Goodbye NOD32; Hello Kaspersky!

Eset’s NOD32 has long been our favorite anti-virus program at NeoSmart Technologies. It’s light, fast, powerful, and pretty damn good at doing what’s its designed to do: keeping our systems clean and virus-free.

In recent years (mainly from last year though), NOD32 has fallen a bit behind in the detection rankings, but for the most part had remained a close contender and a decent choice. has the latest testing results (Link currently not working) as summed up in this post at CyberNet News. In the latest round of tests (and the one before that, and the one before that) Kaspersky is yet again at the top, with a 99.23% detection rate for the newly-released version 7 and a 99.13% for version 6.

Our biggest gripe with Kaspersky 6 was the terrible user interface (which relied on the uber-slow MMC with horrid integration) – plus, we were quite happy with NOD32’s excellent service for all these past years and admittedly a bit reluctant to see its shortcomings.

But all that changed with the release of Kaspersky 7. In a test run, we found 3 different trojans on our machines (for a total of 6 infected files) that NOD32 hadn’t detected (even with heuristics enabled and set to the highest level) which Kaspersky picked up immediately.

The real kicker wasn’t the fact that NOD32 missed a trojan, it was the fact that 2 of these trojans have been listed in the Kaspersky virus signature database since mid-2006, and that when reporting such missed trojans the NOD32 team replies in a mostly arrogant manner.

Looking at this thread where a NOD32 user reported to their tech support that several common trojans1 weren’t picked up by NOD32 but were by Kasperksy, the replies by NOD32 moderators are quite shocking. They start off by claiming that the original poster’s title is misleading purposely accusatory (which it isn’t, objectively speaking) and this later escalates (when a new poster claims to have a list of 21 trojans NOD32 failed to detect) into accusations of virus-harvesting and purposely looking for NOD32’s weaknesses.

What should have been a simple “thank you for your observations and our apologies for the inconvenience” became a highly-ridiculous “NOD32 can do no wrong” thread. We’ve been recommending NOD32 since the start, but to us it is clear that this is where we part paths. If a company makes a mistake an oversight of a single trojan, that we can live with. But when moderators on their forum insist on turning it into a personal attack against anyone that has any issues with NOD32, it’s sign that something very wrong is underfoot.

So, goodbye NOD32, you’ve served us well throughout the years (as previous threads and articles will testify). But it’s time for a new AV that continues to improve and without taking offense to simple mistakes. Unfortunately, pride and failure often to lead to one and the same thing – and if there’s a better alternative, we’d be fools not to take it.

Hat-Tip: Thanks, Spencer, for the overview!

  1. One of which was found in our test run here at NeoSmart Technologies 

26 thoughts on “Goodbye NOD32; Hello Kaspersky!

  1. So, so. Thanx for an article. Now I have made my choice… Kaspersky is the best solution.

  2. thanks for letting us all know and do let us know if you let go of Kaspersky and find a better one.

  3. I adopted NOD32 over Kaspersky after a pro recommended it and because I found the Kaspersky interface too complicated. NOD32 has failed to find Trojans twice. The first time was back in June, and the exact Trojan that hit me, I found out, had been listed by McAfee and several other AV sites since the previous November. I never got a response from E-set that indicated that anyone was even listening. This time I didn’t even bother to try to contact them. (Admittedly the Trojan seems to have been a very recent variant – but AVG Anti-Spyware detected it with no problem.)

    NOD32 doesn’t seem to understand that TRUST is what it’s all about. They should bend over backwards when someone reports an undetected virus. In my experience, the people who handled my e-mails could barely speak English, simply sending stock messages that didn’t apply to the situation. Yet where marketing is concerned, E-set has it all together – very slick. It doesn’t add up. As a result, my trust has been destroyed.

    See the thread below.

  4. You should check out Kaspersky 7, they’ve totally overhauled the user interface – which has been one of the reasons we were so hesitant to recommend it before v7 came out.

  5. Thanks for the tip. I’m currently running a personal firewall, NOD 32, and AVG, so I dream of a single program that can do it all. I’m willing to give Kaspersky another shot. How good is the spam filtering?

