Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2015 offers full spectrum security for your Windows machine. In addition to their free PC antivirus offering, there are several premium versions available, and we're trying their entry-level product. Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2015 runs fine on Windows 8.1. It leverages data sourced from the larger community of Kaspersky users to identify the newest threats. You'll also enjoy real-time virus protection, a rollback function that undoes the nasty work done by malware, and a web browsing monitor.
Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2015 will run you $39.95/year. The Internet Security package upgrades that with a two-way firewall, transaction protection, parental controls, and theft protection for an additional $20/year. For an extra $30/year, you can get Kaspersky Total Security, which has all of the above, plus remote device management, additional password protection, a file shredder utility, and online backup of sensitive files. A visual breakdown of each version's features can be found over here.
In lab tests by Virus Bulletin, Kaspersky Anti-Virus scored better than Avast in reactive and proactive tests, but was beat out by Bitdefender, Avira, and AVG. In AV-Comparatives' real-word protection test, Kaspersky did fairly well, placing fourth behind Bitdefender and Trend Micro with no false positives. Kaspersky also did well on AV-Test with 6 / 6 for protection, performance, and usability. Overall, Kaspersky has proven itself in a gauntlet of virus and malware tests.
Besides scanning for viruses and keeping threat definitions up to date, Kaspersky keeps tabs on activity through detailed reports. You can drill down into a full activity log, and filter based on what you want to see and date range. Kaspersky's network of users provides a cloud-based repository of virus definitions that ensures new threats are identified as early as possible. A full scan took about a half hour. Kaspersky wasn't particularly clever about scheduling regular scans on its own, launching into a rootkit scan right in the middle of the workday, but controls are in place to dictate when Kaspersky is allowed to kick in. Toggles are also available to have Kaspersky give priority to other desktop applications. A web-based console lets you see the status of connected devices at a glance.
One of the more interesting features in Kaspersky is a secure virtual keyboard, so you can put in passwords and PIN numbers without fear of keyloggers skimming sensitive information. A separate vulnerabilities scan analyzes system settings through which malicious software could operate, and offers easily accessible solutions. Diagnostics along this line are specifically available for Internet Explorer to improve web browsing security. There's also a privacy scrubber available that gets rid of any tracking cookies that may be lingering in your browser. The checkmarks indicating the safety of links in search results are less visually obnoxious than what we've seen in other antivirus programs.
Kaspersky enjoys a smooth, polished interface, and has a few tricks up its sleeve that you won't find anywhere else. Lab tests for protection show Kaspersky can handle its stuff, and we certainly found it was up to the task.