mp
Arrow

Kaspersky Antivirus Review

Author image
Mark Jenkins

Table of contents

    Kaspersky

    Our Verdict

    As one of the oldest security suites in the market, Kaspersky features the best core antivirus engines despite recent add-ons being somewhat underwhelming when compared to some of its competitors. Adding to its world-famous credentials is the fact that it perfectly blocks the latest viruses, spyware, ransomware, etc. and stops crypto-mining malware from draining your computer’s performance.

    One of the stand-out features of Kaspersky is its ease of use. It is lightweight and doesn’t drastically impact system performance and when considering the price tag and accompanying features, the tool definitely makes it to our preferred list.

    Pros:

    • Accurate malware detection and protection
    • Lightweight and consumes minimal RAM
    • Allows recovering files damaged by malware
    • Minimalist and easy-to-use interface
    • Extremely fast and detailed scans
    • Good Password Manager and data-backup tools
    • Browser extensions for Chrome, IE, Firefox, and Edge

    Cons:

    • Add-ons do not add much value
    • Limited VPN capabilities even on top-notch plans
    • Slightly expensive considering the features
    • Possible privacy issues

    See It at Kaspersky

    Kaspersky Antivirus Overview

    Kaspersky is an essential antivirus that protects your devices from malware and other threats. Despite its prominent name and reputation, They could improve its solution further by adding a more robust set of add-on features. Avira Antivirus Pro ($45.00 at Avira), for instance, offers more security-enhancing features and tools in its suite than Kaspersky’s highest plan.

    Other than the free package, Kaspersky does a pretty good job of stopping malware in all of its paid plans. The real-time protection is great, and it offers powerful ransomware protection.

    Overall, if you are seeking a reputable antivirus with a strong track record, It represents a great choice and uses multiple layers to protect your devices – a core antivirus engine, a System Watcher, and separate layers to protect your online activities.

    How to Setup and Install Kaspersky

    Kaspersky has always kept the installation process easy. Just a few clicks and your antivirus is up and running. Here’s how you install Kaspersky:

    1. Visit the Kaspersky official website to download the installer. Check if your system meets the requirements (1GB RAM for 32-bit systems, 2GB RAM for 64-bit devices, and 1500MB of storage space).
    2. The setup wizard will search and download the latest version of the antivirus. Alternatively, you can click Skip to Install the current version.
    3. Next, view the agreement, and accept the EULA.
    4. Tweak the settings according to your preferences (we recommend keeping it as it is).
    5. Click Done and Kaspersky will be installed within your system.

    When it comes to uninstalling Kaspersky from your system, do the following:

    1. Open Control Panel > Programs.
    2. Select Kaspersky and hit Uninstall.
    3. Restart the device, if needed.

    Features

    Kaspersky gives you everything you need in a premium security suite. You receive accurate malware protection, a good firewall, extensive parental control, online security, data backup, password manager, file encryption, and more. However, the price may seem a bit higher side when you compare it with the premium features of 360 Total Security ($12.99 at 360 Total Security).

    General

    Money-back GuaranteeFull refund, within 14 days of purchase.
    Free VersionYes 30-day trial
    PlatformWindows, MacOS, Android, iOS
    Parental ControlsYes
    Email ProtectionYes
    ChatNo
    VPN ServiceYes
    Smartphone OptimizerNo
    USB Virus ScansYes
    Automated Virus ScansYes
    Game ModeYes
    Safe BrowserYes
    Passive ModeNo

    Threat Protection

    Anti-SpywareYes
    Anti-WormYes
    Anti-TrojanYes
    Anti-RootkitNo
    Anti-PhishingYes
    Anti-SpamYes
    Adware PreventionYes

    Scanning

    Although Avast ($79.99 at Avast) does have some exciting features, those provided by Kaspersky are more robust and, thanks in particular to the quick scan and lower pricing, it has the upper hand in this area. On the other hand, Kaspersky’s Clean & Optimize feature isn’t of much help and can’t compare to the standards of Avira Prime ($9.99 at Avira).

