Kaspersky Internet Security 2012 review

30 Apr 2012

An effective, versatile and highly usable security suite for the technically inclined

Price when reviewed: 
22inc VAT
5

For as long as we’ve reviewed security software, Kaspersky has never been far from the top, and in our most recent tests the Russian brand lived up to its reputation, protecting us from every malware sample.

It fell slightly behind only in the false-positive test, in which it wrongly flagged up 10% of our anodyne samples. In fairness, the program did recommend allowing these applications to run, but the decision was ultimately left in our hands, making Kaspersky an imperfect choice for those seeking zero-interaction security.

Kaspersky Internet Security 2012 - main interface

That impression is maintained when you delve into the interface. Outwardly, Kaspersky presents a new, breezy front-end, with elegant fonts and tasteful icons. Even the main settings interface, which lets you tweak settings across a remarkable 30 areas of protection and configuration, is accessible.

Many of the features and options, however, tend towards the technical: under Tools, for example, you’ll find the option to audit and change Internet Explorer security settings, not something the everyday user is likely to want to get stuck into. Click Applications Activity or Network Monitor and you can watch processes, traffic and ports in real-time. It’s great for would-be systems engineers; not so great for grannies.

Kaspersky Internet Security 2012

As with older versions, Internet Security 2012 lets you launch programs and websites in a sandbox, so you can try out downloads or visit unknown links without exposing your system to nasties. And the Virtual Keyboard is still there, enabling you to outwit keylogging trojans.

The parental controls also exhibit versatility: when setting a password, various aspects of program configuration can be locked down. Applications can be blocked by schedule, downloads by file type and even specific contacts on social networks. Sensitive strings can be prevented from being sent from the client PC.

All of this is rolled into a package that, when running in the background, occupies a mere 127MB. If the particulars of internet security make your eyes glaze over, you’re better off with Trend Micro or AVG. But for technical mavens, the degree of low-level control that Kaspersky delivers is worth the price.

Details

Price ex VAT £18
Price inc VAT £22
Overall rating 5
Ease of Use rating 5
Features & Design 6
Value for Money 5
Software subcategory Internet security

Operating system support

Operating system Windows Vista supported? yes
Operating system Windows XP supported? yes