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Author Topic: Kaspersky Internet Security 7  (Read 34379 times)
CWuestefeld
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« on: September 12, 2007, 09:22:52 AM »

Basic Info

App NameKaspersky Internet Security 7
App URLhttp://www.kaspersky.com/...spersky_internet_security
App Version Reviewed7.0.0.125
Test System SpecsWindows XP Pro; AMD Athlon 2400+; 1GB RAM
Supported OSesWindows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista
Support MethodsOnline requests; knowledge base
Upgrade PolicyNo policy that I know of, but $25 rebate is currently available
Trial Version Available?30-day time-limited: http://www.kaspersky.com/trials
Pricing Scheme$80/3 licenses http://usa.kaspersky.com/store/
$25 competitive/upgrade discount available from http://shop4.outpost.com/product/5365948
Reviewer Donation LinkDonate to CWuestefeld, the Author
Relationship btwn. Reviewer and Product Review was done on a free not-for-resale copy. No strings were attached.


Intro:

The field of desktop antivirus and "Internet security" is pretty large these days. Despite having been around for quite some time, there's still a great deal of variety between the approach and quality of the offerings. I've been through many of them, driven in equal parts by upgrade pricing and reported quality.

I've been using Kaspersky Internet Security 7 for about 10 days now. I installed as part of a complete rebuild of my system following a bad infection that ruined my whole OS, under the watch of Panda (which the virus managed to deactivate). So I was looking to lean far more toward the quality side of the equation, rather than pricing.



Who is this app designed for:

This offering from Kaspersky is targeted at home desktop PCs. The basic out-of-box configuration seems well-suited to basic computer users; some of the more advanced options (like behavioral protections) will require power user skills to use effectively.

The Good

  • Resource usage - many security applications drain a significant portion of your CPU cycles and/or disk bandwidth. KIS is currently registering no load at all, and is typically quite low.
  • Resistance to tampering - the system (optionally) requires a password to make any changes to its operation, including to disable it. This makes me feel more secure than Panda, which completely let me down in this regard. (caveat: I have no way to actually test this)
  • Scheduling - KIS allows you to schedule 3 escalating levels of scanning. You can decide when they will be run, and how much scanning they should do. This is in contrast with Panda which has no scheduling whatsoever.
  • Near-realtime updates - My system is getting updates from Kaspersky about every 2 hours, so I don't have to wait long for protection from 0-day exploits. I don't know how much of a difference this really makes, but it feels nice.
  • Some degree of rootkit protection (although I have no indication of how effectively they do this)

The needs improvement section

  • Confusing alerts - The behavioral alerts (like when it observes keylogger behavior) are confusing. They could provide better explanations, and more clearly label the options.
  • Horrible "stuck pig squeal" sound in alerts - I immediately turned off the audible alerts.
  • Updates sometimes need reboot - In 10 days of usage, the automatic updates have twice asked that I reboot my system. This is in contrast with Norton, from which I recall this only once in 1 year of usage.
  • To build a rescue disc (which you should do!), you must first download and install BartPE; KIS isn't capable of building a boot disc on its own. This method works fine for a power user, and was even fairly quick, but I can't imagine my mom going through the process.

My experience

The installation was relatively quick and easy. Just a minute or two and a reboot, and I was ready to go. While configuring the system, I noticed a few things right away:
  • I was given the opportunity to set a password that will be required for changing KIS's behavior in the future. This is great, and gives me much more confidence. Since the infection that I’m recovering from seems to be due in part to my old Panda software being shut down by the attacker, I’m more optimistic about KIS's ability to protect me.
  • I noticed in the options for email protection that NNTP traffic is covered. This isn’t something that I use, but I know that this is a significant medium in the transmission of malware. I've never seen another program that protects from this, and I’m pleased to see it here.
  • I chose not to enable a number of options:
    • Anti-Spam – I already use one of the best spam blockers available, SpamBayes, so I didn't think that KIS would have anything additional to offer.
    • Firewall – I'm using a hardware firewall device, and I personally find programs like this (notably Zone Alarm) to be far too annoying.
    • Parental filters – I'm not a parent.
The ability to schedule multiple levels of scanning strikes a good compromise between monopolizing the computer versus ensuring constant protection. I think this is a home run, and stands in stark contrast with Panda's refusal to provide any scheduling at all.

