Battle Bitdefender vs ESET

Software comparison
Bitdefender Total Security 2021 vs ESET Smart Security Premium 14.0.22
Feature comparison
  1. Ease of use
  2. Impact on hardware performance
  3. Most available features
  4. Core protection (malware and heuristic engine)
  5. Internet protection (web filtering, anti-phishing, anti-spam, browser extension)
  6. Network protection (firewall, anti-botnet)
  7. Ransomware protection
  8. Banking and payments protection
  9. Machine learning and A.I. capabilities
  10. Privacy protections (VPN, anti-tracking)

McMcbrad

Level 23
Oct 16, 2020
1,252
Users might be thinking why @SeriousHoax , me and @MacDefender are even mentioning these parameters when storage nowadays isn't expensive, but Bitdefender receives an update every 1-2 hours and then writes and deletes 1 GB of data. In the long run it will (most probably, @MacDefender is the expert on SSDs) decrease the lifespan of your storage device. More than if the engine was 200 megs and updates were received 1-2 times a day. This information is worth knowing.
 
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MacDefender

Level 14
Verified
Oct 13, 2019
639
Users might be thinking why @SeriousHoax , me and @MacDefender are even mentioning these parameters when storage nowadays isn't expensive, but Bitdefender receives an update every 1-2 hours and then writes and deletes 1 GB of data. In the long run it will (most probably, @MacDefender is the expert on SSDs) decrease the lifespan of your storage device. More than if the engine was 200 megs and updates were received 1-2 times a day. This information is worth knowing.
In addition to the wear, that’s battery down the drain too for laptops. Differential updates that conserve network traffic result in more CPU and disk activity needed to reconstitute the update (can’t be done in place since you still need the old databases while updating to the new ones).
 

Freud2004

Level 7
Jun 26, 2020
312
Users might be thinking why @SeriousHoax , me and @MacDefender are even mentioning these parameters when storage nowadays isn't expensive, but Bitdefender receives an update every 1-2 hours and then writes and deletes 1 GB of data. In the long run it will (most probably, @MacDefender is the expert on SSDs) decrease the lifespan of your storage device. More than if the engine was 200 megs and updates were received 1-2 times a day. This information is worth knowing.

Sorry but that is not true, 99% of user don't generate enough writing to destroy their SSD.
An expert will never say something like that, this kind of things came from misinform people on youtube.

This information is in Samsung page and in other manufactures page
A typical TBW figure for a 250 GB SSD lies between 60 and 150 terabytes written. That means: To get over a guaranteed TBW of 70, a user would have to write 190(!) GB daily over a period of one year (in other words, to fill two-thirds of the SSD with new data every day). In a consumer environment, this is highly unlikely.

And this is not the limit, an SSD can go over this, this is the estimated life of the SSD in don't die in the next day...

Be careful about what you read...

Sorry for my English
 
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McMcbrad

Level 23
Oct 16, 2020
1,252
Sorry hat is not true, 99% don't generate enough
It might not generate enough, but it definitely contributes. If every day you receive 5 updates and re-write 5GB of data, this is 150 gigs taken off in a month and if that continues for a year, it's 12 x 150 = almost 2 TB written off just to update your AV database.

If you have a slow HDD and not SSD, it will significantly slow you down whilst the update is being performed.

It might be worth switching to a more cloud-optimised AV.
 

Freud2004

Level 7
Jun 26, 2020
312
It might not generate enough, but it definitely contributes. If every day you receive 5 updates and re-write 5GB of data, this is 150 gigs taken off in a month and if that continues for a year, it's 12 x 150 = almost 2 TB written off just to update your AV database.

If you have a slow HDD and not SSD, it will significantly slow you down whilst the update is being performed.

It might be worth switching to a more cloud-optimised AV.



"Samsung states that their Samsung SSD 850 PRO SATA, with a capacity of 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 or 1 TB, is “built to handle 150 terabytes written (TBW), which equates to a 40 GB daily read/write workload over a ten-year period.” Samsung even promises that the product is “withstanding up to 600 terabytes written (TBW).” A normal office user writes approximately between 10 and 35 GB on a normal day. Even if one raises this amount up to 40 GB, it means that they could write (and only write) more than almost 5 years until they reach the 70 TBW limit."
 

