Despite the high version number, Kaspersky Internet Security 7.0 actually marks only the second release of Kaspersky Labs' security software bundle.

Par for the course, Kaspersky Internet Security 7.0 comprises antivirus, antispyware, firewall and spam protection. The new version sports a madeover UI (user interface) but remains in essence the same with an options panel on the left and a larger details panel on the right.

Kaspersky Internet Security 7.0's predecessor, KIS 6.0, had a few gaps in its armoury which have been put right in the new version. Privacy control sees an improvement: the Windows Protected Storage area (where things such as email passwords are rather feebly protected) is now monitored for suspicious activity.

In version 7.0, Kaspersky Internet Security at long last has parental control features, such as website blacklists and definable categories of forbidden web content. You can also time limit internet use – most useful on a shared family PC!

If you have 32bit Vista or XP then you can burn a rescue CD should something go wrong, although you will first have to download Bart's PE Builder. Finally, any unauthorised changes made by malware can be rolled back with Kaspersky Internet Security 7.0.

Kaspersky Internet Security 7.0 continues in the footsteps of its predecessor by having a relatively light resource footprint. The first time you run a virus scan, Kaspersky Internet Security 7.0 is quite slow. But thereafter it checks only files that have changed, noticeably speeding up the process – it can take as little as 8 minutes to scan an 80GB drive.

Kaspersky Internet Security 7.0 also throttles back scanning speeds whenever processor activity rises to reduce any perceived system slowdown.

Kaspersky Internet Security 7.0 continues to offer AV protection for email (principally Outlook/Outlook express), files and web browsing. It rather neatly kills two malware birds with one stone, scanning for viruses and spyware simultaneously and not separately as some suites do.

On the virus-detection front, Kaspersky Internet Security 7.0 continues to tick all the right boxes, with a raft of awards ranging from Virus Bulletin's VB100 to ICSA Labs certification, so it remains on a par with the best in AV protection. This is down to its dependence on heuristic-based detection, an approach that proves very useful for defending against day-zero attacks.

Kaspersky Internet Security 7.0's default hourly update schedule is gilding the lily somewhat, particularly when the updating process is so slow.

OUR VERDICT

Kaspersky Internet Security 7.0 offers top-notch antivirus and spyware protection at a reasonable price. It's no resource hog either - a common security bundle complaint. It offers high detection levels and, at £29 for a single user license (£43 for a three-user version), Kaspersky Internet Security 7.0 is considerably cheaper than Symantec's Norton 360 internet security suite.