Kaspersky Internet Security 2014 Review: Internet Security Software
|Visit Kaspersky Internet Security 2014 Website|
|Smooth interface and essential features keep Kaspersky at the top of its game in 2014.|
[Editor's Note: Kasperksy is offering $20 off its software to NextAdvisor visitors, no coupon code required. Just follow any link to Kaspersky from NextAdvisor to receive the discount.]
After a major overhaul and an interface enhancement throughout the past couple of years, Kaspersky Internet Security 2014 offers a slick update with enough tweaks to keep it at the top of the pack.
Installation is fast and easy with no obnoxious restarts or questions to answer. Immediately upon install, Kaspersky downloads necessary updates, which can be a slight pain if you want to run a scan promptly as it requires you to wait. Also, the scan itself lags enough to potentially disrupt computer performance.
The interface is quite similar to last year's version with a few minor tweaks, mostly to enlarge buttons for use with Windows 8's touchscreen capabilities. The main display shows your computer's protection status and provides details to how the program is running. Clicking on Details at the top of the screen will take you to an area where you can see any current problems and decide on a solution.
Navigation is easy with a back arrow that appears at the top left of the screen when you deviate from the main page. The bottom of the screen displays four large buttons with the major components of the software: Scan, Update, Safe Money and Reports. Clicking an arrow on the right of the screen opens up a larger menu to access the rest of the major features: Parental Control, Network Monitor, Quarantine, Tools and Application Control. Smaller text links at the bottom of the display let you access your profile, settings and support no matter where you are in the program.
Overall, Kaspersky's interface is simple and easy to use with a pleasing aesthetic that is easy on the eyes.
Kaspersky has a long history of performing well in independent testing, and this year's software continues to hold down that reputation. It scored 3 out of 3 stars in the most recent AV-Comparatives Whole-Product Dynamic Test, which takes into account the sum of the product's parts in protecting PCs. In the most recent test this summer, Kaspersky had the highest score of all programs tested and made the top of the list. During our own independent testing, everything we threw at it was caught and dealt with instantly.
In addition to the 3 scan modes you usually see — Full, Quick and Custom — Kaspersky offers a Removable Drives scanner to keep anything nefarious from infecting your computer via an external drive (or vice versa). You can continue to use other features of the software during a scan.
The extra features offered by Kaspersky are fairly similar to years prior. The highlights include:
Quarantine: Safely stores backup copies of files that were deleted or modified during disinfection.
Safe Money: This feature is an asset to anyone who pays bills or shops online. Adding any banking or online store URL to the Safe Money database opens a secure, separate browser window whenever you try to access that website. You can also choose to disable the feature or request a prompt to open the website in a safe browser.
Virtual Keyboard: Don't feel comfortable typing certain information in with your keyboard? Pull this up for use on any website or program and keep keyloggers at bay.
Parental Control: Parents will love the ease of use and breadth of information provided by this section, which operates with password protection to keep kids from changing settings. Toggling parental control for a specific user is simple.
Tools: Opening this section presents you with an array of features to help keep your computer running smoothly, including a Vulnerability Scan, Kaspersky Rescue Disk, Microsoft Windows Troubleshooting, Privacy Cleaner and Browser Configuration (which, sadly, only analyzes Internet Explorer).
Kaspersky's performance has received high ratings for the past several years, including 2013 where it nabbed 3 out of 3 stars on the AV-Comparatives independent performance tests. While we did notice some lag during scans and a couple of other executions (such as the 5-hour assessment needed to enable Trusted Applications Mode in the Application Control section), the lack of pop-ups and notifications makes this program fairly quiet and unobtrusive. Users who want extra protection against interruptions can turn on the gaming profile which disables certain functions when a game is played in full-screen mode.
Keeping track of performance is easy with Reports, Application Control and Network Monitor. The Reports section lets you see the program history by the week, the month or the entire time it's been installed at a glance with the option of viewing more detailed reports. Application Control shows real-time performance data for your computer and detailed information on every application installed. Network Monitor gives data on your network's performance in a new window from the main program window.
Kaspersky's 2014 software measures up to its predecessor, with a few minor tweaks to enhance performance and usability. Safe Money and the Virtual Keyboard are valuable assets to anyone who does online banking and shopping, and the sophisticated antivirus and antimalware protection make this a top choice for Internet security.
System Requirements: Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8
AV-Comparatives ratings on a variety of tasks related to the antivirus and antimalware product. "Known Malware" refers to a product's ability to catch pre-identified viruses, while "Unknown Malware" refers to its ability to detect brand new viruses. Older scores may reflect previous software versions.
AV-Comparatives. Score indicates overall effectiveness in a variety of tests over time. † indicates that company did not take part in all tests. See reviews for details.*Averaged 2010/2011 scores for each company's antivirus/anti-malware product by independent testing agency
**Score indicates impact of antivirus product on system performance. Average of performance tests by AV-Comparatives.
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