McMcbrad

Level 23
Oct 16, 2020
1,252
Are you reading carefully? I have said that it will CONTRIBUTE, haven't said that it will kill it. You don't need to be an expert to figure out that if you have something limited, as is the SSD reading and writing operations, the more you take from that limit daily, the sooner you will reach it.

You have copied information that is related to SAMSUNG 850 pro, but this is mid-class SSD and not everybody has that. You have also copied information related to office users, but not everybody is an office user. Someone might be a gamer, someone might render 8K videos on their device.

Some days Bitdefender will receive 10 updates and more and this will take 10 GB out of my SSD lifespan. That's 3 TB a month and 36 TB a year if the tendency continues.
Only from Bitdefender and only through their update process.
 

Freud2004

Level 7
Jun 26, 2020
312
Are you reading carefully? I have said that it will CONTRIBUTE, haven't said that it will kill it. You don't need to be an expert to figure out that if you have something limited, as is the SSD reading and writing operations, the more you take from that limit daily, the sooner you will reach it.

You have copied information that is related to SAMSUNG 850 pro, but this is mid-class SSD and not everybody has that. You have also copied information related to office users, but not everybody is an office user. Someone might be a gamer, someone might render 8K videos on their device.

Some days Bitdefender will receive 10 updates and more and this will take 10 GB out of my SSD lifespan. That's 3 TB a month and 36 TB a year if the tendency continues.
Only from Bitdefender.

This is no different in other brands, I just say that people don't have to fear that they SSD die if some application right a lot every day.
And yes, you should defrag a SSD.
 

fabiobr

Level 12
Verified
Mar 28, 2019
554
Users might be thinking why @SeriousHoax , me and @MacDefender are even mentioning these parameters when storage nowadays isn't expensive, but Bitdefender receives an update every 1-2 hours and then writes and deletes 1 GB of data. In the long run it will (most probably, @MacDefender is the expert on SSDs) decrease the lifespan of your storage device. More than if the engine was 200 megs and updates were received 1-2 times a day. This information is worth knowing.
How other engines work about it?

Kaspersky, ESET, McAfee, etc.
 

McMcbrad

Level 23
Oct 16, 2020
1,252
How other engines work about it?

Kaspersky, ESET, McAfee, etc.
Most of them receive 1-2 updated daily and are around 200 megs...
McAfee receives only one update a day and the total size of the definition files is about 240 megs. @SeriousHoax can tell about ESET, as I don't remember.
Smallest engine belongs to Trend Micro, pattern file is 38.4 mb currently. That's what makes it excellent choice for old PCs, still using HDD.
Only Bitdefender receives both many updates and in the same time the engine is hefty. Bitedefender users can decrease update frequency to 12 or even 24 hours to reduce the performance hit.
 
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The Cog in the Machine

Level 26
Verified
May 10, 2019
1,535
I do agree that the update process of Bitdefender is a real pain. It consumes too much resources (both CPU and RAM) and I can hear fan noise during the process. Bitdefender never updates while on battery power (I might be wrong though). But the fact of how much data gets written as mentioned by @McMcbrad and @MacDefender is much of a concern. I see that BD is working on a new engine, an AI one. Would it possibly be incorporated to supplement the cuurent engine?
 

MacDefender

Level 14
Verified
Oct 13, 2019
639
Sorry but that is not true, 99% of user don't generate enough writing to destroy their SSD.
An expert will never say something like that, this kind of things came from misinform people on youtube.

This information is in Samsung page and in other manufactures page
FWIW I am a former SSD firmware engineer and worked on a very close competitor to the Samsung 840 series (cough that's widely regarded as better), but if what @McMcbrad is saying is true (that the hourly BD updates can generate 1GB of read/write traffic), that actually is a lot and not at all within the realm of what we were designing for.

100-200TBW and 40GB of daily read write is a number we call ridiculously high in margin. Heck even if you install a Windows Insider Build update every day you might only generate 2-3GB of read and write activity from that. If BD is generating up to 10-20GB of read and especially write SSD traffic per day because it regenerates new 800MB database out of every hourly fetch, that is easily taking years worth of SSD life off of the device. It isn't the end of the world but it's nothing to ignore either.