    The Scan module is an ordinary interface with a sidebar that lists the scan types and other features and it packs a serious punch. Every scan detail is neatly displayed for you to review and compare. It works well when running multiple scans simultaneously, and is 30% quicker in completing a full scan than Bitdefender and Avira. The scanning is highly accurate, and it is able to detect and stop all possible threats.

    Pricing

    PlanPriceNumber of DevicesTop Features
    Kaspersky Antivirus$29.99 per year3 [PC only]Protection against virus, ransomware, easy to set-up, and customizable
    Kaspersky Internet Security$39.99 per year3Cross-platform security, Safe browsing, and webcam protection
    Kaspersky Total Security$49.99 per year5Encrypted transactions, virtual keyboard, file backup and restore, and parental controls

    Discounts

    Kaspersky has three core plans and an additional Security Cloud plan. 

    Flat 50% discounts on all three plans and 40% off the Cloud Security plans.

    Antivirus -  for $29.99/year, instead of $59.99/year for 3 PCs.

    Internet Security - for $39.99/year 3 devices, instead of $79.99/year

    Total Security $99.99/year for 5 devices, and as a first-time user, it is for $49.99/year.

    See It at Kaspersky

    Privacy and Security

    Privacy – Kaspersky offers privacy protection that you can really rely upon. All plans offer a VPN that secures and encrypts your online browsing. It also allows you to encrypt your data on open networks and public Wi-Fi. You can even hide your IP address from your ISP using Kaspersky Total Security and deploy Webcam protection to prevent unwanted users from accessing your device’s camera.

    The multi-layered network and advanced firewall ensure that your online activity isn’t being tracked. The only drawback is that the VPN doesn’t allow you to choose a location and there is just 200MB traffic allocated, similar to Bitdefender and Avira. Norton Antivirus Plus ($59.99 at Norton) wins the VPN-feature race as it allows unlimited access and loads of other features.

    Security – With Kaspersky Total Security, your online activities are kept highly secure. The virtual keyboard makes sure that you don’t fall prey to keylogging software and real-time system scans capably detect and quarantine all possible threats. The AI-based algorithm is constantly monitoring suspicious behavior in the background without impacting the system performance.

    Kaspersky offers a hardened browser and extensions for all major browsers that stop phishing. You can secure your passwords and files in vaults and even back them up. All online payments are processed through encrypted browsers and, to top it all, you can monitor all your devices using cloud-based technology.

    Performance and Protection

    Kaspersky’s antivirus defense engine is designed to detect and neutralize all forms of malware. It has real-time monitoring that ensures automatic exploit prevention and offers an array of tools meant to provide multi-layered protection from adware, ransomware, keylogger, etc. All of these features work unanimously to provide effective protection, but they don’t leave too big an impact on system performance. In the June 2019 Performance Test by AV-Test, Kaspersky received a 6 out of 6 in this area.

    Malware Protection

    Kaspersky has always been a top contender when it comes to exceptional malware protection. It demonstrated outstanding malware defense capabilities in the June 2019 AV-Test Security Test by securing a perfect 6 out of 6 score. Kaspersky also nailed the ADVANCED+ rating in the AV-Comparatives June 2019 real-world protection test. AV-Comparatives ran another anti-phishing certification test where Kaspersky and Avast ($69.99 at Avast) were ranked at 3rd after blocking 94% of attacks, while Trend Micro blocked 97%, and Bitdefender topped the charts by blocking 98% of the attempts.

    Ransomware Detection

    Though Kaspersky blocked 100% attempts in AV-Test’s June 2019 Windows Home User tests, we were unsure if it would be equally effective. To our surprise, it was able to detect and remove our test threat. In any case, if new ransomware slips past (which is rare), the intelligent AI keeps monitoring device files for suspicious changes and behaviors. The database of potential threats is regularly updated, and Kaspersky is readily able to detect new threats and quarantine them immediately.

