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Kaspersky Anti-Virus Software 2015

Overall Score: 80%
Virus & Spyware Protection: 90%
Resource Usage: 80%
User Interface: 84%
Technical Support: 70%
There's no question some parts of Kaspersky's overall usability aren't as polished as some competitors, but Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2015 is strong as ever when it comes to solid, antivirus protection.

by Kevin R. Smith, Co-Editor
Introduction

Kaspersky has rightfully earned a strong reputation in the antivirus community over the years, but this year Kaspersky left us less-than-impressed for a few reasons.

Even with high scores in virus protection, Kaspersky failed to score well in other factors such as usability, tech support, and system resource usage.

That said, Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2015 holds its own for strong real-time protection and virus removal.

Certified by:
  • AV Comparatives
  • AV-Test
  • OPSWAT
  • VB Bulletin
  • WestCoast Labs


Virus & Spyware Protection: 90%

For a basic antivirus software, Kaspersky scored quite well among independent testing labs for virus blocking, virus removal, and heuristic detection (the ability to detect previously unknown viruses).

However, our own tests told a different story: nearly 20% of known viruses we threw at Kaspersky were missed. Not good.

Looking at all the tests combined allows us to give credit where credit is due. Kaspersky manages to stay ahead of the game with good virus protection scores overall.


Resource Usage: 80%

Kaspersky's resource usage was much higher than expected this year and much higher than we'd like to see. Generally, CPU usage while running idle was less than 1%, which is ideal. Memory usage, however, ran as high as 130MB when idle. That's nearly 7% of RAM on a 2GB memory PC.

Then during a full system scan, memory shot all over the place ranging from from 190MB all the way up to 540MB. That's way too high for our liking.

At the same time, CPU usage was ranged from 40%-80% during a full scan, hanging out in the higher range most of the time.

This type of resource usage puts a real drain on your PC while you're using it, even if only for light activities.


User Interface: 84%

Click images to enlarge

There are some things we like about the user interface, then there are are some things we question. For instance, the home panel has been simplified to a few large buttons ("Scan," "Update," etc.) And to be fair, most of the time, that's all you'll need.

But we didn't like that the interface wasn't intuitive when we needed to adjust deeper settings. You need to hunt for a tiny link at the bottom called, "Settings" which nicely opens up all the other features and settings. It's unclear why Kaspersky didn't do this to begin with—it just makes more sense that way.


Technical Support: 70%

Kaspersky's technical support is one of its weakest parts. For starters, attempting to locate the right information for your issue is difficult. Kaspersky launches a variety of webpages and pop-up windows making it confusing as to where to go. A centralized support page would be much more sane.

Their live support was fast and friendly (based out of the Philippines) even though it was obvious they were reading from a script at times.

The part we take real issue with is, if you happen to get a virus while running Kaspersky (and the antivirus software can't clean it up on its own), it's going to cost you $99 for them to remove it for you.

This is one of the most expensive fees out there, especially when other antivirus software companies like VIPRE, ESET, or Avira are all offering this service for free. And strangely, this virus removal service is based out of Canada not the Philippines.


Conclusion - Overall Score: 80%

  • Renowned team of security/virus researchers
  • Consistent performer in our tests since '06
On one hand, Kaspersky has proven itself to be a secure, competent antivirus program over the years. This year is no exception. But the glaring issues of heavy resource usage, poor technical support, and less-than-ideal usability are all dings against them.

Yes, Kaspersky scored near the top in nearly every category in independent tests but not as high in our own tests.

Their confusing and sometimes expensive technical support needs an overhaul and although there are very good aspects to the interface in its simplicity in places, elsewhere, it's a mixed bag.

Overall, Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2015 is good antivirus software, it just needs a better interface and better tech support.


Software Version 2015
Supported Operating System (OS) Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1
Minimum RAM Required 1 GB
Minimum Space Required 480 MB
Required Processor Speed 1 GHz
Money-back Guarantee 14 Days
Software Manufacturer Kaspersky
Click images to enlarge
Home Screen
Scanning
Update
Reports
General Settings
Protection Settings
Performance Settings
Scan Settings
Additional Features
Mail Anti-Virus Kaspersky indicates that there's antivirus protection for incoming and outgoing emails, yet there are no settings to incorporate this tool with your email client. There is only a "Low," "Recommended," and "Hi" slider. What these mean is anyone's guess.
IM Anti-Virus Kaspersky will scan Instant Message links (incoming and outgoing) for malicious content or phishing attempts. However, there's only an on or off switch for this feature with no other settings. So, it's unclear if this will work with any IM client (Skype, AIM, Yahoo, etc) or not.