Another interface feature we like is the left navigation. Within seconds, we were able to find the configuration settings we wanted to tweak.
In addition to antivirus and antispyware protection, Kaspersky offers antirootkit protection as well. We like the built-in System Restore, so that should your computer ever become infected, Kaspersky will roll back any registry changes to a time prior to the infection. This is effective against spyware and rootkits.
Not only is the malware protection within Kaspersky proactive, with top-of-the-line heuristics to identify newly created malware, and, like BitDefender Antivirus 2008, Kaspersky's traditional signature-based protection is updated hourly, along with any available program updates. We like this approach, as Kaspersky seems to have figured out what Norton has not: how to deliver small file updates. Plus, Kaspersky has consistently demonstrated the shortest response time to breaking new malware threats.
Kaspersky still provides users with the process of creating a rescue disk, something that many antivirus products no longer offer. And, Kaspersky Anti-Virus 7 includes a process so that the operating system can revert back to a time just before an infection. Like Norton, Kaspersky can also throttle back on system resources, depending on user activity. Unlike Norton, Kaspersky can, by default, scan only recently changed files, greatly shortening the overall scan time considerably.
Kaspersky Anti-Virus 7 scored well in CNET Labs' performance tests and in third-party, independent antivirus testing using live viruses, although not always the top position. On the CNET iTunes test, Kaspersky Anti-Virus 7 came in just 4 seconds above the test system at 272 seconds. On the CNET Microsoft Office test, Kaspersky Anti-Virus 7 finished in 1,518 seconds. In a test scanning a single folder with compressed and media files, Kaspersky Anti-Virus 7 completed it in 521 seconds. And in boot speed, Kaspersky came in second, with a fast 29.77 seconds. To find out how we test antivirus software , see CNET Labs' How we test: Antivirus software page.
In terms of whether or not Kaspersky Anti-Virus 7 will protect your PC, we cite results from two leading independent antivirus testing organizations. In the latest test results from AV-Comparatives.org, for on-demand scans Kaspersky Anti-Virus 7 earned an Advanced + (highest) rating, catching 98 percent of all malware tested and tying with Norton Antivirus 2007. However, for the Retrospective/Proactive test, Kaspersky Anti-Virus 7 earned an Advanced (second-highest) rating, although Kaspersky produced very few false positives compared with other antivirus apps in the same test. From CheckVir.com, there is no data. Kaspersky Anti-Virus 7 was not included in recent tests, however, when it was last tested, Kaspersky Anti-Virus 6 earned a Standard rating when only the ability to search is tested, not antivirus removal.
Kaspersky Anti-Virus 7 provides an excellent context-sensitive, in-program help file. For example, if you are on the Data Files page and you click Help, you're taken to the entry for Data Files within the Help file. It's a small touch, but one we don't see often enough. Kaspersky offers a robust 321-page PDF manual (the most complete of any antivirus application we've seen); it includes just about everything--except for an index, although the table of contents is richly detailed. Kaspersky also delivers excellent online FAQ and knowledge base. There are also active user forums. Finally, you can e-mail or call a toll-free number for live technical support.
If you're looking for an antivirus application that's good, fast, and light on system resources, Kaspersky is the one. We found this antivirus application easy enough for beginners, with customization features that will please more-advanced users, as well. But, with the competition gaining, by no means was this a knockout; this year's Editors' Choice race was tighter than ever.