Tag Archives: software

Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2014 Review

Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2014 Review

Kaspersky Anti-Virus is the basic level of computer protection against viruses, spyware and other malware with top of the line protection at affordable prices.

Ease of Use, Performance:  5/5
Look & Feel:  5/5
Features:  4/5
How much I enjoy:  4/5

Recommendation:  4/5 Stars

Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2014

Kaspersky has released another year of security software with the same names and only a year designation to distinguish the yearly changes. Kaspersky Anti-Virus is the basic level of protection against malware like viruses and spyware with Kaspersky offering up top rated protection for your computer.

Anti-Virus 2014 from Kaspersky has anti-virus, spyware and other security features at its core with security its main focus without other features. The security features include the common ones but also rootkit, exploit and screen locker protection from ransom ware attacks.

Installation is fairly straightforward with the system needing an update to ensure you’re using the most up to date security Kaspersky offers. Once installed you should run a full system scan to ensure your computer is clean and this extends to any extra hard drives.

Kaspersky Vulnerability Scan

You can also run a vulnerability scan to see if your system is vulnerable to attacks or threats through the operating system or through other programs. The vulnerability threat could be things like internet explorer not being up to date with current security updates and should be taken care or for full security protection.

Kaspersky has included top rated anti-virus software but you also have a lot of help with scans for threats like the vulnerability scan as well as a privacy cleaner and browser configurator. The Anti-virus software works well for detecting viruses and other malware as well as removing them when they are detected.

I use independent testing for a basis for my review as well as checking the program myself with infected test files from Eicar.com to check the ability of anti-virus software. Detection is the key with Kaspersky Anti-virus seeing the virus files before it allows you to do anything on the webpage.

Kaspersky Internet Explorer Configurator

When turning off Kaspersky Anti-virus and turning on Windows Defender the opposite is true, Windows Defender allows the page to open and files to be downloaded. Kaspersky Anti-virus does not let you even make the mistake of being able to download detected malware by not allowing you access to the page in this instance.

Kaspersky does a great job of detecting and removing malware including trojans and viruses with a top rating from AV-Test.org that tests anti-virus software. Kaspersky Anti-virus for 2014 received a 100 percent for detecting widespread malware while new malware attack detection received a 97 and 98 percent score.

While Kaspersky Anti-virus may not have all the features that other packages from Kaspersky offer it does have the basic protection you need to keep your computer safe and secure. Kaspersky Anti-Virus offers a necessary rescue disc creation tool, privacy cleaner and browser configuration tools while help is always available.

Kaspersky Blocking a Site

If you have problems with installation, virus removal or any other problems with their software email, chat and telephone support is available for questions and answers. I have been using Kaspersky software for years and have not had any major problems with it beyond the automatic fixes that the programs perform.

I have never needed a rescue disc and have never had viruses or malware that did not get fixed automatically by the software even when trying to get infected by visiting suspect sites. You can purchase Kaspersky Anti-virus for individual computers, a 3 PC license for a year and a 3 PC license for a two year period.

I highly recommend Kaspersky Anti-virus 2014 for a basic level of security from malware like virus protection that is top of the line and easy to use.

Anti-virus 2014 @ Kaspersky

Kaspersky 2014 @ Amazon

Kaspersky Anti-virus 2014 @ TopTenReviews

Pros
Top rate Malware Detection and removal
Simple to use basic level of protection
available for 1 or 3 pc’s

Cons
Customer service could be better

Kaspersky Internet Security 2014 Review

Kaspersky Internet Security 2014 Review

Kaspersky continues to produce quality security software that is highly rated at independent IT security companies as well as users for ease of use and performance at detecting and removing malware and general computer security.

Ease of Use, Performance:  4/5
Look & Feel:  5/5
Features:  5/5
How much I enjoy:  5/5

Recommendation:  5/5 Stars

Kaspersky Internet Security 2014

Kaspersky Internet Security 2014 is the latest Kaspersky security software suite that includes antivirus and other malware detection and removal. Kaspersky Internet Security 2014 includes financial protection, firewall, parental controls and other high end features for security of your computer and online activities.

