CONS of ESET NOD32 Antivirus Crack
- Poor score in our hands-on malware blocking test
- Device control too complex for most users
- Ransomware protection not effective in testing
Mostly Good Lab Results
Three of the four independent testing labs I follow include NOD32 in their testing, and its scores are mostly excellent. Tests by London-based MRG-Effitas are especially grueling. Out of a dozen products tested, only ESET NOD32 Antivirus v15.2.12 (x64/x86) Crack, Bitdefender, and Norton pass both this lab’s tests in the latest round.
Experts at AV-Test Institute examine antivirus products for three important criteria. Protection is important, naturally, but so is a low impact on performance. Wrongly flagging valid programs as malicious is detrimental to a program’s usability. Antivirus tools can earn up to six points each for Protection, Performance, and Usability, for a maximum score of 18. Any antivirus that earns at least 17.5 points is named a Top Product. More than half the products in this lab’s latest test earn a perfect 18 points. Another quarter of the products, ESET NOD32 Antivirus v15.2.12 (x64/x86) Crack among them, take 17.5 points.
At AV-Comparatives, testers don’t assign numeric scores. A product that passes any test receives Standard certification, while those that go beyond the minimum passing score can take Advanced or Advanced+ certification. In the three tests from this lab that I follow, NOD32 takes one Standard, one Advanced, and one Advanced+ rating. Bitdefender is the only product with
Unusual Scan Choices
I timed a full scan of my standard clean test system and found that NOD32 finished in just under half an hour. That’s quite a bit better than the current average of 66 minutes. During that initial scan, NOD32 also optimizes for subsequent scanning, marking known good programs that don’t require another look. A second scan finished in just four minutes.
NOD32 doesn’t offer the quick scan option found in many antivirus products, but it gives you several custom scanning choices. You can drop suspect files or folders on the scan page for a quick checkup. It offers to scan each removable drive you mount. From the custom scan menu you can scan memory, boot sectors, or any local or network drive.
The boot sector scan I mentioned also triggers NOD32’s UEFI scanner. UEFI (which stands for Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) is what modern computers use instead of the antique BIOS. The UEFI scanner also runs in the background, making sure no malware has subverted your firmware. I have to assume it works, but I have no way to trigger its protection for testing purposes. Firmware protection is important. Any malware that weaseled into the firmware would have total control over your computer. One aim of the stringent security requirements for running Windows 11 is to protect the firmware and the entire boot process.
NOD32 can actively scan the WMI database. WMI (Windows Management Instrumentation) is best known to programmers as a source of system information. For example, my boot-time performance test for security suites queries WMI to get the start time of the boot process. The WMI scan looks for references to infected files within the database and for malware embedded as data. Likewise, the Registry scan checks for such references and embedded malware throughout the Registry. As with the UEFI scan, we have to take these activities on faith, as there’s no easy way to test them.
Mixed Malware Protection Scores
I’m always happy to have results reported by the independent labs, but not every product makes it into those reports. Even when results are available, I still run hands-on malware protection testing, to see the product’s defenses in action.
When I opened the folder containing my current collection of malware samples, NOD32’s real-time protection gave them the once-over. However, it only eliminated 32% of them at this point. That’s uncommonly low—most products score in the 80s or better. Adaware Antivirus Free impressively eliminated 90% of this same sample collection on sight, though it came up short in other areas.
Notably, NOD32 recognized less than half of the ransomware samples on sight. Of a dozen other products whose real-time protection wipes out known threats on sight, eight eliminated all the ransomware samples on sight and four eliminated all but one.
Continuing the test, I launched the remaining samples. Clearly the antivirus applies a tougher standard to programs that are about to launch. It prevented quite a few samples from launching at all. That included all the remaining ransomware samples, most of which it identified by name. It did flag some samples as PUAs, and I chose to delete all of those. In other cases, it caught a malware component during the installation process.
NOD32 detected 89% of the samples one way or another. However, the fact that it let several samples install executable files brought its overall score down to a dismal 7.9 points, even worse than the 8.3 points it scored in my previous review. Tested with this same sample set, Malwarebytes managed 100% detection and a perfect 10 points. McAfee came close, with 100% detection and 9.9 points. And Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus detected 99% and scored 9.8.
Decent Phishing Protection
Writing code to hide from antivirus tools and steal people’s passwords is hard, bitter work. Bamboozling people into just handing over those passwords can be much easier. Phishing websites imitate secure sites of all kinds, from online banking systems to gaming sites. The netizen who logs in to one of these frauds has just given away access to the real account. It’s possible to spot phishing scams if you’re alert, but having help from your antivirus means you’re protected even when your eyelids are drooping.
Comprehensive Device Control
NOD32’s Device Control is a feature more suited to business settings than to consumer use. Out of the box, this feature is disabled. To enable it you must reboot the system. With Device Control active, you can prevent the use of a wide variety of device types, while making exceptions for trusted devices. Among other things, Device Control can prevent anyone from stealing data by copying to unauthorized external drives and head off infestation by USB-based malware.