    Phishing Detection

    To safeguard you from online attacks, Kaspersky provides some of the best internet security features. A hardened browser, encrypted payments, and browser extensions help ensure that you’re not being tracked online. The real-time scan auto-adds malicious codes and URLs. Multiple tests have clearly pointed out that Kaspersky is at the top of the table when it comes to stopping threats. It sends major definition-updates to 400+ million users several times every day.

    Spyware Protection

    Kaspersky has a detailed manual scan as well as a real-time feature that detects spyware and neutralizes it right away. The list of spyware is updated several times a day to ensure that it stays up to date with the latest threats. The power detection engine blocks crypto lockers and crypto mining scripts, thus, letting your device perform optimally. It ensures protection across all platforms so all of your data is safe.

    Firewall Protection

    Kaspersky Total Security features the two-way firewall that ensures maximum security on private as well as public networks. You can monitor all network connections using the firewall. The VPN is a sweet add-on to browse without letting your IP being tracked. Kaspersky’s firewall protection protects online transactions with bank-grade security, blocks unauthorized Webcam access, and encrypts every bit of data you send and receive online.

    Lab Test Results

    In 2018, Kaspersky’s products underwent 88 independent tests and reviews, wherein they achieved 73 first positions and 77 top-three ranks. 2019 also had Kaspersky giving other brands a run for their money. It scored high ratings in most of the tests conducted by AV-Comparatives, Virus Bulletin, and ICSA Labs.

    Specialized tests, dedicated tests, real-world threats, false positives test, static collection tests – Kaspersky has been nailing most of these tests with near-perfect scores. Receiving a perfect 6/6 rating from AV-Test in the Protection category. During the evaluations on 196 samples of Zero-Day malware and 5,485 samples of other malware, Kaspersky and Norton 360 Standard ($7.99 per month at Norton) were the only two brands that were able to catch 100% of the malware. The result didn’t return any false positives, which also earned it 6/6 under the Usability category, whereas Norton returned 10 false positives.

    AV-Comparatives Malware Protection Test awarded Kaspersky the ADVANCED+ title owing to the near-perfect score of 99.98%. Under Performance Test, The tool was again awarded the ADVANCED+ title because of its impressive system impact score of 7.2, while Norton had a slightly worse score of 16.1.
    Overall, Kaspersky has earned some well-deserved awards. It doesn’t occupy much of the system’s RAM, is fast and easy to use – thus, we definitely recommend it.

    Ease of Use and Interface

    Kaspersky has always been inclined to offer a neat and crisp user interface and it is no different from Total Security. A perfect visual blend of white, green, and grey colors – they sure know how to design a clean dashboard.

    The Home window (also the default screen) has links to six modules – Scan, Database Update, Safe Money, Privacy Protection, Parental Control, and Protection for All Devices. You can click on each module to view their relevant features.

    The top bar shows a green bar that means your computer is protected in real-time. If any anomaly is detected, it turns red. The bottom bar consists of links to other products, settings, customer support, latest news, and more. Each module and feature is neatly organized with icons, thus making it easier for anyone to access and get used to the dashboard.

    Of course, if you’re on a lower-tier plan, you will see a few greyed out options. Kaspersky could have hidden those, but greying them out seems to be a soft-sell of the features you’re missing out on. Our verdict: Kaspersky features among the most intuitive and user-friendly interfaces.

    Customer Support

    Any good service provider is known for its prompt customer service, but Kaspersky received an F rating from The Better Business Review, which implies customers aren’t much satisfied with their service. If you check at Consumer Affairs, you’ll find Kaspersky has an average rating of 2.5 stars, while AVG has a 3-star rating.

    Nonetheless, Kaspersky has an excellent DIY Resource center. Only premium users have access to customer support. You can find a lot of information on the official website and related forums. Kaspersky’s online knowledgebase is broken down by product type, then by the operating system. It surely takes some effort, but these detailed resources are all you need to fix any problem when you’re on the free/trial plan.

    When it comes to contacting customer service, email is the only option, meaning Kaspersky is missing out on much-needed Live Chat and email support features which you might find especially valuable when encountering any problems.