Kaspersky Internet Security review - back on top in 2015
OS Support: Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, Minimum CPU: Dependent on OS, Minimum GPU: N/A , Minimum RAM: Dependent on OS, Hard disk space: 480MB
Kaspersky Internet Security 2015 has quite the reputation to live up to, with previous versions winning more awards than any other security product. Fortunately, things are off to a good start, with the software defending well against threats.
In our latest tests from the first quarter of 2015, Kaspersky conquered all before it, achieving the highest scores in every test thrown at it. In the malware detection test, Kaspersky scored a near-perfect 299 out of 300. Of the 100 threats thrown at it, 99 were eliminated before they were allowed to run, and one was neutralised after it had begun to run, but Kaspersky undid its actions and kept our test system safe.
Kaspersky also excelled in our legitimate software tests; it scored a perfect 718, alongwith Microsoft Security Essentials, AVG and ESET. This means that while it'll protect you against malware, it won't harrass you with pop-ups every time you install a program. It's generally a minor annoyance, but the less this happens with legitimate software, the better.
The software is fairly transparent in terms of which software it trusts and which it doesn't. The Application Managament window (above) will show you every program on your computer, including installers and batch files, and rates them in terms of popularity, telling you roughly how many other people around the world are using the same software. Some programs will be listed as Restricted, although the ones we found were all installers that we had no issue using when we first ran them while Kaspersky was running. Right-clicking on a program and selecting Details and Rules reveals what the restriction actually entails; the files on our PC that were slightly restricted were only blocked from accessing critical system files.
^ Kaspersky leaves you under no false impressions that your PC is secure
Not only is it a highly accurate and responsive piece of software, it is also intuitively designed to make it easy for even security novices to tweak its settings. The Protection Center settings display a simple list of all of the suite's features, with toggle switches that allow you to enable to disable each one individually. If a particular option isn't sitting well with other software (we found the Anti-Spam add-on for Microsoft Outlook 2010 caused the email application to hang, for example) you can turn it off here.
You can ensure the software doesn't interrupt the everyday usage of your PC. Perhaps most important for gamers is the Gaming Profile, which switches off pop-up notifications while you're running a full-screen application. You can also set Internet Security 2015 to only perform updates and scans while your PC is idle, and give other applications and the operating system priority so scans won't take place until the software believes it won't cause any slowdown. This may be a risky endeavour, though, because underpowered PCs will often be operating at their limits. You'll need to keep an eye on whether Kaspersky Internet Security is ever actually given the opportunity to do its scans.
^ Kaspersky's interface is friendly and easy to use
To keep your financial data safe, you can also enable Safe Money, a dedicated secure browser made specifically to handle financial transactions. In order to use Safe Money, you'll need to tell Kaspersky which websites you'd like to open the specialised browser. When you visit a website you've added to the list, the Kaspersky browser add-on will suggest you open the Safe Money browser.
Kaspersky once again finds itself right at the top of the home anti-virus suites with terrific protection scores and excellent software. In the constant back-and-forth of our quarterly tests, it beat Norton this time around, although results are so tight that your choice will probably be made by the price of the sofware and not performance.