Kaspersky Anti-Virus 6.0 shines for its top-notch malware detection and disinfection performance.

It boasts a 96 percent detection rate and it was best at disinfection, cleaning 86 percent of all items. It was also the fastest at delivering new signatures, at an average of 0 to 2 hours. And you'll pay surprisingly little for this stellar performance.

At £24 for the downloaded product, it truly affordable. Unfortunately its proactive protection was only middling, catching just about half of 200 new malware samples when tested using a month-old signature database.

Kaspersky Anti-Virus 6.0's polished interface makes it easy to schedule scans. And clearly labelled one-click drill-downs make finding and setting up advanced features a breeze.

With email and news traffic, the program scans incoming and outgoing data over the POP3, SMTP, IMAP and NNTP protocols. It monitors HTTP traffic for web-borne threats as well. It doesn't set up a default scheduled scan, however, so you'll need to set one up yourself.

Built-in anti-phishing protection can block scam emails, and a 'proactive defence' module looks for the hidden processes and Registry changes that can signal malware hidden with a rootkit.

If you buy this program, do so online as the download is £4 cheaper than the retail box. If you want the Vista-compatible version, you'll have to download the program in any case. Just be sure to download the right version; it's easy to click the wrong link among the many others on the download page.

You get free phone and email support Monday through Friday during business hours, although the phone number isn't toll-free. The company says that support calls on weekdays after hours and all calls on weekends will be answered by its Moscow office on a 'best effort' basis.

Test results and verdict on the next page >

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