Eset continues to improve on its ThreatSense technology, allowing NOD32 to be proactive, yet use few system resources. We like the fact that during a scan you can either manually toggle the scan to the forefront or push it into the background.
The main enhancements to this version are the interface and behind-the-scenes tweaks to the speed of the scan.
Also, according to Eset, NOD32 will automatically remove threats, which could be bad if you need a component for a game (for example); however we found that, if necessary, you can restore any quarantined selection with a right click.
NOD32 did well in CNET Labs' performance tests and very well in third-party, independent antivirus testing using live viruses. On our iTunes test, NOD32 came in at 271 seconds, 2 seconds above our test system. On our Microsoft Office test, NOD32 was third fastest at 1,360 seconds. For individual file scans, NOD32 came in fourth fastest at an amazing 181 seconds. And in boot speed, NOD32 again came in slow at 35 seconds. To find out how we test, see CNET Labs' How we test: software: Antivirus page.
In terms of protecting your PC, we refer readers to two leading independent antivirus testing organizations. In the latest test results from AV-test.org, NOD32 Antivirus 3 scored 97.7 behind Kaspersky Anti-Virus 7 but ahead of Norton Antivirus 2008. At AV-Comparatives.org, in on-demand tests NOD32 found 97.7 percent of the malicious software and earned an Advanced + (highest) rating, and in Retrospective/ProActive tests found 71 percent and also earned an Advanced + (highest) rating. And NOD32 (Smart Security) was one of four products to earn CheckVir.com's Advanced rating
NOD32 provides extensive, context-sensitive help files. For example, if you are on the Actions tab and you click Help, NOD32 takes you to the Actions tab definition page within Help. It's a small touch, but other than in Kaspersky, we haven't seen it offered in other security software. Online, Eset provides a fairly thorough 32-page PDF-file manual for download, plus online FAQs for NOD32, links to an active user forum dedicated to the software, and a Web form for contacting Eset customer support. While there is live telephone support offered, the call is not toll free and is available only during business hours, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. PT, Monday through Friday.