Moscow-based Kaspersky Labs is well known to the IT community: The company has been making security products since 1997, it reported revenue of $480 million in 2009, and it claims to have a user base of more than 300 million. Its premium PC product is Kaspersky Internet Security 2010, which offers a comprehensive suite of security features that should meet any PC user’s needs.
Most users will like how Kaspersky’s firewall works. It’s easy to define simple firewall policies, yet you can delve deeper down into the firewall functions and block individual ports, requests or other types of traffic.
Like BitDefender, Kaspersky has a digital sandbox — it’s called Safe Run — that allows you to run new applications and browser sessions in a sandbox.
I found that the firewall was less intrusive than others on the market, thanks mostly to its efficient use of its white list of approved programs. The product also offers anti-spam capabilities which, unlike some other anti-spam tools, work with IMAP-based e-mail accounts as well as common
Users in households with underage humans will appreciate the parental controls, which are easy to set up and are capable of blocking access to the Web by categories or even by a schedule — making sure that innocent eyes don’t glance upon the seamy side of the Web. And an integrated link scanner warns users of suspect Web sites and other browser-related issues before an actual problem arises.
Of the suites reviewed here, Kaspersky Internet Security 2010 was one of the easiest to install. A wizard steps you through the process, and only one reboot is required. The default settings and policies will prove quite adequate for most users.
The software proved to be relatively easy to work with as well — most of the typical technobabble has been eliminated and plain English explanations abound, making it easy for even people who are new to PC security to effectively configure the software. For those who need help, Kaspersky offers several options for support: phone, e-mail or online chat sessions. Users also have the option of accessing a community of users, where they can get advice from Kaspersky staffers.
|Company||Kaspersky Lab ZAO|
|Price||US$59.95 for as many as three PCs (includes one year of updates and support)|
|Operating systems||Windows XP/Vista/7, Mac OS 10.4.11 or later, Symbian 9.1 or later, Windows Mobile 5.0 or later|
Scanning runs as a background process, allowing you to continue to work while a comprehensive scan takes place. On my test system, scanning went unnoticed; it had little impact on my ability to perform other tasks. A glance at the Windows Task Manager showed processor utilization increased less than 10per cent during an active scan. I found that the active notifications kept me well informed of potential problems without hounding me constantly.
I was able to run the full suite on a netbook with no problems.
Kaspersky Internet Security 2011 is currently in private beta and should be available sometime in August.
New features will include a desktop gadget that will offer customizable buttons for quick access to product features and will display the current security status using red, yellow, or green indicators.
In addition, new tools will allow installation of the product on systems that have active infections. A new feature called “Safe Surf” will assess the reputation of an IP address and assign it a “trusted,” “suspicious” or “banned” status. Enhancements will also be made to rescue disk, parental controls and rootkit detection.
Kaspersky Internet Security 2010 is a good value and covers all the bases well for users of Windows 7, Vista or XP PCs. Purchasers will be happy with the fast performance and the ability to limit the barrage of security messages that most competing products unleash. The next version of the product promises important improvements that could make the Kaspersky Internet Security one of the best security suites on the market.
Frank J. Ohlhorst is a technology professional specializing in products and services analysis and writes for several technology publications. His Web site can be found at www.ohlhorst.net.