Date: January 28th, 2002
Kaspersky Lab is a Russian company that has been developing their prized antivirus program, Kaspersky AVP, for many years. While their product is not nearly as well-known as competitor software from McAfee or Symantec, it is touted as the best antivirus software on the market. That is a bold statement – what does Kaspersky have to back it up?
AVP delivers a full-blown and very feature-rich antivirus solution. Check out this impressive list of components:
As you can see, AVP covers every possible point of intrusion. In addition, it offers advanced heuristic virus prevention by stopping scripts from running without your permission, disabling suspicious macros, and reporting any unauthorized changes to important files such as system files and executables.
These capabilities have earned Kaspersky AVP a serious reputation among security experts and put it at the top of the list of anti-virus solutions.
AVP in detail
The control center is the heart of AVP. This is where every component can be configured, run, and monitored.
The e-mail scanner can be configured from within the e-mail client. For example, in Outlook AVP adds a new tab in the Options dialog.
AVP also adds an option to the context menu, allowing the user to scan files, folders or drives on demand with a few clicks.
AVP generates a detailed scan report for every scan and records the results for later viewing. AVP comes with a special report viewer that organizes and displays the scan reports very nicely, it is even searchable.
Another area where Kaspersky shines is the speed of the scanning engine. While the speed depends on the type of files scanned and other factors, AVP consistently shows impressive scanning speeds.
AVP has consistently proven its capabilities of virus detection in various virus tests, and is supposed to be the best in trojan detection.
Some weak points
AVP is a powerful program with a lot of options. This can make it a little bit intimidating for not-so-savvy users. The amount of options given in some dialogs can be overwhelming. It takes a little bit of fiddling and experimenting to find all the right settings for your environment.
One of the settings that requires messing with is the e-mail scanner. While it is installed, it is not activated by default. Don’t forget to turn it on!
AVP is good at scanning e-mail and removing infected or suspicious attachments. A minor annoyance is a dialog box that pops up informing the user that a program has still the attachment in use, which can be scary until you realize that it was simply AVP removing the file.
Because of all its features, AVP does have a noticeable footprint. This shows not only in the 11MB setup file, but also in its constant presence in the system.
Every now and then it shows that the software and documentation originated from a non-English speaking development team in form of occasional grammar and spelling errors, but nothing really confusing.
As a result of its heuristic functionality, a few false positives will sneak themselves in here and there. It’s not a big deal, but it can be annoying if you downloaded the latest point release for Quake just to find out you can’t install it because AVP has quarantined it because of a false positive.
Versions and Pricing
Kaspersky AVP is available for many operating system such as different versions of Linux, Palm OS, Novell NetWare, Dos, and all versions of Windows, both for workstations and servers. Pricing ranges from $14 for the Palm OS version to several hundred dollars for the business/server versions.
The version tested here is AVP Personal PRO and currently costs $100. While it certainly is not the cheapest anti-virus solution available, it is definitely the most complete package. Yet again, the age-old saying “You get what you pay for” applies. The program works on a subscription basis where you can download program and antivirus updates for free at any time during the subscription period.
AVP is an impressive anti-virus solution. Its feature-rich suite of virus protection components is the most complete collection on the market, and its trojan detection and heuristic capabilities put it ahead of the rest. The annoyances I ran into during the program evaluation were few and minor, and in no way decreased the program’s capabilities. Beginners might need some time to explore and understand every aspect of the software, but power users will love its versatility. If you are in the process of purchasing antivirus software, AVP should be on your shopping list.
Submitted by: Alex “crazygerman” Byron