Even as a SSD engineer I would feel moderately concerned about this kind of load. Most SSD failures are not because of them being worn out and exceeding their TBW rates, just like how most high mileage cars do not die because their engines exceeded the engineering projected lifespan. It's because of random-chance bugs and corner cases being hit, and honestly the more you stress a device the more likely you are to stumble across such a bug.
 

SeriousHoax

Level 34
Verified
Mar 16, 2019
2,383
@SeriousHoax can tell about ESET, as I don't remember.
ESET on average updates 5-6 times a day. But updates are tiny, 15-40 kb in general and during update the CPU usage can go upto 40% with 30-40 mb disk usage for a few seconds. ESET also does what they call startup scan after every update which scans some system areas. But that don't take time either because of cache. In total, it takes on 6--7 seconds for everything so the user won't even feel anything.
ESET also updates as soon as you turn on your PC and most of the time it finishes before you even start using the computer.
In my previous 5400 RPM laptop I almost always used ESET because it was the fastest for me while during Bitdefender's update process I could genuinely feel slowdown. Even Kaspersky had some high disk usage with noticeable slowdown for a minute or two at system startup on that laptop.
ESET release their update info here. They even used to share names of signature here but stopped since January, 2020 if I remember correctly.
 

MacDefender

Level 14
Verified
Oct 13, 2019
639
I do agree that the update process of Bitdefender is a real pain. It consumes too much resources (both CPU and RAM) and I can hear fan noise during the process. Bitdefender never updates while on battery power (I might be wrong though). But the fact of how much data gets written as mentioned by @McMcbrad and @MacDefender is much of a concern. I see that BD is working on a new engine, an AI one. Would it possibly be incorporated to supplement the cuurent engine?

If it's not updating on battery power, what does that mean for its protection though? BD isn't pushing multiple updates per day because they think it's fun or because they love paying the bandwidth bills. They clearly feel like it contributes to their emerging threats protection (which frankly is not awesome to begin with). That seems like a scary tradeoff to choose between battery life or the signatures being up to date.
 

McMcbrad

Level 23
Oct 16, 2020
1,252
FWIW I am a former SSD firmware engineer and worked on a very close competitor to the Samsung 840 series (cough that's widely regarded as better), but if what @McMcbrad is saying is true (that the hourly BD updates can generate 1GB of read/write traffic), that actually is a lot and not at all within the realm of what we were designing for.

100-200TBW and 40GB of daily read write is a number we call ridiculously high in margin. Heck even if you install a Windows Insider Build update every day you might only generate 2-3GB of read and write activity from that. If BD is generating up to 10-20GB of read and especially write SSD traffic per day because it regenerates new 800MB database out of every hourly fetch, that is easily taking years worth of SSD life off of the device. It isn't the end of the world but it's nothing to ignore either.

Even as a SSD engineer I would feel moderately concerned about this kind of load. Most SSD failures are not because of them being worn out and exceeding their TBW rates, just like how most high mileage cars do not die because their engines exceeded the engineering projected lifespan. It's because of random-chance bugs and corner cases being hit, and honestly the more you stress a device the more likely you are to stumble across such a bug.
Well it's true, because the definitions are split in 1 K files, maybe even more. Upon update it will download let's say 10 new files and place them in new folder. It will then copy the remaining old files and complete the engine, and will delete one of the backup folders (out of 2-3 total).
They check for updates every hour and if you do it manually, you can see they are quite frequent. I've seen BD cause HDD errors before, when scanned with chkdsk.
That hefty engine might be the reason why more and more vendors nowadays choose Avira engine.
Also, BD installer is almost 520 megs (largest in the industry) again, due to the definitions.
They are located in C:\Program Files\Common Files\Bitdefender and then the folder is named Plug-ins.

I do agree that the update process of Bitdefender is a real pain. It consumes too much resources (both CPU and RAM) and I can hear fan noise during the process. Bitdefender never updates while on battery power (I might be wrong though). But the fact of how much data gets written as mentioned by @McMcbrad and @MacDefender is much of a concern. I see that BD is working on a new engine, an AI one. Would it possibly be incorporated to supplement the cuurent engine?
I believe sooner or later this will happen, but probably they will test it 2-3 years more and optimise it.

