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Kaspersky Anti-Virus 6 review: Kaspersky Anti-Virus 6

Kaspersky is proactive; it's vigilant against the unwanted installation of adware, dialers, rootkits, and remote access utilities. It also locks specific system registry keys, such as Startup, Internet Explorer, system security, and system services from changes made by malicious code.

The only negative we could find involved creating a rescue disc, which is optional. If you are running Windows XP SP2, Kaspersky Anti-Virus 6 can create a bootable Rescue Disc in case a virus knocks out your system. Unfortunately, the process is a bit complicated. First, you must to install PE Builder, a free download available from a variety of online sources, but you must also have your Windows XP SP2 disc handy. Our Windows XP SP2 was a download upgrade, not a disc, so we were ultimately unable to take advantage of the Rescue Disc feature.

Performance
Kaspersky Anti-Virus 6 scored well in CNET Labs' performance tests and exceptionally well in third-party, independent antivirus testing using live viruses. On our iTunes test, Kaspersky Anti-Virus 6 was first, with a fast 174 seconds, just 12 seconds above our test system. On our Sorensen Squeeze test, Kaspersky Anti-Virus 6 was second, with 256 seconds, just 15 seconds more than our test system. For scanning a single folder with files, Kaspersky came in the middle of the pack requiring 160 seconds. And in boot speed, Kaspersky came in third, with a respectable 62 seconds. To find out how we test, see CNET Labs' How we test: software: antivirus page.

In terms of protecting your PC, we cite results from two leading independent antivirus testing organizations. In the latest test results from AV-Comparatives.org, Kaspersky Anti-Virus 6 earned an Advanced + (highest) rating, catching 99 percent of all malware tested. And from CheckVir.com, Kaspersky Anti-Virus 6 was one of eight products to earn its Standard (or highest) rating.

Support
The fact that Kaspersky is a Russian antivirus company doesn't mean you can't get top-quality technical support from within the United States or elsewhere. First, Kaspersky Anti-Virus 6 provides context-sensitive in-program help files. For example, if you are on the Data Files page and you click Help, you're taken to the entry for Data Files within the Help file. It's a small touch, yet we don't see it often enough. Kaspersky also delivers excellent online documentation. Unlike Norton AntiVirus 2007, which offers a pithy, 32-page manual online, Kaspersky offers a robust 208-page PDF manual, including everything we want and need--except an index, although the table of contents is fairly detailed. There are active user forums and FAQs available online. Finally, you can e-mail or call a toll-free number for live technical support.

Conclusion
If you're looking for an antivirus application that's light and fast and consistently wins detection awards against the competition, Kaspersky's the one. We found this antivirus application easy enough for beginners, with customization features that will please more advanced users, as well.

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