eset smart security vs internet security

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Published date: 11 December 2022
4 January 2023 on 11:39 am

The product range of a security company should be like a ladder, ascending to ever-greater protection. Some users progress from the entry-level antivirus program to the security suite level. A mega-suite with many features, often one rung higher, has features in addition to those found in standard suites. ESET Internet Security, the company’s entry-level security package, comes with all the standard features as well as extras like a novel anti-theft system, a network security scanner, and security for macOS, Android, and Linux devices. The rungs on a decent ladder are uniformly spaced. With ESET Smart Security Premium, which just includes a minimal password manager and a mechanism for encrypting files, such is not the case. Upgrade to ESET’s top suite doesn’t offer much more security, which reduces its appeal.

What is the price of ESET Smart Security Premium?
The pricing structure for ESET is as simple as they come. The entry-level suite is $49.99, the basic antivirus costs $39.99 a year for a single subscription, and the top suite we’ve reviewed is $59.99 per year. Additional licenses for each product are $10 per year each. You would pay $79.99 for three licenses of ESET Smart Security, the same price (or almost the same price) as the entry-level security suites from Bitdefender Internet Security, Kaspersky, and Trend Micro. The price of ESET for 10 licenses is $149.99, similar to Kaspersky Security Cloud.

Before, $99.99 got you an unlimited number of McAfee licenses. You now receive 10 licenses with that subscription; limitless licenses are now $159.99, which is still affordable given that you can secure any Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS device in your home.

Norton 360 Deluxe costs $104.99 annually for five licenses, which is a little more than ESET’s $99.99 cost. But with Norton, you receive five licenses for the cross-platform security suite, five licenses for the unlimited VPN, and 50GB of hosted online storage for backups. Norton can be a fantastic value for you if you have certain requirements, but overall, ESET’s cost is competitive.

Observe Me First
The basic security you receive on Windows is the same as what ESET Internet Security offers, and the file encryption and password management facilities that ESET Smart Security Premium adds aren’t well integrated with the functions offered by the entry-level package. I won’t go over the various features of ESET Internet Security again, so I suggest reading that review first.

There are three sizable blue button panels on the main window, which is nearly identical to the one in the entry-level suite and provides access to key features. One of them is occupied by the Connected Home Monitor, and the other two are owned by the Secure Data encryption system and Password Manager. The sole visual distinction between the suites is which elements are displayed on those three buttons. The blue-and-silver ESET mascot continues to watch from the corner of the screen, and a sizable banner displays the security status overall: green for good, red for bad.

Main Window for ESET Smart Security Premium
You can use your licenses to activate ESET’s Android security app or ESET Cyber Security for Mac, just like with the entry-level suite. The Pro edition of the macOS software, which includes a firewall and parental control in addition to the standard antivirus, is available when you use a suite subscription. However, the firewall doesn’t really add much to what the macOS firewall already does. Parental control is merely a website content filter, much as the Windows program. The macOS edition is readily circumvented because it can’t block HTTPS sites. ESET’s Android security, on the other hand, comes with not-so-common extras like Payment Protection, Network Inspector, Security Audit, and more in addition to the conventional antivirus and anti-theft tools.

You are invited to set up extra tools when the primary installation is complete. Parental control and anti-theft features are offered, just like in the entry-level package. Password managers and secure data features are added by Smart Security. If you’re securing a desktop, you might not need or desire parental supervision, and anti-theft is less important. However, you might as well choose the less expensive entry-level suite if you don’t install the password manager and encryption system.


Installing ESET Smart Security Premium Plus
One more Premium function is available, but you won’t really notice it. The added antivirus component LiveGuard seeks to “identify and stop previously unidentified sorts of threats.” LiveGuard uploads a file to the cloud for analysis if ESET is unable to classify it as safe or harmful. By default, it stops such unknown files from running while it waits for a cloud-based decision. That is a suitable default. It won’t happen frequently, but when it does, a brief wait is well worth it to ensure your safety.

Password Manager Lite
A few years ago, ESET went through a phase where it licensed Sticky Password’s password management technology, even though the ESET version didn’t have access to all of that product’s capabilities. The suite’s password management comes from a different, unnamed third party in more current versions. Although ESET is prohibited from confirming the information, I am confident that ESET licenses the technology from SaferPass due to the existence of a number of distinctive features and characteristics.

You create a password store by first logging into your ESET Home account online. You should be aware that you can ask other family members to create their own unique password storage. You can install the password manager on as many devices as you’d like after generating the password store. For mobile devices, there are iOS and Android apps as well as Chrome, Edge, Firefox, and Safari browser extensions. I’m sorry, but Internet Explorer is no longer supported because it is nearing its end. Any platform that has one of the four supported browsers can use this tool.

Montage 1 of the ESET Smart Security Premium Password Manager
The next thing you need do is create a secure master password. This must, once again, be something you can recall but that no one else would ever imagine. As you type the password, Smart Security rates it, and it doesn’t simply consider its length and difficulty. Using words from dictionaries clearly decreases the ranking. That’s good news considering that ESET once recognized “Password” as a secure password.