Kaspersky has taken the industry idea of just updating the same general program interface with the same name with year indications added for reference by reviewers when referring to the programs design date. Antivirus and malware companies have started to just update their programs without major changes to the menus and themes.

Just updating the program and changing smaller things makes sense when you consider they have to continually update the program just to keep up with attacks. Kaspersky and other computer security companies need to update their programs on a regular basis just to combat new malware that are coming out almost daily.

Kaspersky Internet Security SafeMoney

Checking my Kaspersky Internet Security 2014 logs I found three or four updates everyday so the program itself and the company behind it are continually working behind the scenes to protect your computer. Kaspersky has a great reputation and the hard work behind the scenes with their virus and malware detection and removal shows in independent testing.

Kaspersky Internet Security for 2014 has a lot of great features and its ease of use is pretty straight forward but there is always help form the company if needed. Kaspersky Internet Security 2014 has a simple user interface and the continued use of the same one means you will be familiar from version to version.

Internet Security and stopping or detecting attacks like viruses, spam mail, spyware and other malware is not easy but Kaspersky has been doing it for years. Kaspersky rates very high at review sites like Top Ten Reviews or as PCMag.com puts it ”a good choice for protection”.

Network Traffic Report

A good choice for protection is not the free programs that come with Windows namely Windows Defender and in my own little test Windows Defender failed. I tried to download known viruses from Eicar.com and Kaspersky did not even let me open the download file or do anything on the site because it detected bad things before I could do anything.

A large red box opens and I can’t do or see anything on the page once Kaspersky’s program sees it is a virus file, even if it is just a text file. Windows Defender allowed me to download and open all four test files at Eicar.com while Kaspersky did not let me do anything with the site.

AV-Test also checked out and tested Windows Defender against 22 other programs and with Windows Defender ranking 23rd or last place for defending a computer against malware. Windows Defender detected malware in their tests 79 percent of the time while 21 other programs detected 85 percent and higher.

Kaspersky Internet Security Detailed Results Report

In this same test Kaspersky caught 100 percent of the bad things AV-Test threw at it which was also copied by two other security software programs. Kaspersky has tested very well in all the reviews and antivirus testing I could find as well as my own tests but I prefer to rely on the experts at independent testing companies for the better results like AV-Test.com.

Installation and making sure the program is up to date is fast and only takes a few minutes, it is important to allow the program, to update after installing. Updates are the most current attacks that have been found so updating the program and allowing it to update automatically is vital to finding new malware.

The first full scan you run may take a while and you should allow the computer to check all drives on your computers and network to ensure full protection. You should also familiarize yourself with program features and Kaspersky makes this easy with help on their site as well as forums for questions.

AV-Test Results

Using the program for main features and at its default settings works very well and even for online gaming I did not have to make any setting changes. One constant feature is approval for installing programs and a few times Kaspersky did ask me for approval to install some programs or drivers.

Most programs such as Adobe and Microsoft software are already listed as safe at Kaspersky so only smaller program companies may receive a warning about potentially insecure software. Other protection like spam filtering works well and I only received a few false positives with wanted mail going to the junk.

Other security features like the firewall block unwanted intrusion with both incoming and outgoing filters while Safe Money features protect your financial transactions. Safe Money helps to secure financial sites and purchases but you should use the virtual keyboard if you want to ensure no one is using a key logger to copy your information.

I found that the Safe Money does secure sites some but even this is not foolproof so you should use a virtual keyboard which fully hides any keystrokes while entering passwords and usernames. Safe Money works well to help secure information but you need to learn how to use it correctly and in possibly unsecure environments like internet cafe’s you need to use all the security features.

Like many other features if you go beyond the default settings you need to find out how things work but if you can’t find those answers help is available using email, chat or phone calls. Kaspersky has plenty of help starting with a virtual chat using knowledge based answers and continued with chat, email and telephone help from live people.