  6. you can buy hir the latest and original kaspersky w/ 3 yrs license key……i bet you its very genuine…coz i bought it hir…the man selling hir is from kaspersky lab..

    very cheap compared from the product at kaspersky lab?its very great..i luv it much?updates is every hour?

    Editor’s note: Payloadz seems to be on the up and up. Local legal restrictions may apply regarding the reselling of computer licenses, but it’s not an illegal downloads/warez/scam site or anything of that sort as far as we can tell.

  7. I have been using nod32 for many years (version 2.7). And a few months ago I decided to upgrade to the latest version, nice interface and all but a month later I noticed my computer was not performing as well. Uninstalled nod32 and installed kaspersky 7 antivirus and it detected about 6 viruses. I have been using nod32 for many many years but it just seems that this time that kaspersky is currently the way to go until nod32 get back on their game.

  8. I have to agree with the above poster (The One) I have used NOD32 & have even recommended it & installed it on many of my friends & families machines; the other day I got a trojan (ZLOB IIRC) even though I make it a habit to put D/L’s into a desktop file & scan them with NOD32 before opening. I scanned this file as usual & NOD said it was clean….opened it & *BAM* there were the nasties. NOD32 caught some of it after it was opened but it still affected me; I.E. desktop image changed, task manager missing, start up menu changed, no access to My Computer/C-drive/documents etc.

    I used Firefox with scripts disabled (my usual browser) to find the cure because the IE-7 was affected by this trojan as well & was redirecting, anyway I used a bunch of FREE programs to rid myself of this garbage since my two pay services failed me in my hour of need (ESET NOD32 & PC TOOLS SPYWARE DOCTOR) The moderators on “wilders security forums” are nothing more than NOD32 cheerleaders & pompous, arrogant replies are the norm for them from all I’ve read on their site; any problems with NOD32 & you’re painted as a villain….shame on you ESET.

    I’ve been a faithful user for years but I’m now shopping for an alternative to NOD32 – GOODBYE ESET until you can get your act together!

  9. I have been using F secure for several years without any problem. I had a plan to try Kaspersky but after reading the above comment I am afraid to try any new Antivirus Software. I like F secure.

  10. Hi,

    How would you compare Eset NOD32/Eset Smart Security and Kaspersky AV/Kaspersky KIS? I an trying to find out some opinions from direct users of both of the antivirus software.
    Thank you in advance.

  11. Hi,

    I unfortunatelly have to agree with you… I have been using NOD32 for years and years now…. Recommending it to all of my friends and relatives – so I must have brought them chunk of money myslef… One thing is – I never needed their assistance until recently when I dealt with horrific experience… I am graphic designer, not PC guru but I would definetely not call myslef beginner (which is what their tech supprt called me)… I am not going to go into details but they were fast to blame my machine, windows, drivers, god almighty himself but it was by no mean Eset error… So thank you for this post, I will be defintely switching to Kaspersky – NOD32 if you guys are reading this post get your act together and sort out your cusomter support!!! No matter how big company is it only lives as long as customers are buying product… If I would treat my clients the way you treated me (and lots of other people from what I read here) I would be gone loooong time ago….

  12. October 2009, I had a horrible Virut.NBP attack.

    Of course NOD32 never saw it coming, I lost all my EXEs, etc… switching to KIS 2010

