Avast vs. ESET — Which Antivirus Is Better in 2024?

Find the best antivirus for you and your devices.
We compare security, extra features, ease of use, and more to help you decide.

Avast vs. ESET: Which Is Right for You?

Raven Wu
Raven Wu
Writer

Avast vs. ESET: Which Is Right for You?

ESET is a comprehensive antivirus suite with really good malware detection rates and an excellent host of additional features. It has good web protections and provides access to advanced diagnostics tools.

Avast also offers great anti-malware and web protections, is easier to use, and provides better additional features.

Read on to find out about each product’s key strengths and weaknesses, so you can decide which is right for you.

Short on Time? Avast vs. ESET — Final Verdict:

  • 1st place: Short on Time? Avast vs. ESET — Final Verdict:
  • 2nd place: Short on Time? Avast vs. ESET — Final Verdict:

ESET is better if you’re an advanced user. If you want an antivirus with excellent malware detection rates and know how to make use of advanced tools, then go with ESET.

Avast is better for beginners. If you want an easy-to-use antivirus with a wide range of useful additional features, then go with Avast.

Malware Protection

ESET

ESET’s malware scanner is really comprehensive. It uses a deep system scan that looks for all types of malware, including trojans, rootkits, cryptojackers, worms, and spyware. When I tested ESET’s scanner by hiding more than 1,000 malware samples on my computer, ESET found nearly every sample. The full scan took under an hour to complete on my computer.

ESET also includes really good real-time protection and a Host-based Intrusion Prevention System (HIPS) that managed to block all simulated ransomware attacks I tested against it.

Avast

Avast’s anti-malware protection performed really well during my tests. It was able to detect 100% of the malware samples I put on my computer. Once I turned its real-time protection on, Avast was also successful at preventing me from downloading any malicious files.

Avast’s full scan was also pretty fast, taking just under an hour. This is pretty comparable to other top antiviruses. Additionally, I noticed no major slowdowns while the scan was ongoing.

Web Security

ESET

ESET’s web security blocked most phishing websites I tried to visit. It also successfully blocked more websites than Chrome and Firefox’s default protections. However, it blocked some safe websites and made whitelisting them quite difficult.

That said, ESET includes a really strong firewall and network inspector to keep you safe from web-based attacks. I particularly like how the firewall includes a range of filtering options that allow you to change the intensity of the protection. The network inspector lets you scan for network-based vulnerabilities, which is helpful if you want to keep yourself protected from network-based exploit attacks.

Avast 

Avast provides very good web protections. It prevented me from visiting most of the phishing sites I found on PhishTank and performed better than the default protections on Chrome and Firefox. While I didn’t encounter any false positives during my tests, it also seems really easy to add such websites to an exception list.

Avast’s has a strong firewall. It also includes a lot of advanced settings that you can use to tweak it to your liking. However, I was disappointed to discover that many of these settings are unavailable on its Avast One product line.

Features

ESET 

ESET offers coverage on up to 10 devices and includes:

  • Firewall.
  • Network monitor.
  • System cleanup tools.
  • Parental controls.
  • Anti-theft protection.
  • Secure browser.
  • Advanced diagnostic tools.
  • Password manager.
  • 30-day money-back guarantee.
  • And more…

I particularly like the advanced diagnostics tools, which let you thoroughly analyze and troubleshoot your system. For example, you can pull up a list of all running processes on your computer and cross-reference them with processes listed on ESET’s cloud database. You’ll see how dangerous a particular process is, how many other users are running the process, and when ESET first recognized the process. This is a great way to identify risks on your system.

I also like ESET’s anti-theft protections, which can completely lock down a stolen device and track its location. This is ideal if you travel a lot with your laptop or want to easily find your phone.

Avast 

Avast covers up to 30 devices and its plans include:

  • Anti-malware protection and real-time protection.
  • Web protection.
  • VPN.
  • Rescue Disk (not included with Avast One).
  • Wi-Fi network protection.
  • Firewall.
  • PC clean-up and optimization tools.
  • File shredder (not included with Avast One).
  • Sandbox (not included with Avast One).
  • 30-day money-back guarantee.
  • And more…

I really like Avast’s Rescue Disk feature, which can help recover your computer if it’s infected to the point that it can’t even run properly anymore. I also appreciate the convenience offered by its various optimization tools that help keep your software and drivers up to date, as well as the additional privacy offered by its advanced tracker prevention capabilities.

Ease of Use

ESET 

ESET is quick to install and pretty easy to navigate. You can access most features via a panel on the left side of the user interface, and when you click on a feature, it appears in the center of the dashboard.

However, ESET’s user interface isn’t the most intuitive, and while finding the features is easy, it sometimes takes more steps than necessary to set them up. For example, setting up a scheduled scan involves going into 4 different windows, while many competitors let you schedule a scan with one click.

ESET’s mobile app for Android is much more intuitive, and it includes some unique features the desktop version of ESET lacks (like a call filter and app lock).

