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SECURITY

Ultimate Security Suites Showdown (Part 3) : Bitderfender Internet Security 2013, Kaspersky Internet Security 2013

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Bitderfender Internet Security 2013

Bitdefender Internet Security 2013 ($66 for one year and three PCs) may just be everything that you’d want in a security suite. This program, which earned the highest rating in both our real-world attack test and our system cleanup test, has a user-friendly interface that will appeal to both regular and advanced users. It also comes with several extra services, such as antitheft protection for various mobile devices.

In our real-world attack test, Bitdefender completely blocked 100 percent of attacks. Bitdefender was also able to detect 98.9 percent of known malware samples in our malware-zoo detection test. That’s not a bad detection rate, but five of the nine security suites in this year’s round-up had detection rates of 99 percent or higher.

Bitderfender Internet Security 2013

Bitderfender Internet Security 2013

It managed to detect and disable 100 percent of the infections in our system cleanup test, and it successfully cleaned up all traces of infections 90 percent of the time. This result is the best full-cleanup rate of any the suites we tested only F-Secure Internet Security 2013 had a similar cleanup rate (90 percent). Bitdefender flagged just one file (out of 250,000-plus) as malicious, which gives it a very low false-positive percentage compared with its competition.

The program adds just a little extra weight to your system, and its slowdowns are tolerable. It added 3.5 seconds to startup time (compared to a PC with no antivirus program installed), which puts it in the lower half of the suites we tested. It also added a second or so to shut down time. Bitdefender has a the longest on-demand scanning time (2mins, 1 sec) of the programs we tested, and the fourth-longest on-access scanning time (5 mins, 41 secs).

Bitdefender has a the longest on-demand scanning time (2mins, 1 sec) of the programs we tested, and the fourth-longest on-access scanning time (5 mins, 41 secs).

Bitdefender has a the longest on-demand scanning time (2mins, 1 sec) of the programs we tested, and the fourth-longest on-access scanning time (5 mins, 41 secs).

Bitdefender’s installation process is a little tedious. It has only six screens to click through, but a couple of those require user input (such as choosing whether to turn on certain features), and the last screen requires you to log into, or create, a Bitdefender account. Bitdefender doesn’t come with a browser toolbar, but it does install a widget that sits on your desktop and displays protection status and notifications.

Bitdefender’s user interface is attractive and nicely laid out, with a large banner that shows protection status and smaller modules for specific areas of protection. It’s easy to find things on the main screen: a big settings button, for example, takes you to a comprehensive list of settings, to a notifications area, and to smaller modules (for antivirus functions, online privacy, the firewall, program updates, and so on) that allow you to quickly access and configure those features.

Settings and options are abundant, but not overwhelming. Bitdefender does a good job of keeping things simple, unless you want to see more-advanced options. If you do start to get a little confused, you can always click the help button in the bottom-right corner of each screen to see pop-up messages that describe what the settings do.

Bitdefender also lets you manage your services, apps and mobile devices from a web portal called MyBitdefender. This portal, which you sign up for when you install the program, lets you configure online parental controls, manage Facebook and Twitter protection, set up antitheft protection for your devices, activate identity theft protection, and access Bitdefender’s Safebox cloud backup storage (you get 2GB for free).

Bitdefender’s 2013 Internet security suite is an excellent, user-friendly program

Bitdefender’s 2013 Internet security suite is an excellent, user-friendly program

Overall, Bitdefender’s 2013 Internet security suite is an excellent, user-friendly program. The program does have some slight scanning-speed issues, but otherwise it’s an easy-to-use suite that gives you several nice extra services.

Kaspersky Internet Security 2013

Kaspersky Internet Security 2013 ($75 for one year and three PCs) is a solid antimalware suite that provides admirable protection and an excellent settings interface. This program looks a little different from the other suites we tested, mainly because of its teal-and-white colors, in contrast to the green-is-good/red-is/bad user interface that most other security packages use. It’s a good program that will keep you safe from most incoming attacks,

In our real-world attack test, Kaspersky completely blocked 95 percent of attacks. Unfortunately, the 5.6 percent of attacks that if failed to block completely were not blocked at all – in other words, our test system got infected 5.6 percent of the time.

Kaspersky Internet Security 2013

Kaspersky Internet Security 2013

Kaspersky’s suite was able to detect 98.1 percent of known malware samples in our malware-zoo detection test. This detection rate is okay, but seven of the nine suites we tested had higher rates (98.8 percent or more). Kaspersky did have an excellent false-positive rate, as it didn’t flag any safe files as malicious.

In our system cleanup test, the Kaspersky software did an excellent job of detecting, disabling and fully cleaning up infections. It detected and disabled all infections on our test PC, and fully cleaned up all traces of malware 80 percent of the time.

Kaspersky will add a little weight to your system, and it will slow down some operations more than most of its competitors. In our test, the program added just over two seconds to startup time, and just over 10 seconds to shut down time. Those extra seconds make Kaspersky’s suite one of the heaviest antimalware programs we tested (it placed seventh in startup time and last in shutdown time). In addition, Kaspersky dragged down the speed of life downloads and copying operations.

Its manual scan times are better than average, however: the program took first place in on-demand scan time (1min, 10 secs), and ninth place in on-access scan time (6mins, 8 secs). Its on-demand scan time is significantly better than the average scan time of 1 min, 33 secs, but its on-access scan time is more than a minute slower than the average scan time of 4 mins, 50 secs.

Kaspersky Internet Security 2013 is quick and painless to install. It has just four screens to click through, and registering your product is as easy as typing in your email address. The program doesn’t try to install a toolbar, but it does attempt to install the Kaspersky Anti-Banner Firefox add-on, which appears to be an ad blocker. Installation doesn’t require a reboot.

In the upper-right corner of the main window are buttons for reports and settings

In the upper-right corner of the main window are buttons for reports and settings

Kaspersky’s user interface is simple, straightforward and easy to understand. The main window features a large top banner that shows whither the software is running, with smaller kinks to important features below: scan, update, Safe Money (a feature designed to keep you secure when you make financial transactions online), parental control, applications activity, network monitor, quarantine and tools. In the upper-right corner of the main window are buttons for reports and settings.

The settings menu looks a little intimidating at first glance, but it’s easy to navigate. It presents four tabs – Protection Center, Scan, Update and Advanced Settings – and each tab has several sub-categories, which lead to setting screens. Each settings screen has a short description of what the feature does, and all wording is simple and lacking in security jargon.

Kaspersky Internet Security 2013 is a competent antimalware program. We like how it combines advanced settings with simply worded explanations to help all users get the most out of the product.

Other  
  •  Are Your Passwords Safe? (Part 4)
  •  Are Your Passwords Safe? (Part 3)
  •  Are Your Passwords Safe? (Part 2)
  •  Are Your Passwords Safe? (Part 1)
  •  10 Contenders For The 'Ultimate Protector' Crown (Part 5) : Microsoft Security Essentials 4.1, AVG Antivirus Free 2013
  •  10 Contenders For The 'Ultimate Protector' Crown (Part 4) : Norton Internet Security, Avast Free Antivirus Version 7
  •  10 Contenders For The 'Ultimate Protector' Crown (Part 3) : Eset Smart Security 6, Kaspersky Internet Security 2013, Zonealarm Internet Security 2013
  •  10 Contenders For The 'Ultimate Protector' Crown (Part 2) : Bitdefender Total Security 2013, Trend Micro Maximum Security, Mcafee Internet Security 2013
  •  10 Contenders For The 'Ultimate Protector' Crown (Part 1)
  •  A Look At Truecrypt The Open Source Security Tool
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