Even if you've never heard of Kaspersky Lab, there's a good chance you've used the security technology found in Kaspersky Internet Security. The Russian vendor's antivirus engine is used to power dozens of better-known viral crusaders, including the popular F-Secure Internet Security. By adding firewall and antispyware protection to its antivirus product, the powerful and well-designed Kaspersky Internet Security Suite 6 should bring Kaspersky out from behind the curtain and onto center stage. It has strong virus, spyware, spam, and firewall tools to compete against kingpins Norton Internet Security 2006, McAfee Internet Security Suite 2006, and ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite 6. The Kaspersky product's $79.95 retail price is, however, very high. While Kaspersky Internet Security 6 is a solid security suite, we still prefer ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite 6 for the best all-around protection for your desktop PC.
The Kaspersky security suite installs within a few minutes with an easy setup process that involves just a few mouse clicks. Kaspersky will even run an optional, post-setup system scan if you want to start with a clean machine. The Kaspersky suite deserves praise for its aggressive security. Out of the box, the suite protected us from online viruses and worms, remote attacks, and malware such as spyware.
The suite's interface has been redesigned from previous versions', combining several stand-alone Kaspersky apps together into one integrated package. Kaspersky Internet Security Suite 6 is well organized, with important settings for antivirus, spyware, spam, and other security tools just one click away from the main screen.
Kaspersky Anti-Virus has consistently ranked well among important third-party antivirus testing sites and is considered to be both faster and more reliable, with new signature updates, than brand names McAfee and Norton. The Kaspersky Anti-Hacker personal firewall works with the Anti-Spy feature, blocking sites with potentially dangerous content. For example, Kaspersky Anti-Spy blocked Internet Explorer from loading suspected adware sites such as WhenU.com. Other leading security suites, including F-Secure, Norton, and PC-cillin, all let us load potentially dangerous Web pages first before detecting and removing any downloaded malware. Still, the Kaspersky suite could do a better job of reporting its actions. For instance, we didn't see a pop-up message explaining why the WhenU.com page wouldn't load--just a blank window. When we turned off the Anti-Spy feature, the WhenU.com page loaded correctly.
Like most security suites, Kaspersky Internet Security Suite 6 also fights spam. The Anti-Spam plug-in works with Microsoft Outlook and RitLabs The Bat eMail clients, making it easy to weed out junk mail. In our tests with Outlook, Kaspersky accurately blocked penile-enlargement ads (among others) as spam. Occasional errors were easily corrected by clicking either the Spam or Not Spam buttons on the Kaspersky toolbar.
Kaspersky is a Russian company, and requesting live technical support from Moscow will cost you. The company does, however, provide technical support via e-mail in English for the United States and the United Kingdom, as well as worldwide French and German language support. Online Kaspersky provides an interactive and thorough FAQ and an active user forum.
Overall, Kaspersky Internet Security 6 provides comprehensive security and is quite easy to configure. It's a bit pricey, though, so we still recommend ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite 6 as your best and most economical Internet security suite.