In the security market since the early 90s, Kaspersky Labs is well regarded both on its technical merits and on the completeness of its software. Kaspersky Internet Security 2103 is the latest incarnation of the mid-level product, sitting between the base-level Kaspersky Anti-Virus and the more comprehensive Kaspersky ONE.
Having said that, Kaspersky Internet Security 2013 is pretty all-embracing for an internet security suite. As well as anti-virus, anti-spam and anti-phishing modules, it includes parental control, a comprehensive firewall, Safe Money and keylogger protection. Safe Money substitutes a secure browser when you're working with your accounts online, while the virtual keyboard encrypts keypresses, so keyloggers can't record what you type.
The Kaspersky Internet Security 2013 interface is well organised, with a main pane showing the status of your PC above a sliding bar of nine icons, leading to other aspects of the program. There are obviously icons for scanning and updating, including offering schedules for both, but also icons for the virtual keyboard, safe money and a network monitor.
Extra buttons on the main screen lead to a reports screen, showing event statistics for the last day, week, month or year, and settings, which offer very detailed control over all aspects of the application.
When installed under Vista or Windows 7 – and under Windows 8, with which Kaspersky Internet Security 2013 is also compatible – there's a Kaspersky Gadget giving quick access to scans and reports. It can also be used as a quick scan facility by simply dragging a suspect file and dropping it on the icon.
We ran a keylogger and typed text with a standard keyboard and with the Kaspersky Internet Security 2013 virtual one, and none of the virtual keyboard strokes was reproduced. This doesn't guarantee all keyloggers will be defeated, but certainly provides some protection.
The program took 1 hour 10 minutes to scan out 50GB test basket of files and examined 349,849 files, giving a scan rate of 583 files/s. This is fast, though the number of files is also higher than with many other programs. A second scan of the same file set took just five minutes and only checked 19,070 files, so the program fingerprints them, to reduce system load.
Our 1GB file copy increased from 41s to 53s when there was also a scan running, an increase of 29%, which is low in comparison with most of the competition.
AV-Test has yet to evaluate Kaspersky Internet Security 2013, but the 2012 product scored 16.5/18.0 in its June group test, beaten only by Bitdefender. It scored a perfect 6.0/6.0 for Repair of damaged files after malware attacks, and 5.5/6.0 for Protection. The Protection score represents its handling of zero-day and new threats, where Kaspersky relies on a cloud-based information network, where new information is quickly shared. It was well above average in this category.
It dropped a full point in the third category, Usability, slowing down AV-Test's platform more, in daily use, than some of its rivals. As mentioned, though, our own tests implied a much lighter system impact, so this may be one of the areas Kaspersky has improved in the new version.
Kaspersky Internet Security 2013 covers all the bases well. With a full complement of protection modules at its disposal, it adds in some useful extras. In particular, it guards against the possibility of drive-by malware lifting financial passwords or details when you're dealing with your accounts. Rated highly for its core protection and repair capabilities, it's a little expensive, but may well be discounted, now it's widely available.