I tried ESET Smart Security 5 and after only a few days I dumped it. I’m not a fan of Personal Firewalls anyway, just virus protection, so it was likely I wasn’t going to be happy from the start.  Most users don’t know how to properly use a software firewall and so they either limit their ability to use the internet or properly keep security updates installed, or they allow everything which is the same as not having a firewall, so why bother to waste the resources.

The ESET Nod32 virus protection has always blocked my website because I have exe files in my root directory (I recently removed them). Those files were not harmful, but ESET didn’t bother to check that, instead made a judgment about a website based on the mere existence of executable files. Not really protection, but over protection.

I found the Smart Security was equally over protective. Even after turning off the protection my Outlook couldn’t connect to my exchange server to get my email. Why? Apparently because my auto discover address reroutes traffic to a different server. I can see why protection software would worry about such a thing, but in this case it was needed – in fact the purpose of an auto-discover CNAME for exchange accounts is to simplify hosted exchange setups. The fact the ESET couldn’t recognize this or even provide a way to disable it gives them a big thumbs down for OVER PROTECTION. I did have interactive mode turned on, because there were other false positives for software and websites that I use. I even placed my auto discover address in the allow list. Still blocked Outlook form connecting.

In fact ESET is just south of turning the internet off as far as over protection. Don’t waste your money on such a product. Unplugging your internet is more effective if you need this much protection.