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Kaspersky Internet Security Review
Efficient malicious software engine
Built-in system restore capabilities
Access to the Secunia vulnerability database
We found some of the results messages a bit ambiguous
Installation wasn't as clean as we would have expected
Kaspersky Internet Security provides all of the protection you would expect from this software title - anti-virus, anti-spyware, firewall, anti-phishing, anti-spam, and anti-rootkit protection. It could use some improvement on user direction and notifications. Many of the results messages were either non-existent or unclear. However, we feel that Kaspersky Internet Security is worthy of our second place, being beaten out by BitDefender primarily on pricing.
During our installation tests, we found Kaspersky Internet Security a bit tricky and requiring more reboots than we would have liked. On the initial set-up, Kaspersky Internet Security identified software conflicts on our test machine that weren't currently installed, apparently from residual registry keys that weren't previously removed. Kaspersky's technical support does offer tools, such as KLeaner.exe, that you can download from their website to remove some of the most common installation files associated with programs such as AVG and ZoneAlarm.
After removing the old registry keys, loading the installation files and two reboots later - the program was up and running. The installation software is easy to understand and well designed.
On first use Kaspersky Internet Security will startle you with a red alert; this is simply a warning to download the latest updates and can be corrected by clicking their 'Fix Now' button. However, despite the alert, we noted that the software was already in the process of downloading the updates automatically. So, you could just as easily ignore the alert and wait for it to finish - a percentage loaded indicator located on the bottom left of the screen will tell you when it's done.
Anti-virus - Kaspersky Internet Security has a solid set of antispyware tools included. The program was able to block 85% of pop-ups, removed spyware installations and automatically disables links to known malware sites. Kaspersky's suite also scans your system for vulnerabilities automatically - something we feel makes it an excellent choice for spyware control.
Firewall - The Kaspersky firewall is easy to use without compromising on power. Kaspersky Internet Security allows users to configure filtering for specific ports and types of data. Despite multiple attacks on our testing computer, Kaspersky was able to block our attempts to reach both the targeted machine as well as other computers on our network. Recent updates to the software suite also include protection of Wi-Fi and VPN connections.
Parental controls - Included in the security suite, which is a plus since many security software vendors are still making this feature an optional download. These controls allow for three different levels of access and can restrict usage during specified hours.
In terms of effectiveness, Kaspersky Internet Security scored high among its competitors. It detected 98 percent of AV-test.org's collection of malware and spyware. Kaspersky earned an Advanced rating and generated very few false positive compared to other anti-virus programs.
The real time scanner didn't slow down our test system even during large file transfers and we didn't notice any increase in access times when opening programs or booting up.
Kaspersky has introduced a new Security Analyser in Kaspersky Internet Security that checks the Secunia database for the latest vulnerabilities and updates. Though we think this is a great addition to the software, we were disappointed that you must go through each detected problem to correct it and when you have several hundred vulnerabilities to be addressed, this can become both confusing as well as time consuming. We hope that Kaspersky will improve the user interface of this feature in future editions.
Kaspersky Internet Security also includes a virtual keyboard, which we question since many security experts do not believe that these on-screen keyboards actually reduce the risks associated with keyloggers.
Ease of use
Overall we found the interface easy to use with logical groupings. One item to note, though, is that after completion of a quick system scan, Kaspersky Internet Security does not display a results page unless it finds a problem. It simply redirects you back to the scan screen. We feel this could be confusing for some users since it appears as though you hadn't run the quick scan at all. In order to determine if the scan was completed, you have to click on the report button which shows the time and date of all completed scans.
Help & support
Kaspersky Internet Security provides a context-sensitive help file, online FAQs, knowledge database, active user forums as well as e-mail and toll-free technical support. The context-sensitive help files are a distinct improvement over traditional help files in that they allow users to click on help from any screen within the software suite and will take you to the associated help files for the screen you are viewing.
Despite some rough edges, we feel that Kaspersky Internet Security not only upholds the software vendor's reputation for excellence but is a reasonably priced second place option to our top award winner, BitDefender. Kaspersky Internet Security has made significant changes to its malicious software detection engines that make it a solid choice for most security needs.
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