Data Centers

Review: ESET NOD32 Antivirus 4

ESET's NOD32 Antivirus 4 eliminates many of the headaches associated with virus and spyware protection. The award-winning application delivers proven security, uses few system resources in the process and even boasts competitive pricing.

Businesses need security software they can set and forget. All too often, antivirus software slows system performance or fails to catch problematic spyware infections. ESET's NOD32 Antivirus 4 eliminates many of the headaches associated with virus and spyware protection. The award-winning application delivers proven security, uses few system resources in the process and even boasts competitive pricing.

Specifications

  • Manufacturer: ESET, LLC
  • Product: NOD32 Antivirus
  • Version: 4
  • File Size: 28MB
  • CPU: Intel or AMD x86/x64
  • Disk Space: 35MB free
  • RAM: 44MB RAM
  • Operating systems: Microsoft Windows 2000 / XP (32- and 64-bit editions) / Vista (32- and 64-bit editions) / Microsoft Windows Server 2000 (32- and 64-bit editions) / Windows Server 2003 (32- and 64-bit editions) / Windows Server 2008 (32- and 64-bit editions)
  • Download and additional information: ESET
  • Price: $214.95 (5-license bundle)
  • For a closer look, check out the TechRepublic NOD32 Antivirus 4 Product Spotlight Photo Gallery.

Who's it for?

Businesses needing thorough and accurate antivirus, antispyware and antirootkit protection with little administration and minimal resource consumption will find ESET's NOD32 Antivirus security application a capable security solution. ESET offers discounted volume pricing and Small Business Server bundles, so a pricing package is available whether a business must protect five or 2,000 users. Enterprise coverage is also available.

What problem does it solve?

NOD32 Antivirus 4 extends businesses a reasonably priced and effective antimalware solution. ESET's antivirus software regularly wins awards for its detection rates (thanks in part to its multilayered ThreatSense technology), and the program possesses a remarkably light footprint of as little as 44MB of RAM.

Its scan engine is well-tuned, too. Even full disk scans fail to noticeably slow most systems. Tests by AV-Comparatives earned ESET NOD32 Antivirus 3 the only Advanced+ certification level of any antivirus brand tested. Further, ESET's entry generated "few" false positives.

Standout features

  • Industry-leading detection - In independent tests, AV-Comparatives ranks ESET as the only antimalware application earning Advanced+ certification. AV-Comparatives also notes NOD32's generates "few" false positives. In comparative testing by Virus Bulletin, NOD32 caught every "in the wild" virus sample since May 1998. ESET has also won accolades and certification from a variety of other organizations, including ICSA Labs, West Coast Labs and OPSWAT.
  • Low overhead - ESET boasts that NOD32 is "built for speed." ESET's developers coded NOD32 to use little RAM (just 44MB according to ESET). One new improvement in version 4 is performance tuning for battery-powered systems. In testing on multiple systems, I've found both ESET's real-time scanner and full system scans have little impact on a system's overall performance, an accomplishment few security applications can claim. AV-Comparatives is among those taking notice, awarding NOD32 Antivirus "Best Overall Speed-Performance."
  • Minimal administration - NOD32 Antivirus 4, by default, downloads updates, provides real-time protection and performs full system scans automatically. Few administrative headaches result, and while anecdotal, it seems as if NOD32 requires fewer reboots to deploy application updates compared to competing products. The ESET Remote Administrator, meanwhile, provides centralized administration within larger, server-based networks.
  • Attractive pricing -Volume pricing makes NOD32 licensing affordable for even the most budget-conscious offices. With 5-user bundles starting at $214.95, and 20% off promotions available for 2-year subscriptions, NOD32 is competitively priced.
  • Server protection - NOD32 Antivirus 4 can be installed as endpoint protection on Windows servers. While many antivirus/antispyware clients are compatible only with desktop operating systems, NOD32 can be loaded on Windows servers, too (albeit without such server-specific protections as Exchange integration, for which other NOD32 editions are available).

What's wrong?

  • Upgrades require renewal - Editor's note: This bullet point was removed for the sake of accuracy. Upgrades are indeed available during the renewal process.
  • No free personal license - Unlike Avast and AVG, which offer free non-commercial licenses, ESET offers no free personal-use licenses. However, free trial versions are available, and no businesses should be loading non-commercial software, so the only drawback is administrators seeking to familiarize themselves with the software personally might have to purchase a license to do so (although I'm betting a quick call to ESET would likely secure any network administrator a not-for-resale license with which to test).

Competitive Products

Bottom line for business

ESET has deservingly won accolades for its NOD32 Antivirus 4 security software. The antimalware application provides proven (and independently verified) protection against viruses, spyware, adware, Trojans, worms, rootkits and other common threats. With its minimal footprint, centralized administration capability and competitive pricing, most every organization (from five to 2,500 users) will find NOD32 Antivirus 4 a potent and efficient platform capable of protecting their network while freeing system resources and administrators to dedicate their energies to other tasks.

User rating

Have you encountered ESET NOD32 Antivirus 4? What do you think? Rate the product and compare the results to what other TechRepublic members think. Give your own personal review of ESET NOD32 Antivirus 4 in the TechRepublic Community Forums or let us know if you think we left anything out in our review.

About Erik Eckel

Erik Eckel owns and operates two technology companies. As a managing partner with Louisville Geek, he works daily as an IT consultant to assist small businesses in overcoming technology challenges and maximizing IT investments. He is also president o...

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