Within a couple minutes of my initial reboot, KIS began squealing (it does so with a horrible sound that I can only describe as a squealing stuck pig; I quickly disabled the audio alerts). It was alerting me to a keylogger. Looking at the information provided, it was easy for me determine that it was the application supporting the configurable keys on my multimedia keyboard - not a problem, and something I want to allow in the future. But I expect that this is a rather common occurrence, and likely to panic someone who understands less than I do. A more informative message might help, something like "We've detected a program trying to monitor what you type. If you have - or have just installed - a multimedia keyboard, this may be normal."

Deciding that I want to allow that application to run was easy; deciding how to allow it was another question. The notification windows take some understanding; in fact, I'm not sure I fully understand them now. It’s not really clear to me, for example when I received the keylogger alert, what option was necessary for disabling permanently (and in particularly, disabling keylogger alerts only for this one application) versus allowing it "just this once", or blocking the offender. I skimmed quickly through the User Guide but didn’t find a section dealing with this, nor pictures of the popup I was trying to understand. I think more descriptive verbiage on the popups are called for. In my experience, Norton Internet Security does this better.

Since I'm rebuilding my system after an infection, the very first thing that I want to do is a complete system scan. It appears that actually scanning a file is a lengthy process, at least compared to other scanning software. I started a full scan at about 10pm, and it was 2/3 done the next morning at 7am. The documentation indicates that the first time should take the longest – the system builds a database of files (which itself takes time) so that on subsequent scans, unchanged files may be skipped to speed the process. If this is able to reduce the time so that the whole thing can happen while I'm asleep, I'll be happy; beyond that, it doesn't really matter. Further experience shows that this works pretty well. Examining the log files shows that it is using some smarts about what it can skip.

The first scan showed up good news: KIS was able to detect the remnants of the infection that were left on my data drives.

So far, realtime scanning hasn't proved to be a burden. In the short time I was using the system with this in place, I didn't notice any performance degradation.

I really appreciate how the historical reports are set up. Having a categorized, searchable history of everything the program is done is (at least to me, a power user) invaluable in both understanding when a problem is spotted, as well as in maintaining a feeling of confidence that everything is running as it should. I think that KIS's reports are another home run.


How does it compare to similar apps

In contrast with Panda's Internet security app, Kasperskey 7 is a big winner. With protection from tampering, scheduling updates, and light resource usage, it wins in the important categories.

I don't have objective numbers to back this up, but subjectively I feel that KIS 7 is better on resource usage than either Norton or McAfee.

In lab reviews, KIS consistently performs very well in detecting and preventing malware. My research before this purchase indicated that they are always rated either at the very top tier, or just a slight notch below that.

Conclusions

I'm as excited about KIS 7 as I can imagine being about an Internet Security application. While I acquired this copy as a Not For Resale promo (no strings were attached), I have just ordered an additional 3 licenses to cover all computers in my home.

Links to other reviews of this application

AV-Comparitives rates “Advanced+”: http://www.av-comparatives.org/ (Select "Comparatives", Nr. 15, "Online results") [edit: deep link was forbidden]

CNet rates 8 of 10: http://reviews.cnet.com/i...4505-3667_7-32531226.html
« Last Edit: September 12, 2007, 12:57:25 PM by CWuestefeld » Logged



cybernetnews
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« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2007, 10:28:41 AM »

That was a great review! I just never like to go the route of an "all in one" security suite. I tend to diversify my products as it makes your system harder to hack since you have a less common configuration.
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mouser
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« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2007, 10:59:24 AM »

great work!  Thmbsup Thmbsup
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cranioscopical
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« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2007, 11:17:37 AM »

Thanks for that!
 
Kaspersky 7.0 comes out well in a British "PC Pro" review (http://www.kaspersky.com/news?id=207575529), so it's interesting to see a user's perspective.

A close second place goes to Avira AntiVir, which also has a free version (http://www.free-av.com)

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Chris
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« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2007, 11:27:54 AM »

Great review, loved it!  I'm very happy with Kaspersky, it's the best program I've tried over the last 10 years, and I've tried a lot.  You are right about its log and event history, where it shows what is happening at all times.  It's very comforting to know what is being scanned at all times, and it is one of the few programs that does that in such a detailed manner.

