Kaspersky Internet Security 2010 is the latest version of the popular Windows anti-malware package, complete with a new 'sandbox' mode.

Just as Christmas seems to come earlier every year so does the season for releasing next year's crop of AV products. So it is with Kaspersky Internet Security 2010, the latest iteration of the respected security bundle.

Kaspersky Internet Security 2010 contains all the usual protections found in its rivals with the exception of data backup provision. So you'll find antivirus protection for files, email, web browsing, applications and processes.

You also get a bi-directional firewall, anti-DOS protection, anti-spam as well as anti-phishing and banner ad blocking. So, no surprises - a pretty comprehensive set of security tools.

So what's the new version of Kaspersky Internet Security 2010 got over its predecessor? Changes are fairly subtle but worthwhile.

The already quite well developed user interface has been given a lick of paint (still green paint though) and remains easy to use for such a complex product. Other changes include antivirus protection for instant messaging (IM) sessions and a URL Advisor to combat phishing and dodgy websites, plus a 'quiet' gaming profile.

The major new feature in Kaspersky Internet Security 2010 is Safe Run, which lets you run suspect apps or links in a virtualised 'sandbox', thus isolating it from the OS. It automatically added Internet Explorer to the sandbox, a fairly logical choice.

To run the ‘sandboxed' IE in Kaspersky Internet Security 2010 you have to click on its icon in KIS2010 and the virtualised version is denoted by a ghostly green outline to its window. While this is an interesting development, offering good protection against zero-day threats, it did whack CPU utilisation for a six, making our none-too-fast PC even slower. We also experienced a number of lock-ups of the PC using this software.

Kaspersky Internet Security 2010's anti-spam provision is a bit better too. Spam by default prompts you to deal with messages as they arrive rather than silently and automatically deal with them, as you might find in rival IS packages. As we had over 4,900 emails in our honey-trap email account, this could be rather tedious. However, when we clicked Close, it then went on to automatically process our spam mountain.

It was slow but pretty accurate, mis-indentifying a low 1.5 percent of our spams as genuine emails, not bad when it hadn't been ‘trained'.

Written by Roger Gann, PC Advisor

OUR VERDICT

Features-wise Kaspersky 2010 is a definite step-up from its predecessor. It’s always had a strong feature list but it trod lightly on our clunkier system, having little impact on performance - providing you discount the high CPU use in the Safe Run ‘sandbox’ mode. Kaspersky Internet Security 2010's detection rates have been higher in the past but it remains a top five security bundle.