Kaspersky vs Avast

Kaspersky vs Avast - Which one is Better?

Written by Yasir Saaed Updated on Semptember 14, 2021

There is no dearth of antiviruses in the market. In this detailed comparison review, we will be pitting two of the top contenders in the antivirus market against each other, i.e. Avast and Kaspersky, and determine which one comes out as the winner.

The comparison between both is a tricky one considering that both programs came under hot fire. Avast was caught selling user data, whereas some cybersecurity experts are skeptical about the links between the Russian government and Kaspersky.

Avast has since then shut down its data-collection company, whereas Kasperksy launched a Global Transparency Initiative. Avast actually followed illegal practices of data collection, with substantial evidence, whereas no evidence was found against Kaspersky.

In comparison, it all makes sense to stack up one product to the other of the same type. Hence, we tested Kaspersky Total Security against Avast Premium. This is because one of the criterias we use is how well the VPN services perform.

Software
Features
  • Threat detection from sophisticated malware
  • Encrypted online browsing and transactions
  • Encrypted online browsing and transactions
  • Recovering damaged files
  • Real-time malware protection
  • Advanced security features
  • Cross-platform compatibility
  • Value for money

Overall Comparison

 Kaspersky Pros

Avast Pros

  • Comes with parental controls, Avast does not.
  • Provides on-screen live support assistance; on the flip side, Avast takes time to reach out.
  • Like Avast, Kaspersky also works in gamer mode.
  • Following the footsteps of Avast, Kaspersky offers ticket support assistance.
  • Ideal choice for corporations
  • Unlike Kaspersky, Avast can manage smartphone optimization.
  • Both Avast and Kaspersky schedule scans for analyzing the current security level.
  • Phishing is a widespread threat; Avast like Kaspersky neutralizes this menace aptly.
  • Avast fares well on the usability scale.

Kaspersky Cons

Avast Cons

  • Offers protection for up to 5 devices whereas Avast goes for up to 10 devices ($51.99 vs. $79.99 for the first year only)
  • Both Kaspersky and Avast are deprived of the Device Tune-up feature.
  • Kaspersky does not respond to emails shouting SOS.
  • The technical assistance is faster than Avast
  • Kaspersky takes a toll on the performance efficiency of feeble systems.
  • Both Avast and Kaspersky do not protect the Chat/IM protection.
  • Only supports the iOS and Android version for its Avast Premium Security and not for Ultimate.
  • Parental Controls are non-existing here
  • Avast does not provide live-support solutions.
  • Avast is pricey - an open secret. 

Both products have nicer feature sets and are competent enough to thwart cyberattacks in the very first place. The pricing is also market competitive. Nevertheless, Kaspersky is the overall winner based on a number of factors such as VPN, File Shredding, Encrypted Storage, 30-day free trial, Data Shredder and amazing customer support.

Overall winner: Kaspersky

Key Features

It’s time to break down the bigger prospect into little aspects. 

The following table highlights key features of both products and stacks them against each other.

Avast
Ultimate Security

Kaspersky
Total Security

Pricing

$69.99$66.84

Virus Scanner

YESYES

Anti Spyware

YESYES

Threat Protection

YESYES

Malware Removal

YESYES

Phishing Detection

YESYES

Spyware Protection

YESYES

Ransomware Protection

YESYES

Cloud Backup

NOYES

Firewall

YESYES

VPN

YESYES

Browser Protection

YESYES

Webcam Protection

YESYES

Password Manager

YESYES

Identity Theft Protection

NONO

Parental Control

NOYES

Safe Banking

YESYES

Encrypted Storage

YESYES

File Backup

YESNO

Performance Optimization

NONO

Cleaning Tools

YES

YES

File Shredder

YES

NO

Game Mode

YES

YES

Mobile App

YES

YES

Key Features Compared

Cloud Backup

Cloud Backup is an important feature that keeps the data secure, lessens downtime, and provides you access to vital information anytime, anywhere. The copies are stored in the clouds to keep the customer on cloud nine.

Amazingly, Kaspersky envelops this feature and gives an extra boost to the security of your data.

Kaspersky Total Security

VPN

Customers use the VPN (Virtual Private Network) to increase data privacy whilst browsing. Kaspersky provides a bundled VPN with a 300 MB daily bandwidth limit in their 30-day trial version, whereas Avast provides a 7-day free trial of its Secureline VPN services with no data limitations.

Avast Secureline VPN

Avast provides a free 7-day trial with no data limitations

Kaspersky VPN

Kaspersky has a daily 200 MB cap in its free version.

Read More: Best antivirus providers with VPN

Safe Banking

If you are making transactions online, chances are someone might be prying on your activities. With this feature enabled, your connection and data transfer to and from the banking website is encrypted.

Kaspersky and Avast in their premium suites have this feature. It is important that personal financial information such as credit cards, and bank account username/passwords do not get compromised.