Kaspersky Internet Security 2014 has a lot of features that work well and even if you do have problems the company does stand behind their product with support and help when you need it. I continue to recommend Kaspersky products with Kaspersky Internet Security being a fantastic security suite that has plenty of features needed for computer safety and security.

Internet Security 2014 @ Kaspersky

AV-Test Results for Kaspersky Internet Security 2014

Pros
Top security scores form independent testing
Easy malware removal
Top firewall blocks traffic
Parental control is easy to use
Safe Money works well with added security for finances

Cons
Lots of features may require some homework

Leawo Blu-ray Software Review

Leawo Blu-ray Software Review

The Leawo Blu-ray Software Player is a software solution for playing Blu-ray discs and movies on your computer as well as playing DVD and HD movies but it does lack some features you may want in your player.

Ease of Use, Performance:  3/5
Look & Feel:  5/5
Features:  1/5
How much I enjoy:  1/5

Recommendation:  1/5 Stars

Leawo Blu-ray Software Player

Leawo is a relatively newer company that sells multimedia software like media converters and Blu-ray player software with their headquarters in China. The company has quite a few products including video and Blu-ray tools and converters that are available at quite a few websites like Download.com and of course the Leawo website.

The Leawo Blu-ray Software Player is a solution that makes playing Blu-ray discs simple and offers several advanced features like hardware acceleration and region free disc playing. The main feature of region code removal allows you to play any region because the software automatically removes the region requirement.

Leawo Playback Settings

The Leawo Blu-ray player plays Blu-ray discs and regular DVD’s as well as a wide variety of video and audio formats but does not play 3D formats or 3D movies. The player is easy to use and has several settings including subtitles, audio and video options and connects to a wide variety of hardware including receivers and speaker systems.

The Leawo Blu-ray Software Player is Windows 8 compatible which is obvious when you open it and see large icon buttons for disc drives and files. Installation went well on two systems but I could not get it to work on a third computer for some reason and never could figure out why.

Leawo Video Settings

I have two computers in my office with a wide variety of programs on each and for some reason one of the computers never could play movies without severe playback issues. The player seems to be conflicting with something on that system as the video plays like it is consuming all the CPU or memory and playing in slow motion.

I have been using it successfully on two other computers so conflicts with my one computer will be more a particular software conflict. The player is a rather simple one and does lack a few features that some may be looking for like resume when you stop or shut down the computer and try to return to the movie later.

Leawo Audio Settings

The simple design and how quickly you can get to your movie is one feature that is nice for a good Blu-ray player that works well on two of my computers but price is a major factor. Pricing at the Leawo website states that the price is for a yearly subscription instead of an unlimited time.

At Download.com I could not find a statement about a limited time frame but when I contacted Leawo support they informed me that the Leawo Blu-ray Software Player is only sold as a yearly subscription price. This is costly when compared to other Blu-ray player software such as Cyberlink’s PowerDVD or TotalMedia’s Theatre which are both about $90 but without a time limit.

Leawo Right Click Menu & Image Quality

The Leawo player does not seem to have a resume feature which other more popular players do offer that allows you to continue playing a movie if you stop the movie and return to it later. Another missing feature is internet connectivity that allows a Blu-ray movie to connect to the web to use bonus content or check updates for movies.

The Leawo Blu-ray Software player had no problem playing back new and older Blu-ray movies as well as a couple of the region 2 videos I have without problems and without any bother to me. The Leawo player works well but the pricing may be a bit of an issue as I did find out that the Leawo Blu-ray player costs on a yearly basis.

Even if you pay a reduced price for the software you are going to have to buy it again in a year while other companies offer prices without yearly subscriptions. I just cannot recommend a software solution even when it works well when you can find better software at such lower prices.

Leawo Blu-ray Software Player @ Leawo

Pros
Works well without advanced settings
Removes region code automatically
Touch screen ready
Receiver ready

Cons
Price is for yearly subscription

Lightroom 5 Review

Lightroom 5 Review

Adobe has released the newest version of Lightroom with several new features to Lightroom but the subscription based licensing that Adobe has started using is not part of this release.

