Kaspersky Antivirus Review: Basic, Reliable Antivirus Coverage

Kaspersky’s Internet Security and Total Security Packages offer comprehensive antivirus solutions like webcam and password protection, file encryption, and more. It’s a good fit if you’re looking for a reliable name in the antivirus business.

Kaspersky
Our rating:
3.8 out of 5.0
3.8 out of 5 stars3.8

    Overview

    Kaspersky offers effective malware solutions with each of its antivirus suites. At its lower tiers, you’ll get basic but reliable coverage; at its highest tiers, you’ll get comprehensive coverage that’s comparable to the competition.

    Read on to see how Kaspersky’s antivirus plans compare and how the brand shapes up to other brands.


    Compare Kaspersky security suites

    **Promotional pricing for first year.

    Kaspersky pros and cons

    Pros
    • Pro BulletEasy use and installation
    • Pro BulletAffordable pricing
    • Pro BulletLimited VPN access included with all subscriptions
    Cons
    • Con BulletNo protection for iOS devices
    • Con BulletPrivacy concerns

    Kaspersky Free review

    If you’re looking to protect your Windows computer but you have a tight budget to stick to, consider Kaspersky Free. It helps protect your PC from viruses and other malware, blocks dangerous files and apps, and warns you about potentially malicious websites that make your information vulnerable.

    Standout features

    While you won’t be getting a ton of extra features with Kaspersky Free, you’ll still have a solid base when it comes to fighting malware and securing your online identity. Case in point: you’ll get access to System Watcher, Kaspersky’s behavior-based tech that detects malware (like zero-day exploits) and sends you alerts when you come across dangerous websites.

    All of Kaspersky’s suites—including its no-cost one—grant you limited access to Kaspersky’s virtual private network (VPN). But you’ll only be able to use up to 300 MB of bandwidth per device per day, which will let you check a few emails and do a bit of web browsing, but that’s about it.

    Compared to other no-cost brands like Avast Free Antivirus, Kaspersky’s free version is more minimalist. Whereas Kaspersky offers basic, real-time malware protection without any extras, Avast Free is chock full of them—including a Wi-Fi inspector that automatically detects vulnerabilities in your Wi-Fi network and a feature called CyberCapture that automatically sends suspicious files to the cloud for analysis. Ultimately, it comes down to preference: do you want a no-fuss antivirus program, or do you prefer more bells and whistles?

    ASecureLife’s recommendation: Kaspersky makes a solid no-cost antivirus solution. If you’re looking for an antivirus solution that covers the basics—and just that—and doesn’t break the bank, look no further.

    >>A no-cost antivirus solution. Get Kaspersky Free.


    Kaspersky Anti-Virus review

    Kaspersky Anti-Virus adds essential antivirus tools to keep PCs protected. Like Kaspersky’s free plan, Anti-Virus defends your computer against ransomware and other baddies—but it also automatically scans your PC, email, and instant messages for online threats. Plus, you’ll get plenty of customer support via phone or online chat, an option not available in Kaspersky’s free version.

    Standout features

    Kaspersky Anti-Virus has everything Kaspersky free has, with some added bonuses. You’ll get comprehensive phishing and spyware protection to keep your email and browsing safe, a privacy cleaner that cleans up your browser history and cookies, and an on-screen keyboard to prevent keylogging, so hackers can’t track sensitive information you may type into your computer, like credit card or Social Security numbers.

    Still, Kaspersky Anti-Virus isn’t as feature-rich as comparable antivirus suites. Webroot’s most comparable plan—SecureAnywhere Internet Security Plus—includes a firewall, password protector, and security features for your mobile devices for the same price.

    Price

    Kaspersky Anti-Virus covers three devices and is priced at $29.99 per year for the first 12 months and $59.99 per year after that. That’s pretty comparable to other antivirus software at the same tier: Bitdefender Antivirus Plus costs $39.98 for the first year, then $59.99 per year afterwards.

    ASecureLife’s recommendation: If you want a little more than the basics, or if you need help cleaning up your email and your browser history, Kaspersky Anti-Virus could be a good fit. It’s not as feature-rich as other brands, like Bitdefender, but it still delivers solid protection against malicious software.

    >>Real-time protection, real-time solutions. Get Kaspersky Anti-Virus.


    Kaspersky Internet Security review

    Kaspersky Internet Security is where all the major perks kick in. You’ll get elevated antivirus protection including private browsing, parental control, and a powerful firewall.

    Standout features

    Kaspersky Anti-Virus might be stingy when it comes to extra features, but Internet Security more than makes up for it. You’ll get webcam and privacy protection, so hackers can’t access your camera; payment protection to keep you and your wallet safe when you’re banking online or splurging on the latest “it” indoor plant (it’s a fiddle leaf fig, isn’t it?); and private browsing that prevents hackers and ne’er-do-wells from tracking your activity.