ESET NOD32 Antivirus v15.2.12 (x64/x86) Crack isn’t the only security company offering such a feature. Device Protection in Avira Antivirus Pro lets you whitelist or blacklist specific devices, and you can password-protect settings so nobody can mess with the lists. However, even when password protection is active, any user can whitelist a new, unknown drive. G Data Total Security offers more advanced device control, and it can prevent others from adding exceptions. Note, though, that this is G Data’s top-tier mega-suite. ESET puts device control in its basic antivirus. It’s an excellent bonus feature for an entry-level product.
The Device Control system in NOD32 is the most elaborate of any I’ve seen. You can create rules for a wide variety of devices, including card readers, imaging devices, and Bluetooth devices, as well as more traditional external drives. Each rule sets an action for a device type, an individual device, or a group of devices. Available actions include blocking use of the device, opening it in read-only mode, or allowing full read/write privileges. You can also configure a rule to simply warn that policy limits access to the device, and that accessing it despite the warning will be logged.
As with G Data and others, using this system is a game of rules and exceptions. For example, you could start by forcing read-only use of CD/DVD drives, so nobody can burn secrets to disk. On top of that, you might create an exception allowing you, but nobody else, to burn disks. Or you could ban removable drives but permit specific authorized ones.
In a super-techie household, you might set different access levels for different user accounts, with full access for you but limited access for others. Note, though, that NOD32 relies on the awkward Select Users or Groups dialog to pick user accounts rather than providing a more user-friendly account list.
Yes, even less technical consumers can probably manage to configure NOD32 so the kids can’t corrupt the system with infected thumb drives, but it’s not easy. Most users should leave this feature turned off.
Device Control isn’t the only feature that takes NOD32 beyond the realm of simple antivirus. There’s a whole page of tools to enhance your security experience. Some are useful to all; others require a technical mindset.
Several of the tools give you views of what NOD32 has been doing for you. The Security Report displays statistics on how many applications, web pages, and other objects NOD32 has scanned, along with a world map showing the current malware situation. You can peruse logs of malware detections, HIPS events, and more.
Bringing up the Running Processes list shows you every process running, with a lot more information than you’d get just by looking at Task Manager. Drawing from ESET NOD32 Antivirus v15.2.12 (x64/x86) Crack LiveGrid analysis system, it reports the reputation, number of users, and time of discovery for each process. This chart, like the chart of file system activity, may be more useful to a tech support agent who’s examining your system remotely. The same is true of the live file system activity graph.
Soon after installation, you should download ESET’s SysRescueLive tool. This tool runs from a bootable DVD or USB, meaning Windows-based malware is powerless to resist it. If a NOD32 scan detected and removed malware but you still feel like you’ve got malware on the system, run a scan from this tool. Malware that requires this aggressive tool can be seriously persistent, and can interfere with regular antivirus, which is why you want to download it before you run into any such trouble.
Quite a few competing products offer a similar bootable rescue disk to handle the most persistent malware. Bitdefender one-ups the bunch, though. Its Rescue Mode lets you boot to an alternate operating system without the need to create a disk.
Many security suites offer a system cleaner that wipes out junk files and erases traces of your computer and web-surfing history. With NOD32, System Cleaner has a different meaning. Like Webroot’s similar feature, it aims to correct and restore system settings malware may have modified. For example, some ransomware replaces your desktop wallpaper with a ransom note, even before attempting encryption behaviors that might trigger an antivirus reaction.
Everybody should run the SysInspector tool right after installing NOD32. This scanner logs a ton of details about your PC’s configuration, including what services are active, the status of critical system files, and the values of essential Registry entries. The report alone might be valuable to a tech support agent, but the key is SysInspector’s ability to compare two reports and tell you what changed. If you run into any kind of system problem, comparing the current status with a no-problem baseline should give you a clue as to the cause.
Even if you always get someone else to help you out of computer jams, you should still run a baseline SysInspector report. Your tech-savvy niece or remote-control tech support agent will find it extremely helpful.
Good for Techies
Independent lab test scores for ESET NOD32 Antivirus are mostly excellent, with a few that are merely good. Its scores in our own hands-on tests range from poor for basic malware protection to very good for phishing protection and malicious download blocking. It offers numerous features beyond the basics of deleting malware and preventing new attacks. If you’re tech-savvy enough to use it, the Device Control system is the most comprehensive we’ve seen. In that case, you should consider ESET NOD32: It’s a worthy contender.
If that doesn’t sound like you, consider our Editors’ Choice antivirus tools, which pack plenty of more typical security features along with award-winning protection. Bitdefender Antivirus Plus and Kaspersky Anti-Virus consistently earn top scores from the independent testing labs. McAfee AntiVirus Plus doesn’t score as high, but it protects every device in your household. Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus scores high in our hands-on testing, and it’s the tiniest antivirus around.
ESET NOD32 Antivirus v15.2.12 (x64/x86) Crack Internet Security offers effective antivirus protection for Windows, a full array of suite components on Windows and Android, and some uncommon tools. Most components work well, though a few need work