Many antivirus vendors have adopted a yearly update model, but ESET doesn’t swing with that crowd. ESET NOD32 Antivirus 5 has an extensive track record of only putting their best foot forward and this year does not appear to be any different. For 2012 ESET NOD32 Antivirus 5 gives us massive protection with zero slowdown and a ridiculously advanced diagnostic tool. They appear to have a big advantage for this years Best Antivirus 2012 crown.With NOD32 AntiVirus 5, ESET continues its “keep it simple” approach, offering a streamlined interface with few bells and whistles.. On the down side, last year’s release contained no new features, putting NOD32 at risk of falling behind its competition. With NOD32 AntiVirus 5, ESET proves it’s far from out of the game.ESET NOD32 Antivirus 5 is another antivirus program that is very quick to install. After downloading the initial file that is only a few megs in size you will run it and the program proper will be downloaded. This is only 48.9 MB in size and took just about a minute on your connection.
- Install Trouble, Scan Trouble
Getting ESET installed on my twelve malware-infested test systems was a bit of a challenge. On over half the systems the real-time protection module requested a reboot to finish cleaning up an active threat immediately after installation.
That initial reboot is no problem in itself, but one of those systems became unresponsive after rebooting. I got it working again by using Task Manager to kill and restart Windows Explorer. At that point a message from ESET appeared warning that Explorer was attempting to access a virus and requesting another reboot. I took this as a possible clue that ESET caused the hangup by suspending Windows Explorer, though I couldn’t prove it.
I went around this circle five or six times, with a different file each time, before giving up. Fortunately scanning in Safe Mode solved the problem. Another system stuck in a similar fashion, and the icons vanished from ESET’s display. Once again a Safe Mode scan solved the problem.
On a third system ESET asked for a reboot to finish wiping out a particular threat. After reboot it did the exact same thing again and again, without end. Something similar happened in my testing of Trend Micro Titanium Antivirus+ 2012 ($39.95 direct, 2.5 stars).
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- Features & Usability:
NOD32 version 4 had two different Dashboard styles: a Basic mode with limited features and options, and an Advanced mode that unveiled richer functionality. With AntiVirus 5, ESET ditches this questionable feature in favor of a rich yet simple unified Dashboard. To simplify the task of finding popular features, the new Home screen sports a Frequently Used list of recent commands. A “Protection” box in the upper right window indicates the computer’s current protection status, as well as provides a drop-down menu of popular commands.
Another UI improvement, breadcrumbs, provides a navigational menu on the top left of the main Dashboard area that provides one-click access back up a chain of sub-dialogs. It’s a great little addition, but limited in use, given that no NOD32 features takes you more than two levels deep.
The NOD32 user interface is still highly configurable. By navigating to Setup -> Enter advanced setup…, users can disable the splash screen, suppress notifications, and even switch NOD32 to a non-graphical interface that would warm the heart of any Unix command-line junkie (Screenshot 7).
- New Features:
Is there anything revolutionary in NOD32′s new features? No. What ESET has given us, however, is a well-executed set of industry-standard features that, taken together, put ESET on a level footing with the big players in the anti-virus industry.
First up: NOD32 gets Gamer Mode! A standard feature on many anti-virus platforms, Gamer Mode suspends disk and memory-intensive virus scanning applications when a user is watching a video or playing a PC-based game. NOD32′s implementation is flexible: users can enable Gamer Mode manually, or configure the platform to enable it automatically whenever an application runs in full-screen mode. (To enable this auto-on functionality, go to Setup -> Enter advanced setup…, select User interface -> Gamer mode, and click on Enable Gamer Mode when running applications in full-screen mode automatically.) When Gamer Mode is enabled, the Protection icon in the upper right corner of NOD32 switches to orange as a warning that anti-virus scanning is temporarily suspended.
