Our Review of Kaspersky Internet Security 2015
Paid Anti-virus Programs
Founded in 1997, Kaspersky Lab is a relative new comer to the anti-virus market, as most other major security application companies started in the late 1980s or early 1990s. Nevertheless, since the company's inception, Kaspersky has continued to make a name for itself with its award-winning AV and security programs. Kaspersky Internet Security 2015 follows the company's proud tradition of products that provide effective virus/malware detection and removal.
Cost and Value
With a price tag for an annual single-PC subscription of $79.95, Kaspersky Internet Security 2015 is more expensive than other security suites we have reviewed here. However, for only $20 more, you can purchase licenses for two additional machines. Consequently, the $99.95 cost to protect three computers with Internet Security 2015 is $20 more than Norton and $44 more expensive than McAfee. Kaspersky does offer a 5-machine license deal for $149.95 per year. Overall, though, the security suite does provide good value, as it offers excellent virus protection and many extra features.
As far as security suites go, installing Kaspersky Internet Security 2015 is very direct and straightforward. Before downloading the trial version on the Kaspersky website, you must enter your email address. However, once you do and then click "Download," you are able to retrieve the entire setup file in one shot. With many other AV suites, you must perform several downloads during installation. The setup file is quite large, though, at 192 megabytes. Therefore, if you have a slower Internet connection, downloading the file could take some time.
Once you download the file, just click the executable to start the installation. There are only a few prompts, and the setup process takes only a few minutes. While many companies require you to create an account before running their software, Kaspersky does not prompt for any such information while you are running the trial version.
When you first launch Kaspersky Internet Security 2015, you'll notice that the user interface is bright and easy to navigate. The main application window has four large buttons that provide access to the core applications in the suite. Those buttons are labeled "Scan," "Safe Money" and "Parental Controls."
The Scan and Update buttons are self-explanatory and lead to their associated functions. Clicking the Parental Controls button opens another window where you can begin configuring access using the native Windows parental control settings. Setting up and configuring Windows Parental Controls in Kaspersky Internet Security 2015 is straightforward and takes only a couple of minutes to complete.
The "Safe Money" option enables you to configure online payment methods for use in a secure browser. Afterwards, when you want to make an online purchase, Kaspersky will open a new secure browser window to ensure no sensitive data is lost to hackers or malicious websites during transmission.
After installing Kaspersky Internet Security 2015, the default settings should work fine in most cases. However, if you do wish to tweak settings, you can do so by clicking the "Settings" label at the bottom of the main application window.
Clicking the "Show Additional Tools" label on the main screen opens a new window that displays a list of utilities you can use to improve security and optimize your computer. The tools allow you configure a virtual keyboard, manage Quarantined files and configure browser and privacy cleaner settings. Additionally, the Tools window allows you to troubleshoot and resolve some Windows problems, create a rescue disk and configure Firewall and Cloud protection options.
Virus, Malware and False Positive Detection
Kaspersky products have long been known for their excellent malware and virus detection and removal, and Internet Security 2015 is no exception. After we installed Kaspersky Internet Security 2015, we shut down the application, and then copied 8 known virus files to the computer. Additionally, we transferred 16 files to the test computer that resemble viruses because of missing or non-existent author/digital signature information or contained other harmless anomalies. After transferring the files to the test machine, we restarted Kaspersky Internet Security 2015.
As with all of the AV products we have tested here, a quick scan did not reveal any threats or infections. This is because we hide the files in areas not accessed by most users. However, a full scan of the test system provided much better results. During the full system scan, Kaspersky quickly detected and neutralized all eight of the test virus files, scoring a perfect 100% in the virus detection and removal test.
As mentioned above, we also introduced a group of 16 false positive files into the test system. False positive files may resemble viruses or malware, but are actually safe and shouldn�t be detected by the anti-virus software. Consequently, the AV application receives a perfect score if it fails to detect or remove any of the 16 files. During the full system scan, though, Kaspersky identified one of the false positive files as potentially unsafe. However, the program didn�t remove the false positive file automatically, but instead prompted us to delete the file manually. Because Kaspersky Internet Security 2015 did report one of the test files as a potential threat, though, the AV suite scored only 93.75 percent in false positive testing. Still, this score places Kaspersky well above average when compared to other AV products tested here.
Below is a screenshot of the files used in the false positive test.
Scanning and System Performance
When compared to other AV products we have tested, Kaspersky Internet Security 2015 offers reasonably fast scan performance. During the quick and full-system scans, Kaspersky Internet Security 2015 was able to accomplish the tasks in 1 minute 13 seconds and 8 minutes 32 seconds respectively. The quick scan time is a little misleading, though, as Kaspersky scanned a small set of only 3878 files during the test. This number is considerably smaller than the sets of files scanned by other products we have tested.
Kaspersky does an excellent job when it comes to resource utilization, and does not tax the system much in terms of CPU or RAM usage. During the full system scan with Kaspersky Internet Security 2015, we were able to open browsers such as Chrome or Internet Explorer in just under four seconds. Likewise, smaller applications such as WordPad, Windows Snippet Tool and Windows Media Player launched fast as well, with all three opening in about one second.
When reviewing Kaspersky Internet Security 2015, we used the same test machine setup we did while testing other anti-virus and security applications. The test PC includes an Intel dual-core processor, 2GB of RAM and runs the latest version of Windows 7 with all applicable updates and service packs installed. Consequently, the test computer is similar in terms of specs and comparable to many used by mainstream users today.
Kaspersky Internet Security 2015 does an excellent job at detecting and removing malware and viruses. Additionally (and although not covered in depth in this review,) Kaspersky Internet Security 2015 is very effective at blocking malicious or phishing websites, and was able to detect all blacklisted sites we attempted to access during our testing.
The Kaspersky Internet Security 2015 does not display well on mobile or touchscreen devices. And, while the interface is clean and easy to read with its large buttons, the labels leading to the settings and other options are small and may be hard to see on some monitors or touchscreen devices.