ESET Smart Security 4

Security vendors have taken to producing security suites that offer far more protection than just anti-virus protection and Smart Security 4 is ESET’s latest software suite

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ESET Smart Security 4
By  Jason Saundalkar Published  June 15, 2009

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Key Specs

HD space: 46MB
Licence: 1
Memory: 48MB
Number of users: 1
OS: Microsoft Windows 2000/XP/Vista

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If you want to protect your desktop or notebook PC from the various threats running rampant on the Internet, you’ll need security software that’s capable of dealing with viruses, Trojans, malware, hackers and more. Because of this, security vendors have taken to producing security suites that offer far more protection than just anti-virus protection and Smart Security 4 is ESET’s latest software suite.

The suite has a dual personality in that it can be configured to satisfy novice users as well as experienced, tech-savvy users. This starts right from the installation process as you can choose to have a fully automated installation with only a couple of user prompts or, if you want full control over what’s happening, choose the advanced setup. Going with the automated setup, the software was installed and running in two minutes and 30 seconds. Going the advanced way, you can easily setup every aspect of the installation process. Great.

As with previous versions of ESET’s software, Smart Security 4 is very light on resource use. Taking a quick look at Windows’ ‘Task Manager’, the software was occupying only 54Mbytes of memory and 60Mbytes of hard disk space. As a result, we didn’t notice any performance penalty when working on our machine with the resident scanner running in the background. The only time we noticed a very slight slowdown in performance was when we ran a full scan of our hard drive and continued working on e-mails etc.

In terms of what’s on offer, Smart Security 4 isn’t massively different from its predecessor. That said the changes this suite boasts do make it a worthwhile upgrade. The antivirus is able to automatically clean infections now and, amazingly, boasts even smaller definition upgrades than before. This is brilliant given that the updates weren’t massive to begin with but the smaller sizes now will make this software a great buy for those using dial-up connections.

The e-mail scanner is also now also to integrate with a greater breath of e-mail clients in terms of being able to scan incoming e-mail. Whereas previously the scanner was only able to work with Microsoft Outlook, it now works with Outlook Express, Windows Mail, Windows Live Mail and Mozilla’s Thunderbird. While these improvements are welcomed, it’s a shame that ESET still hasn’t been able to integrate parental controls and a backup utility to help a user backup critical data. These additions would surely make the suite more competitive when compared to suites from Symantec and McAfee.

Using the software for a period of one month, it ably blocked a number of threats from taking up residence on our machine. It caught viruses and Trojans in e-mails, web downloads and also blocked a few suspicious intrusion attempts with its built-in firewall. In ‘Standard mode’ the software does a good job of protecting your machine automatically but if, like the setup you want more control, you can switch to an ‘Advanced mode’. Doing so allows you to control almost every aspect of the software so you can setup Smart Security 4 to work exactly the way you want it to. You can for instance setup the software to exclude certain files from scan, setup the firewall to allow access to specific software and more.

Verdict: While not perfect, Smart Security 4 has a number of strong points that make it a worthwhile buy for new users interested in protecting their PCs. We recommend updating to this newer version even if you have the predecessor because even though it isn't a major overhaul, the new features do make it a more comprehensive security product.

3395 days ago
andy trappe
User rating: 5 stars

Pros: very light on system resources, can be configured in a multitude of ways to tailor the level of protection to your specific needs, unobtrusive. easy to use for all - there are two modes standard and advanced modes.

Cons: doesn't have child protection filters - whilst this isn't an issue for myself and it does keep the software running as light as possible it is worth mentioning for all you parents.

eset don't bother with unessessary gimmick features instead focusing on a very robust and reliable av that is very light on system resources. i would rather have this on my machine than any other security suite.

3424 days ago
User rating: 4 stars

Pros: good anti virus

Cons: hard to used

good security protection but its hard to set up

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