Kaspersky Internet Security 2015 review
Having held on to a place on our A-List with its 2014 edition, Kaspersky Internet Security isn’t about to relinquish it. As with previous versions, it hits a sweet spot between the features and in-depth configuration options of Eset and Norton, and the set-and-forget usability of Microsoft Security Essentials and Avast.
The default configuration neither requests nor needs much user input, and it’s both unintrusive and smart when handling legitimate software; it’s the only package on test that permitted every legitimate application to install without blocking or requesting intervention.
All the same, the features are there as soon as you go looking for them. The Safe Money browser is particularly good, providing extra security in a hardened version of your current browser when you need it, protecting against such exploits as remote screen-grabbing.
You can inform Kaspersky of which websites to launch within the browser manually, and it can prompt you when you visit your bank’s login screen or an online store’s checkout page. The onscreen keyboard is another great idea, foiling keyloggers at a click when you need to enter your credentials.
Kaspersky also offers a vulnerability scan, a browser check to look for potential weaknesses, a privacy cleaner to remove sensitive information, and a rescue disc utility. What’s more, it has the best and most detailed parental controls we’ve seen in a security package, with features to block or allow PC use and/or internet access at specific times during weekdays or weekends, and an option to set up breaks, say, for half an hour after every hour.
Games can be blocked by age rating or file name, alongside access to adult web content, and you can whitelist or blacklist contacts for communications. It’s even possible to outlaw the use of certain keywords on web forms.
Despite all these goodies, Kaspersky handles the basics well. The interface still makes it slightly awkward to reach some features, but it’s becoming more focused on providing access to the most important security tools. The settings reach incredible levels of detail, and you can switch components on or off, choose how the system reacts to detected threats, and use a Gaming Profile so you aren’t interrupted when you’re playing or watching video in a full-screen mode. There’s a lot to get to grips with, but everything is presented in a straightforward manner that’s easy to understand.
Crucially, Kaspersky retains the crown when it comes to strong security. It protected against 99% of threats in our tests, a figure that not many others can beat. While scanning, CPU usage stayed below 35% on our older dual-core system, and memory usage was kept in the 790MB to 950MB region. Kaspersky is clearly confident about its footprint, because it has a built-in system resource monitor to show you what it’s using.
It isn’t the only security package it town – Norton, Eset and Avast are also excellent choices – but Kaspersky remains, on balance, the best of the bunch. When you can pick up a one-year, three-user licence for around £20, it’s practically a steal.