- The Kaspersky Virus Removal Tool is a completely freeware antivirus. This news may come to one’s surprise because Kaspersky normally charges at least $29.99 for a one-year subscription. The entire antivirus engine is contained in one executable file. New files are released on almost a daily basis that contain exactly the same definitions files as the full version. In addition, the removal tool includes a self-defense feature that prevents the application scanning from being interrupted.
- The user has the option to scan all portions of the hard drive including removable disks and even hidden startup objects. In tests, the scanning mirrored a standard Kaspersky scanning experience almost exactly. A quick autoscan only took about 4 minutes while a full system scan took about one and a half. These times are very reputable and easily compete with most free antivirus. A user will also be alerted to new antivirus definitions that have been released within the last few days.
- The only thing that the removal tool lacks is an automatic removal capability. The tool supplies a “manual disinfection” feature that hooks up with an online virus removal community. Users on the forms will be able to assist a user with a specific and personalized removal code. This is almost better than an automatic removal found in most antiviruses because an expert user will be able to analyze the system information and will have the opportunity to remove additional malware/problems that may have not been detected in a standard scan. This whole process is like having HijackThis with a removal code capability that an experienced user could fix within seconds.
- The removal tool also includes many advanced settings. These settings include heuristic analysis that can be adjusted to a low, medium, or high setting. The real settings treat lies in the capability to detect rootkits. Kaspersky Virus Removal tool even includes the capability for a deep rootkit scan. Free AVG, a “full featured free antivirus”, does not include even a basic rootkit detection capability. The removal tool even includes program vulnerability protection against unpatched programs. Finally, I also liked the capability to configure a maximum or minimum archive size to be checked. I have run into problems with other scanners that scanned huge iso files for hours.
- There are a few problems with the Kaspersky Removal Tool. The first is that the program does not completely install on the computer. In order to run the program, a user will have to launch the installer everytime. The installer is also somewhat annoying because there are multiple menus in which a user has to hit the “next” button several times. The executable should just have an auto launch capability. Finally, everytime the program closes it wants to uninstall the removal tool.
Regardless of the downsides, the Kaspersky removal tool is a crucial antivirus tool that utilizes the venerable full version Kaspersky virus definitions for the low cost of $0.