Kaspersky Labs Total Security Review
Value For Money
Kaspersky Total Security is a great product offering excellent protection for PC and Android devices, but iOS protection is quite limited, as is Mac protection.
Keeping your digital world safe and secure should be one of your top priorities these days. Fortunately, most modern-day hackers have too much self pride to waste their time on common folk like myself. Instead, they target government agencies and large business organizations, just like we saw a short while ago when Sony Pictures got hacked. Still, there are probably millions of shady characters out there who are intent on creating and/or spreading computer viruses and other sorts of malware.
You can bet your last dollar, that if you were to disable or uninstall all your security software, and you use the internet every day, you will definitely end up with malware on your computer or mobile device. Even with my own computer being “fully protected” I still occasionally discover a threat or two when I do a full system scan.
These days, and particularly in the more developed countries, people have embraced modern conveniences such as online shopping and online banking. More often than not, their personal details, including their financial details, are stored somewhere on their computers, and quite often on a mobile device as well. This reliance on technology makes us extremely vulnerable to cyber criminals.
Like other internet security suites, Kaspersky Labs Total Security has been designed specifically for keeping your computer safe from attack. One of the very attractive features of the particular software is the fact that it’s been designed to be compatible with all devices, including Mac; iPad, and any Android powered mobile device. Okay, Kaspersky Total Security review will take a look at what you can expect from this software if you choose to purchase it.
Overall, this security suite performs very nicely, and certainly a lot better than some of its competitors, but of course, it has been created by Kaspersky Labs, who many see as being the world’s number one internet security software provider. However, we need to keep in mind that performance and speed are two different things. If you are looking for antivirus software capable of doing a full system scan in the shortest possible time, then Kaspersky’s Total Security suite is probably not the best choice for you.
This is not to say that this software is slow, but as far as full system scans are concerned, it is not the fastest kid on the block. In a recent test carried out by the people over at PC Advisor, a full system scan of 494,295 files took 1 hour and 54 minutes. This software suite does it slightly faster than the previous offering, but compared to other security packages that were tested, Total Security is somewhat on the lower end of the list in terms of scanning speed.
With that having been said, Kaspersky Total Security does not slow down system performance as much as some other security programs do. In fact, during the tests that were carried out at PC Advisor, it was noted that Total Security had virtually no negative impact on overall system performance at all.
As with most comparable software suites, Kaspersky Total Security does a really good job at preventing others from infecting your computer or mobile device. When analysts tested its ability to detect spam emails, it proved to be very reliable. The software does slow down email retrieval times, but almost no spam messages made it into the Inbox. Also, no legitimate emails were mistaken as spam.
Total Security also scored full marks in PC Advisor’s “Threat Detection Test” which is designed to test just how robust a security program is. This brings me back to the subject of phishing, and I honestly believe that people should consider the fact that Kaspersky Total Security is virtually the only security software package to outperform Symantec Norton Security.
Obviously, when it comes to performance, a lot also depends on your own computer setup, at least in terms of speed. Aside from that though, Total Security from Kaspersky really does offer users an outstanding level of internet security, even though some people quite rightly believe it could have a lower price tag.
As with Kaspersky’s entry level suite, Total Security also comes with an “intelligent firewall” which has proved to be incredibly effective at warding off attacks. Not only is it virtually indestructible, but it also monitors other programs in a bid to detect installed programs that are attempting to connect to a network.
The software generally assigns a security rating to all programs. Program with the lowest rating are then subjected to increased scrutiny. When analysts tested the robustness of the Total Security firewall, they found that nearly all direct attacks were blocked. Additionally, the software successfully blocked around 60% of all exploit attacks. While this might not seem all that impressive at first glance, consumers should keep in mind that this figure is quite a bit higher than it is with several other security suites.
With more and more people embracing the concept of online shopping, protecting your financial details is more important than ever before. Credit card companies have gone to great lengths to protect their customers, and most e-commerce sites have likewise tried to ensure that people can shop with complete peace of mind.
Sadly, there are thousands, if not millions of very smart people out there who will do almost anything to get a free meal. Many times, cyber criminals gain access to your personal details, including your financial details with simple key logging programs, or by running other types of relatively simple malicious software on your machine or your mobile device.
