Experts say excellent malware removal capabilities, speedy scan times and a beautiful, intuitive interface make Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2012 the best antivirus software for this year. Kaspersky's Internet-assisted Cloud Protection, which keeps virus definitions up to date and takes over some of the processing during scans, is largely responsible for the improved speeds and detection rates. The program excels in evaluations at independent labs and false positives are a rare occurrence, although it has trouble removing some of the malware thrown at it in PCMag.com's tests. Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2012 is less of a resource hog than past editions, and the program draws praise for its robust technical support, which is available via by phone, email and live chat. If you need a full-fledged security suite -- with a firewall, anti-spam, anti-phishing and more -- critics recommend Norton Internet Security 2012 (*Est. $70).
Plenty of experts cover Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2012. Independent testing labs AV-Comparatives.org, AV-Test.org and Virus Bulletin provide hard stats based on clearly established evaluation methods. Professional critics at PCMag.com and Download.com also review the software, which also nabs a spot on TopTenReviews.com's list of best antivirus software. Users at Walmart.com chime in with their opinions as well.
Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2012 is one of a handful of programs that earns AV-Comparatives.org's highest Advanced+ certification in both on-demand comparative testing and the more difficult proactive/retrospective test, which identifies how well antivirus programs identify threatening files that aren't included in the software's definition database. Kaspersky is one of the best-performing antivirus programs for false positives, racking up next-to-none in each test. All of that leads AV-Comparatives.org to name Kaspersky its Product of the Year.
Review: Anti-Virus Comparative, Editors of AV-Comparatives.org, Aug. 2011
The independent testers at AV-Test.org evaluate security software with an eye toward usability as well as virus removal and repair. While the full-fledged Kaspersky Internet Security 2012 suite is examined in 2011, only the antivirus portion is specifically tested, and it is awarded certification for Windows 7 and Windows XP systems after a strong showing. The program posts perfect or nearly perfect results in both repair and prevention on both operating systems.
Review: Detailed Test Reports, Editors of AV-Test.org
PCMag.com's Neil Rubenking isn't quite as sold on Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2012 as the independent testing labs. In Rubenking's tests, Kaspersky had issues removing scareware and rootkits as well as detecting new web-based phishing sites.
Review: Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2012, Neil J. Rubenking, Aug. 15, 2011
4. Virus Bulletin
Virus Bulletin is an independent testing lab that certifies security products for a variety of separate operating systems. Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2012 earns VB100 certification for every operating system for which it's available with the exception of Windows Server 2003. You need to subscribe to Virus Bulletin to see detailed testing results, however.
Review: VB100 Results Summary, Editors of Virus Bulletin
CNET's Download.com awards Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2012 an "Outstanding" 4.5 (out of 5) rating. Seth Rosenblatt says there's room for improvement in system impact, which is the only hard data he collects directly. He says he hopes the Cloud Protection feature leads to better detection rates.
Review: Kaspersky Anti-Virus, Seth Rosenblatt, Sept. 19, 2011
Like Download.com, AntivirusWare.com relies on data from the independent testing labs in its antivirus reviews, supplementing that information with a first-hand system performance and interface analysis. Separate aspects of the software -- such as virus detection and technical support -- receive numerical ratings, and the program receives a cumulative overall rating as well. Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2012 receives a 4 (out of 5) star overall rating and lands in the third spot in the site's list of the top 12 antivirus programs.
Review: Review of Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2012, Jay Andrew Allen, Aug. 26, 2011
Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2012 has amassed nearly 250 user reviews at Walmart.com, and the majority are highly complementary. The software carries a 4.3 (out of 5) star average rating, and more than 85 percent of owners say they would recommended the software to a friend.
Review: Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2012, 3 Users, Contributors to Walmart.com
TopTenReviews.com's review of Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2012 is long and detailed, and it includes separate ratings for different aspects of the software, such as performance and features. However, little hands-on testing seems to have been conducted, with most of the text seeming to be a fleshing-out of the features list and coverage of test results from independent labs. Kaspersky is named the second best antivirus software of 2012.
Review: Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2012, Editors of TopTenReviews.com