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Kaspersky Internet Security 2010: A Close Second

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At a Glance
  • Kaspersky Lab Internet Security 2010

Kaspersky Internet Security 2010 was the second-place finisher in our 2010 security suites roundup, trailing only Norton Internet Security, and not by much. It earns high scores for strong malware detection, efficient performance, and a well-designed interface. While Kaspersky executes these features well, the price ($80 for 3 users as of 3/10/2010) is more than the cost of some other suites.

Overall, Kaspersky's interface is easy to use. The screens are informative without being overwhelming. The main window is clear and easy to navigate: It includes a left pane for navigation, and a right pane containing the various options. Rather than break out firewall and antispam, for example, these features are organized by general topics, such as My Protection, My Security Zone, Scan My Computer, and My Update Center.

In detecting active malware infections on a PC, Kaspersky performed well. It found all malware samples and disabled 87 percent, but removed all files for only 47 percent of the test infections (that score for removal is about average; no suite managed to remove all traces of every infection). And Kaspersky tied McAfee as the top performer in rootkit detection, finding and removing all inactive and active rootkits.

Kaspersky was above average in detection and disinfection of malware through behavioral scanning (detecting malware based solely on how it behaves on a PC). It detected 87 percent of malware samples through behavioral testing, disabling 73 percent, and fully removing 60 percent. Here, only Norton Internet Security received a clean sweep, but other top performers disabled over 90 percent of samples. This test is a good indicator of how well an antivirus application can handle brand new malware threats for which no virus signature file exists.

In old-fashioned signature-based detection of malware, Kaspersky scored a 97.4 percent detection rate--an impressive result, but a bit below the top score in this test, a 99.9 percent detection rate.

Kaspersky Internet Security's impact on system performance is minimal. A PC with Kaspersky's suite installed booted in 43.4 seconds on average, beating the average starting time by 3.5 seconds. The same PC running the McAfee or Norton suites, by comparison, took about 50 seconds to start up. Kaspersky didn't significantly affect performance during normal desktop use either. Scan speeds were okay, but not outstanding. It took 4 minutes, 48 seconds to scan 4.5GB in our on-access scans that determine how long a suite takes to scan files when you open or save them. Kaspersky has been steadily making gains each year, and this year's offering is the best we've seen yet. If scores could improve for behavior scanning, this would be the best suite on the market. As it is, it's pretty darn good.

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At a Glance
  • Kaspersky Internet Security 2010 makes an excellent choice thanks to its very good malware detection, swift performance, and good interface.


    • Well-designed interface
    • Excellent defense against rootkits


    • None significant
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