[box type="gray"]Key Benefits
- Offers a good level of protection
- Very good at dealing with malware that is already on a system
- Good phishing protection[/box]
Will it run on my PC?[/box]
The minimum suggested system requirements for this program are as follows:
- Windows XP SP2 / Vista SP1 / 7 / 8
- 800 Mhz or faster processor
- 512 MB or more of RAM
- 480 MB + of free hard drive space
Its good to see another security program confirmed as Windows 8 compatible.
Is it easy to install this program?[/box]
Kaspersky Antivirus 2013 is a breeze to install and its a very quick process to boot. The only real decision you have to make is whether or not to join the Kaspersky Security Network (KSN) or not (it is recommended).
Perhaps the best part of the installation process, something that may well appeal to you, is the fact that getting it onto a computer that has an existing infection seems relatively easy as well. This is notable because many other programs will have big trouble if not put onto a machine that is already clean. KAV 2013 saves many potential headaches in this regard.
If you are running Windows 7 (or 8) then you’ll see a widget installed in addition to the main program. This widget gives you quick access to important functions such as quick scans and reports. You can also drag and drop files on top of the widget in order to immediately discover whether they are suspicious or not.
What is the user interface like?[/box]
If you used the 2012 version of this program then you’ll be very familiar with this new version as it is very similar.
For those of you who are not so familiar with the program, you may be pleased to hear that this program has a very simple layout and is remarkably easy to use:
From this main screen you will have access to the core components of the program such as scanning, updates, extra tools, etc. Clicking on any of these will lead to a more specific screen with further simple to understand options.
At the top of the screen you will also see 3 further options that you can click on, namely Cloud protection – which shows statistics from across the Kaspersky network, Reports – which gives details of events over the last day, week or month and Settings which takes you to an area where you can tweak just about any aspect of the program including that all important Gamer Mode.
What features does the program offer?[/box]
Kaspersky pack a few interesting features into what is marketed as a standalone antivirus program:
KAV 2013 offers protection against websites that serve malware but in addition to that the program also offers excellent protection against what are known as ‘phishing’ sites where cyber criminals would try to trick you into giving up your bank/credit card details.
The program maintains a database of sites known to be associated with phishing and also employs heuristics to identify new sites on the fly. Of the programs I’ve reviewed so far this year this one is best in this area.
Obviously this component is an obvious part of the program. Theres more on this aspect further down the page…
Automatic exploit prevention
This is a new feature that offers you a level of protection even if you haven’t installed the latest patches / run the latest updates on the other software on your computer. Kaspersky Antivirus 2013 can automatically prevent exploits by analysing and controlling the behaviour of your already installed applications and executable files.
If something nasty happens to get past your defences then the program can use System Watcher to undo many malicious actions.
If you are worried about keyloggers recording sensitive information that you may have to enter into web forms then you can use the virtual keyboard instead of your physical one in order to enter your data in a more secure manner.
Will it keep me safe?[/box]
A very strong point of Kaspersky’s lineup this year is the programs’ ability to identify, block and remove malware of various descriptions but this is also the area in which I discovered what I believe to be the program’s biggest weakness too – scanning speed.
In my own testing initial scanning of files took a huge amount of time and significantly longer than any of the competing products I’ve looked at recently. This may be a problem for some people but I would follow that statement up by saying that subsequent scans of the same files were much quicker – it appears that the first time new files are scanned the program takes a very thorough look at them indeed but that it also learns and omits many on subsequent scanning passes.
Of course what this means is that the level of protection gained from thorough scanning is high indeed and my own testing bore that out. I threw many new threats at the program and it blocked every single one of them which is quite impressive. Thats not to say that the program is infallible, as a sample of 100 or so pieces of malware is nothing in the grand scheme of things, but it certainly does suggest that the program will go a very long way in keeping you safe.
Overall I’m pretty impressed with KAV 2013. If you are looking for top notch protection then I would certainly recommend it for your very short list. In terms of computer security it does everything right but there are a couple of things to look out for.
The first is that slow first scan which I mentioned above. Curiously, though, it didn’t seem to slow the computer down very much despite how long it took so it may not be that much of an issue.
The only other issue I have is the cost – some competing products are cheaper whilst offering at least a similar level of protection. Therefore your choice here would be whether the “Kaspersky brand” is worth paying a few extra dollars for. Only you can decide that but you certainly won’t be disappointed if you choose this program for your security needs over the coming year.