PROS / Kaspersky includes webcam protections and Wi-Fi security notifications.
CONS / A file shredder is not included.
VERDICT / There is no internet security software that beats Kaspersky at protection, performance and usability.
"Editor's note: A newer version of this product is available. The developer lists the new version as offering the following features: change controls and private browsing. We will evaluate, rank and review the new version of this product when we next update the Internet Security Suites Software reviews. When AV-Test releases its next round of test results, we will evaluate that information as well."
Kaspersky Internet Security is better than so many of its competitors that it takes our Top Ten Reviews Silver Award for internet security suites. Whether we are talking about freshly hatched malware or malware that is widespread and prevalent, Kaspersky is second to none in terms of its ability to detect and destroy malware. Moreover, its protection does not come at the expense of slowing the host computer. It also clearly displays which files are dangerous and which are benign.
In our internet security ranking we consider three attributes. The first is protection against infections. The second is how much the software slows the PC that it is installed on. And the third attribute to consider is how accurately the product distinguishes between threats and files that are perfectly safe. The independent software lab AV-Test conducted protection testing in March and April of 2014 during which it subjected Kaspersky to widespread and prevalent malware that was less than four weeks old. Kaspersky’s results were astounding.
This internet security software detected every one of the 20,646 samples, compared to the industry average of 98 percent detection. The protection tests also forced Kaspersky to deal with 138 samples of brand new, so-called zero-day malware, which it identified with 100 percent accuracy. In comparison, the industry average for detection of zero-day malware was 94 percent. Another section of the testing measured the average influence on system performance, to see whether the products bogged down the PCs they were installed on. The industry average was a three-second slowdown on computer speed while web surfing, file downloading, data copying, and installing and running programs. However, when AV-Test measured Kaspersky’s influence on computer speed it could find no effect. The third part of the testing measured usability defined in terms of whether the products got confused between safe files and threats. None of the best internet security software products in the test – including Kaspersky – showed confusion.
The most important feature is the ability to detect, prevent and remove malware, which this software does extremely well, including protection from spyware, rootkits, security exploits and screen lockers. Not all spyware is illegal, but it is rather annoying because it gathers information about you and sends it to someone else without your consent. Rootkits infiltrate operating system areas that only administrators can access to gain control over the system. Security exploits look for vulnerabilities in software applications or data. Screen lockers scam you with ransomware that locks the screen and accuses you of having illegal pornography on your PC. Ransomware scams tell you where to send money to have the screen unlocked so that you can get to your files. Fortunately, new in the 2015 version of Kaspersky is the ability to make backup copies of files before malicious encryptions happen.
This software includes a virtual keyboard that prevents another form of malware called a keylogger. Keyloggers monitor what you press on your keyboard so they can infer logins and passwords and credit card numbers. The virtual keyboard lets you type into an onscreen keyboard. In addition to its antimalware features, Kaspersky provides antiphishing, which means that it warns about the safety of sites and blocks access if you try to go to a malicious site.
Kaspersky is among the top 10 internet security products in terms of advanced features. Just as it scans email and instant messages for threats, it automatically scans removable media such as USB drives. Social media protection is included along with a firewall, parental controls and a bootable rescue CD. It is missing a couple of features that some of its competitors have. There is no password manager or online backup utility. But then not everyone wants those utilities bundled.
Help & Support
Kaspersky users receive help with errors involving installation, configuration and product functionality. Premium support is available for additional fees. Kaspersky will help with networking, product installation, virus and spyware removal, and PC tune-up. You can access standard support by telephone, email or online chat. If you do not find an answer to a question by searching answers to frequently asked questions, using the online knowledgebase or querying the virtual agent, you can reach support in some other ways. For example you can submit a support case using a web form or from within your online account. You could also telephone for technical support. Online chat is available 18 hours per day, seven days per week. The online support page has application configuration tips and a user forum. The support that Kaspersky provides to customers is far above the industry norm.
Kaspersky protects computers in real time against malware. It provides safety from identity theft and phishing. It also secures online financial transactions. Since the software updates itself often, the updates are small and don’t slow down your computer. Kaspersky Internet Security has proven its effectiveness repeatedly in independent software evaluations. Tests conducted by AV-Test in the spring of 2014 showed the software to be 100 percent effective against all threats. Therefore, we can endorse this security suite as a means to protect your home computer and keep it running smoothly.