ESET Endpoint Security Review and AlternativesThe use of end-user devices such as computers, mobile devices, Internet-of-things (IoT), and other network devices in corporate networks creates attack paths for security threats.

This has created a big market for what is now known as endpoint security. The endpoint security market has evolved over the years from the traditional antivirus software into a modern security solution that includes next-generation antivirus, threat detection, and response, firewall, device management, anti-theft, encryption, intrusion prevention, Data Leak Protection (DLP), parental control, and other technologies to mitigate evolving threats.

ESET is positioned as one of the leading providers of modern endpoint security solutions. ESET is a Slovak internet security company that offers cloud-based and on-premises endpoint security software and solutions for individuals, small businesses, and large enterprises. ESET endpoint security solutions can be deployed on PCs and mobile devices to prevent file-based malware attacks, detect malicious activity, and provide the remediation capabilities needed to respond to security incidents as they occur. ESET’s endpoint protection solutions leverage multiple layers of defense including machine learning and human expertise to prevent, detect and respond to malware attacks. In this article, we will x-ray the ESET endpoint security solution in detail including product portfolio, protection performance, key security features, as well as available alternatives. Hopefully, this will guide you in choosing the right endpoint security solution for your business.

ESET Endpoint Security Product Portfolio

ESET Endpoint Security
Figure 1.0 | ESET Endpoint Security home page

ESET has something for everyone. ESET products include tools for antivirus protection, internet security, smart security, cyber security, and endpoint detection and response for Windows, Linux, Mac, and Android devices. These tools are targeted at individual users, SMBs, and large-scale enterprises, as well as mobile and smart devices.

The following are some of the popular ESET endpoint security products:

  • ESET NOD32 Antivirus This is a fast and lightweight antivirus package designed to protect Windows and Mac devices. It is ideal for everyday users that just want malware protection without any distractions. Additional features include a Host Intrusion Prevention System (HIPS), a scanner for your PC’s firmware, and a device control system. A free 30-day trial is available.
  • ESET Internet Security ESET Internet Security software is designed to protect today’s active internet-connected devices—Windows, macOS, and Android. In addition to the expected antivirus, antispam, and firewall features, ESET Internet Security also incorporates online banking and webcam protection, anti-theft, and parental control. It is ideal for users who actively use the internet for eCommerce transactions, online banking, work, and communication. A free 30-day trial is available.
  • ESET Smart Security Premium This product contains premium features for the comprehensive protection of your Windows, Mac, and Android devices. It is designed for users who want advanced security features, including advanced threat detection, especially for ransomware and zero-day threats, theft protection, and password management. A free 30-day trial is available.
  • ESET Mobile Security Antivirus protection for your Android smartphone and tablet. It also includes premium features such as online banking protection and anti-theft. A free 30-day trial of the premium features is available.
  • ESET Smart TV Security: Designed to protect your Android Smart TV against malware from sources such as USB stick, internet, and phishing attempts. It offers both free and premium versions.
  • ESET Protect Entry A multilayered endpoint protection for computers, smartphones, and virtual machines in a corporate network. Available for cloud or on-premises deployment. It comes with a console with single-pane-of-glass remote management for visibility of threats, users, and quarantined items. Other components include cloud‑based console, endpoint protection, and file server security. An interactive online demo and a  free 30-day trial are available.
  • ESET Protect Advanced This has all the features of ESET Protect Entry plus full disk encryption and cloud sandbox features to keep your endpoints secure from ransomware and zero‑day threats. It is ideal for businesses that want more advanced security protection.
  • ESET Protect Complete This gets you everything in the Advanced tier plus mail security (spam and malware) and cloud application (MS Office 365, and others) security features. ESET Protect Complete is easily among the most expensive offerings from ESET.
  • ESET Protect Enterprise This gets you everything in the Advanced tier plus Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) capabilities for identification and response to anomalous behavior, incidents, and breaches.
FeaturesESET Protect EntryESET Protect AdvancedESET Protect CompleteESET Protect Enterprise
Endpoint
and Server Security
YesYesYesYes
Full Disk
Encryption
NoYesYesYes
Cloud SoundboxNoYesYesYes
Cloud App ProtectionNoNoYesNo
Endpoint Detection & ResponseNoNoNoYes

Table 1.0 | ESET endpoint security products and features for businesses

ESET Antivirus Protection and Performance

Just like most antivirus programs, the ESET antivirus protection scans files and apps as they get into your device and compares them to its known virus database for identification and remediation. But beyond that, ESET’s malware engine continually monitors the behavior of key system activities including the Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) repository for signs of new threat signatures which are then uploaded to the company’s Live Grid cloud lab for analysis.

