- Quick and simple setup
- Easy to use interface
- Heaps of options for the advanced users
- Sandbox mode
- Less resource use and lessens boot-up time
- Not much of PC optimisation tools
- Lack of online backup
- Quite expensive
Kaspersky can be said to be the pet security suite designer among us, the geeks. This company managed to prove to be a big hit among the mainstream users and is catching its own space on the store shelves and our site’s Best Buy. It is not resource hungry, so it will form immediate love affair with the power consumers and the interface is easy enough for the novice.
The Kaspersky Internet Security 2011 sports some of the most hi-end features in its parental control module and the suite even seems to be shortening some of the PC’s sluggish boot times. While it would have been great if Kaspersky had included some of its PC optimisation as well as backup features, the suite still maintains Kaspersky’s reputation of not having any bad influence on the performance of the PC.
Installation and Set-up:
The installation and set-up process of the Kaspersky Internet Security 2011 is much swifter and simpler than setting up of almost every other security software that are in the current market. One of the highlight features to note while installation is that, the suite does not demand a reboot. This installer even scans your system and creates a list of trusted apps, hence, even before you start using the software, it would have created some context about your likes. Even before the application is opened, Kaspersky would have placed a gadget on your desktop, which is a circle with a half moon with the colour of the health of your system. The colour code is the usual one that you will be well aware of; for instance, green when your PC is healthy and Red when in real danger. In the lower half of this circle you will find two virtual mouse buttons, which can be customised as shortcuts for your favourite features, like say, home network monitor and parental controls. One of the very handy features that we really loved is that, you get to drag and drop files to scan them for any virus presence.
Simple with choices:
The User Interface has gone through some tweaking and looks much more polished now. Despite the changes, the basic features are kept to be the same; it is the clear tabbed interface making it easy to check on your protection status.
As we had mentioned in the introduction, the Internet Security 2011 from Kaspersky has kept things simple for the users who are not so familiar with the techie terms. That said, it discreetly presents the tech freaks with enough details on setting options to not disappoint them. On the top of the main screen, you will find a big colour coded circle with a single statement given the security state of your system; for instance, a yellow circle with the sentence “Your computer security is at risk”. And, next to the statement, there is a button that says, “fix now”, which is a big relief to the consumers who are not so confident about their techie side’s issue resolving capabilities. On the left side, there is a pretty simple list that gives the set of categories that include ‘Protection Center’ that offers an overview of the security; ‘Safe Run’ option providing a way to make use of the virtual keyboard and yet another one for protecting the users while you are on the sites that deal with your confidential information like online banking sites; the other categories include Scan, Update Center, Parental Controls and Tasks that include a range of clean-up and backup options.
The advanced settings:
The advanced settings menu can be accessed by clicking over the Settings that is placed on the upper right corner of your main screen. Even here, Kaspersky has placed a streamlined list of options, and each of these settings options has simple check boxes. In both of these, we loved the fact that there are no pop-up windows hassling, and the entire user interface has been contained in a single box. What we mean here is that, the users get to set the program to rename or delete the attachments with some specific file extensions.
Incompatible Software issue:
If you are unlucky, you will stumble with this issue at the time of installation. The set-up program of Kaspersky 2011 Internet Security Software complains that it cannot continue because of the installation of ClamAV, it seems that this program is incompatible and should have been removed immediately, but what if the software had not been installed for months now. While there were no signs of the ClamAV software, there was some stray reference of the suite on the registry, whose removal did no good. Eventually when we checked the support section in the Kaspersky website, we came to know that the “incompatible software” check should be turned off. Once this is done, the program gets installed. We think Kaspersky should have done it in a better way.
Like any of the security software that is in its senses, the Kaspersky Internet Security’s toolbox too attacks threats in browsers, IM clients, even on the desktop, that includes malware, phishing attacks and malware. This suite also includes FireWall like most of its rivals. Kaspersky has employed its Proactive Defence Technology on the Internet Security 2011, which safeguards the system against latest threats much before they even try to reach your PC by scanning pages for characteristics of phishing sites as well as restricting the behaviour of the loaded doubtful applications. This year, consumers also get access to a website rating system that comes up on your search results, and also a Geo Filter that allows users to block content from certain parts of the world; anticipating cyber invasions from as-yet unknown directions. Kasperksy has said that most threat comes from outside of the United States and United Kingdom. You also can execute the sites and desktop applications in a sandbox mode, which allows you to operate them independent from rest of the system. This is an excellent idea for those who do the online banking.