Kaspersky Safe Money

Kasperksy’s Safe Money option allows you to add safe websites and encrypt your transactions.

Avast Safe Money

Source: Avast Blog

Avast also has a safe banking mode, but you need both Avast Antivirus and Avast Secure Browser to enable Safe Bank mode. Kaspersky takes a lead in safe banking because this feature already comes in their Total Security version.

File Shredder

File shredder allows users to permanently delete all data removing any traces of recovery. The process intelligently occupies the deleted file space by deploying the ones and zeros instead of original data. Although less in number, this feature is a key requirement of the important segment.

Avast File Shredder

Avast does not provide any algorithm, making it simple for a non-techy to permanently delete all data.

Both programs provide data shredding options. However, Kaspersky didn’t provide this feature in its Internet Security package, but it is included in Total Security.

Kaspersky File Shredder

Kaspersky’s Data Shredder provides you with a number of different algorithms to choose from when shredding files.

Password Manager

Avast does not have a dedicated password manager to store all your passwords. However, it does have a feature that constantly scans all saved passwords across different browsers to ensure no malicious app has access to it.

Avast password protection

Avast password protection feature

Kaspersky, on the other hand, has a password manager, which acts as a safe vault for storing all your passwords. But it comes as a standalone application, in the Total Security Package.

Kaspersky password manager

Malware Protection Capabilities

To bring in the limelight the inside-out of malware protection, we ran some tests to find authentic data to quote. This includes data from independent sources such as AV-Test, as well as our own findings.

EICAR-based Testing:

The very first test was about the malware dangers in real-time.. Furthermore, we got the sample malware-infesting files from EICAR (The European Institute for Computer Antivirus Research). The following comparison table shows the EICAR results:

Anti VirusEICAR Sample AEICAR Sample BEICAR Sample CEICAR Sample DLive Sample (Adware)Live Sample (Trojan)
AvastAllowedAllowedAllowedAllowedAllowedBlocked
KasperskyBlockedBlockedBlockedBlockedBlocked

Detected

Kaspersky single-handedly identified and neutralized all EICAR samples by blocking them forthwith. It immediately deleted the malware right after zipping or unlocking. On the flip side, Avast was unsuspected on HTTPS mode, and the malware penetrated the system. Avast blocked all three in HTTP and live mode. 

Sneaking into Database

To corroborate the existing data points, we took the latest available record from two trending websites in this genre; AV-Comparatives and AV-Test. Both websites have anti-virus testing labs.

AV-Test 

For the May/June – 2021 results, AV-Test analyzed 21,262 samples for Avast; the industry average of protection is 98.9%, following the 100% result of thwarting the widespread malware. For June’s protection against 0-day vulnerabilities, Avast scored 99.3%, better than the industry average.

Avast’s Protection statistics

Avast’s Protection statistics

Kaspersky scored 100% in all tests, taking the crown from Avast in providing ultimate protection,

Kaspersky’s Protection stats.

Kaspersky’s Protection stats.

link to counter-check and verify the statistics

AV-Comparatives False Positives

We also looked into the archives of AV-Comparatives. AV-Comparatives run a false alarm test which counter-checks how precisely an app or file is declared as a threat or safe. The results show that Avast succumbed to 20 false alarms as compared to 0 for Kaspersky.

The test results were from February till May 2021.

These independent tests declare that Kaspersky fares better than the Avast if we go by the archives of independent labs.

False AV-Comparatives Test Results

Link for results

Best for malware protection: Kaspersky

System Performance

Performance is the key. Efficient software cannot make a good impact and is of zero value if it slows down the system's performance. Hence, both Kaspersky and Avast are individually tested on the merits of system performance.

The results are as follows:

Performance on PC

A viable antivirus not only saves the computer from cyber threats, but it uses the minimum resources to prevent the system from coming to a halt. According to the AV-Test evaluation, Kaspersky and Avast both scored a perfect 6.0 in system performance. However, Kaspersky scored 100% in June 2021 results where Avast lagged behind at just 99.3%.

Kaspersky June 2021 Performance Update

Kaspersky June 2021 Performance Update

Avast June 2021 Performance Updates

Avast June 2021 Performance Updates

System Utilization

When it comes to performance, how much RAM and CPU consumed during scanning is also another important metric to decide which antivirus performs the best.
Based on our own independent tests, Kaspersky consumed only 88.5 MB RAM whilst running a quick scan as well as 12.2% of CPU power.

Kaspersky June 2021 CPU and RAM Utilization Update

Kaspersky June 2021 CPU and RAM Utilization Update

In our independent tests of memory and CPU utilization, Avast consumed 114.1 MB, higher than Kaspersky’s 88.5 MB, but the CPU utilization rate was nearly half at 6.8%

Avast Antivirus 2021 Performance Statistics

Avast Antivirus 2021 Performance Statistics

Avast consumed more memory but 50% less RAM as compared to Kaspersky. Honestly, we didn’t experience any system lags when quick scan was running for both programs. However, we believe that Avast excelled here as it was more lightweight than Kaspersky.