Avast 

Avast is one of the most beginner-friendly antiviruses on the market. Its interface is simple and intuitive. Most features can be accessed with just a couple clicks, and all of its major features have descriptions attached to them that explain what they do. Changing its settings is also very easy, especially with its settings search function, which will take you directly to the page the setting you’re looking for is on and even highlight it so you can’t miss it.

Avast’s mobile apps are very user-friendly as well, but like most antiviruses, its iOS app is pretty limited in features.

Customer Support

ESET 

ESET offers email and live chat support. You can also visit an online knowledge base that contains helpful forums and product guides. I found these guides pretty informative and easy to follow.

ESET offers phone support, but it’s limited to business plans. My tests showed that connection to an agent was quick, and the agent was efficient and helpful. However, it’s unfortunate that phone support isn’t available with other ESET plans.

Nevertheless, I genuinely appreciated the live chat support. It functions within US working hours and provides service in three languages (English, Spanish, and French). Regardless of which I got in touch with, I consistently encountered a friendly and supportive representative.

Avast 

Avast offers live chat, email, and phone support. It has a reasonably active forum and a detailed and well-organized online knowledge base as well.

Avast’s live chat representatives are approachable and can address basic queries well. However, one agent seemed to have difficulty understanding some more intricate questions I had.

Starting Price
Money Back Guarantee
Free Trial
$2.46
30 Days
$8.99
30 Days
Security
Features
Ease of Use
Support
Pricing
9
7
9
7
8
9
7
8
8
8
Latest Positive Review*User reviews are not verified
data-squirrel
Mar. 15, 2021
Reliable in virus detection, average in virus removal
I am satisfied. It detects viruses very well. It removes them with 1-3...
Kshitij Bajaj
Dec. 16, 2020
Nice Software
I like this antivirous. It has protected my pc from so many attacks and...
Mar. 23, 2022
Best antivirus for windows
ESET caught all of the 30,00,000 samples I used in protection of zero-day...
Cyril Bartlam
Mar. 22, 2022
Incorrect Info
In the UK Eset do have a Tech Support telephone number, with Norton you...
Latest Negative Review*User reviews are not verified
May 21, 2023
Thieves
Avast took $77.99 out of my checking account that I did not authorize. I...
Sean
May 9, 2023
HORRIBLE AND WILL NEVER USE IT AGAIN
Besides it being annoying, it also affects my chrome browser. I...
Richard Stephenson
Feb. 5, 2023
Awful
False positives, removes legitimate software and when manually selected to...
Sep. 7, 2021
Blocks WSL2 and WSL1 Network interfaces
works great for most things, bit of a CPU hog on startup but most of my...
Our Verdict
Raven Wu
Raven Wu
Writer
Avast is a great choice for less advanced users, with a very intuitive interface and some useful extra tools. It also has flawless malware detection rates. ESET is an excellent choice if you want a comprehensive malware scanner with a deeper system scan than most competitors. ESET also features great web protections, diagnostic tools, and anti-theft protection. It’s disappointing that ESET’s phone support is only offered to business users, but the live chat and knowledge base were consistently helpful. Both products offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try them out risk-free.
Time To Decide Which One Is Best For You

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I find the best antivirus for me?

The first thing to do is to understand what you need — all antiviruses come with different internet security tools to help you stay protected, so identifying what level of protection you want will help you figure out which product is right for you.

Some antiviruses have a virtual private network (VPN), some have safe browsing extensions, and some have a password manager. Some only work on certain operating systems, while others cover all operating systems across multiple devices.

It’s important to compare the best antiviruses on the market to find the perfect one with the functionality you need.

What makes an antivirus secure?

A high-quality antivirus suite will detect, flag, and remove viruses and various types of malware. It will also offer real-time protection against all threats, regardless of whether you are browsing the internet, downloading software, shopping online, or opening email. For additional security, many antivirus suites offer a VPN, secure storage, and a password manager — these things all add several layers of protection against various cyber threats.

For more information on how antiviruses work, read this.

What do I need to look for when searching for an antivirus?

An antivirus needs to protect against all types of malware — trojans, rootkits, worms, spyware, viruses, ransomware, and anything else that might cause damage to your devices. This is done in a variety of ways, but the most essential feature of an antivirus is real-time protection — this makes sure that an active threat is effectively stopped before anything serious can happen.

Other things to look for include — excellent detection rates, fast system performance, included extra features (like a VPN, password manager, etc.), easy-to-use interface, good customer support, and overall value.

Go here for a list of the best antivirus software of 2024.

How do I know if one antivirus is better than another?

When researching antiviruses, it’s a good idea to visit a few well-known antivirus software websites such as Norton, McAfee, and Bitdefender to directly compare each antivirus’s features.

You can also look at the expert opinions of our reviewers at SafetyDetectives.com to find the most up-to-date and unbiased information about the best cybersecurity products on the market today.

The listings featured on this site are from companies from which this site receives compensation and some are co-owned by our parent company. This influence: Rank and manner in which listings are presented. 
Learn more