Update: This program has been replaced with ESET NOD32 Antivirus 5.
Something I’ve always said, and probably always will say, is that the best antivirus program is the one that works for you.
All the antivirus programs I use and review have their strengths and weaknesses.
Today I’m looking at ESET Nod32 Antivirus 4 and I believe the main strength of this program is it’s appeal to the less technical user who simply wants protection that works.
ESET Nod32 can be run with a very simple interface and the novice user can pretty well set it up and then forget about it.
Interface & Scanning
As I mentioned above, ESET Nod32 Antivirus has a very simple and easy to use interface by default and is, in my opinion, one of the easiest antivirus programs to use.
My first impression after installing it was that it is an antivirus program that is ideally suited to beginners as it is both powerful whilst looking deceptively basic.
If you aren’t a computer geek but want a good level of protection, without the hassle or worry of playing around with dozens of settings, then this may be the program for you.
The whole program is designed to accommodate beginners, and doesn’t require a lot of tweaking and/or manual maintenance to keep running properly.
When you first run ESET Nod32 Antivirus 4 you will be greeted by the basic interface which I mentioned above and you can see how simple it is from the screenshot below –
From here it is very easy to schedule scans, check reports and adjust various settings.
Having said that, the input required by Nod32 is actually very little and you can actually get by with next to no input.
If anyone is reading this and thinking that this antivirus program is too basic then think again as Nod32 also offers up an advanced interface which you can see in the screenshot below –
This advanced mode opens up other branches for additional functions that, whilst not essential, may be useful to those who like to tinker with their security software in order to get the very best performance from it.
As soon as I installed Nod32 it automatically updated it’s virus definitions database and launched into it’s very first scan of my system.
Checking Task Manager, I found that the amount of CPU cycles and memory used were very low when compared to the other 2011 products I’ve looked at so far.
Surprisingly, the program completed the scan in very little time at all and is certainly the fastest of the antivirus programs I’ve looked at recently, and by quite a margin too.
ESET doesn’t only rely upon virus signatures but they do make up a large part of the many ways in which the program keeps you secured.
Updates run automatically and frequently, meaning that they occur in the background and you will often not notice them taking place.
ESET offer a large amount of support and help for the various products that they sell.
A product manual can be found online and the program itself links out to additional resources that many will find useful.
ESET also have product-specific knowledge bases and a support forum in additional to more traditional means of communication such as phone or email support.
After talking about the simplicity and speed of ESET Nod32 Antivirus 4 you may be surprised to discover that the program actually has a comprehensive set of features.
ESET have managed to achieve this by incorporating features all the features that are essential, rather than useless functions that don’t add much value.
ESET use heuristic technology to help zero day threats (new viruses that have not had signatures developed for them yet) and their ThreatSense technology provides proactive protection against malware that would otherwise trip past solely signature-based solutions.
ThreatSense affords better protection to it’s users as when it detects a new threat on one person’s computer it will notify ESET so that they can then get to work on developing a solution which they can then send out to everyone.
Lastly, another feature which I discovered by accident is the fact that Nod32 checks whether your Windows installation is up to date or not.
I’m normally very good at ensuring that I have the latest updates from Microsoft so I don’t know which other vendors do this, but it was good to see that ESET does, as evidenced by the screenshot below –
ESET Nod32 Antivirus is priced at $39.99 for one year’s protection for one PC.
This, and other price plans, can be viewed through the link below:
Like most other antivirus programs, ESET’s minimum system requirements are not too demanding and most people who have a relatively modern computer should be able to run it.
The required system specs are as follows –
- Windows XP / Vista / 2000 / 7
- x86-x64 Intel or AMD processor
- 35MB of space on hard drive
Strangely, amongst my circle of family and friends, ESET is not a name that ever seems to get mentioned.
Its strange because they, being non-experts, are probably the sort of people who would benefit the most from this antivirus program.
After my latest journey with Nod32 I am rather impressed as it works well, works quickly, and is very simple to get to grips with.
If you want a fully-featured antivirus program that does what it needs to do without intimidating you then this may be the one you are looking for.
Whilst your here, check out my 2012 antivirus reviews.