In the event that you forget your master password, the tool now generates a 24-character Recovery Key for you to use. You should instantly click the PDF save button or copy the information to the clipboard and save it. This is the only time the key is seen for security reasons. If you don’t take advantage of the chance, you can modify the master password and be more cautious with the new Recovery Key that results. A similar recovery key technique is used by the Tutanota Premium email encryption system.

You are now prepared to go! You are invited to choose one from a list of 10 well-known websites and enter your login information by the password manager. One of the indicators that led me to believe SaferPass provides the underlying technology was the inclusion of AliExpress in this list.

However, you really don’t need to and don’t want to manually input each of your passwords. ESET offers to store your login information when you access a secure website. You have the option to approve the capture, temporarily reject it, or permanently suppress the offer for the current site. You can give the saved entry a descriptive title by selecting the edit pencil button.

Replay of the ESET Smart Security Premium Password Manager
Simply click the ESET icon in the username or password field to access a website for which you have credentials saved. If you’ve stored more than one set, you must select one; otherwise, you can log in by clicking. If you come across a non-standard login form, you might be out of luck because ESET lacks the capability to collect data from all fields like Keeper Password Manager & Digital Vault, Sticky Password, and a few others do.

By importing your credentials from the previous program you were using, you can begin going right away. The 19 sources that ESET may import from include Chrome, Dashlane, 1Password, and SaferPass.

Montage 2 of the ESET Smart Security Premium Password Manager
Your passwords are displayed in an account list that may be accessed by clicking the toolbar button, whether they were imported, captured, or manually typed. According to observation, the accounts are arranged by domain, and there is no way to change this order or arrange the items using folders or tags. The search box at the top will come in handy if you end up with a lot of saved logins.

You should create a secure password as soon as you create a new online account. Why not? You don’t need to keep it in mind! ESET can be of assistance by producing random passwords. It produces 16-character passwords out of the box that contain letters (both uppercase and lowercase), numbers, and special characters. Easy to type is a setting that is automatically selected. Instead, I suggest selecting All characters. ESET can create passwords that are four to 32 characters long, but I don’t advise going any shorter than the default of 16.

A master password and an additional factor, such as a token issued by Google Authenticator or one of numerous similar authenticator applications, are required for multi-factor authentication, which may be enabled by selecting My Account from the Settings menu. This feature increases security. For this form of authentication, ESET actively supports Google Authenticator, Microsoft Authenticator, Twilio Authy, and Duo Mobile. The strange SoundLogin program, which authenticates by sending a tone from your smartphone that the computer’s microphone may pick up, was also supported by earlier iterations. That choice is no longer available.

In addition to filling in passwords, ESET may also fill in personal information on web forms. Each identity that fills out a form contains a simple name, address, and contact information. Credit card information is added individually. ESET places its emblem in the fields it detects when you view a web form. To fill up the details, you click the toolbar button and choose an identity.

Although ESET didn’t populate every field accurately during testing, you don’t have to input anything that it automatically fills. Form-filling software once existed as RoboForm Everywhere, which later transformed into a password manager. With so many different field kinds, it is still a top form filler. Numerous password managers allow you to save multiple copies of credit card information; RoboForm allows you to save numerous copies of any field type.

Identity Manager Premium Password Security by ESET Smart Security
Strong and duplicate passwords are flagged in a comprehensive security audit that is included in top password managers like Dashlane, LastPass, and Keeper. Some even assist in automating the process of changing passwords, swapping weak ones for strong ones, and documenting the modification.

That degree of useful detail is not quite included in ESET’s Security Report. It lists how many of your passwords are outdated, weak, or duplicated. You will only be given a list of the problematic accounts when you click one of those categories; it is up to you to change any weak or redundant passwords. The report also zings you for not utilizing two-factor authentication and cautions you if your master password is weak.

ESET, like many other password managers, can search the HaveIBeenPwned website’s database for accounts that have been compromised. If it indicates that any of your passwords have been compromised, you need to visit the website immediately away and create a new, secure password.

The password manager can be used on a variety of computers, mobile devices, and browsers. That could be a lot of places where your passwords could be seen by someone else. Simply select Secure Me from the options if you’re worried that you could have let password-peepers in. You receive a list of all open sessions, and with a single tap, you can lock them all. Additionally, you can instruct the browser extension to log out of websites, clear cookies, and erase history for all copies of the extension. After you’ve dealt with your current concern, you might want to think about altering your master password, utilizing multi-factor authentication, or doing both. Another hint is that SaferPass is known for this peculiar characteristic.

Although it’s not something we recommend, there are occasions when it’s necessary, such as when you share an account with a spouse or partner. You may safely exchange passwords with multiple users using a number of password managers, including AgileBits 1Password, Keeper, and LogMeOnce. You can designate an heir to get your credentials in the terrible event of your untimely death using the relatively similar digital legacy option. Both of these sophisticated functions are absent from ESET’s password manager.

