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Eset NOD32 AV Vs. Norton AV 2009

Eset NOD32 Anti-Virus Vs. Symantec Norton Anti-Virus 2009

ESET's NOD32 has been by far the overall favorite by most people in the Warez Community mostly due to it's low use of system resources. However, not too many people have checked up on what actually matters, protection. If you look at ESET's products ratings from AV testers you will see it is far from perfect. Norton, or any product by Symantec for that matter, has been instantly hated on known for it's trademark system slow-down. Recently Symantec has re-designed the Norton engine introducing significant speed-ups and new features designed to accelerate a number of aspects of it's product. Norton has and always been slightly higher in it's protection ratings, let's see if it can stack up to ESET's performance standards.

Speed and surprises.

We have all grown to click next, un-check the automatic installation of Ask Toolbar, Smiley Central or another house for spyware, accept the license agreement and reboot if necessary. Installing security products tend to go differently. Most security products ask questions during the install about your home network, how interactive you want the product to be, your preferred level of security and if you want to password protect your settings. Eset's NOD32 Anti-Virus did exactly this minus the restart part. As part of the improved Norton engine the install was changed all for the better. You double click the installer, uncheck or click install depending if you would like anonymous system settings sent to Symantec, which for the record I never partake in, then sitback for the install. The one minute install. Sure, when you think one minute install you don't think anything of it but when all you have to do is click a button once and a program, drivers, and services are installed in about one minutes time in which the installer auto-closes and the program moves to the background itself without asking any questions, it's kind of nice. Not to mention the default settings will probably fit most users, with some wanting to change one or two to increase performance. Although it's not a big deal. Norton's install was much more "automatic" which is a nice change.

Processes & RAM Usage
Why you're here.

This is the reason 99% of you are reading this thread. To save your precious RAM to increase the speed of Windows, run more programs, or just because you can. As your reading this you're probably the best anti-virus solution for system performance is owned by Eset. You're also probably a little confused about why I'm comparing Norton with NOD32. Well let's find out.

After installation of Eset's NOD32 Anti-Virus you can see that the program operates off two services, ekrn.exe, the programs engine, and egui.exe, the control panel side of the program. Norton also installs two services at install but names them both the same. One operates the Norton engine, the other Symantec Updates.

Now for the results.

When Idle

Eset's NOD32 Anti-Virus varied from 32 - 38MB of RAM when idle while it's GUI was steady at around 1.5MB.

NAV2009 used much less memory when idle then NAV09 by using on average about 8MB combined.

When scanning NOD32 didn't see much of an increase in memory usage.

Norton took much more system memory scanning then it did when idle but it just about matched the amount of memory used when scanning as NOD32.

Interface & Options
Who's prettier?

I found both applications very appealing in terms of GUI and to a degree both had sufficient options for the basic and advanced PC users. I found that Eset's product has a more basic interface even under the "Advanced Interface". The advanced options inside of the advanced interface seems very cluttered. You see a clean interface with few options then all the sudden there is a huge list which can be expanded filled with options that can be very intimidating, this feels like it was thrown in at the last second or the graphics designer quit before he got to the advanced part.

The advanced options box inside of Eset's NOD32.

Norton's interface is much more image oriented, you could say their graphics designer decided to stay until the product was finished. By looking at Norton's "Home" page you instantly notice they have tried to look like the next generation of software, also known as "Vista-ized". There is no "File, Tools, Help, etc." menu, instead all settings are placed accordingly. To try and prove that they sped up the speed of the program they included a CPU usage gauge. I personally disabled this as soon as I saw it mainly because I wasn't worried about Norton taking up anymore then 4% of a single core away from my quad. I preferred Norton's interface over NOD32's mainly because it was less intimidating while containing about the same options.

Special Features
Are the extra's worth the space?

When looking for an anti-virus solution the key things you look for is the hit your system will take from constantly this program as well as the main reason we use anti-virus, protection. We expect an anti-virus program to have a few must-have options and features such as built in anti-spyware protection, scheduled scans and an efficient update system. Anything else is essentially an extra

Eset's NOD32 Anti-Virus

This is another section in which NOD32 seemed to lack. It does have a form of website protection where it takes a list of sites from another company that it considers dangerous to everyday users. This is lots of fun for W-BB users, USAW users and about ten more warez forums that were blocked thanks to this feature. Needless to say it does do it's job nicely and can be considered as a parental control. Other then this feature nothing stood out as special.

Norton's "Insight" feature designed to speed up scans and decrease memory usage.

I was very impressed with the features Norton fit in while using such a low amount of system memory. The main feature I'm sure that people will like is called "Insight". This program connects to a Norton database which has a list of "safe files" that once Norton confirms they are safe it will not scan these files during a system scan nor in it's auto-protect (on-the-fly system scanning). I did not play around with this feature too much but I'm sure if someone spend sometime playing with Norton's system files they could find a way to add your own files to this feature to dramatically speed up scanning.

The Warez Factor
Assuming you are going to download one of these program I thought it would be a good idea to throw in this section.

NOD32 has been successfully cracked. You can download a pre-cracked version which is a trial that has been modified to last around 60 years, it is probably one of the easiest programs let-alone anti-virus programs I have installed by downloading illegally. You simply run the .exe and restart. However, if you have installed a previous version of any of Eset's products you must completely remove it by uninstalling it as well as deleting all registry keys it has left behind. If you do not do the new installation will not be cracked. I recommend uninstalling your previous product with YourUninstaller 2008 as it will do this all automatically. They're alternative methods of cracking NOD32 such as using programs like NodLogin but I have found the extended trials to be the easiest. Once cracked NOD32 shows zero nag screens or "Buy Me" icons.

Norton's nag screen.

This is a section where Norton was beaten by NOD32. Norton has exactly been cracked, it has a trial reset program which much start with Windows. This wouldn't be a problem if it didn't show a nag screen each time you click the Norton icon your system tray. Note, Norton does not show this screen ever by itself. If only shows the nag screen when you open the program to perform a system scan or change a setting. This is something I can learn to live with as I am willing to trade added protection and a faster anti-virus in exchange for a nag screen to change my settings.

The End.

I have been using NOD32 for months, I've been very happy with the low amount of memory it consumed and even ran it on my old Celeron D, 256MB RAM, 160GB 5400RPM Hard drive, desktop. Until last week. I have compared a number of aspects of each anti-virus and neither of them took the "W" in each category but overall Symantec's Norton Anti-Virus 2009 has beaten Eset's NOD32 Anti-Virus. It is faster, it has more options and it has better protection statistics. The only aspect that should make you second guess Norton is the nag screen. I have gotten over it but I know a number of people will not make the switch just because of the annoying screen. Overall Norton Anti-Virus is a better solution for both protection and saving system resources.

If you any questions about this comparison, either product, or a request for me to compare other products feel free to ask.
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