Endpoint security suites aim to do it all: firewall, antivirus, antispam, and sometimes various other security functions. Typically, these suites, from companies such as Symantec, McAfee, Trend Micro, Kaspersky Lab, and Microsoft, are cobbled together from disparate solutions developed by the company or even from pieces purchased from other companies. ESET is now jumping into the fray with a security suite that it claims has tightly integrated components that form a "proactive, lightweight, precise, and fast" whole.

"Unlike a suite that's 'Frankenstein'd' together by grabbing an arm off one shelf and a leg off another shelf and bolting them together, ESET Smart Security was written with all the features together," says Randy Abrams, ESET's director for technical education. The suite was built around the latest version of ESET's NOD32 Antivirus scanning engine (version 3.0) and includes firewall, antispam, and antispyware capabilities. The limited firewall present in earlier versions of NOD32 was extended, and a simpler user interface was added because the existing interface, Abrams said, was too advanced for many users.

ESET is OEM-ing Mailshell's antispam engine, but Abrams was quick to point out that the Mailshell engine is intended to be integrated into products and that ESET designed Smart Security specifically to use the Mailshell engine. Abrams said Smart Security even gets data from Mailshell to use within the heuristic engine of the suite. In fact, according to Abrams, the tight integration of Smart Security enables all the components to communicate with each other, which results in better rules and fewer false positives from the product's heuristics.