Kaspersky Internet Security 2013 - Free download and software reviews - CNET Download.com

Kaspersky Internet Security

CNET Editors' review

The 2013 updates to the Kaspersky protection suites bring to consumers some of the most advanced security technology currently available. It involves introducing an exploit prevention engine as part of the security suite, but also a Safe Money banking protection tool that you can interact directly with. The suite's scans aren't the fastest, but it definitely will protect you.

Installation
Installing Kaspersky has been dramatically simplified over the past two years. Following on 2012's fuss-free install, the installer for 2013 will remove conflicting security programs and any detected malware automatically.

You're still on the hook for a reboot, but not when running only the trial. The install procedure was only three screens long, and it took under 2 minutes to complete. You can also register and purchase a license key from the program itself, no need to jump to your browser. Overall, this is one of the best installation processes for a security suite, if by best you mean, "short, fast, and painless."

Interface
Kaspersky's followed up last year's overhauled interface with only minor tweaks this year to accommodate new features. The number of windows you must go through to initiate a scan, or to solve a problem warning, has been reduced.

Based on a mobile app-drawer design, the interface presents your security status at the top and stashes the four major security features of scanning, updating, the new Safe Money, and parental controls, at the bottom. The app drawer layout puts key security status information up front, and keeps your tools organized yet easily accessible below. You can slide the features sideways to see more options, or click the arrow at the bottom to pull up, drawer-style, the full list of options. Settings and Reports live in the upper right corner, and both use terminology repeated throughout the interface. This creates a solid level of consistency, and ought to appeal to basic security consumers and power users alike.

A Cloud Protection button at the top of the interface opens a screen that explains Kaspersky's cloud technology that debuted in the 2012 version. Like its competitors that have already incorporated cloud-based detection, you can opt out of anonymously contributing your data without making yourself less safe.

Kaspersky's opt-out is a bit tricky to get to, though. Hit Settings, the annoyingly unlabeled Advanced Settings tab (hint: it's the cardboard box), Feedback, and then uncheck the box to opt out.

Unlike some competitors, which allow you to reorder the tool buttons so you can have the ones you use most often at the ready, Kaspersky's tool layout is locked down. This is one of the few drawbacks to the design. Another is that in the Settings window, the tabs on the left are unlabeled and their icons are not necessarily as obvious to understand as possible. In order, they are Protection Center, Scan, Update, and Advanced Settings.

Labeling aside, the settings themselves were remarkably easy to navigate and comprehend -- even the advanced ones. Meanwhile, jumping from feature to feature was a zippy experience, and we encountered absolutely no lag when skipping between screens.

Features and support
Kaspersky 2013's newest and best features come in the form of some very forward-thinking security improvements.

The most important of them is the exploit blocking engine called Automatic Exploit Prevention. It's a response to the increase in the number of phishing attacks and includes an antiphishing engine -- similar to the antivirus and anti-malware engines -- that updates daily.

It's hard to overstate how critical stopping exploits can be to stopping large-quantity cash thefts from online banks. Experts have estimated recent successful banking breaches at scoring from $3 million to more than $220 million, and Kaspersky says that the exploit prevention engine stops the vast majority of exploit kits.

A major component of the exploit prevention engine is Address Space Layout Randomization, or ASLR. It's a proven security technology, used in Apple OS X and iOS, in Google's Android, and by Microsoft in Windows 8. It's not foolproof, but it is one of the more effective security technologies currently available. The inclusion of ASLR in Kaspersky means that the technology will be available to Windows 7 and earlier versions, making Kaspersky unique in the security realm for that reason.

The suite now blocks Duqu and other malware specifically designed to surreptitiously install on your computer before the antivirus program loads during boot.

Safe Money revamps the Safe Run feature from previous years and is only in Kaspersky Internet Security 2013, not Kaspersky Anti-Virus. It basically streamlines the process of accessing banking sites securely. Simply go to your banking site, and as long as you have Kaspersky's browser add-ons installed, it will ask you if you want to open the site in a sandboxed mode, isolated from other browser and PC processes. You can also manually add other sites to Safe Money in Kaspersky's interface, but it's no longer a requirement because of Safe Money's new auto-detection. You can tell it's running because of a thin green line around your browser window.

