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ESET Antivirus Review

ESET Antivirus represents a popular cybersecurity software suite combatting threats like malware, phishing, spyware, and ransomware. Available for Windows, Mac, Android, and Linux operating systems, it promises multi-layered protection optimized for minimal system impact.

Signature-less machine learning aims to complement ESET’s threat database for identifying new attacks rapidly. Additional utilities like file encryption, firewalls, webcam monitoring, and password management provide all-around security.

This review examines ESET Antivirus closely across vectors like included features, pricing tiers, detection rates, compatibility, customer support, and overall usability. While less featured than some competitor suites, independent testing confirms ESET’s leading effectiveness guarding devices against compromise by cyber attacks both common and exotic.


ESET Antivirus equips home users, remote workers, and business environments with advanced defenses including:

Malware Protection

Utilizing fast machine learning models in addition to extensive threat profiles, ESET battles viruses alongside worms, spyware, bots, adware, and trojans. Multi-layered shields aim to catch both commodity infections plus specially crafted payloads.

Phishing Protection

Link scanning spots websites covertly harvesting login or financial data by spoofing trusted entities. Automatically submitted suspect URLs also block future victims accessing faked replication sites.


A two-way firewall monitors network traffic and open ports to hide devices from prying eyes while preventing unsolicited communication either inbound or outbound.

Parental Controls

Guardians restrict access to inappropriate web content using predefined categories plus custom blacklists or whitelists tied to user accounts, useful for protecting children.

Performance Optimization

Gaming mode suspends notifications alongside lower-priority tasks to minimize FPS drops, lag, and slowdown issues while maintaining security for full-screen applications.

Webcam Protection

Webcam access gets governed via permissions, stopping spying by malicious software secretly enabling cameras or microphones. An LED indicator also shows when recording devices activate.

Password Manager

Secured personal data storage automatically enters credentials for online accounts and data vaults while guarding sensitive info behind master passwords.


Remotely locate, lock down, wipe, or alarm nearby Windows 10 devices in the event of device theft or loss to protect personal data against access by unauthorized parties.

Secure Data Encryption

Features like encrypted virtual drives plus file/folder/email encryption using AES standards with 256-bit keys ensure only owners read protected contents, even if compromised.

Network Protection

Scanning tools like a network attack protector watch for suspicious activity and policy violations indicating backdoor intrusions or malware calling home, cutting off threats.

Online Diagnostics

Upload suspicious payloads securely to ESET’s malware lab for quick yet deep analysis, determining whether submissions represent “patient zero” for unclassified strains.

Threat Detection

Dynamic machine learning trained on vast stores of malicious code identifies emerging attacks lacking known signatures by behavioral profiling, blocking over two-thirds of zero day exploits.

LiveGuard Protection

Round-the-clock threat monitoring by security professionals at five R&D labs instantly updates definitions across 180 countries when encountering novel dangers.

Brute Force Protection

Login guards lock out remote accounts after defined failed access attempts over given durations, blocking credential stuffing or guessing.

Multi-Platform Support

Windows installers extend security to macOS, Android, and Linux devices, simplifying protection of mixed operating system environments using shared licenses.

ESET Antivirus Pricing

ESET sells its antivirus suite under a few pricing tiers primarily differentiated by the number of devices covered over either one or two year periods.

1 Device Plans

Windows, macOS, Android, and Linux devices qualify for single unit licenses. One year subscriptions cost $39.99 while two year terms run $59.99.

3 Device Plans

Slight savings apply for protecting up to three computers or mobile devices simultaneously. One year agreements cost $49.99 (under $17 per device) while two years equals $74.99 (just over $12 each).

5 Device Plans

For more heavily equipped households, five device bundles for 1 or 2 years run $59.99 and $89.99 respectively. This amortizes to approximately $10 per device yearly.

On the whole, ESET Antivirus presents excellent value for money relative to competitor pricing given consistent top-ratings for detection and performance from independent testing bodies AV-Test, AV-Comparatives and SE Labs.

Multi-year commitments especially make solid investments compared against single year agreements or renewals. Cost-conscious shoppers may struggle finding similarly robust protection at lower expense.


In independent evaluations, ESET Antivirus consistently demonstrates leading metrics related to threat detection, system overhead minimization, and overall usability for end users.