    Kaspersky Anti-Virus might be stingy when it comes to extra features, but Internet Security more than makes up for it.
    It also provides parental control and protects PCs, Macs, and Android devices. So even if you’re a Mac but your kid is a PC, you’ll be able to monitor his public Facebook activity, filter out inappropriate content, and set time limits for how long he can use certain apps.

    Price

    Kaspersky Internet Security covers up to three devices and starts at $39.99 a year. After the first 12 months, you’ll pay $79.99 per month. Again, this is pretty on par with what other antivirus programs are offering. Avast, for example, doesn’t offer as deep of a discount for the first year at $57.99, but its annual fee goes up to $71.88 starting the second year of your subscription.

    ASecureLife’s recommendation: Kaspersky Internet Security is an affordable choice with a great value. It’s super comprehensive, offers thoughtful features, and is an especially good option for parents and online shoppers.

    >>Keep your shopping secure. Get Kaspersky Internet Security.


    Kaspersky Total Security review

    Total Security is Kaspersky’s most thorough antivirus software. It adds only a couple more features beyond what you get with Internet Security, but it protects up to five devices a year; covers PCs, Macs, and Android devices; and lets you create two separate user accounts: one for you, one for your partner.

    Standout features

    With Total Security, you’ll get access to Kaspersky’s premium password manager tool, which is $14.99 if you opt for it à la carte. You’ll also get access to a secret password for file encryption to protect sensitive files and photos, and a file shredder so when you delete files, they’re completely erased from your device.

    Price

    Kaspersky Total Security is pretty affordable. For the first year, you’ll be able to cover five devices—PCs, Macs, and Androids—for $40.99 per year. After that, you’ll pay $99.99 a year. Norton 360 Deluxe tops out at $99.99 per year after the first year too, but it covers only one device at a time.

    ASecureLife’s recommendation: Kaspersky Total Security is an all-inclusive antivirus solution that does it all at an affordable price. Since it covers up to five devices, we think it’s a great fit for families that want to give their devices an extra sense of security.

    >>All-encompassing antivirus protection. Get Kaspersky Total Security.


    Customer service

    As far as customer service goes, Kaspersky has mixed reviews. Some users compliment Kaspersky’s ease, performance, and sense of security. Others complain that canceling Kaspersky’s auto-renewal isn’t straightforward, saying that Kaspersky’s site makes it hard to find where to cancel and that customer support gives them the runaround.

    Availability

    Customer support is available via phone or live chat, seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. (ET). Live chat is best if you’re wondering about basic functionality; call in if you have an urgent or more complicated issue.

    You can also ask questions or submit a support ticket for nonurgent issues via Kaspersky’s support site.


    Kaspersky vs. the competition

    *Standard retail prices as of 7/31/2019. Prices and availability are subject to change and may vary by retailer.

    Kaspersky’s Anti-Virus suite has some solid basics, but it isn’t as comprehensive as similarly priced software from other brands. At the same level as Kaspersky, Bitdefender offers password protection, and Webroot and Norton add on a protective firewall.

    To see more about how Kaspersky compares to other antivirus suites, check out our ranking of the best antivirus software.


    Frequently asked questions

    Is Kaspersky safe to use?

    Though Kaspersky is a solid choice in antivirus software, there is cause for concern: in 2015, Russian hackers used Kaspersky antivirus software to hack the home computer of a National Security Agency contractor. News of the breach wasn’t reported until 2017. Kaspersky has gone on record saying it hasn’t ever assisted a government with cyber espionage, but that hasn’t stopped people from being concerned about Kaspersky’s ties with the Russian government: a ban went into effect in 2018 that disallows certain US government agencies from using Kaspersky software.

    Does Kaspersky have a VPN?

    All the subscriptions in Kaspersky’s security suite include a limited VPN service with up to 300 MB of bandwidth. If that’s not enough, you can subscribe to Kaspersky VPN Secure Connection. For $4.99 per month or $29.99 per year, Kaspersky covers five devices and offers unlimited data allowance. It can be a great way to maintain a sense of privacy when you’re surfing the web, whether you’re banking online or filling out your new dating profile.


    What is the best Kaspersky package?

    At all of its tiers, Kaspersky offers solid antivirus solutions. But we like its Internet Security package the best: you’ll get total protection from malware for up to three devices, privacy protection for your computer’s camera, and payment protection to keep your financial information safe. And at $39.99 per year for the first 12 months, it’s pretty affordable too.

    Give malware the boot. Get Kaspersky Internet Security.