Eset Nod32

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Overview

ESET's NOD32 is rapidly becoming one of the best pieces of antivirus software on the market today. ESET's NOD32 once again has delivered an excellent product that is highly effective, and now, easy to use. The strength and beauty of this software is its light footprint, relatively fast scanning and superior ThreatSense® Technology that detects malicious software before it has been reported. Its interface is intuitive and easy to use for the average home user, but can be configured and tweaked by the advanced user. The one-user, one-year package is priced at $39.99, which is the middle range of the antivirus software products reviewed.

Standout Features

    * Effective antivirus protection (98%)
    * Light footprint on your computer (34M)     
    * Excellent scanning speed
    * Excellent proactive protection
    * Is one of the few companies still offering products for legacy O/S's such as DOS and Windows 95, Windows 98, etc.

Ease of Use:  Very Good

ESET's NOD32 is simple to use right out of the box (figuratively speaking … it’s a download) and requires little or no configuring for the average user. Yes, it’s an “install and forget program! The interface is clean and simple with enable/disable toggles and a configure option for those who are into tweaking their antivirus software. Unlike Kaspersky, which allows you to tailor their software based upon the perceived threat and the level of protection desired, advanced configuring NOD32 requires a bit more knowledge of your system. Fortunately, NOD32 works as it should in its default configuration and most users will never have to do anything but simply install this excellent software.
Effectiveness:  Excellent

ESET's NOD 32 is among the most effective antivirus software products on the market today. Independent tests show that NOD32 removed about 98% of the virus threats it faced, putting it on par with BitDefender, “TopTenREVIEWS Gold Award” winner, and Kaspersky, “TopTenREVIEWS Silver Award” winner. In addition, NOD32 is certified by all the major independent testing laboratories the world over. Of the major antivirus software packages tested, NOD32 interfered less with our other computer operations than any of the other products reviewed. Its spyware protection is a little weaker than one might like, putting it on the same level as Kaspersky's 92%. Where NOD32 stands head and shoulders above its competitors is in its proactive detection and protection.

Most of the reputable antivirus software developers now include a heuristic engine that attempts to detect malware before it has been reported. Some refer to this as “Day Zero” detection because it is able to detect threats before their signatures is has been identified. The idea here is that when the software finds some code that looks malicious, it executes the software in the background to determine if it’s a threat to your machine. ESET has refined this technique like no other antivirus software developer with their ThreatSense® Technology. 

This ThreatSense® Technology delivers an excellent detection rate while offering a very fast scan rate. Other antivirus packages offer similar detection rates, such as BitDefender and Kaspersky, but in both of those cases, the penalty you pay are slow scan rates. NOD32 is the only software package reviewed and tested that offered both high detection rates AND fast scan rates, indicating these folks know how to write efficient and effective code (according to the company, NOD32 is written in assembly language, a very efficient, low-level language). ESET could be the sleeper antivirus company ready to take this market by storm in coming years.
Updates:  Excellent

Unlike Kaspersky and BitDefender, ESET's NOD32 only updates its virus signatures once a day. That's probably a short enough interval considering that ESET has the power to “push” updates to your computer in the instance of attack. Also, with ESET's highly effective heuristic, proactive engine, it is very likely that NOD32 will recognize malicious code before the signature is available. These two features make us more comfortable with the slightly longer update intervals than some of its competitors have.
Feature Set:  Excellent

ESET's NOD32 is all about effectiveness AND speed. This software uses fewer resources than any of the packages tested and this is a thing of beauty. NOD32 is a breath of fresh air in a world of bloated software in that its code is efficiently written. From the perspective of the average user, this means this software has a light footprint and fast scans, both very good things. Its ThreatSense® Technology’s proactive defense is among the best heuristic programs on the market.

NOD32 offers several layers of protection including real time email scanning, antivirus protection, antispyware protection and rootkit scanner. The email scanner integrates easily and directly into MS Outlook or any other standard POP3 email client. Disappointingly, NOD32 did not have a Parental Control option where parents can block and control what sites their children are able to access online.

NOD32 is among the few antivirus products that still supports such legacy operating systems as DOS, Windows 95, Windows 98, etc. as well as Windows XP and Vista.
Ease of Installation:  Excellent

Installation was prompt and easy. The package is just 34M making it among the lightest antivirus packages we have ever seen. We were disappointed, though, that ESET did not automatically remove the existing antivirus software on our system. Instead, NOD32 prompts you to remove any existing antivirus on your computer before installation.

ESET has made some excellent and necessary improvements in their interface with version 3, making the software far easier and more intuitive to use. Anticipating that the vast majority of people don't want to spend time messing with their antivirus software, but instead just want it to work, ESET crafted NOD32’s interface to be clean and simple. Most people can simply “install and forget” this software. The left-hand column features Protection Status, Computer Scan, Update, Setup, Tools and Help. The right windowpane is reserved for the active feature in use. 

Although the features have an enable/disable toggle, the advanced user can simply click on “configure” in any of the features and find all of the advanced tweaks that anyone could ask for. Should you need to remove NOD32 from your computer, there is an uninstall option. After a reboot we found almost no evidence of the product on the machine.
 
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Wow, that took a long time to read :P  Nice review but I still prefer the free anti-virus packages.