Antivirus engines of Kaspersky have always been appreciated by the high end testing labs such as AV Comparatives which awarded Kaspersky AntiVirus 2010 its highest Advanced+ rating for the on-demand malware detection, especially for the fact that it raises extremely low false alarms.
The antivirus engine of Kaspersky Internet Security 2011 begins with a solid base and then moves on to a range of options that inspects your computer. As soon as the installation is done, the program will check your drive only when your system is idle, hence, you will not be interrupted by a scan that suddenly pops up. You also get to scan a file or folder with just a rigt click from Explorer and option to run Critical Areas scan, which will check for threats in the most likely area, or a complete scan that will run through the full computer. You will always be able to set-up any of these options to run automatically through the scheduler that is quite configurable. The scheduler also has options that allow you to minimise the impact on performance, these scans can be paused till the screensaver is active. The overall scanning performance is average, but it is acceptable. If you are looking for some better performance, the suite offers heaps of configuration options that come in quite handy. For instance, you can get the suite to scan just the new or changed files, which make the scans quite speedy.
Kaspersky Internet Security 2011 suite has employed some really extensive real time protection features that will keep looking for any invasions on your PC. The suite checks the supplications you run, the files opened, IMs (MSN, AIM, ICQ, Jabber, GTalk, Ru Agent, IRC and Yahoo), inbox and sent mails, http web traffic, and also check the incoming network packets for any alarms.
The browsing protection can be said to be a bit more light weight than most of its competition. You do not get any huge tool bars here and there will not be any alerts that will be displayed against the URLs in the search engines; the browser looks as it did earlier. The Safe Surf module just looks out for suspicious and phishing URLs that go on in the background and this will be able to block the opening of the dangerous websites completely; strangely this option has not been turned on by default. This is exactly what will be happening while running the Internet Explorer of Firefox, but everybody else is simply out of luck. The settings dialog box also does not present any good news. While there is an option to block dangerous scripts, it is only in the Microsoft Internet Explorer. The good news is the core PC real-time protection seems to be much improved, especially with the new System Watcher Technology. This technology actually tracks what the programs are doing, for instance, the files that they are creating, changing, the changes in Registry, as well as the system calls made. If the suite is found to be behaving suspiciously, not only is the program blocked, but most of its changes can be reversed in just a couple of moments. This has the potential to undo a great deal of damage and is a great boon for the suite.
AntiSpam and Firewall:
The Kaspersky Internet Security 2011 Software Package is loaded with a spam filter that directly supports Outlook, Windows mail, Thunderbird and The Bat; and SMTP, POP3, IMAP traffic filters making sure it works with anything and everything.
The suite makes use of a different set of techniques in order to detect spam: GSG-based image recognition, iBayes along with custom heuristic technology, comparing dicey URLs databases and the users own personal blacklisting and whitelising.
Kaspersky was once great with malware detection, but it had struggled in the past couple of years to compete with stellar competition from Norton and Avira. At the very first glance, we thought that that has not changed in Kaspersky Internet Security 2011. From a selection of over 300 samples, the suite managed to identify quite an impressive 96%, but Norton 2010 managed an impeccable 99% and Avira just behind at 98%. However, this year Kaspersky has a new ace up its sleeve. Though it did not manage to identify all the malware, it noted the ones that it did not know were unsigned and not commonly found on the other Kaspersky subscriber’s PC and just flags them to be suspicious. And, when we tried to run them, and when they tried to dig into the system, the software intervened rightly and raised the alarm.
The Safe Run for Websites builds the sandboxing system for the applications that first appeared in the year 2010. This allows you to run your browser in the protected mode, with a green border; preventing rouge processes from snooping on its traffic as well as cached data. All you have to do is, tell the URL to your software and it will automatically open a ‘safe’ browser whenever you go there.
Most of the other new additions in the 2011 edition are prosaic, yet useful ones. The System Roll-back tool undo’s the damage that were done by the viruses, which is potentially handy if the Windows System Restore seem to be too blunt.
Less drain on system resources:
The highlight feature of Kaspersky Internet Security 2011 is its very less impact that it has on the PC. This is, with or without a scan running in the background. For instance, when we launched Firefox on the Core i3-powered HP PC, the process took less than a couple of seconds. You can even further minimise the impact of performance with the creation of a gamer profile as well as allowing the system to disable scheduled scans when the system is unplugged.