We were skeptical about Safe Money working as advertised, but it really does detect banking Web sites as you visit them and reopen them in sandboxed browsers. It detected both major banks like Chase, and our own local credit union's site without fail.

Other changes have been made, as well. The secure keyboard for protecting personal data when entered by a physical keyboard works with more sites than before; there is expanded browser compatibility so it now works with Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer, and Opera; and better battery management has been implemented for laptops. (We did not test the battery life, however, due to time constraints.)

There are older features worth calling out, too. One is the File Advisor, which is a Windows Explorer context menu option for checking out a file's reputation without having to go through the main Kaspersky program itself. It creates a pipeline from the Kaspersky Security Network, the Kaspersky cloud protection, to the files on your desktop. We found it to pull down reputation data quickly, although its speed also depends on your Internet connection.

The Roll Back feature can easily undo damage caused by any malware that does slip through, and the Network Monitor feature shows you real-time traffic to and from your computer. Among the better ancillary tools are an Internet Explorer security analyzer, which is a good idea if you're stuck on Windows XP with IE8 or earlier -- but it's weird that it doesn't support any other browsers.

The virtual keyboard, different from the physical keyboard protection, has been improved so that it's more responsive than previously. It's mostly an older feature to use if you're worried about keyloggers that Kaspersky keeps around for bragging rights. It's highly unlikely that you'd have Kaspersky running and be infected by a keylogger.

Unchanged from last year, online support is decent, with the standard offerings of forums, live chat, knowledge base articles, and telephone support. Live chat isn't as robust as with some competitors, only available from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday. The telephone support is similarly restricted from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., Eastern time, Monday through Friday. The tech-support number is buried fairly deep on the Kaspersky site, probably to discourage calls. They can be reached at 781-503-1820 or 1-866-525-9094.

Performance
Kaspersky Internet Security 2013 (KIS) shares the same detection engine as its less feature-laden sibling, Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2013 (KAV), so both are discussed here.

After publishing this review, CNET Labs discovered a hardware error on our test computer that affected our published system benchmarks. CNET Labs' revised system benchmarks found the 2013 Kaspersky suites to be as uneven as we had previously determined. Security efficacy is high, but system impact could be greatly improved.

Kaspersky historically doesn't focus on speedy scans as much as its competitors. For most of the scan's duration on a real-world computer, it promised to complete in less than 3 minutes, when in reality it took an average of 8 minutes, 10 seconds to complete over three runs. Meanwhile, the Full scan tightened up and completed scanning in 1 hour, 32 minutes -- that's about average for Full scans. The Rootkit scan took an average of 8 minutes, 32 seconds.

CNET Labs' benchmarks bear out these findings. The in-lab scan time for KIS and KAV are among the two slowest scans we've seen this year.

While KAV's impact on boot time was just a tick below average, KIS struggled. Shutdown impact was much better, with KAV and KIS adding only 3 and 4 seconds to shutdown, respectively.

On MS Office, iTunes decoding, media multitasking tests, and Cinebench, the two suites were slower than average in every respect expect KIS on Cinebench. All that being said, Kaspersky feels light when in use, and it transitioned smoothly among its different features and when jumping to other programs.

We did notice some rare, temporary browser hangs, most likely because of the multiple Kaspersky add-ons.

Security program Boot time Shutdown time Wake from sleep Scan time MS Office performance iTunes decoding Media multitasking Cinebench
Unprotected system 47.5 7.8 11.5 n/a 412 124 344 17,116
Average of all tested systems (to date) 57.9 11.2 12.5 900 414 125 344 17,133
Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2013 59.3 10.7 8 1,195 430 124 348 16,909
Kaspersky Internet Security 2013 75.6 11.7 22 1,394 433 125 345 17,286

Note: All tests measured in seconds, except for Cinebench. On the Cinebench test, higher numbers are better.

As far as threat detection and removal go, there are no numbers available yet for Kaspersky 2013. But the most recent tests with Kaspersky 2012 show that the Russians know a thing or two about keeping your computer safe. Independent testing agency AV-Test.org has marked consistently high scores for Kaspersky Internet Security 2012 during the first two quarters of 2012.

