Given that the average person owns several Internet connected devices, straight PC security doesn't really cut it anymore. That's why companies like Kaspersky are starting to offer cross-platform solutions for marginally more than their traditional PC-only antivirus programs.
For just $70 a year, Kaspersky Internet Security--Multi-Device 2015 protects up to five devices, including PCs, Macs, and Android phones and tablets. In addition to antivirus, you get some useful Android safety features such as anti-theft and loss protection, remote management, and automatic app scanning.
Kaspersky remains one of the best antivirus programs on the market: Independent security research institute AV-Test found no major differences between the 2014 version of Kaspersky's software (which received our highest score in this year's security showdown) and the 2015 version.
In AV-Test's real-world tests, Kaspersky Internet Security--Multi-Device 2015 successfully blocked all 31 malicious URLs. In the "malware zoo" test, which evaluates a software's ability to identify and block widespread known malware discovered within the last month, Kaspersky successfully detected and blocked 12,608 samples out of 12,618. The suite also got a perfect score for distinguishing between threats and non-threats. Performance-wise, the suite is similar to the 2014 software, which was one of the lightest programs in our recent round-up.
But while the software offers virtually the same protection, Kaspersky has revamped the interface. It's still very touchscreen-friendly, with large buttons and toggle switches and larger-than-average checkboxes in the settings menu, but the overall look is more polished.
The main screen features a computer monitor--with a check mark denoting your PC is protected and a red X indicating it's not--and four menu buttons: Scan, Update, Safe Money, and Parental Controls.
The Scan button takes you to a more detailed menu where you can run a full scan, quick scan, custom scan, scan your removable drives, or set up a scan schedule. Safe Money is Kaspersky's online banking and payment protection software--selecting it allows you to add a list of websites you want to use with Kaspersky's Protected Browser for extra ecommerce protection.
Additional tools, accessed via a link in the lower right corner of the window, include "Browser Configuration," a wizard that helps you optimize web browser settings; "Privacy Cleaner," which clears your computer of recent commands and accessed files; and "Cloud Protection," which connects you to Kaspersky's Security Network and offers "instant response to new threats."
Kaspersky always does a great job with its settings menu, which you can access by tapping the Settings link in the lower left corner of the main window. It's organized into five categories (General, Protection Center, Performance, Scan, and Additional), and features touch-friendly controls and easy-to-understand explanations, even in the more advanced settings screens.
The bottom line
Kaspersky's Internet Security--Multi-Device 2015 is easy to recommend if you're a device junkie. Protection and performance are excellent, and this year's interface is more polished than its predecessor without losing any usability. If you're just looking for PC protection, you can save $10 with Kaspersky Internet Security 2015, which costs $60 for one year of protection for up to three PCs.