In order to keep apace of the rest of the anti-virus market, ESET has expanded its repertoire of malware technologies. ESET’s cloud technology, Live Grid, uses information from millions of ESET users worldwide to flag potentially dangerous files and applications, providing additional defense against so-called “zero day” attacks. The ESET Reputation system tags processes with a reputation rating based on their worldwide prevalence and a computed risk level. NOD32 users can see the reputation assigned to all processes in the Running Processes tab off of the Tools screen (Screenshot 6). Finally, AntiVirus 5 introduces a new virus heuristic detection technology, Host-based Intrusion Prevention System (HIPS), that detects and actively blocks applications engaged in suspicious activity.
ESET NOD32 Antivirus 5 goes way beyond virus definitions and signatures. It also has several additional layers to its security protection. And with its comprehensive updating regiment you will safe and secure. Also, feel completely relaxed knowing all these updates will take place behind the scenes, so you wont have to worry about a thing.
ESET NOD32 Antivirus 5 has the following system requirements -
- i386 (Intel 80386), amd64 (x86-64) processor
- Windows XP / 2000 / Vista / Home Server / 7
- 400 MB or more of free hard drive space
- 100 MB or more of memory
Help & Suport
ESET NOD32 Antivirus 5 completely stands behind all their products as they should. This year’s product is not any different. This product has a software manual available online and it can also be downloaded. They have a line of help tools and information on their website with forums and technical support email.
- Independent Labs Tests
In extensive testing conducted by AV-Comparatives.org, ESET’s antivirus has been awarded their top score of ADVANCED+ more often than any rival product. Their verdict in 2008 was that ThreatSense provided “the best proactive on-demand detection”. In AV-Comparatives’ proactive unknown threat detection tests, ESET scored the best of any of its rivals, successfully dealing with 56 percent of all threats, followed by BitDefender Antivirus and Kaspersky Antivirus, each detecting 50 percent of threats.
ICSA Labs certifies ESET NOD32 Antivirus on Windows Vista, Windows XP and Windows 7 for both cleaning and detection of malware threats.
West Coast Labs awards Checkmark certifications according to how well products detect and remove threats. ESET currently holds Checkmark certifications for both removal and detection of malware. Altogether is holds 18 certifications by West Coast Labs.
CheckVir has awarded ESET more Advanced certifications than any other vendor.
In tests conducted by Virus Bulletin between May 1998 and April 2010, ESET was the only product that detected 100 percent of “In-the-Wild” viruses. “In-the-Wild” viruses are real-world viruses that at least two independent testers have reported to the Wildlist Organization. ESET achieved 100 percent for both on-demand and on-access detection. Its closest rival in this test was Norton Antivirus, missing 4 Its threats on-demand and 31 on-access. The worst performer in this test was AVG Antivirus, which failed to detect a massive 745 threats on-access and 234 on-demand.
How good is this program at keeping me secure?
If you have a look around some of the independent test labs you will see that ESET NOD32 Antivirus 5 fares rather well in terms of detecting and blocking malware. The program performed okay with the tests at AV-Test.org and very well indeed with AV-Comparitives.org.
It also fared well in what I consider to be an important test of my own, namely resource usage. You expect an antivirus program to leave a footprint and maybe even slow your computer a little when running a full scan but you don’t want a program that will render your PC unusable whilst it is in operation. Thankfully, ESET NOD32 Antivirus 5 is very light, using both a small amount of memory and a relatively low amount of CPU time whilst running a scan. Working on other things whilst this program is installed is no problem at all.
ESET NOD32 Antivirus may not be the most popular antivirus software but it delivers comprehensive antivirus protection. Independent test labs find it easy to use. It protects from malware by comparing suspect files to its known list of threats. It also examines files that seem threatening to see if they are dangerous even if they aren’t in the list of known threats yet. The software protects you from email threats and external media. If you switch to battery mode on a laptop, the software adjusts its behavior so that non-essential activities are curtailed until the laptop is plugged in. In case any malware penetrates the barriers and collapses a system, the product enables creation of a bootable disk or USB drive that will disinfect the PC and restore it to health.