On a Windows 7 computer, Kaspersky scored 5.5 out of 6 on Protection, 6 out of 6 on Repair, and 5 out of 6 on Usability, for an overall score of 16.5 out of 18, clearing the minimum of 11 for an AV-Test.org certificate. This is a marked improvement from a total score of 14 last year at this time.

Note that AV-Test.org defines its categories as follows: "The 'Protection' covers static and dynamic malware detection, including real-world zero-day attack testing. In case of 'Repair,' we check the system disinfection and rootkit removal in detail. The 'Usability' testing includes the system slowdown caused by the tools and the number of false positives."

The most recent AV-Comparatives.org Whole Product test, which looks at on-demand scanning, retroactive tests, and "real-world" guards including cloud-based protections, puts Kaspersky Internet Security 2012 in the top three suites tested from January to May, 2012, and in the top five suites of May 2012.

The May 2012 test found that it blocked 99.1 percent of attacks and threats thrown at it, an improvement from 98.3 percent last year at this time. Meanwhile, looking at Whole Product test results cumulatively from January 2012 to May 2012 found that Kaspersky 2012 blocking 99.3 percent of threats, and could be 0.1 percent safer depending on user adjustments.

It's fair to conclude that according to third-party tests, Kaspersky has been highly effective over the past year since two out of the three tests we looked at gave it solid marks. Kaspersky has definitely improved its protection rates over the past year, but it still could do better when it comes to its impact on your system.

Conclusions
Kaspersky's 2013 suites pack a lot in, but aside from the way they will cause some performance lags on your computer, there's one other drawback to them. These are not cheap pieces of software. Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2013 will set you back $59.95, and Internet Security 2013 retails for $79.95. Those are steep prices to demand, especially when the free suites offer similar protection. Kaspersky's hard sell comes from the smooth-functioning advanced security it offers, even at the Anti-Virus, fewer-featured level. Offering the exploit protection in the entry-level suite shows that Kaspersky places your safety above the upsell -- otherwise it'd only be in the Internet Security suite. Both will protect you, but unless you want the parental controls or the Safe Money features, we lean toward Kaspersky Anti-Virus.

Kaspersky 2013 locks down your dollars:

Publisher's Description

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All User Reviews
  • All versions:

    3.7 stars

    out of 731 votes

    • 5 star: 339
    • 4 star: 129
    • 3 star: 74
    • 2 star: 48
    • 1 star: 141
  • Current version:

    3.4 stars

    out of 33 votes

    • 5 star: 14
    • 4 star: 3
    • 3 star: 4
    • 2 star: 6
    • 1 star: 6
  • My rating:

    0 stars

    Write review

Results 1-10 of 33

  • 5.0 stars

    "Handles PC Security quite well."

    July 17, 2013  |   By don-defrost

    Version: Kaspersky Internet Security 2013

    Pros

    Smooth Perfomance,
    Faster Malware detection,
    Sleek interface,
    Awesome Brand

    Cons

    Updates are a little slow, else am totally cool with it

    Summary

    As a user, i have had a pretty tad amount of experience using plenty of Antiviruses, both free and paid. Kaspersky has been of great assistance so far. For the past 7 months, Kaspersky Lab has impressed me by its product's performance. Keeping the database updated is quite essential for protection. Its sleek interface is quite user friendly and rather than its old version, it runs lite. True, some space has to be compromised but it does an effective job tackling threats. Am pretty much satisfied with my Kaspersky Internet Security 2013 edition. The very brand name personifies "cyber safety" to me. Cheerios!

    Reply to this review

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  • 3.0 stars

    "Not sure if worth it"

    June 19, 2013  |   By smumani

    Version: Kaspersky Internet Security 2013

    Pros

    I like KIS 2012 and thought about moving to 2013 but can't find performance data.
    I asked the support person on the online web chat and she said:
    Deborah Williamson: Unfortunately we do not have a comparison chart between the Kaspersky Internet Security 2012 and 2013 version. Also, we do not have performance charts between the two products either.

    Cons

    No performance figures over 2012

    Summary

    Not sure if it is worth upgrading and surprised that there are no performance figures.

