Kaspersky Internet Security 2009 review:

Kaspersky Internet Security 2009

While we really like the idea, the execution of Kaspersky's new Security Analyzer needs more work. It's good that it checks with the Secunia database for the latest reported vulnerabilities and vendor updates. But it's bad that upon our first run our test system had 481 vulnerabilities. Bad because there is no one-stop shopping here--we needed to click on each alert individually. We also had to download the correct patch for our system, but which version of the vulnerable software are we running? It gets confusing and tedious even for someone relatively tech savvy. It would be good if the scanner also identified not only that you are running vulnerable software, but also which version of the software you are running. Sometimes fixing one removes others, but the current implementation leaves the process unclear.

KIS 2009 includes Parental Controls at a time when some vendors are still making this an optional download.

KIS 2009 also includes a virtual keyboard; however, security experts have for years warned that onscreen keyboards do not diminish the risks of keyloggers stealing your passwords. We're surprised to see this included within a serious security product.

Missing are the nearly instant or more frequent malware signature file updates available from Norton, Trend Micro, and McAfee this year. Kaspersky still sends out hourly updates.

In CNET Labs' performance tests, Kaspersky Internet Security 2009, in general, scored worse than last year. However, it managed to halve its individual file scan time. In third-party, independent antivirus testing using live viruses, Kaspersky Internet Security 2009 scored in the high upper ranks, although not always at the top position. On the CNET iTunes test, Kaspersky Internet Security 2009 came in dead last at 276 seconds; the test system was able to load iTunes in 268 seconds. On the CNET Microsoft Office test, Kaspersky Internet Security 2009 also finished dead last at 1,535 seconds. In a test scanning a single folder with compressed and media files, Kaspersky Internet Security 2009 had better results, 245 seconds, competitive with other security suites. Although in terms of boot speed, Kaspersky was among the slowest (34.84 seconds) when compared with other suites (McAfee only took 30 seconds)

To find out how we test antivirus software, see CNET Labs' How we test: Antivirus software page.

In terms of whether Kaspersky Internet Security 2009 will protect your PC, we cite results from two leading independent antivirus testing organizations. In results from AV-test.org Kaspersky Internet Security 2009 found 98 percent of the malware and 98 percent of the spyware on the test system. In the latest test results from earned an Advanced (second-highest) rating, although Kaspersky produced very few false positives compared with other antivirus applications in the same test.

Kaspersky Internet Security 2009 provides an excellent context-sensitive help file. For example, if you are on the Data Files page and you click Help, you're taken to the entry for Data Files entry within the help file. It's a small touch, but one we don't see often enough. Kaspersky also delivers an excellent online FAQ and knowledge base. There are also active user forums. Finally, you can e-mail or call a toll-free number for live technical support.

Kaspersky Internet Security 2009 includes some significant changes to its malicious software engine and new security tools. However, we think the interface and the messaging around the new security tools could be much better. And for the price, we like to see more security tools. We look forward to next year's release.

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