Summary: Founded in 1997, Kaspersky offers one of the best-known of the major antivirus platforms, boasting 400 million users and 270,000 corporate clients. The company sells a basic antivirus product, a premium tool called Internet Security, as well as Total Security, a top-tier offering that allows installation on all major platforms including Mac and iOS.
Kaspersky Antivirus Review at a Glance
- Famously thorough virus scans
- Multiple scan options including the ability to run selective scans and scans only on external devices.
- Supports all major operating systems
- Pricing is per device. For households with a lot of devices to protect, this can make the platform more expensive than other antivirus services with more generous installation policies (such as McAfee or Total AV). [Ilana: please add links here]
- Scanning times are a little above average
- URL filtering can be inconsistent. Different sites are highlighted as potentially dangerous depending on the browser used.
The basic Anti-Virus ranges from $39.95 to $143.95, depending on contract length and number of devices protected.
Internet Security retails from $59.95 (one device, one year contract) to $149.95 (five devices, two-year contract).
Total Security, the most comprehensive package, costs between $79.95 to $229.95.
Kaspersky Virus, Spyware, and Malware Protection
Scanning times are a little above average, although the filesystem scanner is known for its thoroughness and for picking up viruses that other systems often miss. The scanner has performed well in six independent benchmarking tests.
Users are able to select from a number of different scan types including quick scan for rapid antivirus detection (this can take as little as ninety seconds), a full system scan, selective scan, and external device scan.
Other rare scanning features are offered as well, including a vulnerability scan, which warns about potential issues that could arise from already installed applications, and a privacy scanner, which polls directories for clues that could give intruders unwanted information into users’ personal lives.
Internet Security bundles some additional features that makes it well worth the extra money. These include:
- The ability to remotely enforce the hiding of private data such as contacts and call logs in the event of device theft
- A content filtering engine to protect children from inappropriate online material
- Safe Money, a service that assesses the trustworthiness of online merchants
For those concerned about unauthorized access to multimedia interfaces such as webcams and microphones, the system can also completely block access to them or only allow access on a per-program basis.
The on-screen keyboard feature introduced in last year’s edition also provides an additional layer of security for those concerned that important access credentials could be intercepted by key-logging software (which stores keystrokes and transfers the log to criminals).
In addition to the Internet Security package features, Total Security includes Safe Kids (which allows administrators to set additional rules, beyond filtering, for children’s internet access), a password manager, and file backup and encryption.
Kaspersky Firewall Protection
Internet Security and Total Security both feature a firewall which monitors all network traffic and blocks or permits traffic according to automatically-generated rules based on installed programs.
Like the antivirus, the firewall runs mostly in the background and only prompts for action when important decisions are required from the user.
Those wishing to get under the hood, however, are able to dive deep into the configuration and see exactly which programs have been automatically assigned to one of four built-in trust levels (trusted, low restricted, high restricted, and untrusted), and modify according to preference.
Notably, unlike most other solutions, the firewall doesn’t automatically place all of the incoming network ports into stealth mode, instead opting to rely on the program’s detection and blocking abilities to prevent any unauthorized entry from the outside network.
Installing any of the Kaspersky variants is quick and easy.
The setup involved running a smaller downloader and handing over an email address to the company. There’s no detailed signup process. Configuring features such as parental control is also straightforward.
Kaspersky User Interface
The UI is clean and simple. Full system scans can be run in just a couple of clicks and menu displays are generally uncluttered.
Given the wealth of security features that it includes, the program’s impact on system performance is unsurprisingly noticeable (some benchmarks have put the performance decrease for file copying operations at almost 30%). This makes the program more resource intensive than some close competitors, which may be of concern to those running older systems with less memory to spare.
Kaspersky Customer Support
Kaspersky’s support is regarded as among the best in the industry. Telephone, email, and live chat operatives are available 24/7 to answer premium users’ requests. Unlike some other providers, unlimited support is also included in the cost of the subscription.
Why Choose Kaspersky Antivirus Software
Kaspersky packs a mean combination of internet security and antivirus features into its premium packages, making it a good choice for those seeking highly robust, comprehensive threat protection.
This does, however, come at the expense of greater performance impact than competitive solutions. In addition, those with many devices to secure may find other solutions more affordable.