Security for everyone - Review ESET Internet Security


ESET is one of the world’s top security vendors, and many organizations have endorsed their products. Their most popular solution for consumers is ESET Internet Security. On top of the antivirus engine, firewall module, and web shield, it also bundles tools such as payment and banking protection and parental controls. We were curious to see what it has to offer and how good it is for protecting Windows computers and devices. Read this review and see whether ESET Internet Security is the best security product for you:

ESET Internet Security: Who is it good for?

ESET Internet Security is an excellent security solution for those who:

  • Want to be safe from malware in all its forms, including ransomware
  • Prefer security products that are easy to use
  • Need reliable protection against network attacks
  • Prefer a security suite that can help them increase the security of their whole home network, including their wireless router
  • Want advanced settings and complete control over their antivirus

Pros and cons

Here are some of the most positive features of ESET Internet Security:

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  • The antivirus engine is efficient and can protect you against any malware threats
  • The antivirus engine is fast when scanning for malware
  • ESET has almost no negative impact on your computer’s performance
  • The user interface is easy to use and understand
  • The firewall module is highly efficient in protecting you against network attacks
  • The bundled security tools provide real value to their users

The only less positive aspect of ESET Internet Security is that it does not bundle a VPN service that could enhance your privacy and security when using public Wi-Fi networks.

Product rating 5/5


ESET Internet Security is a robust security suite, offering you a powerful antivirus engine and a highly efficient firewall. To control what is under the hood, ESET has a user interface that looks good, and it is also easy to use and understand. We like the abundance of advanced settings that you can work with and appreciate the minimal adverse effect on your computer’s performance and speed. ESET Internet Security also offers extra tools that you probably want: banking protection and parental controls. The only thing that we wished for ESET was to have included a VPN service too. ESET Internet Security is one of the best security products that we have tested, and we are confident that it won’t let you down. We highly recommend it to all our readers!

The download and installation experience

Getting ESET Internet Security on your PC starts with downloading a small executable file called eset_internet_security_live_installer.exe. It has only 6 MB, but it downloads another 57 MB of files from ESET’s servers during the installation.

The installation wizard starts by asking you to select the language you prefer to use and to accept the EULA (End-User License Agreement). You can then enter your license details, purchase a new license, or activate the free trial version. If you only want to test the product, you must provide a valid email address. No other personal details are required.

The ESET activation options

The installation wizard allows you to choose whether you want to “Enable ESET LiveGrid feedback system” and to enable or disable the “detection of potentially unwanted applications.” We recommend that you turn on the ESET LiveGrid feature. It allows ESET to collect information about suspicious items and process them as quickly as possible. That can help ESET’s security products react faster to new threats.

We also believe that it is a good idea to detect PUPs (potentially unwanted applications). They may not be actual viruses, but they can be just as annoying.

Enable ESET LiveGrid and the detection of PUPs

The installation takes its course. When that’s done, ESET loads its user interface and asks if you also want to enable some of the additional security tools that it offers: Parental Control and Anti-Theft. To use the latter, you also need to create an ESET account.

Choosing the additional ESET security tools to enable

ESET Internet Security automatically updates its virus signature database (the additional download is about 160 MB) and runs a full computer scan, ensuring that the system's health is checked as soon as possible.

ESET Internet Security updates its malware database immediately after install

However, you should know that the first full system scan takes quite a long time to finish, especially if your Windows PC has a lot of data or if its hardware is older. All subsequent scans are going to be a lot faster than the first scan.

The initial scan takes a while

Downloading ESET Internet Security on your computer is easy, and we like that the only information you have to provide to activate the trial version is your email address. We also appreciate that it automatically updates and runs a full system scan as soon as it finishes installing.

Integration with Windows, web browsers, and universal Windows platform apps

ESET Internet Security takes control and disables both the Windows Firewall and Microsoft Defender Antivirus during its installation. This ensures that you do not encounter performance issues or software conflicts because of similar security products running simultaneously.

Windows Security sharing the status of ESET Security

The product is also well integrated with Windows and its networking features. We did not encounter any issues accessing our local network's shared resources or when installing or running apps from the Microsoft Store. One thing that we noticed when we first installed ESET Internet Security is the fact that the firewall module actively monitors the network profile you set in Windows and automatically adjusts its protection accordingly. This is the right approach.

ESET firewall options for the network protection type

ESET Internet Security chooses to scan all the internet traffic on your computer, and it does not install web browser extensions. This means that you are protected just as well in any web browser that you use.

Web protection settings

We checked whether all the processes run by ESET Internet Security are protected against unwanted termination. They are, and nasty malware should have a tough time disabling this security suite. If you are concerned that the security suite might slow down your PC, worry not. On our test laptop, ESET Internet Security used less than 200 MB of RAM, even when scanning the drives and cleaning malware. Furthermore, the boot time we measured with BootRacer before and after installing the suite was almost the same (a difference of less than one second).

ESET Internet Security uses less than 200 MB RAM

To check whether the internet or local network speeds are affected by ESET Internet Security, we also ran a few tests with and LAN Speed Test. These tests showed that neither the upload speed nor the download speed went down when using this security product.

ESET Internet Security is a security suite that is well integrated with Windows and its networking features. We like that the firewall module can automatically adjust its protection level according to the network profile you set in Windows. We also appreciated the almost nonexistent negative effect it had on our test PC and network performance.

Ease of use and configuration

ESET Internet Security's user interface mixes traditional and modern design, and the result is a pleasant experience for the user. You get a user interface that is generously spaced, with large sections and buttons. You also have switches controlling everything in and about. The essential tools and options are arranged into a few main areas on the left side of the window, while the details from the current section are shown on the window’s right side. On the dashboard, you see a message about the current state of security. If it is green, things are OK, but there are urgent issues that you need to take care of when it turns red.

The ESET Internet Security user interface

As the user interface relies on large buttons, tiles, and switches for the essential tools and settings, it is easy to use ESET Internet Security, even on devices with touchscreens.

ESET Internet Security setup options

Most of ESET’s protection modules and tools can be configured by accessing each individually. However, if you want to access all the advanced settings and configuration options, click or tap on the Advanced Setup button from the Setup section’s bottom-right corner. Inside the Advanced setup, you can change the way ESET Internet Security works in every little detail.

The advanced settings available in ESET Internet Security

ESET Internet Security explains its settings and features well in context. Still, if you stumble upon something you don’t understand, clicking or tapping the small “i” button from its right side might give you additional tips and details. If you need even more support, ESET Internet Security includes plenty of Help information and a Customer Care section.

The Help and Support options available in ESET Internet Security

If something important is taking place on your computer, or when your input and decisions are required, ESET Internet Security displays concise and clear notifications on your desktop.

Notification displayed by ESET Internet Security

ESET Internet Security offers log files, visual protection statistics, lists of the processes running on your computer and their reputation, details about the network connections present on your device, and more.

Security reports and logs available in ESET Internet Security

The user interface of ESET Internet Security is well designed. It is easy to use and understand by beginners, but it is also full of advanced settings and detailed security information, which experienced users appreciate. We like the way traditional and modern design meet and how simplicity and details intertwine.

On the second page of this review, you will find out how good ESET Internet Security is at protecting your Windows 10 PC from network attacks and malware. You will also see what additional features are bundled with this security suite, and you can check our recommendations for a few settings you should adjust.

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