And, I must say that Kaspersky has gone a long way in being user friendly over the years, which used to be a big complaint about them.
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Armando
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« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2007, 12:26:47 PM »

Well, I don't know about v7, but I've had problems with Kaspersky v....6.5 I think : way too often (and every time KIS started) computer (dell laptop) would freeze for 1-3min. I tried many many things, searched the forum, etc. But was never able to get rid of that problem. So I decided that I wouldn't buy it (it happened 2-3 times that KIS froze my computer when I URGENTLY needed it... didn't like that at all).
OTher than this problem -- which didn’t seem to happen with everybody -- KIS seemed like one of the best overall solution. I enjoyed its virus scanning speed, ease of use and otherwise very low resource usage.
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« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2007, 12:42:52 AM »

Nice review, cwuesterfield! Thank you for doing this. Antivirus is something that I've finally come to the (late I realise) conclusion should not be taken lightly - even if you've paid for a solution and have 5 months left on your free updates, if it stops working, find something else. Now. I'm always on the lookout for good security solutions and I will keep Kaspersky in mind.

@Armando - I had the same experience with ZoneAlarm Pro. I had half a year remaining on my licence and uninstalled it last week - wasn't worth the aggravation!
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2007, 03:34:23 AM »

Nice - well done.

Do I gather that this "Suite" doesn't include a firewall ?
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« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2007, 04:41:18 AM »

KIS 6 has a firewall dont know about 7
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2007, 05:04:06 AM »

Doesn't seem to mention firewall on the website and there doesn't appear to be one in the software window in the first post above. Just curious - how can a software suite be complete internet protection without a firewall?
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« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2007, 05:20:30 AM »

yeah it does, in that first paragraph
Quote
Kaspersky® Internet Security 7.0 provides you with the same proven anti-virus protection as Kaspersky Anti-Virus together with additional features including Parental Control, a personal firewall, an anti-spam filter, Privacy Control and more.
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CWuestefeld
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« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2007, 05:25:49 AM »

Doesn't seem to mention firewall on the website and there doesn't appear to be one in the software window in the first post above.
There is a firewall. From the product website:
Quote
# Personal firewall with an IDS / IPS system. Improved!
I noted in my review three advanced features that I chose not to install: Anti-Spam, Firewall, Parental filters. As others in the thread have noted, software firewalls (notably ZoneAlarm) tend to be a nuisance. I prefer a hardware firewall.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2007, 06:16:56 AM by CWuestefeld » Logged



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« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2007, 05:32:18 AM »

One thing I've noticed in the forums over at kaspersky is do not lose your licence key, the moderator of the forum keeps stressing that they will not give you a new key if its lost, you have to buy it again which could get a wee bit expensive.
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CWuestefeld
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« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2007, 06:19:28 AM »

do not lose your licence key
I have an ESD-download version, along with which they send you a license key. I burned the software itself as well as the license key to a CD. So now I don't need to worry about misplacing it, so long as I've got the disc. I think this works pretty well.
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2007, 06:22:21 AM »

Doesn't seem to mention firewall on the website and there doesn't appear to be one in the software window in the first post above.
There is a firewall. From the product website:
Quote
# Personal firewall with an IDS / IPS system. Improved!
I noted in my review three advanced features that I chose not to install: Anti-Spam, Firewall, Parental filters. As others in the thread have noted, software firewalls (notably ZoneAlarm) tend to be a nuisance. I prefer a hardware firewall.

Thanks - I should have read it more carefully  embarassed
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« Reply #15 on: September 24, 2007, 04:06:21 PM »

Well, I don't know about v7, but I've had problems with Kaspersky v....6.5 I think : way too often (and every time KIS started) computer (dell laptop) would freeze for 1-3min. I tried many many things, searched the forum, etc. But was never able to get rid of that problem. So I decided that I wouldn't buy it (it happened 2-3 times that KIS froze my computer when I URGENTLY needed it... didn't like that at all).
Did you tick the option "Concede resources to other applications" in Settings->Protection ?
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« Reply #16 on: September 24, 2007, 04:23:59 PM »

The needs improvement section

  • Horrible "stuck pig squeal" sound in alerts - I immediately turned off the audible alerts.
Some of us early adopters campaigned for Kaspersky to re-introduce this after it was removed (or was being considered for removal - I foget now) between versions 5 and 6.   Thankfully, they saw sense and listened to us cheesy . You can always change it with a different sound by replacing the file Infected.wav in C:\Program Files\Kaspersky Internet Security 7.0\Skin\sounds, although why you'd want to is beyond me.


