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Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2012 Download:

Kaspersky AntiVirus 2012
VERSION:  Windows 7 / Vista / XP (Requirements), Single User

PRICE:  $39.95

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Other Versions:  Kaspersky Internet Security 2012 download
Rating: Very Good      


Review of Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2012


     By Jay Andrew Allen | August 26, 2011

Kaspersky It seems that no sooner had we finished reviewing all of the antivirus platforms for 2011 when the new crop of 2012 products began rolling off the assembly line! Our first entrant this year is Kaspersky AntiVirus 2012. Kaspersky's previous release placed fifth in our 2011 antivirus roundup. In its "What's New" announcement, the company claims their latest release delivers significant improvements in virus detection and system efficiency. We ran our test battery against Kaspersky AntiVirus 2012 to put these statements to the test.


1) Features & Usability:  12.5/15

Dashboard: After a painless installation taking only 1 minute and 50 seconds, one is ushered to the greatly improved Kaspersky 2012 Dashboard. The screen is split into a protection window, which displays the current security status of the computer, and a scrollable tools pane, which provides access to Kaspersky's full feature set. Clicking the arrow at the top of the tools pane will expand the pane to occupy the full area of the Dashboard. This enhanced interface is simple to use both with a mouse and with a touch-screen monitor.

Kaspersky 2012 Dashboard:

Features:
The average user won't see most of Kaspersky's new features, but will experience them in the form of greater security and enhanced system performance.

Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2012's most significant enhancement is cloud-based protection (Screenshot 2). Like most other platforms, Kaspersky now augments its virus detection algorithm with information gathered from other Kaspersky users worldwide. Kaspersky's virus scanning, anti-phishing, and Web protection technologies all leverage cloud knowledge to identify potential dangers.

The most notable new feature from a UI standpoint is the Virtual Keyboard, a software keyboard that defeats keystroke logging. Keystroke logging applications are frequently employed by hackers to capture passwords and other sensitive information. While you'd have to be daft to use this as your sole keyboard, it's a useful utility to employ when logging into e-mail or online banking.

Kaspersky 2012 hooks even more deeply into the Web browser. Users of Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Google Chrome will all see two new buttons on their toolbars: one for the Kaspersky Virtual Keyboard, and one for the Kaspersky URL Advisor, which warns users of malicious Web sites (Screenshot 5). Kaspersky defaults to instrumenting all Google and Bing search results with a Kaspersky icon indicating the security status of the URL. Users can elect to display the Kaspersky icon for URLs in any Web page. While this feature is nicely designed, we have to wonder how useful it is, given that Google has been warning users about unsafe Web sites since 2006.

URL Advisor also categorizes Web sites with "questionable" material, such as violence. However, it does nothing with these categories except display them in a pop-up window when you hover over the Kaspersky icon. This feature feels like little more than an upsell for Kaspersky Internet Security, which sports a strong Parental Controls feature.

Beyond that, most of the features are holdovers from Kaspersky 2011: gamer mode, reports, and a tools menu with four ancillary applications for detecting security and performance problems with Windows.

Virus Scanner:
Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2012 supports four major scan types:
  • Full Scan: A scan of the entire computer, including all attached hard drives.
  • Critical Areas Scan: A scan of objects and files loaded during system startup.
  • Vulnerability Scan: A scan of potential security problems detected in installed applications, or in operating system settings.
  • Individual File Scan: Users can drop a file onto the scan target in the Scan window to examine that individual file for vulnerabilities.
Kaspersky pro-actively keeps your system clean by prompting users to submit all attached media (such as USB drives) to a full scan the instant they are connected.

Kaspersky Virus Scanner:


Scan Speed: On our reference computer*, Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2012 clocked an initial scan speed of 34.4 MB/second, and a subsequent scan speed of 284.4 MB/second. Kaspersky chewed through our 1GB test file matrix in a mere 29.8 seconds.

Updates: Kaspersky updates its virus definition database an average of 12 times daily. This is above average for number of updates per day when compared to its competition.

*Reference Computer:  Windows 7 Home Premium running on a Toshiba Pentium Dual-Core T4200 (64 bit), with 3GB of RAM and a 210GB hard drive.


2) Performance Testing:  7.5/10

Kaspersky's "What's New" documentation for Anti-Virus 2012 boasts that it has optimized performance and reduced system impact, especially when watching videos or playing graphically intensive games. The company's claims were buttressed by our tests, which show clear gains over last year's version.

Memory Use: Kaspersky 2012 uses 23.0 MB of system memory. #8 ranked program of the 15 Antivirus programs we tested.

Reboot Time: Kaspersky added 16.5 seconds to our test computer's reboot time. #7 ranked program.

Installation Size: Kaspersky AntiVirus 2012 requires 551 MB of hard-drive space for installation. #12 ranked program.

Initial Scan Speed: Kaspersky AntiVirus scans files the first time at a speed of 34.4 MB/s. #5 ranked program.

Subsequent Scan Speed: Kaspersky performs subsequent scans at a speed of 284.4 MB/s. #2 ranked program.

