Borrowing the virus signature database and ThreatSense scanning engine from NOD32 Antivirus, ESET Internet Security (Smart Security) represents Eset's all-round av application against malware, complete with additional security components.
During installation it is possible to either enable or disable detection of PUPs (potentially unwanted applications), modify proxy settings and set the course of action for updating program components and restarting Eset right afterward.
Smart Security includes a personal firewall to replace Windows Firewall and it can be set to automatic, interactive, policy-based or learning mode. Users may password-protect the configuration settings in the case the computer is shared with others.
Opting for a clean interface with a well-organized structure, ESET Smart Security shouldn't be difficult to navigate, regardless of the user's previous experience with av tools. Its rich and advanced customization set is another matter, however.
Smart Scan runs Eset's predefined configuration to search only popular system locations for malware, Custom Scan gives users the possibility to configure scan areas and settings, while Removable Media Scan only checks removable storage devices like USB disks and DVDs. In order to run a complete scan, it is necessary to pick the entire PC when tinkering with the custom mode behavior.
As far as scanning configuration is concerned, users may pick an in-depth, contextual menu or Smart scan, as well as set the scanner to only detect infected files without removing them. Advanced settings may be altered when it comes to the scan objects (operating memory, boot sectors, emails, archives and self-extracting archives, runtime packers), heuristics and Smart signatures, cleaning level, file extensions, size limits, alternate data streams, logging, Smart optimization, and background scanning. Settings may be restored to default.
Additional options can be configured for the real-time guard, HIPS, gamer mode, anti-stealth protection, web access, email client, and anti-phishing.
Compared to NOD32 Antivirus, Smart Security features a personal firewall, anti-spam module to filter suspicious or unwanted emails, anti-theft for notebooks (requires registration, free), along with a parental control module to restrict children's access on the PC. Each of these components can be configured as well as deactivated and re-enabled with one click.
Eset is known to bring very good results when it comes to virus detection ratio, scanning speed and resources usage. Smart Security lives up to its name, providing users with various layers of security against e-threats while navigating the web or granting PC access to other users. Those who haven't gotten the chance to test it are welcomed to try the av utility for themselves.