Malware Protection

  • ESET detected 100% of widespread malware samples in testing by AV-Test during 2022 across Windows 10 and 11 with zero false positives
  • SE Labs awarded ESET AAA certification against both cybercriminal and targeted attacks using live techniques
  • AV-Comparatives assigned an Advanced + rating for overall protection based on strong test results

Performance Optimization

  • AV-Test gave performance impact ratings between 5.5-6 points meaning moderate to low drag on system resources
  • Boot or installation times compared favorably against competitors like Norton and McAfee
  • Gaming mode conserved FPS with minor hit to protection scores when enabled

User Experience

  • Interface remained clean and navigable according to reviewers
  • Controls stayed understandable for novices while exposing deeper customization
  • Scans ran reliably in background with low false positive rates on valid files
  • Support channels proved responsive and effective addressing issues

Testing repeatedly confirms ESET stopping real-world attacks reliably while staying lightweight. extra utilities like password managers, file shredders, and encryption tools round out the suite.


ESET Antivirus supports most common computing hardware and platforms, though with greater emphasis on Windows environments.

Supported Operating Systems

  • Windows 11
  • Windows 10
  • Windows 8.1
  • Windows 7 SP1 with latest updates
  • macOS X version 10.15 or newer
  • Linux distributions (various)
  • Android 4.4 or newer

Devices Covered

Licenses cover combining:

  • Windows desktops and laptops
  • MacBooks
  • Smartphones
  • Tablets

Each activated platform takes one seat from available licenses. Mixing environments works seamlessly via unified ESET account portals.

Compatibility Limitations

Legacy Windows like Vista/XP lacks support. Automatic scans don’t exist for Linux (just on-demand). Macs have fewer tools than Windows editions. Thus focus centers primarily on protecting modern Windows consumers.

Customer Support

ESET pledges free customer support 24 hours daily for handling technical issues that may arise around installations, detections, removals and configurations.

Support Channels

Users access assistance via:

  • Email ticketing
  • Online knowledgebase
  • User forum community
  • Telephone hotlines
  • Remote technician sessions
  • In-product quick links

Response Time and Resolution

According to reviews, ESET technicians typically resolve tickets or queries between 24-48 hours on weekdays. More serious incidents tend to get escalated faster. Clear communication aids quick problem diagnosis for remote support teams.

Knowledge documents and peer discussions also answer common questions for those preferring self-service. Telephone callbacks can clarify complicated issues like suspected false positives or tricky malware persisting after scans.

Overall ESET receives praise resolving support requests reliably in a reasonable timeframe given available channels plus average response latency commonly under two days.



  • Very effective protection against latest threats
  • Compatible with major platforms
  • Low performance impact during scans or updates
  • Solid yet affordable pricing for licenses
  • Responsive support via varied channels


  • Light on extra features sometimes bundled elsewhere
  • Linux not covered by real-time scanning
  • Focuses strongly on Windows consumers
  • Mediocre scores for catching human-operated targeted attacks


ESET Antivirus suits security-focused Windows users on a budget seeking robust malware blocking rather than lots of convenient extras. Novices may utilize the defaults safely while veterans can tighten protections further set by policy. Those mixing numerous operating environments might prefer security suites with broader feature parity spanning platforms. However ESET still supports Mac, Android and Linux in one package protecting households armed predominantly with Windows.

It ranks among the top AV suites overall in recent testing, earning particular praise foiling automated threats attackers indirectly trigger by weaponized email attachments, infected ad networks, and watering hole attacks. Just don’t expect maximum safety against adversaries personally gunning for your hardware via direct hacking. But such highly motivated pursuers fall outside most risk profiles.

ESET Antivirus delivers on providing industry-leading threat prevention across device types without significantly hindering system performance or burdening wallets. Outside niche exceptions like thwarting elite human-directed hacking, the software demonstrates consistent excellence stopping commodity malware and exploits both widespread and novel.

Recent testing further cements ESET among the top AV programs for juggling both security and usability. Although the interface looks dated next to slick modern rivals, contained modules work intuitively allowing novices and veterans alike configuring protections to their comfort level.

For home users with predominantly Windows environments seeking robust self-maintained defenses against common attack vectors, ESET Antivirus warrants consideration for availability at bargain rates while repeatedly outscoring pricier competitors. Just don’t anticipate in-depth analysis reports or mobile editions comparable with desktop counterparts.

Within its reasonably narrowed purview however, ESET excels at hardening households against rapidly evolving digital threats using both time-tested signature matching and predictive algorithms spotting malware mutations the instant they emerge in-the-wild. Backed by reliable 24/7 customer support, ESET continues setting new standards other antivirus developers strive replicating.