Known for being a power user's anti-malware tool, Kaspersky has quietly developed its internet security suite into a somewhat kinder, gentler application. Kaspersky Internet Security 2011 (£39 for a one-year, one-PC licence) is rather more suitable for the masses.
But the company has not traded down on its well-known rock-solid security. Kaspersky Internet Security 2011's overall performance rating in our tests earned it second place, behind only Norton Internet Security 2011's top ranking.
Across the board, Kaspersky Internet Security 2011's figures were good but not perfect. It blocked 23 out of 25 of real-world attacks. Although this is a very good score, it was behind the leaders. It detected 95.7 percent of known, recently-released malware, which is par for the course. Kaspersky was above average at avoiding false positives, and it was nearly tops at removing malware from an already infected machine. Finally, it earned solid marks for performance in both on-demand and on-access system scanning. The on-access scanner kicks off when you open or save a file to disk; you launch an on-demand scan manually.
Regrettably, installing Kaspersky Internet Security 2011 is a headache. After downloading an initial 100MB file from the company's website, we were prompted midway through the installation to download an update (another 100MB file) via a rather convoluted process. We feel that such updates shouldn't mean downloading an entirely new set of installation files. And Kaspersky won't install at all unless you register your copy with an email address.
Still, we were happy to see a couple of uncommon add-ons. One is a Safe Run for Applications mode, a sandbox system that lets you run potentially dangerous programs without fear of infecting the machine. This isn't the fastest process around; but if it's a tool you think you'll need, it can be a real saviour. A second useful extra feature is Kaspersky Internet Security 2011's Anti-Banner system, which effectively scrubs adverts from your web browser while you surf.
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