Overall Score 73%
Kaspersky Box

Kaspersky Security Software Review

The Case for Kaspersky

  • Same virus protection as Kaspersky Antivirus plus extra security
  • In business 18 years (1997)
  • Renowned team of security/virus researchers
  • Excellent virus prevention
  • Poor at virus removal
  • 14-day money back guarantee
  • Made in the Russia
  • Philippines phone tech support
(1-PC / 1-Year)
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by Kevin R. Smith, Co-Editor
Virus, Spyware, & Malware Protection: 58%

Kaspersky Internet Security did poorly with cleaning and removing existing malware but—strangely— it performed well at blocking viruses from infecting our test PCs.

We began by infecting our test PCs with all kinds of different malware: viruses, trojans, rogueware, adware, etc, then we launched a full-system scan on each test PC to see how Kaspersky would perform.

Unfortunately, Kaspersky wasn't able to remove much of anything. We got plenty of alerts from it but the viruses were still there, and still running, untouched.

  • Kaspersky Internet Security
    Kaspersky Box
  • SCORE: 73%
After each scan and reboot, our testing PCs and the Kaspersky application itself became so buggy and unresponsive, we were forced to quit altogether and reinstall Windows from scratch on each one.

On the flip-side of that, Kaspersky Internet Security did very well in blocking new threats as we tried to install them. Kaspersky deleted most files before we could even run them. In fact, it was very hard for us to work fast enough to even get some of the malware samples open before Kaspersky deleted them. Impressive.

There was only a small percent that Kaspersky asked us if we wanted to delete (instead of deleting them automatically). In the end about 95% of the time, it stopped viruses in their tracks.

As for Kaspersky's antiphishing technology, it's excellent. It scored a perfect 100% in blocking known phishing sites.

Bottom line: Kaspersky Internet Security was terrible at removing existing malware, but very good at preventing new threats.

Firewall Protection: 17%

A firewall is your first line of defense against new threats trying to infiltrate your PC. It's the thing that prevents worms and hacker attacks and help keeps you computer free from intrusions if you're on WiFi

Kaspersky Internet Security scored an abysmal 17% in this department. Not only were some basic left ports open to attack, Kaspersky failed to block even basic exploit attempts. A very poor performance.

On the positive side, it's one of the most highly configurable firewalls out there, so if you need a firewall that can be customized to your needs, the options are there.

Resource Usage: 98%

Kaspersky's overall system resource impact was moderate. While running a full-system scan, Kaspersky Internet Security only slowed our testing computers by about 11%.

We could perform basic computer functions like web surfing and file downloading with no noticeable affect on our test PCs, even when we had multiple browsers and multiple tabs running.

At Windows boot time, Kaspersky was very fast, adding negligible time to the Windows startup. Once it was running the Kaspersky application was nearly imperceptible when running idly in the background.

User Interface: 91%

Click images to enlarge

For the most part, Kaspersky's user interface is easy to use. It has a modern look with clearly labeled components.

However, the user interface suffers from some of the same design flaws we've seen in other antivirus and Internet security software.

When navigating away from the home screen, you can't go to any other section within the interface without first returning home.

Getting around in Kaspersky means needlessly wasted clicks back to the "Home" screen again and again. A simpler solution is to have all your navigation options either at the top or along the side for easy access.

Technical Support: 70%

Kaspersky has greatly improved their technical support over the years, but it's still far behind much of the competition.

For starters, there are several different methods to get to support, which we're happy to see, but in practice, it's easy to be confused. One central location would be ideal.

Instead, you'll wade through various pop-ups and webpages to get the answer to your questions.

When we called their live support, we were connected to a rep in just a few minutes. The support representatives were based in the Philippines and were friendly and mostly knowledgeable even though it's clear they're reading from a script.

What we really take issue with though is: if your PC is infected with a virus—even if you're running Kaspersky at the time—Kaspersky still charges you a hefty $99 for their removal service.

That's one of the highest fees we've ever seen, especially so when VIPRE, ESET and Avira all do this for free. Interestingly, if you need their removal services, it's done from Canada, not the Philippines, which means explaining yourself twice to get the virus removed.

Conclusion - Overall Score: 73%

  • Kaspersky Internet Security
    Kaspersky Box
  • SCORE: 73%
  • Strong realtime virus protection
  • Excellent antiphishing
  • Poor virus removal
  • Good user interface
Kaspersky's inability to perform well when it came to virus and malware remove is a real sore spot. A good Internet Security Suite should be able to clean up the majority of the mess spyware, rogueware, adware, and other malware leaves behind.

Sadly, Kaspersky Internet Security became part of the problem by getting so corrupted and buggy, that we had to stop the tests and reinstall Windows nearly every time. Even on our test bench with all the things we need at our fingertips,it's time consuming.

That less experienced PC users would to have to resort to this is worrisome to us.

Imagine our surprise then when a clean install of Kaspersky blocked nearly every attempt we made to infect the PCs with malware samples during our realtime protection tests.

Kaspersky Internet Security did a wonderful job here and even deleted most of the malware before we could even run them. Very impressive results.

Because of this extreme mismatch between protection and removal, it's tough to recommend Kaspersky this year. We love the antiphishing and realtime protection, but between the poor results in our firewall tests and its lousy virus removal, it's too unreliable to recommend.

Software Version 2019
Supported Operating System (OS) Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista, XP
Minimum RAM Required 1 GB
Minimum Space Required 480 MB
Required Processor Speed 1 GHz
Money-back Guarantee 14 Days
Software Manufacturer Kaspersky
Click images to enlarge
Home Screen
Safe Money
Parental Control
Privacy Protection
Online Management
Cloud Protection
Vulnerability Scan
Problems Search
Damage Search
General Settings
Scan Settings
Additional Tools
Technical Support
Private Browsing Prevents websites from tracking your browsing habits or logging your personal information. Most websites and related web-services track information about you when you're on their site. This feature helps prevent that.
Anti-Banner Blocks annoying or dangerous banner advertisements. This feature helps detect banner ads that may be dangerous or inappropriate.
Change Control Helps stop the installation of unwanted programs or browser settings. If a piece of malware attempts to install something in your browser or adjust your settings, this feature will help prevent that.