PC Tune-up and Back-up Tools:
That was all the positives of the Kaspersky Internet Security 2011, but there are two areas where the suite falls behind; the PC Tune-up and backup tools. While most of its rivals do offer registry cleaners as well as tools that cleanse duplicate files, the tools of Internet Security 2011 seem to be more slanted towards protecting the privacy instead of enhancing the speed. For instance, the Privacy Cleaner tool erases the recent commands, coolies, accessed files, logs and ilk from your PC, all of which is useful, but if it has a few products that have been specially designed for the optimisation of the PC performance, it would have made Internet Security a much attractive offering. However, even after this search as well as a complete system scan that focuses on the critical areas, the PC’s boot time dropped from a minute and 30 seconds to a very impressive, minute and 10 seconds.
Unlike most of its rivals, the Kaspersky Internet Security 2011 does not provide any free storage. However, using the suite, you will be able to create a restore disc. Though it is good to know that you will be able to restore your PC in case something goes wrong, it would have been much assuring if the suite was capable of automatically backing up your system in real time, so you always get a current set of files and folders.
The parental controls of this Internet Security have been baked inside the suite, which is not true of, such as Norton 360 is web based. You will have to create a password for the parental control features, and have to specify if this password is required in configuration of these settings, close the software or even in the removal of it. As in the case of most of the parental control feature of other suites, the adults will create a profile that includes a picture for their kid. However, we were left wishing if you could create multiple profiles for number of children or user accounts.
The Parental Controls of Kaspersky is complete, next to only Norton 360, offering a larger set of options for tweaking the settings. The categories offered by the suite include Instant Messaging, application usage, private data, web browsing, file downloads, computer usage and internet usage. These categories allow parents to allow or block access for specific hours every day. The Application Usage feature makes it quite easy for you to browse the system to isolate applications that you do not want to find your kid using. With the Private Data option, you can prevent kids from giving access to important pieces of information, such as social security numbers, and Word Usage modules monitors the use of specific words, and this user is unique to Kaspersky. And, it is up to parents to add offensive words to the list. In the Instant Messaging category, you will be able to block users, however, as far as this module is concerned, we liked the approach of Symantec that offers parents the option of monitoring the conversations as well as blocking new friends till they approve them of their children. We liked how Kasparov parental controls prevent kids from downloading certain file types, like music or apps.
Though Kaspersky’s Internet Security 2011 is relatively expensive, it sports enough set of features to keep the resource-conscious users quite happy, and easy enough for those who like to set and just forget about it. Symantec Norton 360 is a good alternative, as it offers parental controls, PC Tune-up tools and online backup at a lower cost. Kaspersky’s Internet Security 2011 was best for those who are very much conscious about power. While its signature scanning might take only a bronze medal, it makes up for that with impressive heuristics with all the bells and whistles you ever wished for. However, if you want to get the best out of this suite, it demands a higher degree of technical nous. For instance, with the Safe Run feature, it will prove to be useful only if you know when and how to activate them, and its range of options are likely to overwhelm novices. Actually, you are paying for this power too. Another alternative you can consider is, the G Data Internet Security 2011, which is both simpler and cheaper.
Kaspersky Internet Security 2011 – Software Specification Details
|Software name||Kaspersky Internet Security 2011|
|Suite type||Internet Security|
|License type||Complete package|
|License Validation period||One year|
|License quantity||Three users|
|Minimal System requirements||Windows XP SP2, Vista, Windows 7
256MB (Windows XP)
1GB (Windows Vista and Windows 7)
375 MB available hard disk space
Internet Explorer 6
|Recommended system requirements||Windows XP SP2, Vista, Windows 7
Intel CORE Duo (1.66 GHz) or equivalent processor
1GB (Windows XP and Windows 7)
1.5 GB (Windows Vista)
600 MB available hard disk space
Internet Explorer 7
|All POP3, SMTP, IMAP, MAPI and NNTP supported clients
Microsoft Outlook 2002 or later
Microsoft Outlook Express 6 or later
(Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, and other webmail not supported)
|Instant Messaging||Yahoo! Messenger
AOL Instant Messenger (AIM)
|Supported browsers||Internet Explorer and Firefox|
|Special Operating Modes||Game Mode which reduces system load and postpones scans
Laptop mode that prolongs battery life
|Tune up||Removes unnecessary files & registry entries,
for optimised performance
|Core Protection||Award-Winning Protection plus Maximum Performance
|Advanced Protection||Emerging Threat Detection
Online Banking Mode
|Identity Protection||Two-Way Firewall
|Additional Features||Easy-access Desktop Security Gadget
Installation on Infected PC’s
Optimized for Netbooks
Free Technical Support
|Support||Free technical support (Phone, Live Char, Email,
Knowledge Base), Phone support is U.S.- based and
available Monday – Friday from 8 am – 9am ET.