Kaspersky Internet Security: One step ahead of malware

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Kaspersky Internet Security has always been one of the top security software solutions and the name itself is hardly in need of an introduction. Besides the high-quality protection that comes with this greatly appreciated antivirus software suite, Kaspersky Internet Security can be accurately described as one of those products that delivers consistency, as it managed to stay between the industry leaders for quite some time now and it’s certainly not an easy to reach status.

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Installation & requirements

The installation only takes a couple of minutes and the best part is that the process is a smooth one requiring little or no manual configuration. Moreover, Kaspersky Internet Security (KIS) doesn’t need a system reboot after installation the only downside being the first update of the program which could take a small eternity to complete (depending also on your Internet connection).

KIS works on 32 and 64-bit versions of Windows XP, Vista and 7 and as far as the hardware requirements go we consider them to be fairly acceptable: for Windows XP you’ll need a 800 MHz processor and 512 MB of RAM; for Windows Vista and 7 the program requires at least a 1 GHz CPU and 1 GB RAM (32-bit)/2 GB RAM (64-bit). And last but not least you’ll be needing Internet access for the online update functions and product activation.

Interface

The interface of Kaspersky Internet Security has retained the emerald-green modern appearance from the previous version; otherwise the layout is organized in a completely new manner. All of the main features can now be accessed through a smooth sliding panel in the lower part of the interface (which you can also maximize and view all of the categories at once), while on top you can visualize the current status of detected threats, protection components, databases and license. Under the sliding menu there are quick text-based links to help, support, Kaspersky account and license while at the top of the KIS window you can access the cloud-based protection function, reports and the settings menu.

Feature-wise, Kaspersky Internet Security is a very comprehensive product yet easy to use for anyone, now more than ever thanks to its revamped interface: the Scan function has clearly differentiated categories, parental controls can be enabled per user and offer in-depth customization and the Applications Activity displays running programs and security information for each one.

To continue, inside Network Activity you can track network processes, the virtual keyboard is the perfect way to input sensitive data without worrying about keyloggers and on the same page you can use Safe Run for Websites to check untrusted or suspicious programs and web addresses in an isolated environment.

The Quarantine window will display the files that are potential threats or could not be disinfected after detection and from the Tools section you can benefit from a few security utilities such as Kaspersky Rescue Disk, a bootable CD for malware removal, Microsoft Windows Troubleshooting a very useful application for detecting and restoring system problems caused by malware activity, the Privacy Cleaner and the Browser Configuration, a tool capable of analyzing the security of Internet Explorer browser settings.

On top of this substantial stack of powerful features now stands the Cloud Protection. Kaspersky Lab brought cloud-based security in its Internet Security suite and merged it with their traditional antivirus technology to make sure their product copes with the eruption of malware that we’re facing these days.

Pros

– Smooth and intelligible installation process.

– The polished modern interface makes the use of the program both easy and intuitive.

– Combines cloud-based technologies with traditional antivirus protection to ensure maximum security against viruses, Trojans, rootkits, spam, hackers and other forms of malware.

– Delivers useful tools capable of providing an extra layer of security in certain situations such as the Virtual Keyboard and Safe Run for Websites.

– The built-in URL Advisor integrates into Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome and displays safety ratings for webpages.

– High virus detection rates.

– The 30-day trial doesn’t have limitations.

Cons

– The scanning process is slower and somewhat more resource consuming than most other similar software and the updates could use speed improvement as well.

– User reports state that KIS has some issues with malware cleanups and the anti-phishing module.

Alternatives

BitDefender Internet Security and F-Secure Internet Security are also highly capable software suites that offer a level of protection similar with the one delivered by KIS. However, each product has its own approach, GUI and slightly different pricings, even though they were all designed with both quality and user friendliness in mind.

Conclusion

As a home user you might find a simple antivirus program enough to protect your computer and there are definitely some trustworthy choices lying around, some of them even free. But keep in mind that as good as an antivirus program may be, it does not contain all the layers of security found within an Internet Security suite. Furthermore, Kaspersky Internet Security has proved its efficiency more than once and it succeeded into becoming a feature-rich antimalware product to satisfy even the most exigent tech-savvy users and at the same time can work just as well without tweaking it.