Although it includes personal firewall, antispam, antispyware in addition to antivirus protection, Eset Smart Security doesn't necessarily compare one-to-one with the Internet Security suites we reviewed this year. However, it is clearly designed to be something more than just Eset's antivirus product: NOD32 already provides that. In performance and effectiveness testing, Eset Smart Security rises to the top of the heap, but those looking to add anitphishing and other features common in Internet Security suites today will have to do just that--add them. However, those looking for best of breed antivirus, antispyware, antispam, and a personal firewall will be pleased with Eset Smart Security.
Setup and interface
Smart Security is among the few security products that still supports Windows 2000 and XP as well as Windows Vista. Eset also provides a fully functional 30-day trial from Download.com.
Like NOD32, the Smart Security interface feels right. There are two versions of the interface: standard and advanced. The left-hand column features Protection Status, Computer scan, Update, Setup, Tools (in Advanced mode only), and Help. The right windowpane is reserved for the active feature in use. In Advanced mode, across the top is a toolbar to access the more advanced configuration options. At first glance, the interface is easy for anyone new to desktop security protection. However, digging deeper we were happy to find all the advanced tweaks that anyone could ask for within reach. Symantec has gone in the opposite direction, making all the tools simple to enable and disable, but Eset has left a number of intermediate options available to more advanced users.
Should you need to remove Smart Security from your computer, there is an uninstall option. After a reboot, we found almost no evidence of the product on our machine.
With Smart Security, Eset builds on the solid base of its NOD32 antivirus product, adding a personal firewall and antispam protection. Compared with other Internet Security suites on the market, this may seem lightweight, but the individual quality of these extra features makes up for the quantity seen in other suites.
Eset continues to improve on its ThreatSense technology, allowing Eset Smart Security to be proactive, yet use very few system resources. We like that during a scan you can either manually toggle the scan to the foreground or push it into the background.
As with Panda Internet Security 2009, we liked the granularity of the personal firewall, giving users the capability to monitor specific services as they access the Web.