Review: Kaspersky Total Security 2018

Submitted by Jonah Bellemans on Thu, 10/05/2017 - 20:44

Introduction

Kaspersky is a well-known Russian software security company, founded in 1997 by Eugene Kaspersky. Throughout the years they have built themselves a very good reputation and it is exactly this reputation that we will test in this review, by taking a look at their latest feature-packed anti-malware suite, Kaspersky Total Security. There are countless interesting features on this software suite, but we will focus on the core functionality: malware protection and virus scanning.

Compatibility

Kaspersky Total Security is a software suite that includes: Kaspersky Total Security for Windows, Kaspersky Internet Security for Mac and Android, Kaspersky Password manager for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android, Kaspersky Safe Kids for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android, Kaspersky Safe Browser for iOS and Windows Phone. Functionality differs on each platform, which is why in this review, we will stick to testing the Windows software suite.

Installation

Installing the suite is a very simple 2-step process: with a doubleclick on the installation executable, the whole program installs itself easily, after which it only has to be activated to be ready for use. All browser plugins and other external tools get installed automatically.

Active Malware Shields

Kaspersky's software does not only provide protection against threats already on your computer, but also against those trying to intrude your system from the outside. Aside from an Automatic Exploit Prevention service that plugs all exploitable security holes in your system in real time when an exploit is being detected, the software provides solid protection against web-based attack vectors. The improved URL advisor browser plugin ranks URL's and warns you when a link is suspicious. Even if you would then decide to still click the link, the anti-malware software will catch any malware on the webpage and make sure to block it or quarantine it before it does any damage. Aside from the web shields, a solid two-way firewall is in place to prevent unauthorized network requests. All of those niceties are achieved without giving in on speed, as the software has been running on our system for quite some time and there have been no noticable speed trade-ins whatsoever.

Passive Malware Shields

Even if a threat would pass by your active shields, the system-wide anti-malware scan will still have your back. A fast and reliable scan that filters out all rootkits, virusses, PUP's and other nasty stuff you mighty encounter on the web ensures your system stays safe 24/7. Aside from the regular scanning types, the software also allows to do a vulnerability scan, which searches the system for flaws and security holes and recommends you patches before they can get exploited by malicious attacks. Normally, we would test this scanning capability by downloading different versions of the EICAR Test Virus, but as we tried to download them from the site, the Kaspersky Total Security Active Shields kicked in and blocked the web page immediately before the virus could reach our hard drive.

Extra Functionality

Aside from its core functions, this software suite contains many, many more useful features, such as, but not limited to, a Software Updater, Software cleaner, File Shredder, Browsing Sandbox, Webcam Protection, Secure Connection Management, Password Storage, Parental Controls ("Kaspersky Safe Kids"), Ransomware-protection, File Encryption,...

Whether or not these functions are useful to you is up to you to decide, but it has to be said that this anti-malware suite covers any and all bases possible.

Verdict

In cyber security, the key element is common sense: stay away from sketchy sources, do not plug in any untrusted devices into your pc,...

However, even the most trained tightrope walker feels a lot more secure when they know there's a net underneath them in case they fall, however small those chances may be, and Kaspersky Total Security does just that. Is it infallible? No. Is it a replacement for common sense? No. But combined with a healthy skepticism towards anything on the internet, it sure makes for a very strong combination and an extra line of defense against any cyber criminals out there.

That's why Kaspersky Total Security gets a BlackHole Tec gold award, and it can be yours for 75 EUR for 1 device, 1 year. 

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