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Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2014

Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2014
Developed by: Kaspersky labs
Ranked: 3rd
Overall rating:
Best price: $39.95
Purchase:

Stephen
Qualtrough

Reviewer

Technology should make our lives easier

Review summary

Good points Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2014 review good points

• High ratings in independent testing labs

• Slick, well-thought-out interface

• Fixes problem browsing activity

• Fast scan speeds

Bad points Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2014 review bad points

• Installation was frustratingly slow

• Poor phishing protection

Our verdict

Newly revamped Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2013 provides great protection against viruses and spyware. It’s fast (scan speeds are swift) easy to use, light on the system resources and comes with excellent support.

Screenshot of Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2014 1 Screenshot of Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2014 2 Screenshot of Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2014 3

Full review

Over the past ten years Kaspersky has developed a great reputation for providing world class virus protection. Members of its research team are leading experts at identifying and removing the latest virus threats. The 2013 version of Kaspersky’s software offering has been given an overhaul and as a result looks very different from its 2012 incarnation. This antivirus software system got good results from tests in the independent labs but not such great reviews from some users. What’s the final verdict on the Kaspersky system?

Setup

To setup the Kaspersky antivirus system you download the program from the internet but Kaspersky also sends a back-up CD for slow internet connections. The software takes up less space than the BitDefender system and doesn’t cause problems with your computer usage.

You need to make sure you don’t have an existing antivirus on your computer because Kaspersky doesn’t check. We found the installation process fairly awkward and we've read several other reviews where the software refused to install itself because it detected conflicting antivirus software. The software had actually been removed and Kaspersky had incorrectly read the registry files. For a reputable software developer this type of problem should be solved.

Protection

You won’t see most of the Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2013 additions, but you will probably notice a smoother performance and better protection than with previous versions. Kaspersky uses heuristics-based analysis to monitor, restrict and block suspicious program behavior. The Kaspersky system boosts its algorithm method with virus information gathered from other users all over the world in a cloud process. We appreciate the new File Advisor feature that tells you what Kaspersky knows about a suspicious file.

Internet – Kaspersky has a URL Advisor and we like the upgrades, which include being able to mark the security status of links not just on search results but on all internet pages. However, the software doesn’t do anything about the suspicious web links it categorizes other than displaying the status in a pop-up window. Kaspersky Anti-Virus provides great data and identity protection by disabling links to phishing websites. We tried out the Virtual Keyboard feature and we think it makes a good addition to the antivirus package. This tool is good for logging into internet banking sites or checking email as it prevents hackers logging your keystrokes and finding out your passwords.

Malware – The Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2013 offers a number of features to counter malware attacks, including website and email scanning for malicious code, anti-malware technology that allows the program to install on even infected PCs, and a rescue CD to disinfect your system after a malware attack.

IM – The Kaspersky system provides protection from instant messaging software such as MSM and ICQ.

Effectiveness

Lab test Score
Virus detection 96%
Virus removal 98%
False positives 100%

Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2013 is certified by all of the major virus/ malware testing laboratories and the results once again have been impressive. In the most recent tests conducted by AV-Test, Kaspersky detected over 98% of the viruses it encountered and received Certification level as one of the top programs tested. In the most recent tests conducted by AV-Comparatives for 'on demands scans' Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2013 earned the highest rating, catching 98 percent of all malicious software tested. Kaspersky passed the June 2012 VB100 test but it hasn’t had a spotless past – Kaspersky failed six out of the previous 25 antivirus tests which is not something we would expect from a leading antivirus program.

Other independent reviews we’ve found aren’t so complementary about this system’s effectiveness. While Kaspersky detects and removes most threats users have discovered some that beat the system and it takes a support call to sort them out. We found Kaspersky has trouble detecting some of the new phishing sites that can cause problems for your PC.

Scans & updates

The Kaspersky system works in real time and if it comes across something damaging it can actually roll back your system to get rid of malware.

There are four major Kaspersky Anti-Virus scan types including a full scan, a critical areas scan (which scans files uploaded when you start your PC), a vulnerability file scan (for installed applications and operating systems), and an individual file scan (you can drop the file into Kaspersky’s scan function to see if it has any problems.) Every time you plug in a USB or other attachment you are prompted to run a full scan.

Kaspersky updates its virus definitions every hour and is often one of the first to spot viruses in the wild. Updates are automatic, so no intervention is needed and the process runs in the background. We didn’t experience any problems with the updates affecting PC performance. The updates highlight actions taken so you can read which updates have been installed and change settings that might be affecting your security.

If you stumble into something that Kaspersky doesn't recognize, it will automatically send the unknown samples to its labs, to help them keep their virus protection as up-to-date as possible.

Features

Backup disk - There is a facility that lets you create a back-up disk just in case your computer is hit by a system attack that makes it unbootable.

Gamer mode – The gamer mode on Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2013 was also included in previous versions of the software and allows you to view full-screen games or movies without interruption.

We think Kaspersky has a great little feature in its desktop security gadget, which rests on your desktop and changes color if anything comes in that affects your security. The gadget also includes links to the most used and important aspects of the anti-virus software. For quick manual scanning of files, drag and drop your file into the desktop gadget.

Ease of use

Despite being highly regarded for its anti-virus technology, Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2013 had always let itself down with a cumbersome interface. However, with this latest release, Kaspersky have dramatically improved their interface – it’s both clear and fresh and there are color-coded graphics that immediately show you your security status. It's their most approachable antivirus yet, with all the advanced features located under the 'settings' button.

The system is professional to look at and easy to use – a big improvement. We like that you can let the software do its own thing without having to monitor it or give it instructions. But you can also customize the program to schedule scans and personalize your security levels.

Help & support

Kaspersky's support is pretty impressive. A toll-free telephone support number is available and you can go through the online troubleshooter to solve your problem, ending with a live chat if you haven’t got to the bottom of your issue. Kaspersky also comes with useful context-based help files. Email support, FAQs, a user forum and a Knowledge Base are also available.

Overall

Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2013 offers an excellent level of virus detection. The spyware, malware and virus capabilities are strong. Its new interface is neater and simpler than previous versions, although we feel the advanced options need more attention to detail in the usability department.

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Ratings breakdown

Overall
 received a rating of 5 for Overall
Setup
 received a rating of 5 for Setup
Protection
 received a rating of 5 for Protection
Effectiveness
 received a rating of 5 for Effectiveness
Scans & updates
 received a rating of 5 for Scans & updates
Features
 received a rating of 5 for Features
Ease of use
 received a rating of 5 for Ease of use
Help & support
 received a rating of 5 for Help & support