Ease of Use, Performance:  4/5
Look & Feel:  5/5
Features: 4/5
How much I enjoy:  5/5

Recommendation:  5/5 Stars

Lightroom 5

Lightroom 5 is Adobe’s answer to a professionals work tool for image organizing and editing in the same program that allows users to organize tens of thousands of images. Lightroom has always been about organizing and about being able to edit images quickly but RAW image editing is also available from simple menu choices.

Adobe may have made a mistake by changing most of their software releases to subscription based products but Lightroom 5 is still a boxed package you don’t have to pay for more than once. Lightroom 5 is seeing a bit more front line recognition as a professional photographer’s resource for editing and organizing your images and continues to gain features that are worthwhile.

Lightroom has always been about image editing and organization using non-destructive editing and batch image organization in an easy to use environment. Lightroom has a very different look and feel to it than Photoshop but for a professional photographer who needs an image editor and an organizer Lightroom has been a popular choice.

Working w/ Organizer

Lightroom 5 brings a few new features with an advanced healing brush, upright straitening tool and radial gradient tool for image editing. New organization tools include smart previews, video slideshows, improved book creation and location based organization for better handling your collections.

The image editing tools help to make Lightroom a better tool for photographers to edit and enhance images that need some touching up but not as much as a dedicated program would. The editing features in Lightroom include almost as much as Photoshop but Lightroom has the image cataloging and collection features going for it.

New features that are noteworthy for collections and organizing are the Smart Previews with others mainly being tweaks and improvements to existing tools. The main improvements in Lightroom 5 over the previous version is a few new tools that have been carried over from Photoshop and now being usable to Lightroom users.

To understand why it takes time to add a tool that already exists in an Adobe product needs a little understanding of the difference between Lightroom and Photoshop. Lightroom is all about work flow while Photoshop is all about image editing without worrying about keeping originals.

In Lightroom you can edit images and organize things how you want but the original images are left unaltered and in the same folders you placed them in. Photoshop alters original images so if you want to save the original you have to make sure you don’t overwrite it when saving your image.

Lightroom 5 Image Editing

This means that every time you use Lightroom on an image it will automatically save the images you edit as a new image instead of destroying the original. Lightroom is built from the ground up to account for retaining the original image when you edit and moving a feature from Photoshop to Lightroom means they also have to build the tool or feature over again.

Features that already exist in Photoshop take some time to create for Lightroom so it is kind of exciting for Lightroom users to see features that already exist for Photoshop users. Every new release for Lightroom usually includes a few features that have already been released for Photoshop with tweaks to existing features included as well.

Lightroom 5 opens to the familiar interface that has collections, folders and publishing services on the left side menu. The right side menu has editing features along with some organizing functions and your metadata and commenting choices for more organizing features.

To work on folders or collections you can move images around by dragging and dropping into new or previous folders or collections but collections work a bit differently than folders in Windows. Collections tag photos no matter where they are so images in separate folders can be grouped together for editing or organizing.

Gradient Filter Lightroom 5

This may sound like an odd way to do things but for photographers who work in both single customer and multiple customer work this can be effective. Keeping images in their original folder but being able to organize them into collections works really well for photographers who work with a lot of images.

A good example would be a photographer who wants to do a bit of advertising and sets aside a dozen images from various clients to use in a print or online advertisement. He can label images he uses for the ads that are located in client folders as a new collection and easily find them using the collections in Lightroom instead of saving copies in a new folder.

Lightroom is all about being able to organize large amounts of images so you can easily find what you need as well as being able to jump into some decent image editing. To edit you can choose between quick editing and a more in depth choice by simply opening the develop selection on the menu bar or you can perform a quick change using presets.

Lightroom 5 does an excellent job of professionally organizing images with the option to edit them with some pretty competent tools without going to the extent that Photoshop offers. I highly recommend Lightroom 5 as a standalone image work flow program that allows organization and editing for images in the same program.

