PROS / Kaspersky dominated performance tests conducted by AV-Test software lab.
CONS / Kaspersky doesn't offer 24/7 technical support (but it does provide live technical support 18 hours per day every day of the week).
VERDICT / There is no premium internet security software that is better than Kaspersky at protection, performance and usability.
Kaspersky Total Security beats so many competitors that it wins the Top Ten Reviews Silver Award for premium internet security suites. Whether it is defending against freshly hatched malware or malware that is already endemic, Kaspersky is second to none when it comes to detecting and destroying malware. What’s more is that the protection does not slow the computer it is installed on. Furthermore, it doesn’t get confused about which files are safe and which are threats.
The best total security software accurately identifies threats and protects against infections without slowing down your computer. When it comes to protection, performance and usability, there is no premium internet security suite that beats Kaspersky’s performance, according to tests by AV-Test, an objective source of software test results. During March and April of 2014, when AV-Test subjected 25 of the best total security products to testing on Windows 8.1 (64-bit) platforms, Kaspersky dominated the results.
This internet security software detected all of the 20,646 samples in the tests compared with an industry average of 98 percent detection. The tests also forced Kaspersky to respond to 138 samples of brand new, zero-day malware, which it identified with a 100 percent success rate. 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 surfing the web, downloading files, copying data, 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 how often 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 Kaspersky does extremely well. It protects against viruses, which are computer programs that, when invoked, copy themselves onto data files and continue to spawn clones or modified versions of themselves. Likewise, it defends your system from spyware. 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. The software guards against rootkits that infiltrate operating system areas only administrators can access to gain control over the system. It also protects against security exploits that look for vulnerabilities in software applications or data.
Screen lockers can 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, this application prevents screen lockers from holding your computer ransom.
A virtual keyboard 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, the software 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 at the high end of the top 10 internet security products in terms of advanced features. No competitor has more 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 even includes a password manager, online backup and data vault.
Because the product runs on multiple platforms, every feature is not available on each platform. For example the URL advisor runs on Windows and Macs, but not on Androids. The security notifications for Wi-Fi networks and the parental controls run on Windows, but not Macs and Androids. Conversely, the anti-theft feature is for Androids, not Windows and Macs.
Help & Support
Kaspersky users receive help with errors involving installation, configuration and product functionality. Premium support is available for additional fees. Support staff 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. There is also the option to chat with technical support 18 hours per day, seven days a week. The online support page has application configuration tips and a user forum. The support that Kaspersky provides to customers is above the industry norm.
One license protects three devices for a year. The devices can be any combination of Windows machines, Macs, Android or iOS devices, or Windows Phone. The protection is in real time against malware. It provides safety from identity theft and phishing and secures online financial transactions. Kaspersky Total Security updates itself automatically with small updates that don’t slow down your computer. Whenever any PC in the Kaspersky network of users encounters a new threat, the information goes to Kaspersky Lab. The result is that a signature of the threat goes into a cloud service that your copy of Kaspersky checks to know what’s safe and what’s threatening. Kaspersky Total Security is among the very best of the premium internet security suites because of its performance against security threats and its extensive feature list.