained shoppers foremost.

B. Customer Support Options

Avast Support

Avast maintains an extensive self-help knowledge base along with community discussion forums manned by both official staff members and other customers. Support channels include:

  • Email ticketing
  • 24/7 live chat
  • Direct messaging through community portal
  • Telephone support during extended business hours
  • Remote desktop assistance

ESET Support

ESET offers user forum access augmented by an online knowledge base searchable for diagnosing common errors or deciphering dashboard alerts. Additional contact methods include:

  • Email ticketing system
  • Toll free number reachable 24/7
  • Live chat accessible on weekdays
  • TeamViewer based screen sharing support

So Avast just barely edges out ESET regarding more flexible technical guidance channels accessible 24/7 year round. But both receive praise overall for attentive reps resolving issues relatively pain free compared to more consumer oriented, cost-driven providers.

VII. Conclusion

Deciding between Avast vs ESET for protecting your home network ultimately depends most on whether flawless threat detection supported by polished interfaces and rock-solid performance matters most or if supplementary features like sound remediation procedures, specialized banking protections and flexibility of use across devices defines your priorities more.