Kaspersky Internet Security 2011 is an interesting security suite that comes packed with malware-fighting functionality.
The core antivirus engine can be used in many different ways. You can right-click a file or folder for an immediate scan; run a "Critical Areas" scan that examines the most likely infected areas; or try a full scan that checks everywhere. The system will continue further scans when your PC is idle, and you can optionally schedule further checkups to be run at a predefined time.
A stack of real time protection features are constantly monitoring your PC for incoming threats, whether they arrive via email attachments, instant messaging, downloads or infected websites.
An effective spam filter has direct support for Outlook, Windows Mail, Thunderbird and The Bat!, and accesses POP3, SMTP and IMAP traffic to ensure it can work with everything else. A configurable firewall tracks incoming and outgoing network packets for signs of hacker attacks. And strong proactive defences watch your running programs for suspicious behaviour, allowing them to detect even brand new and previously unknown malware types.
Kaspersky's Safe Run feature allows you to run potentially dangerous software in an isolated desktop, kept safely away from the rest of your PC. If the program does contain malware then it's far less likely to be able to steal information, or infect your system.
There's also a Virtual Keyboard, which helps protect user names, passwords, credit card numbers and other personal details away from keyloggers.
Improved parental controls let you choose the programs your kids can run, the websites they can view, the downloads they're able to access, their instant messaging and social networking contacts, even the hours they can go online.
And a useful set of bonus tools will scan your system, browser and third-party applications for poorly chosen security settings; maintain your privacy by wiping many Windows and Internet Explorer histories; and create a rescue disc on a CD, DVD or Flash drive, that will do its very best to get a virus-damaged PC working again.
Please note, if you've ever had any previous security software on your existing PC then it's entirely possible that the Kaspersky setup process will detect some remnants, and demand they be removed before it can continue. Which is inconvenient, especially if you've uninstalled the program already.
If this happens to you, make sure you really have uninstalled the named security software. Try searching for and deleting any hard drive or Registry remnants yourself (but don't take risks, don't remove anything unless you're sure it's no longer required). If this still doesn't help, check Kaspersky's support site for advice on fully removing various security tools, or as a last resort, how to skip the scan for incompatible software entirely.
The latest 126.96.36.1996 CF2 includes improved support for detecting rootkits, plus plenty of fixes and minor enhancements. See the official Release Notes for more information.
Kaspersky Internet Security 2011 provides plenty of functionality for your money. The Safe Run tools are particularly useful, and it's all very configurable. If you're not happy with your current security suite, this one is well worth a try