If your computer becomes overwhelmed by malware, ESET provides a downloadable malware cleaning tool known as ESET SysRescue Live that runs independently of the operating system from a CD, DVD, or USB. ESET does an excellent job in balancing performance and effectiveness in malware detection with one of the lightest and fastest scanners available. Results from AV-TEST show that ESET Internet Security for example had a protection, performance, and a usability score of 6.0/6.0 respectively. ESET Protect also met all the certification criteria for AV-Comparatives, and thus was given the AV-Comparatives Approved Business Security Product Award for December 2021.

ESET Key Security Features

Depending on the product and license type you have, ESET incorporates the following security and privacy features of its product offering:

  • Antivirus and Antispyware All ESET products provide core antivirus protection against all types of online and offline threats and prevents malware from spreading to other users and devices.
  • Full Disk Encryption ESET provides a disk encryption solution for system disks, partitions, or entire devices to achieve legal compliance. Available for Protect Advanced, Protect Complete and Protect Enterprise edition.
  • Cloud Sandbox Protects against zero-day threat and ransomware by analyzing suspicious samples in an isolated cloud sandbox environment. Available for Protect Advanced, Protect Complete and Protect Enterprise edition.
  • File Server Security Provides real-time protection for data passing through all general servers. Available for Protect Advanced, Protect Complete and Protect Enterprise edition.
  • Cloud App Protection Protects Microsoft 365 and other cloud apps. Available for Protect Complete edition only.
  • Endpoint Detection & Response (EDR) EDR provides capabilities for real-time identification and response to security incidents and other anomalous behaviors. Available for Protect Enterprise edition only.
  • Advanced Machine Learning All ESET endpoint products are enabled with machine learning that runs locally and in the cloud and is designed to detect advanced threats with minimal impact on performance.
  • Exploit Blocker Monitors and blocks exploitable applications (browsers, document readers, email clients, Java, etc) and attacks specifically designed to evade antivirus detection.
  • Advanced Memory Scanner Detects persistent malware that employs multiple layers of encryption to conceal its activity.
  • Host-Based Intrusion Prevention System (HIPS) Monitors system activity and uses a predefined set of rules to recognize suspicious system behavior.
  • Firewall Prevents unauthorized access to your computer, applications, and personal data.
  • Online Banking ESET provides electronic payments and online banking protection, enabling you to shop online with confidence.
  • Anti-Theft ESET comes with some anti-theft features such as location tracking, anti-theft optimization, laptop activity watch, phantom account, and more to keep your devices safe from theft.
  • Password Manager ESET comes bundled with a password manager that allows you to sync passwords across all your devices, so long as you have the ESET app on them. It uses 256-bit AES secure encryption to protect your passwords from hackers.
  • ESET Botnet Protection Detects and blocks malicious communication used by botnets.
  • Parental Control A family-friendly Android app that helps you control inappropriate web content and keep kids safe online.

ESET Interface and Dashboard

ESET management interface boldly displays the ESET mascot robot at the home page. A large green bar and checkmark next to the mascot robot’s head indicate that the system is secure. The ESET Protect Cloud dashboard gives you access to Security Status Overview, Antivirus Detections, and Firewall Detections, among other menu items.

The dashboard handles all configuration, deployments, and monitoring activities; and displays information such as devices, current antivirus threats, firewall threats, and more. You can drill down to view even more detailed information for further action. The dashboard allows admins to add devices and create custom Windows or macOS live installers for deployment, as well as determine which components to enable by default, the default policy to apply, and many other options.

