Kaspersky PURE Total Security review

Kaspersky PURE 3.0 Total Security review

In the same way Norton 360 is Norton Internet Security with lots of extras, PURE 3.0 Total Security is Kaspersky's top-of-the-range internet security product, with a lot more than simple AV to show for itself. See all software reviews.

Kaspersky PURE 3.0 Total Security (PURE 3 from now on) offers protection from malware, Safe Money – which runs a separate secure browser when banking online – data backup, identity protection, PC clean-up,  parental control and data encryption. Take a look at Security software.

The main interface is more geared to looks than function. Three big panels for Backup, Computer Protection and Parental Control take up most of the space and change from green to amber and red, depending on status. Take a look at Group test: what's the best security software?

The option texts within each panel link to things like running a scan or setting up a backup task, but are small enough on screen to be insignificant – a bit like the bonnet-release in a Bentley. Secondary tasks, like data encryption and password protection have much larger click areas.

Combining backup with Windows anti-malware provision is a very sensible move. The adage that you never backup until you've lost important data still seems to hold, so a one-time set-up of both security measures might get a few more people taking both precautions.

PURE 3's backup provision offers categories, like documents, photos and audio, as well as individual selection of files and folders. These are all on a bullet-point selector, though, so it's not possible to combine, say, documents and videos as one backup job.

The software can back up to local drives – internal or external – network drives or an online target. The cloud option connects to Dropbox, so you'll need an account there with sufficient space to hold the backup. Kaspersky's software automatically creates its own folder to contain the copied files.
The backup module contains a basic scheduler, which can run backups on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.

PURE 3's initial AV scan is not particularly quick, and took 1 hour 21 minutes to check 334,086 files, a scan rate of 68.7 files/sec.  Repeating the scan showed a good level of fingerprinting, to reduce the number of unnecessary scans and examine just 8805 files in a mere seven seconds.
The resource hit is a bit higher than with some of its competitors, registering a 61 percent increase in file copy time when a background scan was in progress.

The German site AV-Test scored the suite at 16.0/18.0, with only Bitdefender beating it, overall. This is a very good result and well balanced between the categories of test the site uses. It scored 5.5/6.0 for Protection, with 100 percent detection of established malware and 99.5 percent and 98.0 percent for recent and zero-day threats, respectively.

PURE 3 also scored 5.5/6.0 for Repair, which looks at the removal of malware and readjustment of the system after an attack. Kaspersky offers a special tool called, snappily, Post-Infection Microsoft Windows troubleshooting, for this, though it's a bit hidden away under Additional Tools.

Finally, the Usability score was 5.0/6.0, also very high. It caused an ‘average' system slowdown under AV-Test's evaluation, although our tests put it a bit higher than average.

Kaspersky PURE 3.0 Total Security review: Specs

  • Windows XP SP3/Vista/7/8
  • 800 MHz CPU
  • 1GB (32-bit)/2GB (64-bit) memory
  • 700MB drive space
  • Windows XP SP3/Vista/7/8
  • 800 MHz CPU
  • 1GB (32-bit)/2GB (64-bit) memory
  • 700MB drive space

OUR VERDICT

The price of Kaspersky PURE 3.0 Total Security makes it a competitive product for a full IS suite with all the trimmings and its AV-Test results put it in a very strong position. It's good to see anti-malware and backup apps combined in a wash-and-go product like this, though the interface would benefit from a more equable distribution of its function links.

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