"Good product, but still slows the computer a tad"4.0 starson by Yaron Kohavi
Pros: Superb basic protection – anti-virus, anti-spyware, firewall, very good for the security layman
Cons: No anti-spam yet, slows computer and browsing (a tad), no configuration options for the advanced user
Summary: I've purchased Kaspersky Internet security just two weeks ago, and it worked like a champ. It gave me superb security with no hassle at all – it worked quietly in the background, never displayed any annoying pop-ups and it did not slow the computer even a tad.
But then I saw that the firewall is set by default to low security – all traffic is permitted, except traffic explicitly banned by a rule. That's not my idea of good security!
So I raised the bar to "medium". Alas, I started getting hundreds of those annoying firewall pop-ups. I then recalled that NIS 2007 had made excellent firewall heuristics, and Symantec's site has promised "faster scans and start-up" for NIS 2008.
So I gave KIS 7 to a friend at work, and purchased NIS 2008.
This is a good product, but not without flaws. Firstly, Symantec is right – the quick scan is now quick indeed, taking much less time than NIS 2007, and the start-up and (even more) shut-down processes are swift.
NIS has a stellar reputation of getting high scores on third-party tests (av-comparatives, VB 100, West Coast labs etc.) for its anti-virus, anti-spyware and firewall modules, so you're good on that; the firewall works like a champ, completely hiding your computer, so that hackers can't even detect it, and making intelligent rules quietly and automatically. Anti-phishing is potent and more informative than IE 7 built-in anti-phishing tool.
LiveUpdate is finally fully integrated into the application, as it should have been long ago, and Norton 360's superb help system was imported to NIS 2008.
The application is excellent for the security layman, updating and scanning quietly in the background.
But not all is perfect.
Firstly, the expansion pack, which contains the important anti-spam module, is not available yet for download, even though Symantec's site renders this option available. A better disclosure would certainly be in place!
Secondly, despite continuous improvement on this field, the application does slow application loading and browsing – only a tad - but it does. Considering the fact that Kaspersky manages to protect the computer without the slightest performance decrease, this is a disappointment.
Thirdly, other modules are second-tier. NIS 2007 anti-spam, for instance, was not even nearing SpamBully's effectiveness. I sure hope they have improved it! The identity security module seems only to recognize URLs containing the phrase "login", refusing to register all other.
But perhaps the application's most serious flaw is its lack of advanced user controls – everything is done automatically (and that is good), but there are far too little configuration options for the advance user – you can set full system scan schedule intervals, for instance, but you cannot disable a scheduled scan, opting for manual scans only. KIS 7 lets you easily do that!
All in all, this is a good security suit. It's a pity the Symantec doesn't offer their superb firewall as a stand-alone product anymore; that way, the perfect security combination would have been Symantec firewall + Kaspersky anti-virus.
But until then, you can certainly consider either KIS (just be ready for lots of firewall pop-ups or for inferior firewall security) or NIS (be ready for a slight decrease in system performance) as your # 1 security solution.