Is ESET Endpoint Security Worth It?

ESET Endpoint Security software is certainly one of the most reliable top-rated endpoint security software in the market today. Its fast scan and lightweight nature make it attractive to users and organizations with zero tolerance for slow performance. Unlike its competitors, you can buy individual licenses to customize protection. But for reasons best known to them, ESET lacks features such as VPN, file shredder, and EDR capabilities in most of its product offerings. ESET requires you to upgrade to its Protect Enterprise product to get EDR features, which is likely to be cost-prohibitive for most SMBs.

Best ESET Endpoint Security Alternatives

If you figured out that ESET is not the right endpoint security solution for your business, check out the following possible alternatives:

  1. CrowdStrike Falcon (FREE TRIAL) An award-winning endpoint security suite that combines next-generation antivirus, EDR, and identity protection capabilities delivered from the cloud. It is ideal for the modern work environment with stringent compliance requirements. CrowdStrike was named a Leader in the 2021 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Endpoint Protection Platforms. It was also recognized in 2021 Gartner Peer Insights Customers’ Choice. A free trial is available on request.
  2. Microsoft Defender for Endpoint Well-positioned as an undisputed top-notch endpoint security tool that offers endpoint protection, endpoint detection and response (EDR), vulnerability management, and more for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS devices. Microsoft Defender for Endpoint is built into Windows 10 and Microsoft’s cloud service. Microsoft was named a Leader in the 2021 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Endpoint Protection Platforms.
  3. Trend Micro Apex One A well-recognized endpoint security solution that keeps endpoints secure from modern security threats. Some of its industry recognition includes 2021 Gartner Peer Insights Customers’ Choice, a leader in the 2021 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Endpoint Protection Platforms, and a leader in the Forrester Wave Endpoint Security Software as a Service, Q2 2021. Apex One offers threat detection, response, and investigation within a single agent that resides at the endpoint and the Apex One server that manages all Security Agents. The software supports both SaaS and on-premises deployment options. A 30-day free trial is available on request.
  4. SentinelOne Singularity A relatively young company that has emerged as one of the leading next-generation endpoint security solution providers. For SentinelOne to have gotten to this position within a short period, they must be doing something right. SentinelOne Singularity is an autonomous, single-agent solution that combines endpoint protection (EPP), endpoint detection and response (EDR), IoT security, and cloud workload protection (CWPP) into a centralized platform that delivers top-notch enterprise-grade security across Windows, Linux, and macOS. SentinelOne was named a Leader in the 2021 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Endpoint Protection Platforms. A free online demo is available on request.
  5. McAfee MVISION McAfee has been a household name in endpoint security for many years. McAfee MVISION Endpoint Security suite delivers centrally managed endpoint protection with integrated capabilities such as EDR, XDR, machine learning behavioral analysis, exploit prevention, firewall to protect your Windows, Mac, and Linux systems. McAfee is also recognized as a Leader in the 2021 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Endpoint Protection Platforms. A free online demo and a free trial are available on request.
  6. Sophos Intercept X One of the industry-leading endpoint security solutions that combine EDR, extended detection and response (XDR), managed threat response (MTR), anti-exploit, anti-ransomware, and deep learning AI with real-time threat intelligence from SophosLabs to prevent, detect and remediate threats before they impact your systems. Sophos is recognized as a Leader in the 2021 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Endpoint Protection Platforms. A free trial is available on request.
  7. Kaspersky Lab One the largest antivirus and endpoint security vendors in the market. Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Business provides on-premises or in-the-cloud protection and EDR capabilities for organizations across Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android devices. Kaspersky has consistently been recognized as a Gartner Peer Insights Customers’ Choice for Endpoint Protection Platforms, among other industry recognitions. A free online demo and a free trial are available on request.
  8. Symantec Endpoint Security A Security software suite that provides malware protection and EDR capabilities alongside intrusion prevention, firewall, and DLP features. It is typically installed on a server running Windows, Linux, or macOS. Symantec is known for its large market share in endpoint security.