Security for everyone - Reviewing Kaspersky Total Security 2017

5 out of 5 stars

2017 is getting closer and most security vendors have started to release new versions of their products. That means that we too are ready to resume our “Security for everyone” series and evaluate which are the best and worst security products of the year. As Kaspersky is one of the best names on the security market, we’ll begin with their Kaspersky Total Security 2017 , a product that aims to offer you everything you need in terms of security. After testing it thoroughly, we’ve learned a lot about its efficiency in securing your Windows computers and devices. Read this review to see what we think about this product,our opinions being based on how it performed in our testing:

The download and installation experience

Getting Kaspersky Total Security 2017 on your Windows PC means that you will first have to download it from the official website. You’ll have to provide Kaspersky with your name and email address before downloading the trial. The file you’ll download is an executable file called kts17.0.0.611en_11483.exe with a size of 169MB. This is the entire installer with all the files that you need on your PC.

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Run the setup file and follow its instructions. The only thing you can customize during the installation is whether you “want to participate in Kaspersky Security Network (KSN) to provide optimal protection...”. Our recommendation is for you to enable this option as it will help Kaspersky react faster against new cyber threats. That means, obviously, a better protection for yourself and for the others using Kaspersky’s products.

When the installation is done, Kaspersky Total Security 2017 will inform you. If you want, you can “Start Kaspersky Total Security” as soon as you press Finish. When you start it, Kaspersky Total Security 2017 greets you with a quick tour of its best features.

There’s no need for you to reboot your Windows computer, as the security suite loads its security services immediately after it’s installed. However, even if we waited for about half an hour, Kaspersky Total Security 2017 didn’t want to initiate an automatic update of its anti-malware definitions. Seeing that, we tried to reboot the computer but that didn’t work either. What we did, and what we recommend you do also, was to manually update the security suite’s database.

The first update of the malware database meant that Kaspersky Total Security 2017 downloaded another 64.15MB of data from the internet.

Our first interactions with Kaspersky Total Security 2017 were mostly positive. We liked that you only have to provide them with your name and email address in order to be able to download and use a trial version of the security suite, and we liked how easy it was to set up on our Windows computer. What could be improved is the way the suite gets updated the first time after it’s installed. The auto-update process should be triggered automatically, soon after you install the suite.

Integration with Windows, web browsers and universal Windows platform apps

During the installation, Kaspersky Total Security 2017 disables both Windows Firewall and Windows Defender. That’s a good thing because it eliminates the chance of encountering conflicts or performance hogs.

The security suite is also well integrated with all the networking features found in modern Windows operating systems. We didn’t encounter any problems while we associated the test laptop with the Homegroup or when we created a Homegroup. We had no issues either when downloading, installing or updating universal apps from the Windows Store.

Another positive aspect regarding Kaspersky is the fact that i t’s able to automatically detect the network profile that you assign in Windows (public or private) and adjust its protection, even if you change your network’s type repeatedly. There’s absolutely no need for any user input inside Kaspersky’s firewall, which is great.

Talking about the online security you get from Kaspersky Total Security 2017 , you should know that this security suite will scan all the internet traffic that goes on your computer, so you should be protected just as well in any web browser that you use. However, if you’re using Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox , then you’ll also get the Kaspersky Protection add-on, which will provide you with even further security and features. The extension will give you instant security ratings for your search results, help you block banners on the pages that you visit or websites from collecting data about you.

We also checked whether the security suite protects all its processes from unwanted termination. If it can’t protect its processes, then nasty viruses can disable your antivirus and do whatever they want on your Windows computer. As we expected, Kaspersky Total Security 2017 did protect its core antivirus processes well. However, we could easily end the process it ran for the Kaspersky Secure Connection module. That’s just a fancy n ame for the VPN service that you get from Kaspersky and, although we would have preferred to see it protected too, we must admit that it’s not essential to your security.

In terms of resource consumption, we found Kaspersky Total Security 2017 to consume more RAM memory than other security suites we’ve tested in the past. For instance, when nothing happened on our test laptop, the suite needed about 110MB of RAM memory to run its core services. When an antivirus scan was running, the security suite grew its RAM memory consumption to over 500MB.

Despite its memory needs, Kaspersky Total Security 2017 had almost no effect on the boot timings of our test computer. We used BootRacer to measure them before and after we installed the suite, and we found nothing meaningful in this area.

We can say the same about the impact Kaspersky Total Security 2017 had on our computer’s overall performance. To evaluate that, we turned to PCMark 8 and we ran its Home accelerated benchmarks before and after installing the suite. The results confirmed that Kaspersky doesn’t negatively affect your computer’s performance.

Kaspersky Total Security 2017 is very well integrated with Windows 10 and its networking features. What we appreciated most was the fact that it’s one of the few security suites that automatically detects your Windows network profile and adjusts its firewall accordingly. We also liked that it doesn’t appear to negatively affect our test computer’s performance, although its RAM memory consumption is relatively high when compared to other security products.

Ease of use & configuration

The user interface offered by Kaspersky Total Security 2017 is very similar to that from the previous version, with a large status and recommendations section on the top. It also includes common security tasks that are quickly available via large tiles, all using a calming green color when everything is OK with your computer.

When something bad happens, the user interface turns red, so you can’t miss the fact that you are having problems that require action.

On the main console you get quick access to: Scan, Database Update, Safe Money, Password Manager, Privacy Protection, Backup and Restore, Protection for all devices and Parental Control. If you’re looking for more, you can always click/tap the More Tools button at the bottom of the user interface. It will give you access to stuff like: Software Updater, Software Cleaner, Data Encryption, Trusted Applications mode, Secure Connection, Cloud Protection, On-Screen Keyboard, Quarantine, Vulnerability Scan, Kaspersky Rescue Disk, Browser Configuration, Privacy Cleaner, File Shredder, Unused Data Cleaner and Microsoft Windows Troubleshooting. That’s lots and lots of stuff, worthy of the name Total Security. The good news is that most of these tools and features are useful and can help you increase your system’s security. We’ll talk more about the additional features offered by Kaspersky in the Extra features section of this review.

Going back to the main user interface, on its bottom left corner you’ll find a small cogwheel that will take you to all the available settings. If you want to configure Kaspersky Total Security 2017 in detail, this is where you’ll have to go. The Settings are divided into five different section s: General, Protection, Performance, Scan and Additional.

Probably the most important is the Protection area, where you’ll find all the protection modules that are built into Kaspersky Total Security 2017. We like the fact that you can easily turn any protection module on or off with just a click or tap on the available switches. If you want to dive into their most advanced settings and details, you can click/tap on the name of the protection module that interests you.

In terms of help and support, Kaspersky Total Security 2017 offers almost everything you’d wish, with one exception: unlike in the past, there are no more offline help files included. However, most of the actions and settings around the security suite are well explained in context so there’s a low chance that you won’t understand something.

When something important takes place on your Windows computer, Kaspersky Total Security 2017 will tell you about it through concise and easy to understand notifications. In case your input is needed, a notification will inform you in a clear manner, just like in the screenshot below.

If you care about reports and statistics, Kaspersky Total Security 2017 has them. You can see what has happened on your computer during various periods of time and, if you need to, you can also check detailed logs of absolutely everything that went on your device from a security perspective.

Kaspersky Total Security 2017 offers a user interface that looks good and is easy to use. We like the way it’s structured and the large number of options and settings available. It’s a user interface that is designed with both casual and experienced users in mind.

Read the second page of this review to learn more about the efficiency of the antivirus and firewall protection offered by Kaspersky, as well as our final verdict about this product.