Security for everyone - ESET Internet Security review

5 out of 5 stars

Some of the best security products for Windows are developed by ESET, and their most popular product for home users is ESET Internet Security. It is a security suite that includes all the protection modules needed by most computer users, such as antivirus, firewall and a web shield, plus a few other additional tools. We decided to test the product and check how good its protection is, and see if we can recommend ESET Internet Security to our readers. Read this review and see what we found:

ESET Internet Security: Who is it good for?

ESET Internet Security is a good choice for people who want:

  • Efficient protection against online, offline, and local threats
  • Antivirus software with a user interface that is easy to use
  • A security product that also has advanced settings for detailed configuration
  • A security suite with an excellent value for money ratio

Pros and cons

We have plenty of good things to say about ESET Internet Security:

  • It provides an excellent antivirus engine that protects you efficiently against malware
  • The firewall module does a great job
  • The web shield protects you online no matter what browser you use
  • The impact on your computer's performance is negligible
  • The user interface looks good and offers many advanced settings
  • The few additional tools included are useful

There are a few aspects that are worth improving:

  • The Banking & Payment protection module could be improved to work with more web browsers
  • It does not include a VPN tool to protect you when you connect to unsafe WiFi networks such as bars, cafes or airports.
Product Rated


ESET Internet Security is a security product that we like. The motivation is simple: it has at a good price and everything you need to secure your Windows computer. With this product, you protect yourself from malicious threats, network attacks, and malicious websites. The user interface is simple to navigate, but it also offers advanced settings and additional tools which are useful. The only other thing we would have wanted from it was a VPN service, however limited it might be. ESET Internet Security is an antivirus product that we recommend to all who want great protection at a reasonable price.

The download and installation experience

To download ESET Internet Security on your Windows computer, you need to go to the official website, here: Download ESET Internet Security. You can choose to download a small executable file that downloads and installs the security suite on your PC, or download the entire setup file for your Windows version: 64-bit or 32-bit. We chose to download the default downloader file. It has a small size of just 5.2 MB, but when you run it, it downloads another 60 MB of data. The wizard starts by asking you what language you want to use for the product interface.

Choosing the language for ESET Internet Security

Then you must read the terms of use and activate your product by entering a license key. You can purchase one, or activate a free trial version for a limited amount of time. For this review, we chose to use a test license. To get one, we had to provide a valid email address.

Activation options for ESET Internet Security

During its installation, ESET Internet Security also asks whether you want to enable its feedback system, called ESET LiveGrid, and detect potentially unwanted applications. We recommend that you enable these options, as they can increase your security level for both you and other users of ESET's products.

Enabling ESET LiveGrid and the detection of PUPs

Next, the wizard installs the security suite on your computer: this step may take a minute or two, depending on your system's performance.

Installing ESET Internet Security

The final step of the installation is to choose whether to enable Parental Control and Anti-Theft. If children are using your computer, we recommend setting up the parental controls. Furthermore, if you usually take your laptop or Windows tablet with you when you travel, it is a good idea also to enable the Anti-Theft feature that protects you when you lose it or it gets stolen.

Setting up additional security tools for ESET Internet Security

Once the security suite finishes installing, it automatically starts an update of the virus database. When that is over, it triggers an initial antivirus scan, which ensures that the system is clean from malware and also increases the speed of subsequent antivirus scans.

ESET Internet Security running its initial system scan

We like the fact that downloading and installing the ESET Security Security suite is easy. The only information required to activate a trial version is an email address. It is also good that ESET Internet Security is updated as soon as the installation is completed and that the antivirus module performs a full system scan right away.

Integration with Windows, web browsers and apps from the Microsoft Store

When installed, ESET Internet Security disables both Windows Firewall and Windows Defender. This is a good thing because you should run just one antivirus and one firewall at one time. If you have multiple products of this kind running simultaneously, conflicts and errors may occur.

ESET Internet Security integrated with Windows Security

ESET Internet Security is well-integrated with Windows 10 and its networking features. We did not have any problems using shared folders and files, and we had no issues when downloading or updating apps from the Microsoft Store.

The firewall module automatically adjusts according to the network profile set in Windows, and that is good because it means that the user does not have to manually configure ESET to get the appropriate protection.

The ESET firewall setting for a wired network

ESET Internet Security protects you from online threats using a web shield that scans all the internet traffic. That means that you are protected no matter what web browser you prefer to use. Another positive aspect is that ESET protects its services from unauthorized termination. Malware is not going to be able to stop ESET's protection services with ease.

ESET processes are protected from unwanted termination

On our test computers, ESET Internet Security required on average about 100 MB of RAM to work, which is not a lot for modern computers. Also, the measurements we made with BootRacer before and after installing ESET have shown us that it has a negligible impact on the boot time of the system - it adds less than a second to the Windows 10 startup time. However, you have to take into account that this may be different depending on the performance of your system, and whether you use an SSD drive or an HDD.

We also checked if ESET Internet Security has any negative effect on data transfers over the internet or on the local network. For that, we used and LAN Speed ​​Test. Our tests have shown that neither the internet speed nor the speed for network transfers were affected, which is excellent.

ESET Internet Security is a security suite that is well integrated with Windows 10 and its networking features. The effect on computer performance and the speed of your network connection is negligible.

Ease of use and configuration

On the Home page of ESET's user interface, you get messages that summarize the security status of your computer and whether you need to take any action. If everything is fine, the status message is green, but if problems have been detected, it turns red.

The homepage of ESET Internet Security

The user interface is split into sections and buttons with large dimensions. Many settings can usually be controlled with switches. The essential tools and options are available through main sections that can be accessed on the left side of the product window, and the details of the current section are visible on the right. As you can see below, it is easy to change the basic settings both with a mouse and keyboard, and with touch gestures.

The Setup settings available for ESET Internet Security

The main settings can be configured in the Setup sections, but if you want to get into the details, click the "Advanced setup" link from the bottom-right corner of the window. ESET Internet Security is generous with the number of advanced settings available, and experienced users are going to like the level of control they get.

Advanced settings in ESET Internet Security

Most of the settings and options available in the user interface are easy to understand. However, if you need help, the documentation is easily accessible through the Help and Support section. You can also ask for technical support if you have any problems with this security software. On the company's support website, we have found ways to contact the technical support team via email or live chat, as well as through phone calls.

Help and support options in ESET Internet Security

For those who want to know everything that has happened on their computers, all the time, ESET Internet Security offers both logs and statistics. The logs are detailed and easy to understand, and the statistics are visual and conclusive.

Security report shared by ESET Internet Security

When a security-related action takes place, or when you need to make some decisions, ESET Internet Security displays notifications and alerts in the bottom-right corner of your desktop.

New device connected to the network, identified by ESET Internet Security

The user interface provided by ESET Internet Security is well organized and easy to use on any type of device. Users who want simplicity are going to like it. Technical users too, because it also offers plenty of advanced configuration options.

On the next page of this review, you see how ESET Internet Security did in our network and antivirus tests. You also see what additional tools you get from ESET and which default settings we recommend you to adjust.