ESET on average updates 5-6 times a day. But updates are tiny, 15-40 kb in general and during update the CPU usage can go upto 40% with 30-40 mb disk usage for a few seconds. ESET also does what they call startup scan after every update which scans some system areas. But that don't take time either because of cache. In total, it takes on 6--7 seconds for everything so the user won't even feel anything.
ESET also updates as soon as you turn on your PC and most of the time it finishes before you even start using the computer.
In my previous 5400 RPM laptop I almost always used ESET because it was the fastest for me while during Bitdefender's update process I could genuinely feel slowdown. Even Kaspersky had some high disk usage with noticeable slowdown for a minute or two at system startup on that laptop.
ESET release their update info here. They even used to share names of signature here but stopped since January, 2020 if I remember correctly.
In ESET there is a setting that turns off the keeping of old engines, meaning files will just be replaced/modified on the fly, without everything being copied and re-written.
 
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McMcbrad

Level 23
Oct 16, 2020
1,252
This is the amount of data that gets copied/downloaded:
1608839328295.png


After cleanup, which means 200-300 megs are deleted more, this is what remains on disk and one copy of it gets deleted (oldest backup):
1608839700800.png


This is a total of 800 megs being written and deleted.
 
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Raiden

Level 18
Verified
Content Creator
May 7, 2018
882
That's why I always prefer the cloud approach.
As long as you have an internet connection. :p

All kidding aside, the cloud approach does help in this regard, however it does have one weakness in that you need to be connected to the internet for it to work. Many AV's that heavily rely on the cloud often do extremely well protection wise. However, if you suddenly go offline the protection rate drops and in some cases quite significantly. That being said, most people today are usually connected to the internet for the vast majority of the day, so in reality it's probably not a big deal. It just highlights that there are pro's and con's to either approach.(y)
 

MacDefender

Level 14
Verified
Oct 13, 2019
639
As long as you have an internet connection. :p

All kidding aside, the cloud approach does help in this regard, however it does have one weakness in that you need to be connected to the internet for it to work. Many AV's that heavily rely on the cloud often do extremely well protection wise. However, if you suddenly go offline the protection rate drops and in some cases quite significantly. That being said, most people today are usually connected to the internet for the vast majority of the day, so in reality it's probably not a big deal. It just highlights that there are pro's and con's to either approach.(y)
For this reason I think the cloud is a good place to place your less relevant signatures — older malware, low threats, etc. On a laptop you frequently lose Wi-Fi because of waking the machine from sleep or moving around. If every blip like that results in a huge loss of protection, it’s a weakness that malware can exploit (if I can’t ping google, unpack secondary payload)
 

Guilhermesene

Level 2
Jun 1, 2019
67
Does anyone have this information about F-secure? How big are the updates?

I found the analysis made by @SeriousHoax ESET to be very good, so I could confirm in my knowledge that the updates are really small, so that even with a limited connection it does not make it difficult to update the software.

Thank you if anyone has the information about F-secure, they may @upnorth know and can help us (which is what I'm using and enjoying right now)

Sorry if I didn't post in the correct area.
 

blackice

Level 29
Verified
Apr 1, 2019
1,890
ESET on average updates 5-6 times a day. But updates are tiny, 15-40 kb in general and during update the CPU usage can go upto 40% with 30-40 mb disk usage for a few seconds. ESET also does what they call startup scan after every update which scans some system areas. But that don't take time either because of cache. In total, it takes on 6--7 seconds for everything so the user won't even feel anything.
ESET also updates as soon as you turn on your PC and most of the time it finishes before you even start using the computer.
In my previous 5400 RPM laptop I almost always used ESET because it was the fastest for me while during Bitdefender's update process I could genuinely feel slowdown. Even Kaspersky had some high disk usage with noticeable slowdown for a minute or two at system startup on that laptop.
ESET release their update info here. They even used to share names of signature here but stopped since January, 2020 if I remember correctly.
Seeing this now, maybe I would change my answer to ESET. I do like it, and I wouldn’t want to prematurely wear out my new NVME drive. But this is theoretical as I don’t plan on going third party anytime soon. Unless boredom gets the best of me, not likely anytime soon, or M$ Defender’s quality falls off a cliff.
 
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