2011 No.2 Antivirus
Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2011
Pros: Kaspersky Anti-Virus has all the right features and tools, packed in an interface that is advanced but straightforward.
Cons: The price for a 3-user license is definitely worth it, but isn’t as competitive.
The Verdict: This antivirus power-house is flexible enough for experts, simple enough for beginners, and effective enough for everyone.
Kaspersky Anti-Virus Review
Kaspersky Labs continues to gain popularity in the security software industry, and it’s easy to see why. Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2011 continues the legacy of providing rock-solid security without sacrificing performance, making it one of the best antivirus software solutions available. Kaspersky Anti-Virus earns the TopTenREVIEWS Silver Award for providing excellent security in an antivirus application that is both professional and easy to use.
Kaspersky Anti-Virus is a comprehensive program, protecting users from a number of threats including bots, worms, Trojans, rootkits, spyware, viruses and other malware. More than just traditional virus scanning, the software includes advanced technologies implemented to detect and prevent new threats.
Some of the new features for 2011 include the new Desktop Security Gadget, System Watcher technology, and additional improvements throughout the software.
Scope of Protection:
As far as desktop antivirus software, Kaspersky Anti-Virus is as all-encompassing as they come. The software is designed to protect users from several angles, effectively detecting, preventing and removing all forms of malware. The antivirus software is equipped to protect users from traditional viruses, but also has advanced technology to protect from even new unknown threats. Furthermore, there are a couple of tools and web-specific features that Kaspersky includes that are normally only found in more comprehensive Internet Security Suites.
Kaspersky is known for their quick response to new viruses, and they’re often among the first to detect new viruses in the wild. One reason the software is so effective is because it is updated regularly and is proactively looking for new security threats. The malware landscape continues to change, and Kaspersky adjusts to address the threats.
One new feature worth noting is the System Watcher, which monitors and logs application activity and behavior. If something suspicious is detected, the software stops the process and informs the user. But more than just uncovering stealth threats, System Watcher can rollback your system and actually delete any malware that was created or spread in the process.
The software works in real-time, protecting you as you surf the web, download files, send and receive emails, and access files and documents. Third party testers and security organizations collectively approve and recommend the software as well. Kaspersky has received top marks in recent VB100 (Virus Bulletin 100%) tests, and certification from ICSA. AV Comparatives has awarded the software with an A+, and West Coast Labs has verified the software for anti-virus, anti-spyware, anti-Trojan, and anti-malware. Overall, this software is one of the most effective available, and has the experience and accolades to prove it.
Ease of Installation:
The software is available as a box copy, or you can download the software online and install immediately. The product includes three licenses, and the software works on laptops and netbooks as well. Installation is quick and straightforward, and doesn’t require a restart.
But what if your system is already infected to the extent that you can’t install antivirus software, or even start the computer? If you aren’t able to download the software because of malware, you have the option to download a specialized tool used to preemptively scan your PC and remove the threat to accommodate a clean install.
If your computer is dead, you’ll need the Backup and Rescue Disk, which you can either purchase or create yourself (so remember to do it before your computer dies). This bootable recovery disk can rescue your computer by booting prior to the OS to detect and remove malware, and is a great tool for emergencies.
Ease of Use:
This antivirus software is designed to be simple to use. The software has traditionally been geared towards expert users, but we’ve seen a definite shift to a consumer-level approach in the last few years. The advanced tools are still there (and still plenty strong), but beginners won’t be intimidated. Whether you’re an advanced user looking for intensive controls, or a laid-back user who simply needs protection without constant supervision, Kaspersky will work for you.
The interface is effectively organized and user-friendly. The interface features a color-coded graphic so you always know your security status (the traffic-light color-coded security status is actually bold enough that “at-a-glance" is an understatement; more like “can’t miss it”).
The dashboard is similar to last years’ interface, with left nav tabs and quick access to the quarantine, reports and settings. Accompanying icons and the graphical user interface add accessibility, and are applicable and appealing.
One of the best parts of this security program is that you can set your preferences and let it protect you without constantly monitoring it. Scans and updates are set by to occur automatically by default, and the software includes real-time security as you surf the web, download and open files, or communicate with email or IM. In the event of an infection or potential threat, the software immediately lets you know and provides quick access to identify and fix the problem so you can move on.
Of course even though the software is easy to use, it is also very customizable. Users can control just about every component of the software to schedule scans, adjust security levels, toggle specific features and even change the appearance of the software. There are several improved features and a couple new ones, all included with the intent to provide better security and overall performance.
Introduced last year, the Kaspersky URL Advisor continues to protect users while online. The browser plug-in is available for IE and Firefox, and stops you from navigating to infected websites. You’ll also be protected from phishing scams.
The software also still utilizes the proprietary iChecker and iSwift scanning technologies to keep you protected without hogging your resources. iChecker makes it possible for the software to identify files that have been opened or changed since the last scan, and only scan them, effectively speeding up scans. iSwift keeps an eye on resource usage and can throttle the resource demand as needed to optimize performance to run faster if the system is idle (or slower if you need the PC resources for other programs).
Some other continued features are the virtual keyboard and gamer mode. While the efficacy is debatable, the virtual terminal lets you input sensitive information (credit card numbers, passwords or other personal information) by clicking on the digital “keyboard” with your mouse. While it’s no way to type an essay, the virtual keyboard does avoid key loggers and keystroke recognition malware attempts to steal your information. The game mode makes it possible to enjoy full-screen video games (or movies) without interruptions.
One new feature that we’d like to highlight is the desktop security gadget. The sleek gadget docks on your desktop and provides better access and awareness to your system security at all times. The antivirus widget will change color if your security is at risk, and includes quick links to the most important aspects of the software. You can even drag and drop files directly to the gadget for an immediate manual scan. The buttons and even the appearance of the gadget can be changed (and if you don’t like it you can always disable it).
Frequent updates are essential for effective antivirus and antispyware protection, so Kaspersky Anti-Virus updates on a regular basis for continual security. Updates run in the background automatically, and are frequent enough that they aren’t very big, so you shouldn’t notice any slowdown.
The software isn’t just equipped to keep itself up to date, but can also help you identify and locate essential updates for your system and other applications. The vulnerability scan checks for outdated drivers and can keep you on top of crucial security updates. The tool also identifies settings (like if your computer is set to autorun external media) that you might want to adjust for optimal security.
Help & Support:
Kaspersky offers some great support for all of their product. Technical support comes in the form of a searchable online knowledgebase, FAQs, product manuals and an active form. You can easily access these resources online or from the program itself.
The software also includes context-sensitive helps. Not only are the included help files complete, but they open to information that corresponds with where you are in the software. For more personalized issues you can connect with a support team member over the phone or via online live chat.
Overall, Kaspersky Anti-virus 2011 continued to deliver superb protection and security. As one of the best antivirus software, it is robust and integrates innovative technologies to defend from even the newest threats. It’s a great option for protection and PC peace of mind.
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