    NOD32 4.0 is really bad. Kaspersky continues to improve

  13. I found this after a google search about nod32 and kaspersky. So many people have always recommended KAV or KIS to me but I was totally hooked on and convinced by NOD32, not partly because of Leo Laporte, The Tech Guy podcast and his recommendation. Plus, when I first tried NOD32 I was so impressed by the seemingly insignificant memory footprint and low CPU usage, I bought into it right away.
    Lately however, during a couple of momentary lapses in reason on my part, I opened some files without first scanning them separately. The first time it happened I had NOD32 running to scan opened or created files, also the processes running in memory. Suddenly I noticed myself, a huge increase in CPU usage. I opened up my task manager replacement program and saw some obviously randomly named files using a lot of CPU. names like Rg57Klm00.exe running from either C:/ or C:/windows or a TEMP folder. There were four of them at one point and I killed each one whereupon a new one would return and keep re-spawning the others. It took some doing to kill off the right processes in order to stop this self perpetuation cycle!!
    Then I noticed four hidden processes of IE windows. I fired up an http monitor and saw that these browser windows were all going to Russian urls. Two of them didn’t work when I visited them and the other two had some kind of forms on them, nothing written but I guessed it was probably some kind of stolen data exchange for the virus to report any data it found on the host PC. I then decided to rip the router Ethernet cable out and not allow any more virus activity to use the network until I fixed it!
    In the end, the virus had downloaded other viruses and I traced back to what I think happened. It was a lot of stuff to try to work out and the viruses had done so much damage that I ended up reinstalling Windows. :(
    Yet all throughout the whole process, NOD32 was happily sitting there, scanning everything, yet not warning of virus activity at all!
    I just switched to KAV 2010 and I have to say, so far, it has been excellent!
    Very small memory imprint so NOD32 no longer wins on that score. In fact NOD32 was actually starting to become a lot harder on the system than it ever used to be, since going up to version 4.
    In conclusion, KAV seems to be better and comes with very high recommendations. It has warned me off of a few viruses already, even finding one in a file I had on my HDD that NOD32 must have missed every time it did a full scan…

  14. Nod32 was and will be the best anivurus of the world.Eset the fastest and antivirus in the world.Kaspersky is not antivirus!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. You spammers seem to assume that no one will read the article and comments. Perhaps you haven’t read them yourselves. What they say, almost unanimously, is that NOD 32 WAS a good program but their technical support is rotten, and that the program as it exists now lets viruses (in my case, Trojans) through.

    ESet, the way to win customers’ trust back is to provide decent customer service and LISTEN when a customer reports a virus attack instead of trying to deny it has happened. Paying people to spam forums is NOT the way.

  16. Hehe. these moronic posts shouting that NOD32 is the best ever really are pathetic. I reckon they never even bothered to read the article or my previous comment.

    well, a lot of time has passed and I am now back to using ESET products.
    However I went back to the older 2.7 version. It is much easier on the system, plus, unlike versions 3 and 4 you do not have to disable http scanning in order for some programs tro function! there are lots of programs that WILL NOT WORK unless you do this in versions 3 and 4.

    What kind of crap is that?

    Either you allow an exception for a program and then expect the antivirus to LEAVE IT ALONE! or you do not and expect the antivirus to scan the activity of the program.

    Yet the recent versions of NOD32 just do not care about certain exceptions!!!

    It is a known fact for many programs, you go to their support and they tell you ‘Oh do you use ESET? You have to disable the HTTP scanning for the program to work’??!!

    Great antivirus software then! So even when I add programs to the exceptions it still scans them?

    It used to be a great program and now it is not.

    End of story.

    Kaspersky on the other hand, whilst being a great AV, I did not like the interface and it also uses a lot of resources…

  17. Of course if you use the pirate of nod32 or smart security it probably will not
    work properly.Eset smart security was and will be the best antivirus in the world.
    Kaspersky works very slow and heavily loads the system down to hang.I recomend to use
    Eset Smart Security

  18. Again, “Vuqar”, if you’d read the posts, you’d see that several of us who have made comments here have been greatly disappointed wth ESet’s tech support. If we were using a pirated version of the software, do you really think we’d try to get answers from tech support? It’s the very fact that we pay a lot of money on a yearly basis for AV software that makes us expect something from a tech support department. In my case, the people who handled my e-mails could barely speak English, and sent stock messages that didn’t apply to the situation. Not once did anyone seem to take an undetected Trojan seriously.

    Your latest post, while longer, still sounds as if it’s pasted from a box of pre-prepared talking points. Folks, this thread looks as if it’s going to turn into a spam war. I for one am not going to spend any more time here. Read the article and the comments through Feb. 2010 and then go seek honest opinions about the two AV suites elsewhere.

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