ESET NOD32 Antivirus review, manual and guides


ESET NOD32 Antivirus, also known as ESET NOD32 Antivirus 2018, is the newest software version built by ESET. This company has been known for its quality products for a while – established in 1992[1], it has been awarded to be the best Slovak company three times already. NOD32 is one of its most recognized products, praised by anti-malware critics worldwide[2].

Our team tested the newest version of the application in order to see whether it holds up to the modern anti-virus software standards.

Pros Cons Verdict

Perfect virus detection and removal rates

Scored average in resource usage

The program really has everything that an average user would need from an anti-virus application.

One of the best anti-phishing systems on the market

A fee to remove a virus if you got infected before installing the application

Advanced real-time protection

Helpful and free-of-charge tech team

Good-looking user interface with an easy to operate navigation system

ESET NOD32 offers Windows users three types of security packages including ESET Multi-Device Security Pack, ESET Smart Security Premium, ESET Internet Security and ESET NOD32 Antivirus.

ESET NOD32 provides users with a basic level of protection for their PCs. The yearly subscription starts at $40 for a single PC.

Download and Installation

You can download the software from this page. It is really quick and easy – the file size is small. It won't take up much space on your device and the process won't last long.

Here are the systems that are compatible with the application: Microsoft® Windows® 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista, and Microsoft Windows Home Server 2011.

To install ESET NOD32 Antivirus 2017, you have to open the downloaded installation file in order to run the installation wizard. Follow the instructions provided and you will soon have the anti-malware application on your computer.

Test Results

To test this software, we installed the newest version of ESET NOD32 on Windows 10 and added various malware, adware, rogueware[3] and other dangerous viruses to the operating system.

Antivirus protection

For its own Windows products, ESET offers three levels of protection starting with a malware engine that checks for known malware, heuristic monitoring looks for suspicious behaviors in order to detect unknown malware threats. Finally, all suspicious icons are sent to ESET LiveGrid cloud lab for further examination.

It is safe to say that ESET NOD32 has one of the best detection and removal rates in the market, as it removed almost all of the malware and nicely coped with the most dangerous virus samples we had. It is worth mentioning that it has received the highest security level rating (AAA) by SE Labs.[4]

However, it did miss some of the adware that didn’t have much danger in it and also left some active icons on the desktop, although the threats had already been deleted.

On the other hand, we couldn’t say that ESET NOD32 is not good with adware[5] – it actually removed some rare adware samples that other programs had a very difficult time detecting. We also witnessed exactly the same results when it came to real-time protection. 

The application offers decent real-time protection.

ESET NOD32 Antivirus was really successful in protecting our computers in real-time when we tried to install new malicious software while the anti-malware app was fully running and updated.

Another great thing about the new version of ESET NOD32 Antivirus is that it has a perfect anti-phishing system. We have tested it on all of our phishing samples and it was pretty clear that the app can get rid of the threats very quickly.

Actually, this is quite rare, as there aren’t a lot of programs in the current market that can remove phishing threats pretty fast. And if you think that’s not too important, just remember that phishing sites can steal your credit card numbers, bank accounts and other accounts with your money in it.

ESET NOD32 Antivirus scanning

According to the independent testing lab AV-TEST, ESET NOD32 demonstrated only mediocre malware detection rates. ESET did not participate in the most recent test (April 2018), but in the previous tests conducted 2017 November and December ESET NOD32 detected 98.9% of zero-day malware attacks and 100% of widespread and prevalent malware.

To sum up our small test and the test conducted by AV-TEST, ESET has slightly better malware detection rates than average.


ESET NOD32 has a very limited feature set. Extra features include Award-winning antivirus protection, Anti-ransomware protection that protects data from hijacking, Anti-phishing features, and Game Mode. If you want more features such as Hardened/Secure Browser, Parental Controls or Password Manager, you have to purchase the more expensive tier.

System-performance impact and scans

When it comes to using resources, we couldn’t say that ESET NOD32 is a market leader, as the boot time takes a few seconds longer than the competition average. However, it won’t drown your system resources when ESET NOD32 is running in the background, nor will it cause any problems when it runs a full system scan, as it takes up no more than 9% of RAM memory. Having the great detection and removal rates in mind, we can appreciate the pretty low usage.

