Kaspersky PURE 3.0 Total Security is the latest version of Kaspersky's does-everything suite, a comprehensive toolkit which includes just about every security feature you could ever want.
So a powerful antivirus engine delivers strong real-time protection, for instance, while a smart firewall stops network attacks and prevents spyware from phoning home.
Browsing protection starts with colour-coded tags on all your search results, highlighting possible dangers. Sounds familiar, yes? But PURE doesn't stop there - you can also activate the same technology to check and highlight links on every website you visit.
Phishing protection helps to protect you from online scams, while a password manager enhances your security by generating truly random passwords and entering them automatically, both in websites and applications.
Elsewhere, a backup program makes it quick and easy to keep your most valuable documents and files from disaster; parental controls keep your kids safe online; a spam filter protects your inbox; a vulnerability scanner detects and highlights poorly chosen Windows and IE settings, as well as applications that are missing security updates; there's an encryption tool, an ad-blocker, a data shredder to securely wipe confidential files; and the list goes on.
There are plenty of enhancements in this build, too. So Safe Money detects when you're visiting banks, payment sites and so on, and offers to open those sites in a secure and isolated browser.
The suite can see when you click in the password field at a website, too, and automatically activates "secure keyboard input" to prevent keyloggers from intercepting your credentials.
The Backup module now allows you to save copies of your data online via a Dropbox account.
Password Manager stores its database online, allowing you to access the same credentials across all your Kaspersky PURE 3.0 installations.
And there's easy installation, an improved interface, more accurate phishing detection, smaller application updates, and more.
Unsurprisingly, all this functionality makes for a huge application. This starts with a bulky 180MB download. Then the program immediately wanted to download another 80MB in its first update. And there's a vast array of modules and options to explore. (The Settings dialog alone has 31 categories , each of which then has further options.)
It's important to check the small print, as there are a few important issues. Password Manager doesn't work on 64-bit Windows, for instance, while Safe Money may not always run within IE10.
And the antivirus engine is fairly strict, going beyond viruses to raise alerts about lots of smaller tools (NirSoft password viewers, for instance). You can add an exclusion which tells the program to ignore these in future, but these have to be done individually, which soon becomes tedious.
Still, if you persevere then most of these problems soon fade away. Virus scans only detect real threats; you'll only need to work within the program's core interface, which is speedy and simple to use; and Kaspersky PURE 3.0 Total Security will handle everything else.
So while you may feel overwhelmed initially, don't be put off. There's a vast amount of functionality here, and the suite provides everything necessary to keep you safe, both on and offline.
It takes a while to set up, but once configured Kaspersky PURE 3.0 Total Security's many security modules run with minimal alerts, and do a great job of keeping you safe