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Kaspersky Internet Security 2011 Review

Posted on May 15, 2011

A review of Kaspersky Internet Security 2011 antivirus and online security software suite.
 
Tags: kaspersky internet security 2011, antivirus, online security, software review

Kaspersky Internet Security 2011 is the latest in a line of security products from this award-winning developer. Previous versions of Kaspersky Internet Security suites have won awards like "Best Security Product" and are ranked among the most reliable and effective software security packages on the market. You can expect the same level of quality with this latest version of their flagship security software.

Installation

The install process for Kaspersky Internet Security 2011 took only a few minutes to complete, and did not require a reboot. This is especially helpful when installing the software on a computer that may already be infected with a virus or malware, because the reboot process often makes infections worse. By not requiring a reboot after installation, it greatly increases the immediate effectiveness of the software.

Once the software is installed, it immediately goes to work protecting your system. The beauty of it is that there is very little user configuration needed, so you don’t need a Microsoft certification to secure your computer. Kaspersky’s default settings offer an incredible amount of protection for nearly every aspect of computer usage both off and online. It also features a learning system where it monitors your system behavior so that it can become more efficient over time as it gets used to which programs you use most often.

System Performance

While running, Kaspersky Internet Security 2011 takes up a very minimal amount of system resources. It adds two processes which can be found in the Task Manager. The first, avp.exe, is the main Kaspersky Anti-Virus software which resides in memory and actively scans every file accessed by your computer system. On a Windows 7 32-bit system, it takes up around 4-12 megabytes of memory whether it is sitting idle or running an active scan. The second process, klwtblfs.exe, is labeled as a "WebToolBar Component" and is used specifically to monitor your web browser for phishing activity, malicious software downloads, and more. It only uses a little more than a megabyte of memory. These results will vary depending on the computer system.

Core Security Features

With online threats coming in so many different forms, it is important to have security measures in place to block and defend against every type of attack, and Kaspersky Internet Security 2011 does just that. It performs the basic services like protecting against viruses from files or email, but it also protects against instant message viruses like what you might encounter on Skype or other services. Individual application control features let you decide which programs are allowed online access and which are not, plus the System Watcher option looks out for suspicious program activity that might change security settings or cause a disruption in your computer’s operation.

Kaspersky Internet Security 2011 also enables a feature called Proactive Defense which is used to help locate and protect against threats that have yet to be identified. In addition to checking running processes against a database of known threats, this proactive defense method actually monitors activities that could potentially be threats. It differs from the System Watcher in that it checks with an online source of other Kaspersky users, so that if a certain activity starts getting flagged on multiple systems, it can be isolated before spreading. Security measures such as these are important for stopping threats early on, because the criminals making viruses and malware have the same security software as everyone else and are constantly making new malicious software.

Of particular interest is the Anti-Banner feature, which is disabled by default because it’s geared more towards advanced users. When enabled, this option lets you block some advertising content from displaying inside web pages. The reason why this is considered a security feature is that malware and viruses are often distributed through advertising feeds that appear on websites. If a system administrator was able to identify the URL or IP address of a website pushing malicious software in the form of ad content, this Anti-Banner feature could be used to block that particular site.

Additional Security Features

A newer feature introduced in last year’s Kaspersky Internet Security 2010 suite is the Safe Run module. It allows the user to run the web browser or certain applications in a virtual console of sorts that works independent of the main operating system. The purpose is so that Windows won’t be affected by any malicious activity during this period, and it makes Safe Run great for testing websites or software known to contain security threats or when you need an added level of security when dealing with new or untested applications. A Virtual Keyboard is also provided to protect against keyloggers, which are programs that capture whatever is being typed in order to discern passwords and other information from the unsuspecting user.

For parents concerned about their children’s online usage, Kaspersky Internet Security 2011 includes a set of Parental Control options that let you specify activity based on Windows user accounts. These options allow you to limit daily Internet usage, control which programs are allowed, monitor instant messaging, and much more. This section is also password protected to prevent anyone from altering the controls after they have been established.

Another excellent tool provided in this security suite is the ability to create a Rescue Disc that contains virus and malware scanning software for when your computer is so infected that you might not be able to get into Windows. This can be a lifesaver when you need to recover your system after an infection.

Overall

Kaspersky Internet Security 2011 offers an impressive variety of security functions that both reactively and proactively check for every type of problem that could threaten a computer’s functionality. It retails for $79.95 for a 3-user license that includes a one-year subscription, or $119.95 for a two-year subscription.

Screenshots

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