Fifty quid per annum is, in the grand scheme of things, not a lot of money to pay for online security. But when you can get highly effective alternatives for no money at all, it’s a bit of an ask – and unlike many other security packages, Eset Internet Security isn’t offered more cheaply through online retailers. So the question has to be what this suite does to justify the cost.
Eset Internet Security (2019) review: Performance
Unfortunately, Eset hasn’t blown us away with its effectiveness in recent years. In our last Lab tests, Eset ranked joint fifth amongst its rivals in the malware detection stakes, and this time it’s slipped to the bottom of the table, with last-place protection rates of 98.4% and 99.8% in AV-Comparatives’ most recent zero-day and established malware tests. Those aren’t dreadful scores, but they’re certainly not worth paying a premium for.
That’s a shame, because in other respects Eset is impressive. Its 0.3% false-positive rate is among the lowest you can get – only Bitdefender and Kaspersky did better – and when it comes to system responsiveness, Eset is a star: AV-Comparatives rated it “very fast” at every type of operation – apart from installing and uninstalling applications.
Eset Internet Security (2019) review: Features
The feature set is strong, too. Eset includes a versatile custom firewall that provides all the techie features and information you could ask for.
We particularly like the live network activity monitor, although it doesn’t let you instantly block suspicious processes. Another neat touch is the simple system cleaner tool, which can restore your Windows settings to their defaults with a click if something’s futzed with them.
There’s also a safe browser; webcam and ransomware protection; and parental controls that don’t just block unsavoury websites and enforce time limits, but can also track the locations of kids’ mobile devices.
On a similar theme, you also get the option of enabling Eset’s built-in anti-theft features, which let you locate your own laptop on a map if it gets lost or stolen, monitor the screen, and even turn on the webcam to see who’s using it.
Of course, all of this could be done using free tools such as Prey, but with Eset you get simpler setup and technical support if you need it.
Eset Internet Security (2019) review: Verdict
In all, Eset Internet Security looks and feels like a well put-together security product, and it’s hugely configurable, too. Unfortunately, its poor test scores and high price mean we can’t recommend it this year.