Initial Application Launch: Kaspersky 2012 added 0.408s to launch a web browser for the first time after a reboot. #9 ranked program.

Subsequent Application Launch: Kaspersky added 0.156s on average for subsequent web browser launches. #6 ranked program.

File Conversion Time: Kaspersky added 0.27s on average to convert a MP3 file to four other file types. #3 ranked program.

System Impact Score: The "System Impact Score" is a cumulative score tallied from the above 8 tests. Kaspersky AntiVirus 2012 scored a total of 76 out of 120 points when compared to the other antivirus programs tested. Overall, Kaspersky's performance improved in seven out of the eight categories that we test. The program ranked #4 overall compared to other antivirus platforms.

View above Antivirus Performance Tests.



3) Effectiveness: (Virus Protection) 18/20

The most important function of an antivirus program is to protect a computer from Viruses and other Malware. Below we examine some of the industry's top Virus/Malware testing.

a) AV Comparatives is an independent antivirus testing lab in Austria
providing some of the most trusted virus detection tests in the industry. They have 2 major virus/malware tests that they perform. In the most recent test in May 2011, the Proactive Test, Kaspersky was rated 3 out of 3 Stars (Advanced+ rating). Avira was the only other antivirus platform to receive a 3-star rating in the May testing. In the 2nd test back in February 2011, the On Demand Detection Test, Kaspersky also received a 3-Star rating.

   

b) AV-Test is another major antivirus testing lab which is located in Germany. Every 3 months they run over 20 antivirus programs through a battery of tests on a different operating system (Win 7/Vista/XP rotated every 3 months). In their recent antivirus testing in June 2011, Kaspersky received a 16 / 18 score on the Windows XP platform. In the 2nd set of tests run on Windows 7 in March 2011, Kaspersky received a 14 / 18 score. While on the 3rd test run on Windows Vista in December 2010, Kaspersky received a 15.5 / 18 score. All 3 of these scores were good enough to receive AV-Test's Certification level (11 points needed for Certification). Overall, Kaspersky was one of the top programs tested in these 3 tests. Despite these tests being run on Kaspersky Internet Security, they still examine Kaspersky Antivirus' Protection and Repair capabilities against Viruses and Malware.

Win 7: Win XP: Win Vista:
       
c) Virus Bulletin - VB 100% Certified. Kaspersky passed the most recent VB100 test (June 2011), but Kaspersky has a more checkered past with these VB100 tests than one would expect from such a well-known antivirus solution. Kaspersky has failed 6 of the last 25 Virus Bulletin tests - which isn't too good for such a basic antivirus test that should be relatively easy to pass. The VB 100% award is given to antivirus software that detects all viruses "in the wild".


4) Help & Support:  3/5

We had to ding Kaspersky in the help department because its help manual and inline assistance still suffer from poor English. Even the "What's New" announcement from Kaspersky is clunky and unclear.

Fortunately, Kaspersky's live support is better. Support from the Kaspersky Dashboard consists of three options:
  • An online troubleshooter that acts as a tech support gateway. Users who are unable to solve their problem using the troubleshooter are directed to one of Kaspersky's live support options.
  • A knowledge base of Frequently Asked Questions.
  • A highly active user forum that is staffed by Kaspersky personnel.
Users can also surf to Kaspersky's support Web site to contact the company directly. Kaspersky offers a number of live support options, including online chat, telephone support, and e-mail.

»Quick Support Links:

     • Support Home
     • Live Chat
     • All Live Support Options



CONCLUSION:

While there is no single "gee-golly" feature in Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2012, the platform is an across-the-board improvement. With measurable performance gains, improved virus protection, and a slick new interface, Kaspersky has established itself as a contender for the 2012 antivirus crown.



Overall Rating: Very Good    (Total Score: 41 / 50 = 4 Stars)


Misc Info:

    • Reviewed By:
Jay Andrew Allen
    • Install Time:
110s (0 reboots)
    • Version Tested:
12.0.0.374
    • Release Date:
August 12, 2011
    • Review Date:
August 26, 2011
    • Last Updated:
October 7, 2011
    • Previous Versions:
Kaspersky AntiVirus 2011, Kaspersky 2010, Kaspersky 2009


Useful Articles:

    • Summary of the Best Antivirus Software of 2011

    • What is a Computer Virus?

    • Antivirus vs. Internet Security software - Which is right for me?

    • Differences between Viruses, Trojans, Worms & Spyware

    • More Articles...


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Kaspersky AntiVirus 2012 Screenshots

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Kaspersky AntiVirus 2012 System Requirements:




Microsoft Windows 7 & Vista: 1 GHz 32-bit /64-bit Processor, 1 GB available RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB RAM (64-bit).

Windows XP: 800 MHz Processor or higher, and 512 MB available RAM memory.

Required for all Installations:

    • 600 MB available hard-drive space
    • Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 or higher
    • Microsoft Windows Installer 2.0
    • Internet connection for product activation
    • CD/DVD drive for installation of the program from the CD


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