The firewall included in ESET Internet Security can automatically detect the network profile you assign in Windows, which is excellent. We like that the process is entirely automated, and ESET actively monitors if the network profile changes in Windows.
We used two well-known network vulnerability scanners to evaluate the firewall module's quality: Nmap and Nessus. When we used the public network profile on our test computer, neither Nmap nor Nessus managed to find any open ports or any breaches in the firewall. When we set the network to private, Nmap identified two open ports, while Nessus didn’t find any. In the end, the only accurate information that we managed to get, in both cases, was the MAC address of the network card found on our test laptop, but that is not critical security information.
The firewall offered by ESET Internet Security is one of the best you can get.
We checked how good ESET Internet Security is at protecting you while browsing the web. This security suite doesn’t require you to install any web browser extensions for this purpose. Instead, it filters all the web traffic from your computer. That means that you should be protected in any web browser you use. We used Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Opera while trying to visit a series of phishing websites and some known to distribute malicious content. ESET Internet Security blocked our access to those dangerous websites each time, in each web browser.
Next, we wanted to see how ESET Internet Security reacts to removable drives like USB memory sticks and portable solid-state drives: we took a portable SSD filled with malware samples and plugged it into our test laptop. ESET asked us what we wanted to do, and we chose to scan the drive. After a short while, it was clean of any malware, which is an excellent result.
We installed Windows 11 on our test system and executed some high-risk malware, including ransomware. Next, we asked ESET Internet Security to install itself on our PC and clean the infection. It immediately began identifying the viruses that were roaming free on our computer and, after a full computer scan, the PC was usable again. That is an excellent result that can be achieved only by a top-notch antivirus engine.
Another vital aspect of evaluating an antivirus engine’s performance is its speed when scanning for malware. Therefore, we measured the speed at which ESET Internet Security checked our laptop’s 476GB SSD (containing roughly 75GB of data). It took around two and a half minutes, which, in our opinion, means that this is a fast antivirus engine.
Last but not least, we also took a look at what other independent security organizations had to say about ESET:
- AV-Test tested ESET Internet Security 14.2 on Windows 10 Pro in October 2021 (we tested version 15.0 on Windows 11 Pro) and gave it their top verdict of 6.0 points out of 6 on all areas: protection, performance, and usability.
- AV-Comparatives also evaluated ESET Internet Security. In 2021, ESET received the Gold Award for False Positives, the Silver Award for Advanced Threat Protection, and the Bronze Award for Performance.
ESET Internet Security offers an excellent antivirus engine that can protect you against any malware threat, both online and offline. We are pleased with its performance and efficiency, and we are confident that you will be satisfied too.
ESET Internet Security includes a few additional tools, some of which may be useful to you:
- Network Inspector - displays a visual representation of your local network and the devices connected to it. It can also scan the local network for vulnerabilities by simulating attacks. Knowing what changes you have to make to secure your home network is valuable information.
- Parental control - lets you block your children’s access to inappropriate websites. If you don’t have the time to monitor your children’s activity in detail, but you want some essential protection against inappropriate websites, this tool is what you need.
- Anti-theft - uses your ESET account to do things like tracking and locating your (stolen) devices or keeping a watch on thieves using the webcam from your Windows computer or device.
- Banking & Payment protection - it secures your financial transactions online. It works by opening any supported web browsers in a protected mode. The browsers that ESET can secure are Microsoft Edge version 83 and above, Google Chrome version 64 and above, Mozilla Firefox version 24 and above, and the old Internet Explorer version 8 and above. Unfortunately, Opera is not among ESET’s Banking & Payment protection support list.
- Running processes - gives you details about the processes running on your computer, including reputation information powered by ESET LiveGrid.
- ESET SysRescue Live - use it to create recovery media and clean computers so severely infected with malware that they can no longer boot correctly.
- System cleaner - helps you restore your computer after removing malware or other types of threats. It can show you and help you undo changes in security and system settings, system appearance, disabled features, and System Restore settings.
ESET Internet Security bundles valuable tools that add value to the product. The only thing missing here is a password manager and an encryption tool, as well as a VPN service to protect users while connected to public, unsecured Wi-Fi networks.
Although ESET Internet Security is well configured, there are a few things you might want to consider adjusting:
- Adjust the way ESET’s Real-Time & Machine Learning Protection works. By default, the Reporting and Protection features for malware threats, potentially unwanted, suspicious, and unsafe applications are set to Balanced levels. However, if you want the antivirus to become more alert, you can set the levels to be more Aggressive. On the other hand, if you want the antivirus to be more lenient, you can set these features to Cautious. These settings are found in “Setup -> Advanced setup -> Detection Engine -> Real-Time & Machine Learning Protection.”
- Enable “Idle-state scanning” so that ESET automatically scans your computer when it is not doing anything else. You can find this option in “Setup -> Advanced setup -> Detection Engine -> Malware scans -> Idle-state scan -> Enable Idle-state scanning.”
- Enable or disable some of the notifications or alert sounds issued. For example, maybe you want it to be more verbose, or you prefer it to be more silent. Either way, you can change its behavior in “Setup -> Advanced setup -> User interface.”
- Although ESET recommends scheduling a monthly computer antivirus scan, it is not configured by default to run it. To get better security, you should schedule such an antivirus scan. You can do it in “Tools -> More Tools -> Scheduler.”
Although ESET Internet Security is a well-configured security suite in general, there are a few things that you might want to change.
Now you know that we like ESET Internet Security and we recommend it for those who want a complete security package for their Windows PCs. However, before leaving and closing this article, we would love to read your opinion about this antivirus product. So, comment below, and let’s discuss.