Is Kaspersky better than Avast?
While the internet has transformed how we live in countless numbers of ways it has also exposed us to a previously unimaginable number of threats and risks. But whether it’s a virus designed to disrupt, phishing for our personal banking and other details or ransomware that can cost a great deal to remove, all can easily be avoided with the right kind of protection.
There are many kinds of anti-virus and malware protection available today and all have their stronger and weaker points. Here we are going to compare two of the leading brands, Kaspersky and Avast.
The former is one of the highest awards of all internet protection providers and regularly tops the tables in comparative reviews. Avast, for their part, have over 400 million users worldwide and claim to prevent 1 billion cyber attacks a month.
So how do they measure up against each other in five key areas?
Both Kaspersky and Avast offer five different levels of protection each with their own features and properties covering everything from anti-virus protection to general internet security. Here’s a rundown of what each one offers.
The most basic level of protection is a tool called Kaspersky Free. This offers a limited amount of malware protection but, as you’d expect, it does not include any of the advanced features that the paid-for levels include. It is also only available for Windows systems.
Kaspersky Anti Virus
This is the entry-level paid-for product from the company which offers good, basic protection including:
- Safety from all kinds of digital threats.
- A special “vulnerability scanner” that can quickly identify areas of weakness in a system that can be exploited by scammers and hackers.
- A “silent mode” tool that means users can sit back and enjoy games or movies without any intrusions or distractions to get in the way.
- A comprehensive range of up-to-the-minute ransomware protection that can offer protection against most threats.
Kaspersky Internet Security
The next level of security provides the protection and features of Anti Virus plus all of the following features. Unlike the former that is only compatible with Windows, Kaspersky Internet Security also works with Apple products and Android smartphones.
- A two-way firewall.
- A hardened browser that protects your personal details with an extra layer of security when you are shopping or carrying out any other financial transactions online.
- An email filter that will detect and remove spam and other unwanted communications.
- Webcam protection to prevent yours from being operated remotely.
- Access to a Virtual Private Network to help protect your identity when online and to allow you to access certain websites that might not be available through your normal browser.
Kaspersky Total Security
The penultimate product in the range is the comprehensive Kaspersky Total Security suite of protection. It incorporates all of the features already mentioned with some very useful additions too:
- A full password manager that provides a safe and secure way to store and remember all of your passwords.
- A virtual “file shredder” that can erase and destroy all kinds of files while ensuring that they can never be recovered.
- A file encryption utility that can be used to secure any data that is particularly sensitive and which you do not want to fall into the wrong hands.
- Parental control features that will allow users to monitor how other members of the family are using the internet and to block off inappropriate content, making surfing safe and providing real peace of mind for parents and carers.
Kaspersky Security Cloud
This is the highest level of protection offered by Kaspersky and comes with invaluable extra features including the ability to tailor its services according to individual users’ preferences and usage habits. It also includes special monitoring to alert users if any online account data has been leaked or if unknown apps have tried to connect to your webcam or microphone.
Like Kaspersky, Avast has a free product that offers reasonable, if basic, protection. But it’s only through using one of the more sophisticated versions that you can start to have real peace of mind that you and your personal details will be safe.
Avast Internet Security
The cheapest level of the paid-for options comes with a great range of features that offer suitable protection. These include:
- A two-way firewall which is always on guard to give protection from malware.
- A very effective email filter that can stop all forms of spam as well as malicious emails from getting through to your inbox, even ones that your browser has failed to detect with its own filter.
- A very useful setting called “sandbox mode” that provides a secure environment that lets you open files and apps that look like they may be suspicious but may be perfectly innocent.
- The “real site” feature that is capable of preventing false DNS routing in which you can be directed to imitation websites with malicious intent.
The next level offers even more enhanced protection with the addition of:
- The anti-spying tool that can identify whether outsiders are trying to take control of your webcam and prevent them from doing it.
- A shredding tool to ensure that sensitive files of any kind can be completely destroyed and made 100% unrecoverable.
- A utility that searches for all relevant software updates and installs them safely on your system.
As the title suggests, this is the highest product in the range and one which incorporates some very useful extra features that include:
- A VPN which protects your anonymity and hides your location when browsing and which can also allow you to visit sites not normally permitted in your region.
- A special clean-up tool that can erase junk files and generally improve the performance of your computer.
