- Offers a good level of protection
- Great malware removal abilities
- Online banking protection
Here today is my review of the latest security suite from Russian firm Kaspersky Labs. This is one of three home security solutions on offer from Kaspersky and sits in the middle of their antivirus program and their more comprehensive suite known as Kaspersky One.
Will it run on my PC?
The minimum suggested system requirements for this program are as follows:
- Windows XP SP2 / Vista SP1 / 7 / 8
- 1 Ghz or faster processor
- 1 GB or more of RAM
- 480 MB + of free hard drive space
Is it easy to install this program?
Yes it is.
Simply follow the simple instructions and you’ll be up and running in no time. The only interaction required from you during the installation process is to click on an install button (thereby confirming your acceptance of the EULA) and an optional unticking of a box if you don’t wish to participate in the Kaspersky Security Network (KSN, as seen above).
If you are running Windows 7 (or 8) then you’ll see a widget installed in addition to the main program (you can see this top, right in the following image). 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?
I do like security companies who keep their programs looking simple because for every computer or security expert out there there are thousands of other potential users of programs like these who could be scared away by having hundreds of options thrust at them.
Kaspersky cater to the masses here with an interface that is kept clear of clutter – you can see the main screen below:
From this main screen you will have access to the core components of the program such as scanning, updates, Safe Money, Parental Controls, network monitor, 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 stats 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?
As an internet security suite the protection on offer here goes well beyond simple antivirus. Some of the more important extra features here are –
The anti-spam aspect of this program will, as the name suggests, protect you from the scourge of unwanted email. And it does a fine job of doing just that.
Unsurprisingly, to me at least, is the fact that once one security company comes out with a useful and innovative new feature, most of the others will quickly follow suit. The in thing this year appears to be extra protection for those users who bank online or enter sensitive information through their browsers and Kaspersky haven’t missed out on offering just that.
If you run this program on your computer then Safe Money will provide a secure browser for when you need to work with your online accounts. Keylogger protection comes via a virtual keyboard which will keep your most sensitive information, such as account numbers and passwords, safe even when malicious code may be on your machine trying to record everything you type.
No good security suite is without one of these and the firewall in Kaspersky Internet Security 2013 doesn’t disappoint. This component will protect you from unauthorised users or hackers who may attempt to access your computer.
The firewall works well and is relatively simple to understand.
The relative value of parental controls in this program, or any of the alternatives, will of course depend on your own personal circumstances. If its only you using the PC then you may not have any interest in this component whatsoever. On the other hand, if you are a parent, then you could find that the protection it offers to your young ones is completely invaluable.
As you can see from the image above KIS 2013 comes with some extra features which some of you may find useful.
The Kaspersky Rescue Disk could be highly useful for some as it can be run from a CD or USB drive and contains some basic but handy tools. The Privacy Cleaner is always a bit of an eye opener as you discover just what cookies are being placed into your browser.
Will it keep me safe?
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.
- from $59.95