ESET Cybersecurity for Mac
• Great performance without speed problems
• Fast scans
• Customizable and flexible
• No 24/7 support
• Features can be complex
Ideal for the Mac owner that loves to customize and control their machine’s protection, ESET Cybersecurity for Mac comes with an extensive feature set and a range of sophisticated scanning controls.
ESET is, like many companies offering Mac anti-virus protection, known for its Windows software. This Slovakian company has recently expanded its anti-virus offering to include two Mac protectors – the ESET Cybersecurity package that we review here, and the more expensive ESET Cybersecurity Pro which adds extra features to the mix.
Designed to stop both Windows and Mac malware, this software boasts strengths in defending your computer from spyware and spam. The social media scanner is useful as it checks your Twitter and Facebook accounts for potentially risky links as well as giving you a few pointers on the best privacy settings. Anti-phishing capabilities are also included in the package.
AV Comparatives tested the Pro version of the ESET Cybersecurity program in July 2015 and the researchers say "protection against both Mac and Windows malware in our test was perfect.” In the 2014 tests this software also scored well. Tests on previous versions of the software demonstrated no significant slowdown when the scans were taking place. ESET scores well in this regard and the speed of the machine wasn’t an issue for us when we used it. We have seen a few negative reviews about system speed with ESET, however, so we think it’s a shame that no AV Test has been run on this product this year.
Scans & updates
A variety of scan options makes this a well-rounded, useful anti-virus program. The scan options include the Deep Scan (full scan), Smart Scan (a scan of the most crucial areas in the computer), a Custom Scan and a Removable Media Scan. Once you access the control panel you choose one of these options, and you can also add your own scheduled scan to start at a later time. Cloud-powered scans keep a close eye on files as you open them so you can be sure your machine is protected at all times. ESET Cybersecurity provides protection from malware using the standard signature recognition as well as heuristics and advanced heuristics, which is common with Windows but not so common in Mac anti-virus.
The software immediately scans any iOS device that you connect to the Mac, and there is also protection against the unauthorized copying of data to a connected device. If you want more protection like a firewall and parental controls you need to upgrade to the Pro version of this software. The Pro version is a comprehensive package while the standard version is rather more basic, although the features you do get are customizable and easy to use – there’s also the option for disabling popups from the software when you’re watching a movie or giving a presentation.
Ease of use
The simple interface immediately shows when the set of protective features are working correctly with a big green tick. But dig down a bit deeper and you’ll find a whole host of customizable options that make this software easy to personalize. For example, you choose between heuristics or advanced heuristics, or the Live Grid feature, and customize the real-time file system protection options.
But while ESET Cybersecurity does have its set of complex features, it is still easy to set up and install for people without any technical background. In just a few minutes you have actionable protection that helps safeguard your Mac. And it’s easy to navigate, with explanations and answers to common questions displayed when you hover over “?” buttons in the interface.
Help & support
The Knowledge Base gives you the option to search on any topic you type in, although questions didn't always turn up particularly relevant answers for us. You have the option to submit a case online and the forum is active with recent questions and replies. No chat, and telephone access depends on the country you are in. In the UK, for example, you can call during business hours and during the day on Saturdays. There doesn’t seem to be a telephone service for US residents.
In our view, ESET Cybersecurity for Mac offers something for everyone, whether you want simple, quick-to-run virus protection, or you want to delve deeper and set up a personalized set of scans. The anti-virus performance is strong, and if you want more features like firewall and parental controls the Pro version makes a decent upgrade.
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