ESET Smart Security 5: Power,Performance and Security review

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When it comes to ESET the first thing clicks on our mind is its light weight system impact and performance.ESET has a proven track record that illustrates its caliber to combat malwares. ESET Smart Security 5 integrates powerful antimalware scanner, a two-way firewall and intelligent antispam to effectively eliminate all types of security threats.


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Its true that ESET possess a good track record and is followed by millions of users worldwide for cyber security but lets see how it performed in realtime system handling and performance tests.

In my test with 5600 virus sample ESET Smart Security 5 managed to clear 4861 viruses with detection rate of 89% and removal rate of 86.8% (while NIS 2012 scored 98.7%) which was a below average score. If we consider security lab test reports of ESS 5;it performed well in tests with Windows XP,Vista and 7. Most of the security labs report ESET in ‘good’ category. ESET is also the regular winner of VB 100 award for protection.(Scroll down for category-wise ratings).


ESET Live Grid ESET Live Grid (Cloud-powered Reputation)
Delivers optimized real-time protection against Internet threats and social media exploits.
Parental Control Parental Control  Watch video
Protects your family from potentially offensive web content by blocking various website categories.
Smart Detection Smart Detection
Advanced heuristic detection technology flags even never-before-seen malware protecting you from unknown threats and neutralizing them before they can do any harm.
Intelligent Firewall Intelligent Firewall 
New and improved firewall module prevents unauthorized users from accessing your computer and taking advantage of your personal data.
Improved Antispam Improved Antispam 
Tightly integrated into ESET Smart Security, the antispam module has undergone a thorough optimization for even higher level of filtering precision.

Enhanced Media Control Enhanced Media Control Watch video

Automatically scans all USB flash drives, memory cards and CDs/DVDs. Blocks removable media based on type of media, manufacturer, size and other attributes.

Advanced HIPS Functionality Advanced HIPS Functionality Now you can customize the behavior of the system in greater detail: specify rules for the system registry, active processes and programs, and fine-tune your security posture.
Gamer Mode Gamer Mode Watch video
Postpones all pop-up windows, updates or other system-intensive activities to conserve system resources for gaming or other full-screen activities.
Optimized Startup Procedure Optimized Startup Procedure
No more waiting for signature database download to complete – ESET Smart Security 5 lets you start working immediately after booting, without compromising your security.

Special Features:

  • Internet Security Training teaches you tips and techniques to make your online experience even safer.Watch video
  • Proactive Protection – ESET’s smart ThreatSense® technology offers multiple layers of protection with precise identification of even never-seen-before forms of malware.
  • Built for Speed – ESET Smart Security 5 is lightning fast and operates smoothly in the background, so you won’t even notice it’s there.
  • Easy on You – From its compact and intuitive user interface to its minimal use of alerts, you’ll be up and running in a snap without undue interruptions.
  • Seamless Updates – Security updates are discreetly sent to your computer, ensuring your defenses are always at their strongest.

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Scanning: Scanning speed of ESS-5 is appreciable.Though first scanning requires your patience as it will take hours but further scans will be fast requiring only 10 minutes i.e; faster in comparison to other security suites scan time average of 18.9 minutes.

Resource usage during scanning were reasonable with 30-50% CPU usage and 1.7 GB RAM in my 2.1 GHz Core2Duo and 4 GB RAM platform.


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Interface:ESS-5 comes with a improved interface for basic to advanced users but the ‘advanced setup’ interface still looks cluttered in comparison to other suites. Powerful security suites like Norton Internet Security 2012 and Kaspersky Internet Security 2012 are loaded with much advanced features and manage to look great with clean interface.

ESET seriously needs to improve their U.I. for advanced setup.

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Quarantine & false positive management:Quarantine & false positive management in ESS-5 is not the easiest but good in comparison to other security suites. ESS-5 can be annoying at times by catching files that are safe.Configuring exceptions is difficult for novice users and it may betray you sometimes by catching customized exceptional files.

When compared to other security suites of 2012,I personally found Quarantine & false positive management much easier and better in NIS 2012.


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Superior Performance:

ESET Smart Security 5 was placed #1 in performance tests run by PassMark Software beating nine internet security products and achieving the best overall performance in the selected performance metrics.

Although ESS-5 is a good internet security suite;it lags in some areas like:

  • Requires third-party assistance for complete malware removal .
  • Poor malware blocking.
  • Old style firewall defaults thus, no program control.
  • Limited parental control system.

Installation time was comparetively average to high-along with its virus definitions updates ESS-5 took about 10-15 min for getting all work done. Boot time was increased from 43 seconds to 55 seconds.

With all its features and efficiency ESET Internet Security-5 secured following ratings in my security test:

POWER: 7/10 (malware removal)
PROTECTION: 6/10(malware blocking)
PERFORMANCE: 9.5/10(system impact and slowdown)

Final Verdict: ESET Smart Security 5 though not best but is a good security suite. ESS-5 is good for keeping your system safe with zero to average performance impact. At the same time ESS-5 needs some powerful malware blocking and program features improvement where Norton Internet Security 2012 and Kaspersky Internet Security 2012 outperforms ESS-5. Thus,overall my first choice is Norton Internet Security 2012.

Download: ESET Smart Security 5 (Trial version)

For any queries and help related to my tricks and tips or related to computer hardwares/softwares please comment on our Facebook page ;I will reply as soon as possible.

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