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (0) (0)

  • 5.0 stars

    "Excellent program"

    June 11, 2013  |   By stric33

    Version: Kaspersky Internet Security 2013

    Pros

    We have two Lenovo`s in house - g580 with i3 and T520 with i5, and I do not feel any slowing with work. This thing works it`s job!

    Cons

    Do not use free version....You need to pay.

    Summary

    I don`t have experience with Kaspersky support and don` have problems with program. I used many security programs before, bur in lase 2 years I am using only this one....I hope it will stay.:)))

    Reply to this review

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  • 2.0 stars

    "Is it an antivirus or virus?!"

    June 10, 2013  |   By purnabhishek

    Version: Kaspersky Internet Security 2013

    Pros

    None I've seen except that advertisement is with jackie chan.But antimalware is good.this 2.5 rating is for antimalware.

    Cons

    If I started writing then I'd never stop.

    Summary

    Worst antivirus but good antimalware.Also very very poor customer support in India.

    Reply to this review Read reply (1)

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  • 1.0 stars

    "DANGER! DO NOT DOWNLOAD! IT IS A VIRUS ITSELF!!"

    May 24, 2013  |   By TwistedTwerp

    Version: Kaspersky Internet Security 2013

    Pros

    None, it is a pathetic piece of software

    Cons

    Unless you are an experienced software engineer you will NOT be able to remove Kaspersky from your computer. If you use Windows to Uninstall, Kaspersky lays eggs that upon rebooting hatch and reinstall the software all by itself. That folks IS the definition of MalWare/Viruses.

    Reply to this review Read replies (2)

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Kaspersky Internet Security 2013"

    May 20, 2013  |   By renjith622

    Version: Kaspersky Internet Security 2013

    Pros

    *very reliable
    * highly customizable
    * few false positive alarms

    Cons

    intelligence agency of the most corrupt nation on earth and source of over 95% of the worlds malicious software and hack attacks..

    Summary

    best internet security

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  • 2.0 stars

    "Watchout for redirect when calling for assistance"

    May 10, 2013  |   By Billdad10

    Version: Kaspersky Internet Security 2013

    Pros

    Has resolved virus issues in the past

    Cons

    When I called for assistance wirth Kaspersky I was redirected to iYogi and it cost me $200

    Summary

    I had an issue with Kaspersky security, couldn't remove two viruses. I called Kaspersky and was redirected to iYogi without knowing it. Only after they had taken control of my keyboard was I told it was going to cost me $199 for a service contract. All the time, I thought I was talking to Kaspersky. Since they now had access to my computer I was afraid to refuse and the rep stated that there were no less expensive contracts offered. Then they tried to get me to buy an upgrade to Windows 8. I feel I was flim flamed by Kaspersky and will not renew my contract when it expires.

    Reply to this review Read replies (3)

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Dont install it even for free!! Kills brand new pc"

    April 23, 2013  |   By seanmath

    Version: Kaspersky Internet Security 2013

    Pros

    None at all. Lousy!

    Cons

    Slows down pc.
    Fan on your laptop will be working ovetime.
    Makes unit very hot.
    Frequent blue screen. To save hardware your system will shut down automatically.

    Summary

    I paid $ 15.00 for one year licence for 3 machines but I regret. I wish I would have donated that to somebody needs. Do not buy or install.

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  • 3.0 stars

    "best in class but Worst performance on Windows 8"

    March 2, 2013  |   By srujan22

    Version: Kaspersky Internet Security 2013

    Pros

    Best Security
    Easy User Interface

    Cons

    Slow update
    High ram usage ( compared to other )
    Several browser extensions which will reduce speed
    Blocking java in browsers
    System instability

    Summary



    Updated on Mar 2, 2013

    It just made the system unstable, i dnno how they wrote thats it is Windows 8 compatible,Uninstalled in one day, as soon as i uninstalled every thing became fine like PC stability etc.Not Recommended for Microsoft Windows 8 Users

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  • 1.0 stars

    "dont install it"

    January 11, 2013  |   By hgjhgjyyuiytiuyi

    Version: Kaspersky Internet Security 2013

    Pros

    interface is ok

    Cons

    dont install it ..3/4 memory eater and 100% cpu usage from first start up computer , you need i7 for use this antivirus ..this is ********

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Results 1-10 of 33

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