ESET Smart Security is one of the popular security solution in the premium category. Smart Security is designed to protect your computer from threats and safe-guard your digital data. In addition to providing basic antivirus protection, the security suite comes bundled with a spam filter, firewall protection and parental controls.
Here we took ESET Smart Security 5 for a test to see how effective it is in protecting our system from threats. Please read after the break for the complete ESET Smart Security 5 review.
The installation procedure is simple if the user has selected the “Typical” install option. Advanced user has “Custom” install option which lets them customize how the security suite protects their computer system. We installed the product using the “Typical” install option as that’s what most users will choose when installing the program.
After the program installs successfully, we received the following dialog box asking us to choose the protection mode of our network.
The user-interface of Smart Security is one of the simplest we’ve come across. All the important features are easily accessible through the left-hand menu. When you first open the program, you’re presented an overall view of the current protection enforced on your system. In the same window, you’ll get access to the controls of each protection layer.
We launched a quick scanning of our test system and found it pretty fast. The impact on the system resources were also low during scanning. On our test computer, the average CPU level stabilized around 45%, while RAM usage peaked at about 150 MB.
The package features 2 predefined scan profiles: Smart scan and Custom scan. We did a Smart Scan and the results of the scan came in fast with 98%* detection. The integrated firewall stand good against various standard leak tests.
ESET Smart Security’s firewall works in any of the five modes: Automatic, Automatic with exceptions, Interactive, Policy-based and Learning mode. By default, the firewall works in automatic mode, it simply acknowledges all outbound traffic as safe and blocks incoming traffic.
The anti-spam protection offered by the security suite works well though it could have been better. We received very few junk messages in our inbox but it did sent some newsletters to the junk folder. So, we’ll suggest you to check the junk folder for legitimate messages before cleaning it out. Anti-spam module supports Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Express, Windows Mail, Windows Live mail, Mozilla Thunderbird, Thunderbird Portable.
The Parental controls module offered in the suite is very basic. It’s restricted to filtering web content and web pages based on categories only. Three predefined profiles are available to choose from: Child, Teenager and Parent. The profiles can be applied easily in one click to existing Windows accounts. The module does not allow you to impose any application-level restrictions or schedule access to the Internet. If you combine Windows 7 in-built parental controls with the parental control module of the suite, we think it will be somewhat effective instead when it’s working alone.
The “Tools” section offers real-time monitors for file system, network activity, network connections and threats and spam statistics. If you’re looking for quarantined items and the scheduler, you’ll find them both in the Tools panel.
Under Tools, you’ll also find the SysInspector application. This standalone application is designed to give you details about installed programs and drivers, registry entries and network connections. It’s a very handy application if you want to find out the cause behind the erratic behaviour of your system.
Through the same Tools panel, you can also create a rescue disc to clean up a heavily infected system. During the creation of the ESET SysRescue disk we found it very inconvenient that users will need to download and install Windows AIK first.
Unlike many smart security suites that bundles a lot of unnecessary components, ESET Smart Security 5 sticks with the most required components and does a great job in providing protection to the system. This approach of only bundling the requires components also makes it one of the lightest on system resources when compared to others security suites.
Overall, if you need a very light security suite for protecting your computer system sans all the bloated features than ESET Smart Security is indeed a very good option for you.
*We don’t have a large collection of malware in our disposal like big independent security testers, still in what we have, 98% detection rate is a good sign. We’ll update the detection rate value when we’ve large collection of malware samples.