Kaspersky has taken “financial security” to a whole new level by incorporating a feature known as “Safe Money”. If you visit any sort of sensitive site, such as online banking for example, the Total Security software will give you the option to launch it from within the “Safe Money” protection system. If you choose to use this feature, a virtual keyboard allows you to complete your tasks, thereby making it impossible for any key logger to track things like usernames and passwords.
Even if you do use your regular keyboard, the software has a “keyboard encryption” feature which ensures that nobody can trace or track your keyboard activity. In addition to what I have already mentioned, there is also a “Safe Surf” feature which acts as an additional barrier. This piece of the software attempts to guide you away from potentially fraudulent sites, but it doesn’t end there. If activated, Safe Surf will completely wipe out all surfing and browsing history. I could elaborate some more but to be honest; the list goes on and on.
If you’ve read this review all the way up to this point, I’m sure you will agree that Kaspersky Labs Total Security packs a powerful punch. However, when it comes to multi device functionality, there is certainly a lot of room for improvement.
If you have a Windows powered PC and an Android powered mobile device, this security suite is really the bee’s knees, but if you have a Mac, or any iOS powered device, then I personally don’t think this is the best choice due to a few rather significant limitations.
For example, if your device is running on an iOS, you are more or less limited to only password management and safe browsing, over and above the usual virus scanning capabilities. The Mac version is also very limited compared to the PC version, and despite this, the software costs more than numerous other security suites. I have also personally had an issue when I installed the Mac version of this software on my MacBook Pro. It froze up my computer and my Mac started misbehaving completely and I had to take my system to the Apple service center who had to fully format the hard disk to restore my system. The bottom line is, if you have a Mac or you use an iOS device, then my advice would be that you should consider a few other choices instead of purchasing this software.
Backup & Restore
To be fair, this software suite makes backing up of files and folders as easy as it can be. Not only does it walk you through the entire process, but it also makes it very easy for you to define your own backup parameters. For example, if you only want to backup your music, your videos and your photos, you can do so with just a few clicks of the mouse.
On the downside, free backup storage space is somewhat limited, in that you only get the free 2GB which is available from Drop Box. This limited “free” storage allowance applies even if you pay for a “5 device” license. Sure, additional storage space can be purchased, but considering the price of this software, 2GB is a little bit on the stingy side if you ask me.
When it comes to parental controls, this software package definitely scores full marks in our Kaspersky Total Security review because it really knocks the socks off other internet security suites. In fact, Kaspersky has taken Parental Controls to an entirely new level. These days kids are becoming internet savvy younger than ever before, and while this is certainly a good thing, it can also make young children incredibly vulnerable to online abuse.
I personally believe education is better than control. I believe that parents should teach their kids the difference between right and wrong, but I am also wise enough to know that temptation can often be too much for kids to resist. Kaspersky has well and truly nailed it in this regard.
Perhaps the most distinguishing feature is that its content filter CANNOT be subverted with the aid of an “anonymizing” proxy. Simply put, the software is remarkably successful at blocking such proxies. Another wonderful feature for concerned parents is that you are able to set a grid or timetable for allowable computer time. For instance, if you don’t want your kids playing on their computers after eight in the evening, you can setup Kaspersky Total Security to make sure they don’t.
Likewise, you can stipulate how much time your child or children can spend on the computer each day. You can also impose limits on the amount of time your kids spend on the internet. Over and above these parental control features, Total security also allows parents to do the following:
- Control and/or restrict access to games based on ESRB ratings.
- Deny access to certain specific programs.
- Prevent kids from sharing/sending personal data such as telephone numbers; addresses, passwords, and etc.
- Decide who their children can chat with on social media sites.
In short, the only things that are missing are Remote Control and Notifications. As a parent myself, I feel that both of these features could be very useful for parents because it would allow you to change your current parameters without having to access your child’s PC directly, and notifications would let you know whenever your child has attempted to overstep the boundaries.
Reviewer’s Recommendation and Suggestions on Kaspersky Labs Total Security
In my opinion, which is largely based on the countless reviews I’ve studied, Kaspersky Labs Total Security is robust enough and flexible enough to suit the needs of most people. This is particularly true if you own a PC and one or more Android powered devices. On the other hand, if you are a Mac and iOS fan, then this software might not be the best choice for you. Last but not least, it is a little bit pricey, especially for those people who don’t really need all the different bells and whistles such as the unbeatable parental controls.