You must generate a four-digit PIN the first time you log into ESET’s mobile password manager in order to have quick access. If fingerprint authentication is available, it then offers to enable it.

On iOS, use the ESET Smart Security Premium Password Manager.
On a smartphone, the mobile app can easily resemble the browser extension because it shows up in a tall, rectangular window. When installed on a tablet, you can turn the device for a view in landscape orientation. Nearly all of the same functionalities are handled as well, while some, like data import and export, require the use of an extension. You may enable it as the Autofill service on both Android and iOS, allowing it to fill in credentials just like it can on desktop devices.

With mobile apps for Android and iOS as well as browser extensions for well-known browsers, this password manager provides a seamless cross-platform experience. Although it lacks the sophisticated capabilities of the greatest standalone password managers, it is still a respectable, fundamental tool.

Data Security Encrypts Files
If you don’t encrypt all of your critical files, a laptop thief who guesses your too-simple Windows login password could take all of your essential information. Your files are safe from ransomware attacks when they are locked away in an encrypted vault. Simply logical, your most crucial files should be encrypted.

Encryption is made simple with Smart Security’s Secure Data. You construct one or more encrypted virtual drives to store your data, just like with encryption programs from companies like Bitdefender, Kaspersky, and others. When the drive is locked, no one can access the files; when it is opened, it functions like any other drive. With the possibility to remotely seal the vault, Trend Micro Maximum Security expands on the idea, thwarting even a criminal who has your laptop and vault password.

You are guided through building each new virtual drive by a wizard. You select a disk capacity from a list of presets, as well as the name and location of the vault file. A custom size can also be chosen. This step is crucial since, like the majority of such encryption systems, the size of the vault cannot be changed once it has been created. Similar functionality in G Data Total Security smartly provides predefined sizes that are compatible with the storage capacities of CD, DVD, and other media.

Premium ESET Smart Security Safe Data
You then set up a password to secure the drive. As you enter, Smart Security rates password strength, but the ratings are excessively lenient. Although I’ve already highlighted it, Secure Data still rates “Password” as a strong password! Additionally, keep in mind that Smart Security by default decrypts the drive for the active Windows user account. Your files are not secured if you leave your desk without logging out. I advise you to disable this option unless you’ve protected your Windows account with a strong password or biometric option and always lock it when leaving the computer.

The list of your encrypted drives is not kept up to date by Smart Security the way it is by McAfee Total Protection and other programs. To open the encrypted drive, you must instead find and run the vault file. It is now ready to be used like any other drive. When finished dealing with private files, select Eject from the context menu when right-clicking the drive. Be sure to save any open files that are currently on the drive.

One copy of a delicate document wouldn’t be kept in your wall safe while the other copies were left exposed. Instead, you would shred the surplus documents. The same is true for sensitive file originals that are not secured, which is why products that offer encryption frequently come with a secure deletion function. Even the procedure of destroying the originals is included into Kaspersky Total Security’s vault creation. Sadly, Smart Security doesn’t include a file-shredding feature. The most you can hope for is that they at least don’t end up in the Recycle Bin when you delete originals while holding down Shift.

On any portable device, Smart Security enables you to establish an encrypted folder. You don’t need to provide a filename or select a capacity; you only need to supply the password. Again, I suggest turning off automatic decryption for the active Windows user account. The encrypted folder is made accessible by Smart Security when you mount the drive and type the password.

Additionally, you have the option to make your portable, encrypted files accessible from any computer. By doing this, you install a program called ESET Secure Data on the portable drive’s component that isn’t encrypted. To access the encrypted folder, simply start the software and input your password.

Not Enough Value Is Added
All the capabilities you would expect from a suite are included in ESET Smart Security Premium, including cross-platform security, however ESET Internet Security also offers these functions. The premium suite, which is examined here, only adds password management and encryption, both of which fall short. Advanced features like secure password sharing and password inheritance are missing from the password manager. Additionally, there is no secure deletion tool to make sure that forensic researchers cannot recover the original, unencrypted copies of your sensitive files.

Bitdefender Total Security is our Editors’ Choice winner in the category of security mega-suites. It has high ratings from independent antivirus testing labs and boasts a vast feature set that includes password management, camera security, file encryption, anti-theft, and many, many more. Bitdefender is a terrific option if you’re looking for a protection package with all the bells and whistles.

ESET also qualifies as a cross-platform suite because it provides security for Android and macOS devices. Our Editors’ Choice products in that category are Kaspersky Security Cloud and Norton 360 Deluxe. Although Norton costs a little more than ESET for five devices, you receive five security licenses, five no-limits VPN licenses, and 50GB of online backup storage. Kaspersky offers a wide range of efficient security features for the same price as ESET for ten licenses.

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