Avast Security for Macs
It’s also worth mentioning that Avast offers specific protection for Mac users. There are two versions, free and paid. As with all free versions, the former offers protection against most, but not all, attacks. By paying for the superior version you will enjoy a number of other features which include:
- Complete protection from ransomware attacks
- A vulnerability scanner to pinpoint and close up weaknesses that might otherwise be exploited.
- A Wi-Fi intruder alert which will give a warning of any attempted attacks on your system.
While both Kaspersky and Avast offer a wide range of options and many features within those options, overall it’s the former that probably has the edge. Having said this, the fact that Avast has a product designed specifically for Mac users means that they are probably the better choice for Apple devotees. But so far we’ve only looked at the features – when we’ve run through all the other areas to be examined we’ll be able to give a more measured and comprehensive conclusion as to who wins when it’s Kaspersky vs Avast in the battle for internet security.
Blocking or eliminating malware is arguably the main purpose of installing this kind of software these days and there have been many tests carried out on both Kaspersky and Avast systems to see how well they perform.
In most of the tests reported, Kaspersky has achieved near-perfect scores. Some reviewers have even commented that running the tests in experimental conditions has been difficult as the program shuts down test threats as soon as they’re identified. Even in the “quick scan” setting, it has been found to succeed where others have failed without the false positives that also often arise.
Avast has been found to be similarly effective at not just quarantining dangerous malware but also preventing it from getting onto a system in the first place. If any does slip through the net then the automatic scan will pick it up and neutralize it within a day. If it detects an unknown file of a type not seen before it will even isolate it and forward it for examination and analysis at their corporate headquarters.
The two are pretty evenly matched when it comes to malware with each demonstrating particular strong points, so it’s a draw.
The way that the performance of any anti-virus software is judged is by seeing how much of a negative effect it has on a computer’s speed. There have been a number of tests carried out to see how both systems perform and when it came down to Kaspersky v Avast in an experiment run by AV-Test in June 2019 there were very similar results in all areas with only minimal performance disruption.
Although both achieved a 6.0/6.0 score, Kaspersky did marginally better in certain elements of the tests so it just wins in this regard.
It’s all very well having first-rate protection but you also want to be confident that your chosen program is easy to use, So how do they each fare in this department?
The open-frame interface features light, clear colors and there’s an easy-to-see dashboard displaying all of the main controls that you’ll want to use. Even the functions that aren’t right there on the screen are available within a couple of clicks creating an intuitive and simple experience.
The status of the computer is clear to see with a big green tick on the banner indicating that everything is safe. This changes to a red cross if any issues are detected. There’s also scope to personalize and customize the display to suit your preferences.
It will also keep you fully informed about your subscription status that is shown at the bottom of the screen. What’s more, as maintaining constant protection is vital, there are also alerts when your renewal date is approaching.
It’s generally agreed that Avast has made it very easy even for those with relatively limited computer skills to use thanks to the large and logically-organized buttons on screen. The control panel is equally well laid out with a left-hand bar containing a comprehensive menu.
One thing to note is that by choosing the freeware version of the software you will be bombarded by pop-ups and ads – another very good reason to opt for one of the paid-for versions instead.
Once again, there’s very little to choose from when it’s a case of Kaspersky v Avast so it really will just come down to a case of personal preference.
Although you really can’t put a price on staying safe online, you want to get the protection you need at the minimum possible cost. Obviously, you do get what you pay for so the more expensive options will provide more features so it’s a question of striking that balance between getting the product features you want at a price that you’re happy to pay.
|Product||No. of Licence||Annual Cost|
|Kaspersky Anti Virus||3 PC only||$29.99|
|Kaspersky Internet Security||3 PC, Mac or smartphone||$39.99|
|Kaspersky Total Security||3 PC, Mac or smartphone||$49.99|
|Kaspersky Security Cloud|
|Product||No. of Licence||Annual Cost|
|Avast Internet Security||1||$59.99|
|Avast Security for Mac|
This is one area in which Kaspersky clearly comes out on top. Even its highest level of protection costs less than Avast’s cheapest. And with the former’s entry-level product costing under $30 a year, there really is no contest.
While the two companies are very close in a number of areas there are some in which Kaspersky clearly excels. These include the price as well as the number of licenses that come with all of the subscription levels.
Their highest level, Security Cloud, is also greatly superior to Avast’s Ultimate.
However, in a number of customer satisfaction reviews, Avast has come out considerably ahead. On the Better Business Bureau website, it has achieved an A+ rating compared with the F received by Kaspersky.
Nevertheless, on all the categories examined here, Kaspersky has emerged as the better of the two with Avast coming a very creditable second.