The needs improvement section

  • Updates sometimes need reboot - In 10 days of usage, the automatic updates have twice asked that I reboot my system. This is in contrast with Norton, from which I recall this only once in 1 year of usage.
This only happens when a low-level driver has been updated, and there is no way around it. You don't have to reboot immediately as it will just continue using the previous driver(s). Norton either didn't notify that a driver had been updated, or they didn't update their drivers that often.

The needs improvement section

  • To build a rescue disc (which you should do!), you must first download and install BartPE; KIS isn't capable of building a boot disc on its own. This method works fine for a power user, and was even fairly quick, but I can't imagine my mom going through the process.
They could licence WinPE from Microsoft, but then that would push up the price of KAV/KIS. Kaspersky would also have to pay MS a royalty for every trial version of KAV/KIS downloaded that included WinPE, which is not realistic unless they disabled this feature in the trial.

The other option, which they took, was to use Bart's PE although they don't own it and so cannot distribute it.

So, the path Kaspersky have taken is to simplify the creation of the Bart PE through a wizard.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2007, 04:28:17 PM by Defenestration » Logged
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« Reply #17 on: September 26, 2007, 11:07:04 AM »

You may want to review this before installing KAV or KIS 7. It's very long and I'm not saying it will happen to you, but you should know about it.

http://www.dslreports.com...sky-You-lost-me-at-ISwift
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« Reply #18 on: September 26, 2007, 02:52:18 PM »

It's not easy for an ordinary user to find an adequate method for rating available anti-virus programmes ; we often end up using such methods as what seems to have worked - or perhaps even more frequently, what has not worked - for a colleague, friend, or acquaintance. Fortunately, more objective procedures can be employed with relatively little effort, for example, using a service which daily examines the proportion of newly discovered viruses that the various applications stop or fail to stop, respectively. One such service which I have found valuable is the Virus statistics (daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly) offered by the Shadow Server Foundation (http://www.shadowserver.o...mwiki.php?n=Main.HomePage). Worth looking at, when trying to determine which anti-virus programme to use....

Henri   
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« Reply #19 on: September 27, 2007, 01:38:44 AM »

Never had any problem with KIS.  cheesy

The forums are a great help and....

You can change the 'squealing pig'.... Thmbsup
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« Reply #20 on: September 27, 2007, 02:49:03 AM »

Nice review. I use KIS since v6.x on all my machines and the step to v7.x was an advance in speed and usability.

Ack, to the heart-attacking alert sound. This is very annoying, especially if your speakers are turned up.  Angry

I like this solution more than others, that i checked. These were from AVG, Trendmicro, McAfee and Norton.

But some aspects need some improvement:

- The notification is sometimes inadequate. More information about the investigated process would be fine for a power user.
- Some report entries are to sparse. It's nice to see the information that the Process with PID 2028 that tried to access KIS with PID 3800 was blocked. But what the hell is it a file behind PID 2028. More detailed information would be very useful.
- That updates are activated, but i noticed that sometimes that application version number of the actual download version and the installed and updated one differ. There is no notice about that and this is a little bit confusing. In this case i download the newest version and update the whole package. Does it make sense? I don't know.

Nevertheless i like it and feel as secure as possible with such a solution.
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« Reply #21 on: September 27, 2007, 03:35:50 AM »

lol i hate the squealing pig noise, but i must say, it always grabs my attention and makes me look at what has happened so i don't change it or silence it in anyway
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« Reply #22 on: September 27, 2007, 11:47:03 AM »

Fantastic review!! I use AVG internet security myself, but I agree that an all in one application can be compromised much easier. I may buy separately when my license expires.
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« Reply #23 on: September 27, 2007, 11:57:18 AM »

You may want to review this before installing KAV or KIS 7. It's very long and I'm not saying it will happen to you, but you should know about it.

http://www.dslreports.com...sky-You-lost-me-at-ISwift

I wonder if anybody else had similar problems here... sounds pretty frightening.
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« Reply #24 on: October 08, 2007, 12:31:48 PM »

One thing that annoyed me with KIS.
http://jtbworld.blogspot....-security-neutralize.html
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