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Mac Anti-Virus Test: ESET Cyber Security Edition 2020Published on
Every year, ESET is regularly rewarded for its security solutions on Windows but also on other platforms. The Slovak publisher’s macOS antivirus comes back to us in a 2020 version designed to protect Mac users who want to secure their digital life. Here is our ESET Cyber Security 2020 test (version 184.108.40.206).
Installation and familiarization of the interface
Like its direct competitors, ESET Cyber Security is installed in a traditional way and will require certain authorizations to operate. It will therefore be necessary to go to the macOS system preferences to authorize the antivirus and restart it to ensure its operation.
Before using the antivirus, it is necessary to enter an email address, even if it is only a trial version.
As for the interface, which is still as simple as ever, it fits naturally into the macOS environment, but is cruelly lacking in modernity in terms of aesthetics. On the left side, the user will find a simple menu to access the main features and settings. The reception displays two main elements allowing you to access the protection setting for the machine, Internet and email.
Below, the user will find two shortcuts, one pointing to the update utility, the other to the ESET scanner.
More experienced users can fine-tune the settings of the antivirus and other functions by going to the Preferences menu accessible from the corner of the interface.
Overall, the user experience is satisfactory. It is quite easy to access the different options of the program. It’s a shame that a mini-tutorial is not available at the first launch of the software to make it easier to use this interface, which is starting to get a little old-fashioned.
ESET Cyber Security features
ESET Cyber Security not only protects your computer against viruses with its real-time protection shield. Here are its main features:
- Real-time protection
- Anti-phishing protection
- Web protection
- Email protection
- Process monitor
- Monitoring of updates
Unlike some of its competitors, ESET Cyber Security does not offer a product that is split into different applications such as a VPN or browser extension. All features are directly integrated into the main program. Is this choice relevant? This is what we will see in the next few lines.
ESET Cyber Security Performance
We start our test with the core of the software: its antivirus. In addition to real-time protection, antivirus offers different types of scanning:
- Intelligent analysis: it scans the most exposed directories
- Custom analysis: it allows you to analyze a particular directory or item
- In-depth analysis: the complete scan of the machine
Thanks to its ThreatSense engine, ESET Cyber Security was able to instantly identify the various malicious and potentially unwanted objects we submitted to it. When it is a suspicious application, the antivirus displays a dialog box allowing you to define a specific action. The most dangerous items are directly deleted or sent to quarantine.
ESET Cyber Security has been reactive and waterproof. Suspicious applications are systematically detected by the ThreatSense engine, even when they are viruses targeting other platforms (Android, Windows). The real-time protection did not detect all the malicious samples we submitted to it, but the customized analysis eradicated once and for all the most insidious elements.
The software automatically identifies connected removable devices and allows you to define a global policy for them. Thus, it is possible to block devices according to their nature. This function is not enabled by default, but will be very useful, especially if you need to use an unknown device.
The anti-phishing functionality of the program seemed to us to be much less effective. Indeed, the tool supposed to protect against phishing has not blocked any of the fraudulent pages we have submitted to it. This is a surprising finding, especially when comparing Cyber Security to its counterpart on Windows.
The web protection module has managed to block some pages with suspicious scripts. It is also able to prevent the downloading of malicious objects. On this point, ESET Cyber Security is much more reassuring, whether you use Google Chrome or Safari.
ESET Cyber Security also includes a tool to list the different processes active on your Mac to identify unusual items and let you know if they pose a risk to the system.
The tool is based on Live Grid data. This is ESET’s system for collecting malware samples from around the world via its various users. This data is then transferred to the ESET research laboratory, which establishes its level of dangerousness.
However, ESET Cyber Security’s process monitor does not allow you to disable the listed processes. If you notice an unusual phenomenon and are confident, you will need to go through Apple’s native activity monitor to disable the suspicious process, then run a thorough system scan with ESET Cyber Security to try to clean your machine.
ESET also offers a module for monitoring system updates discreetly housed within its antivirus. The tool is able to identify new updates and encourage you to download them to benefit from the latest macOS security enhancements and patches.
Our opinion on ESET Cyber Security Edition 2020
Overall, ESET Cyber Security is a good solution to protect your Mac from common threats. In most cases, it will act as a last resort to block the execution of malicious software or the display of web pages containing elements that are dangerous to the system.
But when it comes to protecting the user in the true sense of the word, things get more complicated. Indeed, during our test, ESET Cyber Security failed to block fraudulent pages intended to recover sensitive data, such as passwords or email addresses.
The 2020 edition of ESET Cyber Security does not provide any real added value compared to previous iterations of the program. Like ESET’s Windows based solutions, this product for macOS computers has remained virtually unchanged for several years. With a price below 30 euros, ESET Cyber Security 2020 still deserves to be considered, if you have to choose an antivirus for your Mac computer.
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