Kaspersky Antivirus Review - Logo
Pros Cons
  • Comprehensive protection
  • Malicious website protection
  • Industry standard antivirus engine
  • Excellent support
  • Interface is thorough but complex

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#3 - Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2013

Briefing

Kaspersky Anti-Virus is made by Kaspersky Lab, a leading company in Internet Security software. They have won multiple industry awards over the years, and almost always score very high in independent AV testing, including our Real-World Malware Scenarios here at AVWARS. Over 120 other companies use Kaspersky technologies in their own security and antivirus products.

Effectiveness

Kaspersky has consistently performed very well in independent virus and malware detection and removal tests. We field tested Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2013 in our real-world malware scenarios by visiting a variety of drive-by exploit sites, exactly the kind of sites that most often infect desktop computers like yours. Kaspersky would not allow Internet Explorer or Firefox  to visit most of these sites, and even if we clicked through multiple warnings and attempted to run malicious executables or other infected file Kaspersky nearly always stopped us from doing so. We found Kaspersky Anti-Virus to be very resistant to trojans, virus, worms, exploits, and all types of malware.

We pre-infected some systems and were able to install Kaspersky on each, and were generally able to clean up the systems with a full system scan, though that scan often took a couple of hours. In a couple of instances we needed to run another removal tool from Kaspersky to completely clean the system. When you buy the packaged product, it also functions as a bootable repair disk. If you buy online you can easily make a repair CD from within the Tools menu of the downloaded program. We recommend you make this disk as soon as possible, because it may be the only way for you to clean an infection that gets deep into system files and processes. The repair disk works very well to remove rootkits and other infections that are difficult or impossible to clean from within Windows. Kaspersky support is excellent at helping you to download and run a removal tool when needed.

Kaspersky System Watcher collects data about what programs are doing on your system and will allow you to roll back actions performed by malicious programs. Self-Defense monitors system activity that may compromise Kaspersky itself, providing an additional level of protection, since the first target of many malware programs is the antivirus program itself.

Ease of Use

The Kaspersky interface is chock full of useful information, but sometimes shows redundant menus and too many settings on one page. The Protection Center page alone displays an array of settings for things like email and instant messaging protection, settings we think you will be unlikely to use often enough to be displayed prominently on the main page. Some of these settings are even displayed twice on the same page, perhaps to make sure that users can find them.

The Scan page has just Full Scan and Scan Critical Areas, which is much more helpful. The Updates page has only a button to click for updates, which you shouldn’t need to click since they are automatic. Then there is a page of AV Tools, including tools for making a bootable repair disk, a system privacy cleaner, and a scan for vulnerabilities in other applications which we find works well. Even the best antivirus will fail if there are security holes in other web-based applications and this tool helps you notify you of new updates which will close those holes.

Our field tests found that Kaspersky requires some level of user interaction to perform some of its basic tasks. For instance, on a mildly infected machine, it displayed a small pop-up telling us that “There are unprocessed objects (neutralize all)” and waits for you to click to perform the action. Also the notification of infection in system tray was not noticeable enough for us, merely a small yellow exclamation point on the System Tray icon.

Speed/Performance

We find Kaspersky to be a little heavier on system resources than some other programs.. Boot times may be a little longer (a few seconds) depending on the speed of your machine. You will not notice much effect on newer dual and quad-core machines with plenty of RAM, but older PCs may feel some strain.

We also find the Full System Scan to be on the slower end of our AVWARS Top 10 but this kind of scan is usually run overnight or when the computer is inactive so this is not the most critical area for speed.

Price/Value

Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2013
$39.95 1 PC 1 Year
$59.95 3 PC 1 Year
$89.95 3 PC 2 Year

Kaspersky Internet Security 2013
$64.95 3 PC 1 Year
$119.95 3 PC 2 Year

Kaspersky PURE Total Security
$69.95 3 PC 1 Year
$139.95 3 PC 2 Year

Those looking to protect multiple computers against infection should strongly consider a multi-pc license from Kaspersky. Whereas a 1-PC 1-year license is priced at $39.95, you can protect 3 PCs for 1 year for only $59.95, making it less than $20 per machine. We recommend the 3-PC license for 2 years for $89.95, which breaks down to less than $15 a year per computer, which is one of the best values available anywhere.

The Internet Security Suite adds anti-spam protection, a firewall, and parental controls. PURE Total security adds the ability to manage all the computers in your home network, online backup, and secure file deletion.

Support

Phone
Email
Live Chat
Knowledge Base
Online Articles
User Forums

We find Kaspersky’s support to be among the best in the industry, with a variety of support options for all of their products. Their antivirus support home page features a list of the most popular articles, including several helpful articles about how to completely remove other products before installation, which you should always do. There is a pdf manual available for download, a link to their support forums, and a large, searchable Knowledge Base. They also offer support through phone, email and live chat.

Conclusion

We recommend Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2013 for users of all skill levels, but especially for those looking for the most powerful set of antivirus tools available. While Kaspersky is a little heavier on system resources than the lightest antivirus programs,  we feel that the increased level of safety and protection is well worth it, especially on newer multicore systems that should barely feel the strain. Kaspersky support is also among the best in the the industry, and we find that users from beginner to expert are be able to use Kaspersky to keep their computers running optimally.

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