Kaspersky Internet Security 2009 is an internet security suite that benefits from quick scanning and good adware blocking. [Updated, March 17 2009.]

In a less than inspirational start to our av-test.org tests, Kaspersky Internet Security 2009 picked up only 95.6 percent of AV-Test’s malware – not an impressive result.

But things improved from there. In heuristic tests with two-week-old signatures Kaspersky Internet Security 2009 scored a decent 52 percent rate, and it warned us about 60 percent of infections based on the malware’s behaviour.

Kaspersky has reportedly rewritten its antivirus engine to boost its scan speed. And in Kaspersky Internet Security 2009 it shows: only Avira and Panda beat it for on-access scans, while it was the second-quickest on-demand scanner.

Kaspersky Internet Security 2009 had a 98.1 percent adware-detection rate, but you may have to tweak the options to get that performance; the defaults aren’t always ideal.

Left at default settings, Kaspersky Internet Security 2009 did nothing when we downloaded a Zango adware screensaver. (Kaspersky told us we’d have to enable checking for ‘other’ adware.)

When you enable parental controls, Kaspersky Internet Security 2009 automatically sets every user account to the ‘child’ filter; changing this isn’t particularly intuitive.

Credit to Kaspersky Internet Security 2009 for using data from Secunia to identify unsafe system settings and missing patches. But its Security Analyzer’s recommendations may leave you scratching your head.

Kaspersky Internet Security 2009 has an antispam feature that integrates with several email programs. There are no backup options, however.

NEXT PAGE: our original review, from July 2008

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Kaspersky's latest security package offers an attractive combination of features and protection

Kaspersky Internet Security 2009, aka version 8 of the venerable AV package has benefited from a thorough overhaul, although at first glance things look much the same. The previous version from Kaspersky Lab was a somewhat patchy affair in areas such as keylogging protection and spam detection, and this version addresses these weaknesses.

The new version of Kaspersky Internet Security 2009 offers a fairly standard range of features for a suite – malware protection, content filtering for email and web, IM protection, a two-way firewall, identity theft protection and parental controls. All these features are accessible via its modified UI and its logical, clear arrangement makes it pretty easy to use.

As is the norm these days, Kaspersky Internet Security 2009 is available both for single and multiple PCs in a variety of subscription permutations – a year-long subscription for a single PC is £40, while a two-year subscription for three PCs costs less than double this. A trial version can be downloaded from the website.

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Installation is swift although it took exception to the ‘presence’ of AVG 8 which we’d just uninstalled. Despite cleaning up the registry and hard disk for remnants of AVG it refused to install and so we switched to a different PC. We also had to reboot twice by the close. During this, it builds a list of ‘trusted apps’ but these are confined to standard OS files – any other apps you’ve got are assessed the first time they’re opened. This is the new Host-based Intrusions Prevention System at work. An application filter, HIPS controls your apps, intelligently deciding which ones are ‘safe’ to run.

NEXT PAGE: Automatic and on-demand scanning, and our verdict > >

Kaspersky's latest security package offers an attractive combination of features and protection

The antivirus scans files on access, on demand, or on schedule. Scans are fast, the support is good, the detection rates are among the best in its class – as a result AV-Comparatives has awarded Kaspersky Internet Security 2009 an Advanced certification level. Most antivirus products that offer email protection just scan the POP3 and SMTP email but KIS also scans IMAP email and Usenet (NNTP) traffic. Plug-ins are available for Outlook, Windows Live, Thunderbird and The Bat!

Kaspersky Internet Security 2009 now features a number of security analysers, essentially a set of wizards designed to improve general PC security. The main one makes good system suggestions such as disabling autorun on drives. It can usefully check your browser security settings and tighten them for you. This worked for IE but Firefox 3.0 was ignored.

Previous releases of Kaspersky Internet Security didn’t do so well on defeating key-loggers so it’s nice to see the inclusion of another new feature, a virtual keyboard, which makes the entering of data worth stealing more secure.

Kaspersky Internet Security 2009: Specs

  • Windows XP Home/XP Pro/XP x64 (300MHz or higher processor, minimum 256MB RAM)
  • Vista 32- or 64-bit (800MHz or higher processor, minimum 512MB RAM)
  • 50MB free hard disk space
  • IE 5.5 or higher
  • Windows XP Home/XP Pro/XP x64 (300MHz or higher processor, minimum 256MB RAM)
  • Vista 32- or 64-bit (800MHz or higher processor, minimum 512MB RAM)
  • 50MB free hard disk space
  • IE 5.5 or higher

OUR VERDICT

Kaspersky Internet Security 2009’s interface and default settings could be better, but the suite provides respectable protection at a reasonable price.

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