App Review ESET Internet Security 2023

It is advised to take all reviews with a grain of salt. In extreme cases some reviews use dramatization for entertainment purposes.
Product name
ESET Internet Security
Installation (rating)
3.00 star(s)
User interface (rating)
4.00 star(s)
Performance (rating)
5.00 star(s)
Core Protection (rating)
5.00 star(s)
Additional Protection notes
Good protection overall, no complaints.
Positives
    • Low impact on system resources
    • Highly configurable
    • Easy to use
    • Simple and non-intrusive
    • Strong and reliable protection
    • Accurate results and reliable antivirus engine
    • Effective malicious URL blocking
    • Virus signatures are updated daily
    • Excellent scores in independent tests
    • Great value for money
Negatives
    • Can be costly to run
    • Clumsy or awkward interface (UI)
    • Not as many features as some competitors
    • Can be complex in some situations
Time spent using product
Reviewed over a 30-day period
Computer specs
i5 13400 + 3060 Ti
32 GB DDR4 3200
NVME + SATA SSDs + Storage HDDs
Overall rating
4.00 star(s)

cofer123

Level 3
Thread author
Sep 7, 2021
104
I'm a long time ESET user dating back to the Windows XP era. I have used it until Windows Defender became reliable enough, around the Windows 8 days IIRC. After a few years with defender, I found its settings lacking, and I ended up moving to Kaspersky, which I used until 2021, when I moved back to ESET.

I've been using EIS since with little trouble, but its issues can quickly become big issues once you realize why your strange computer problems are caused by ESET. I don't believe I have to focus on the positives as ESET is well known and their products are good for the most part. Instead, I will list the problems I have faced in these past two years to explain why it might be difficult to continue using ESET and to help others make an informed decision.

My gripes in chronological order:
  • 2021: purchased EIS around July. A few months later, ESET announces LiveGuard, the new protection feature that mitigates never-before-seen threats. Unfortunately, it's was available only for ESET Smart Security Premium, meaning I wouldn't be able to use it unless I upgraded to the (much more expensive) ESSP, which, besides LiveGuard, has features I don't need/want;
  • 2022: around April/May ESET released your typical module updates for its home products that broke Windows performance counters, causing several issues mainly with GPUs (this affected all my computers). Took ESET a while to recognize their software as the culprit, and a little longer for the fix to release. Thankfully there was a manual way to repair the damage, but some people ended up having to reinstall Windows (as per user reports on ESET forums), probably because they didn't found out how to performed the manual repairs. This same faulty module update was possibly related to broken WMI issues reported around the same time on their forums;
  • 2022: on November, ESET released a new product version with many improvements, but they also introduced a controversial browser security feature that sort of isolated supported browser processes. The first problem was that browser windows now had a colored frame around them, and it couldn't be turned off unless you disable the feature entirely (this literally looked like malware had taken over your browser like in the olden IE days). This took a lot of negative feedback and time before ESET finally listened and added the option to hide that colored frame, although it still shows up over remote desktop sessions. This feature also broke copy & pasting from/to browsers for some people, and it also broke accessibility tools that became unable to interact with browsers. While most of these issues were fixed in the following months, even to this day you can find some people reporting issues. The worst offender is that this feature is now enabled by default;
  • 2022/2023?: this one I'm not exactly certain when it changed since it relates to the installer. I find this sort of behavior unacceptable and it has no place on security software:
    1695152765331.png

    Notice how upon installation you are greeted with three checkboxes to select some features prior to installation. Now, notice how the highlighted button to continue installation ignores your choices and forces all options to enabled, regardless of your selection. This sort of forced opt-in is worse (IMO) than having all checkboxes initially ticked and requiring the user to uncheck them before continuing;
  • 2023: also unsure when this happened, but uninstalling ESET products now opens your default browser with a survey asking why you uninstalled (this didn't exist before);
  • 2023: on August ESET finally updated their firewall GUI and added the option of configuring rules based on vendor signatures instead of application paths, among other improvements. This is great for software that updates frequently and changes its installation path each time. However, the amount of issues that arrived with firewall version 16.2 is no joking mater (some of these also affected Endpoint products);I understand software development is a complex endeavor (I do it myself) but please, this is a security solution. Why rush a firewall release like this with so many problems? How come nobody noticed anything on their tests before release (I could ask the same about the WMI/Performance Counters breakage), and on day one it broke some many people's workflows? The current workaround is to downgrade to version 16.1 and block updates, which is unacceptable, but necessary for some users. All ESET had to do was delay this update until version 17 to iron out these problems;
  • 2023: uncertain when this began, probably around June is when it became very noticeable, but it's hard to pinpoint. The issue I'm facing is that most sites, usually ones with several images (image boards, discussion forums, photo sites, etc) randomly show broken images or/and broken css layouts. Happens with any browser, and it's very, very random and hard to track the cause. Upon checking browser debug tools, some image headers are corrupted and thus unable to be rendered by the browser (Firefox reports ns_error_net_partial_transfer). Refreshing the page fixes it, then it happens again on a different page or on the same page five minutes or five hours later, every day, for months. I always imagined it had something to do with my ISP or DNS or browser or router or whatever, because it's very random, thus hard to identify the source. This happens on at least two computers that I have tested, both with EIS, on two different ISPs.
    And then last week somebody on the ESET forums reported the same issue with their web application not working properly due to ESET corrupting gzip headers when SSL/TLS scanning is enabled. Turns out, this is a reported issue since at least 2016. So, just for the sake of testing it out, I've uninstalled EIS, installed Kaspersky, and for the past five days I've not faced this issue at all. I'm still monitoring that thread to see if something is said about this issue, so I guess we will see.
I'm not bashing ESET. I like their software. It's the most lightweight AV I've ever used. It sits quietly and never annoys you unlike many other vendors. It's honest on that it offers, since it doesn't have any unnecessary bloat and focuses exactly on protecting your devices. It's highly configurable and has been around for decades, and I can confidently say I trust ESET. However, it has issues like any other software, and sometimes they make mistakes that are hard to understand from a user perspective. Would I recommend it? Certainly. Will I continue to use it? Hopefully, but some of its issues are now affecting me more frequently than in the past, so I cannot say for certain.
 

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ForgottenSeer 103564

Awhile back there was an excellent comparison on this site between Kaspersky and Eset( by Shadowra I think) I was surprised it was a tie, my only regret with Eset is the cost. It says above
  • Great value for money, I disagree
Thanks for your post! Hope the problem gest resolved
Eset is highly configurable especially for advanced users that know how to use its different components. Its signature detection has always been among the top of the list as well.
 

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