Anti-virus test: ESET Smart Security Premium 2020

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This year, antivirus vendors are taking their time to offer new versions of their software. Always on time, ESET recently presented its security solutions for the coming year. It was therefore the ideal opportunity for us to test them and more particularly the most complete offer of the publisher: ESET Smart Security Premium 2020. Will the antivirus improvements be enough to reach the highest steps of our antivirus comparison?

Installation of ESET Smart Security Premium 2020

Installation is a fairly quick formality at ESET. The file to be recovered is lightweight and the operation has only a few windows. ESET asks us for the type of our license: just click on “free trial license” to start the evaluation period. Also note that it is necessary to enter an email address that will be useful if you eventually acquire a license for the product. If you already have an ESET account, it will do the trick.

ESET Smart Security Premium 2020

ESET Smart Security Premium 2020 then proposes to activate ESET LiveGrid, a reputation system that improves user security, as well as the detection of unwanted applications, i.e. software that can potentially slow down the system’s operation. To put all the chances on our side, we check both boxes. All that remains is to click on “install” to complete the operation on our test computer.

Configuration and first launch of ESET Smart Security Premium 2020

Immediately after installation, ESET Smart Security offers a configuration step to install or activate advanced antivirus features. In addition to security, ESET offers us a password manager, data encryption, parental control activation and an anti-theft device.

ESET Smart Security Premium 2020

We then arrive at the main interface of ESET Smart Security 2020 and see that it has remained virtually unchanged. There is a clear and fairly airy window: on the left side, a brief menu links to the various tools while the right side allows you to see the details of each feature or shortcuts to specific menus. The differences from the 2019 edition are slight: the menu text has been adjusted so that it only takes up one line per tool and some elements have a different color, but that’s all!

ESET Smart Security Premium 2020

On its own, the antivirus software immediately carried out a first scan to check the integrity of the system: a good point for the user’s security.

ESET Smart Security Premium 2020 Performance

As usual, we have on hand a selection of threats that we have submitted to ESET Smart Security Premium 2020. As soon as we reactivated the real-time protection, the antivirus immediately appeared. So much so that we literally crumbled under the “detected threats” windows and barely managed to click on “delete”. It would have been easier to group threats in the same window than to chain them one behind the other.

ESET Smart Security Premium 2020

We then run a complete scan of the computer so that the antivirus can scan the entire hard disk. It is of course possible to choose a custom scan on specific folders or on a device connected to the computer.

The analysis is relatively fast and we were able to continue to use our test machine without any problems. ESET Smart Security Premium 2020 has succeeded in eliminating a large part of the detected threats on its own and has requested validation for some elements. We note above all that the viruses and other malware placed on our PC have indeed disappeared and that is precisely what we are asking this security solution to do.

ESET Smart Security Premium 2020

Other ESET Smart Security Premium 2020 features

As a premium solution, ESET has loaded its software with tools that are more or less useful depending on the user’s profile. We find small bonuses that have become quite common, such as the player mode, the protection of banking transactions or even parental control. As mentioned above, a password manager is also included as well as a webcam protection module.

In the new products section this year, it’s rather meagre. The publisher communicated only on improvements to a few existing features: the anti-ransomware shield, the license manager, banking transaction protection and monitoring of connected devices.

We will quickly move on to license management, which is accessible via the “my.Eset” web platform and allows us to know on which devices the ESET solution is installed. Remember that the purchase of an ESET Smart Security Premium 2020 license protects Windows, Mac, Linux and Android devices. (This is also the case for the Internet Security version).

Protection of banking transactions

The banking transaction protection tool is actually a modified version of your web browser. In the latter, you can connect to your bank’s website or make purchases without fear of your data being recovered.

Parental Control

When ESET Smart Premium Security was first launched, we were asked to configure parental control. We dodged it to find out later during the test. However, it was impossible for us to find a link to this famous parental control in the antivirus interface. We had to uninstall it and then reinstall it to be able to find it again at the time of configuration.

ESET Smart Security Premium 2020

Parental control was convincing even if it could improve readability; some windows were a little narrow. After choosing the child’s session, it is possible to ban the categories of sites that the child should not visit. Depending on your age, ESET offers predefined choices that can be modified. As far as blocking is concerned, it is relevant and effective. Parental control settings can be protected with a password if necessary.

Web protection

ESET Smart Security Premium 2020 offers complete web protection including web browsing and email. We were able to check its effectiveness for ourselves: the antivirus appeared as soon as we tried to download a suspicious file from the web.

We had some difficulty seeing ESET in action when it comes to phishing attempts. Indeed, on Firefox, browser protection systematically took over. We had to use Edge to confirm that yes, the misleading sites are indeed blocked by ESET.

ESET Smart Security Premium 2020

Password manager

Increasingly present in security suites, ESET’s password manager takes the form of additional software to be installed in addition to antivirus software. It is called ESET Password Manager and it is difficult not to notice the aesthetic similarities between the two.

After choosing a master password (to be memorized, as it is impossible to recover in case of forgetting), all that remains is to enter the associated identifiers and passwords. Thanks to extensions for Firefox, Chrome, Opera and Safari, the software is able to store the ones you use on your browser and offer them to you if necessary. The whole thing works well and there are even some well thought-out ideas such as sharing passwords between several users on the same PC or even the security dashboard. The virtual keyboard and password generator are also included.

ESET Password Manager

We quickly switched to the monitoring tool for connected home devices, which maps the objects on the Internet network.

There is also a toolbox to access an activity monitoring tool, a bootable key creator or a system cleaning utility. The webcam protection module is also part of the solution and always effective.


Is ESET Smart Security Premium 2020 a good security solution? Yes, without a doubt. The product is effective in protecting users and effectively neutralizes the many threats on the web. The ancillary tools are also convincing and well thought out, as in previous years.

But the program suffers from a real lack of new features. What is the point of releasing a version stamped 2020 when the only changes are improvements to existing features compared to version 2019? The continuation of a vintage version becomes questionable for the publisher. There are also some ergonomic elements that could be improved, such as the accessibility of parental control.

Nevertheless, if you are looking for an effective antivirus that can protect your devices, ESET Smart Security Premium 2020 is an excellent candidate and remains one of the most effective security suites on the market.

Download ESET Smart Security Premium 2020

Buy ESET Smart Security Premium 2020

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