NOD32's claim to fame is its sophisticated heuristics-based detection of malware; it doesn't try to match virus signatures but rather looks for suspicious activity. This means NOD32 is much better placed to deal with zero-day attacks. And it makes for a lean, mean AV machine - the application won't impose a noticeable burden on even lowly PCs.
Version 2.7 incorporates support for Windows Vista, alongside much improved protection against rootkit infections - courtesy of Anti-Stealth technology. And its efficacy against viruses remains top notch. NOD32 is certified by ICSA Labs and has won the Virus Bulletin VB100 award more times than any other AV vendor.
But NOD32 isn't aimed at ‘fit and forget' novices, and a couple of curve ball techie questions will doubtless wrong-foot some users. Exploring the options and settings can be rather intimidating, while version 2.7 sports the centrally managed enterprise version's array of relatively complicated settings. That said, the interface is clear and easy to navigate, with alert pop-ups to warn the user of any problems encountered.
Features are accessed via the NOD32 Control Centre - a central management system divided into the different areas of protection. Four monitors provide real-time protection for file access, Office document access, email access and internet access. These are backed up by an on-demand file scanner.
Although the software is termed an antivirus, this is a misnomer: NOD32, thanks to its underlying heuristics architecture, is pretty adept at spotting spyware and adware, too. However, the options telling the program to look for potentially unsafe and unwanted applications are disabled by default.