AV Ranking

Source: AV-Comparatives.org

Both Avast and Kaspersky scored an Advanced+ 3 star rating with the likes of AVG, Avira, Bitdefender, and McAfee. This shows that these products have the lowest false alarms i.e. false positive detection rate.

Scanning

We performed a quick scan and full deep scan using both programs on two different systems. The quick scans were approximately the same within a 2 to 3 minutes time range, detecting zero false positives.

Kaspersky Scanning

Avast Scanning

Avast Antivirus - Quick Scan Results. Time to scan approximately 2 minutes.

But it is a deep scan where both competitors shine out with their true malware and virus detection capabilities.

Kaspersky took 37 minutes to scan our system with a single 120 GB SSD only, and here are the results. It detected 3 infections with a total of 11 events.

Kaspersky Scanning

We did a deep scan on another system with a 256 GB SSD and a 1 TB HDD all full to the brim and it took us around 1 hour and 15 minutes to complete the scan during which Avast detected 51 malware threats:

Avast Scanning

Kaspersky Free vs Avast Free

Kaspersky Security Cloud offers full-scale protection without any charges. However, the free version does not offer tech support and has limited features for iOS. It is only free for private but not commercial use. The Free Kaspersky version automatically updates database signatures in the background. 

Avast Free

Source: Avast Free Antivirus

On the flip side, Avast's free version garners excellent scores from the independent labs. But all the lunches are not free, the boot-time is a bit slower. Avast offers excellent protection for its free version.

Kaspersky Free

Free versions of both antiviruses only offer protection against viruses and do not have advanced security options such as a password manager, privacy control, parental control, and protection for multiple devices.

If you’re just starting out, remember that the free versions should provide an adequate level of protection. But if you are looking for advanced security options, such as protection for multiple devices and parental control, it is always a wise idea to upgrade to the paid versions.

Pricing (For 1st year only)

Kaspersky Security CloudKaspersky Antivirus (5 PCs)Kaspersky Internet Security (5 devices)Kaspersky Security Cloud PersonalKaspersky Total Security (5 Devices)
Free$45.99 / annum$55.49 / annum$89.99 / annum$66.84 / annum
Avast Free Antivirus
Avast Premium Security - (10 Devices)
Avast Premium Security 1 MACAvast Ultimate Security (10 Devices)
Free$44.99 / annum$39.99 / annum$79.99 / annum
Kaspersky vs Avast for system performance: Avast

As the table is self-explanatory, both Kaspersky and Avast offer their versions of free protection. The basic versions entice the customers to sign up and purchase advanced versions for ultimate protection. The pricing hierarchy is simple. One important point to know is that Avast provides collective protection for up to ten devices while Kaspersky protects up to five.

Both Avast and Kaspersky offer a 30-day money-back guarantee along with discounts on first-year purchase.

Avast has a clear pricing plan with protection for up to 10 devices (including ios, mac, pc and android). However Kaspersky has pricing plans with different devices as well as PC protection. This is a bit complicated to understand.

Ease Of Use and User Friendliness

Being simple and having an intuitive user interface is the forte of an excellent antivirus. Let's first look at Kaspersky's interface.

The open-frame interface is laden with light colors, while the parental controls and scan options are prominently displayed. All the options are accessible with a few clicks. The green checkmark shows that the computer is safe, and in case of any anomaly it turns red.

More Tools Option

This is the main dashboard when Kaskersky starts. To access more options, click on More Tools.

More Options

Here, you will see further options neatly categorized for each tab. There are even PC Cleaning and Optimization tools.

Let's compare the Avast interface.

Dark background and white font colors really stand out, alongside the Orange logo color and the green button colors. The large and well-organized buttons can be leveraged by a person having basic computer skills. The left side rail houses all the operations into the extensive menu. 

Avast interface

Most user-friendly provider: Avast  

Customer Support

Avast customer support extends assistance through chats and emails via paid phone calls for remote assistance. The listed FAQ does not require a user to contact the chat.

On the flip side, Kaspersky technicians are all set to serve the subscribers between 7 am to 1 am, seven days a week. The customers get quick responses by email or phone calls.Moreover, the FAQs, videos, and other resources are also extremely helpful.

Kaspersky Customer Support

Kaspersky does not charge extra for support calls, which is something that Avast is doing even with the paid versions of their products. We did not find this a lucrative offer. Pricing starts from $79 per call to get help from an Avast technician and use remote assistance for problem-solving.

Fixing Pricing Plans

Best customer support: Kaspersky

Conclusion

After a thorough review and tests, Kaspersky comes out to be the ultimate winner with strong protection rates for malware (EICAR) tests, and better performance than its competitor, Avast. You also need not to worry about using a russian product for cybersecurity needs as all claims against Kaspersky are baseless.