Lightroom 5 @ Adobe

Pros
Quick and easy image organizing and image editing in one program
Non-destructive editing
Easy to use organizing tools
Good set ogimage editing features

Cons
Somewhat steep learning curve

Video Editing with Corel VideoStudio X6 Ultimate

Video Editing with Corel VideoStudio X6

Corel VideoStudio X6 Ultimate is a fantastic video editing software suite that includes some great new features like NewBlue Color Fixer and proDAD Mercalli SE Stabilization for professional videos.

Ease of Use, Performance: 4/5
Look & Feel: 4/5
Features 5/5
How much I enjoy 4/5

Recommendation: 4/5 Stars

Video Editing with Corel ViedoStudio X6
Corel VideoStudio X6 Ultimate is a fully featured video editing software for movie creation using either a fast and quick Movie Wizard or detailed step by step editing where you can change and add effects, titles, chapters and more. Corel has added a few nice features to their latest edition of editing software that helps video creation and adding some finishing touches as well as making things easier to edit.

Working with Titles Corel VideoStudio X6

New features include Motion Tracking where your view will follow a moving object or objects like titles or thought bubbles can follow a moving object while other new features include several effects filters. One handy filter is NewBlue Color Fixer that allows brightness and color adjustments that are easy to adjust and create your own style to each video segment.

proDAD Mercali SE is also a new filter that helps in image stabilization but this filter will vary on your video in how much stabilizing and smoothing to jerky or jittery action when used but I found it worked well to edit out those jerky smaller movements using a biking action video. I tested this filter with a video where I took an action cam on top of a remote control tank then to a bike and then on top of a car and it did a good job of smoothing out the small jerks and bumps but still obviously being action cam footage.

NewBlue Color Fixer Corel VideoStudio X6

Other new features include support for 4X Ultra HD, customizable motion and stop motion, subtitle editor and customizable random transition effects but the NewBlue and proDAD Mercalli filters are a few of the better new features. VideoStudio includes some older but fantastic features in filters and effects while the Movie Wizard is the easy way to automatically create a movie using a set theme.

Corel VideoStudio X6 works fairly well to automatically create chapters and titles but for better control and more of a personal touch editing and making sure your chapters and effects are where you want them the regular editing works great. You have three modes with Capture, Edit and Share as major themes to your interface with each having separate menus and choices for editing for an easier workflow.

Motion Tracking Corel VideoStudio X6

Effects are easy to use and most of the editing features simply open a smaller window or a menu choice to add and alter effects and are added to clips for better control of each effect. You can render the entire movie and change things later like putting the entire video through another filter or effect which will take more time because rendering does take time depending mostly on your computers specifications.

Corel VideoStudio X6 Ultimate is for Windows computers only and the better your processor and graphics processing power as well as memory the faster your video will be rendered but the program does work on computers with processors as low as 2 GHz. I had no problems with video importing and format acceptance by the program for a variety of formats such as those form cheaper camcorders that use an odd video format that is usually compatible with most software.

Stabilization Effect Corel VideoStudio X6

Corel has done an excellent job with keeping features you need like easy to use automatic movie creation for simple home movies like vacation videos as well as professional videos for websites like mine. Corel VideoStudio has enough new features in Corel VideoStudio X6 with just the stabilization and color filters that it would make a good purchase or upgrade from a previous edition and does have plenty of format and device support to make a fully featured video editing software.

The Pro edition of VideoStudio does not include the NewBlue and stabilization filters but still includes plenty of features and lots of filters and effects for home videos and those vacation movies that cost $80. I highly recommend Corel VideoStudio X6 Ultimate for an excellent and easy to use video editing program that costs $100 and includes all the new effects and filters along with the full suite of video editing features.

 

Pros
Large Selection of Tools and Filters
Two New Tools to correct color and clarity of videos
New Effects Work Easily
Easy Video Editing, Create Full Movies Including Chapters & Titles

Cons
No 64 bit support & Windows PC’s Only
Slow Rendering But Not Too Bad

VideoStudio Ultimate X6 @ Corel