However, as we checked AV-TEST results, ESET NOD32 demonstrated pretty heavy impact on the system. It slowed down the launch of standard software by 66% and impacted the system by 40% while installing frequently-used applications. In comparison, the market average is 15% and 26%, respectively. It did not have such a heavy impact while launching popular websites (8%) or downloading of frequently-used apps (8%).

The first full system scan took about 30 minutes, later, the scanning time settled down to 10 minutes. ESET does not provide users with the quick scan option.

ESET NOD32 Antivirus scan complete

User interface

The new version of ESET NOD32 has a convenient navigation system on the left. It also has small text on some of the settings, which is quite trendy now, but sometimes it might get a bit annoying if you are searching for a feature in a hurry. However, it is not a major drawback.

Colour-wise, the user interface looks very bright and it might be a good thing, as it adds clarity to the whole design. It doesn’t matter if you are an advanced user or you don’t know much about this software, it won’t take long for you to find the needed settings as they are quite clearly labeled.

Customer support

If you are looking for some help to remove a virus from your system before you install ESET NOD32, you will have to pay a fee. However, all other services are totally for free, including virus removal if your PC gets infected while already using ESET NOD32. That’s a good thing to know, especially when the tech team at ESET NOD32 operates really quickly.

The customer support can be contacted either by phone or email.

You won’t have to fill long forms and wait many days for an answer. You could use their customer service number which is quite visible or contact them by email. The tech team is based only in San Diego, California. We could actually see that ESET NOD32 cares about their customers, as you can always expect a prompt answer and you won’t need to explain your problem two or three times like you have to do with the competitors’ tech teams.

Features Score
Antivirus protection Good
Additional features The suite lacks some premium features that other competitors offer
System-performance impact Moderate
Scanning performance Average scans that have a medium impact on a system
User interface Bright and very functional user interface

The final verdict

It is not easy to find a disadvantage when you review such a powerful application like the new ESET NOD32 Antivirus. It really has everything that an average user would need from an anti-malware program. Also, it is likely to be a good choice for the advanced user.

ESET NOD32 managed to make a user interface that is good enough for both types of users. Despite this fact, probably the number one thing a person is looking for when choosing an anti-virus program is perfect virus detection and removal rates along with an advanced anti-phishing system. Be assured that ESET NOD32 has all of it. The developers at ESET proved once again that they aren't among the leaders in the competition for nothing.

Other products

ESET Mobile Security for Android

ESET also provides comprehensive protection for Android smartphones and tablets. ESET Mobile Security for Android delivers advanced web protection and security, including a real-time scanner and powerful NOD32 Antivirus technology, reliable anti-theft features, as well as calling and messaging security. ESET Mobile Security offers both, a free and a paid version of the application.

ESET Mobile Security for Android

Free Online Virus Scan from ESET

Researchers at Reviewed by Pro also recommend you to try Free Online Virus Scan from ESET. It uses advanced malware detection technology from ESET NOD32 and detects and removes malware from any browser with a single scan. It does not require any installation, so you can detect and removes viruses easy and simple. 

ESET Online Scanner


DriveSecurity Powered by ESET

In order to protect your device from malware that is transmitted through USB drives, ESET introduced DriveSecurity Powered by ESET and Kingston DataTraveler Vault Privacy 3.0 with DriveSecurity powered by ESET. DriveSecurity Powered by ESET detects and eliminates malware including a wide range of viruses, Trojans, rootkits, adware and more. 

ESET drive security


ESET NOD32 AntiVirus and G DATA AntiVirus

Even though G DATA Antivirus provides a reliable time-tested protection it does not protect users from ransomware. So, you would have to have another security system to ensure a complete security of your PC. Researchers at Reviewed by Pro would definitely recommend you ESET NOD32 AntiVirus for advanced and complete protection. 

About the author
Lucia Danes
Lucia Danes - Malware and spyware analyst

Lucia Danes is a news editor at She is extremely passionate when it comes to helping people deal with various online threats, so she wants her articles to be understood even by those with no IT background.

Contact Lucia Danes
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