According to the official “legend”, Mr. Kaspersky encountered his first digital virus back in 1989, and that’s when he knew the antivirus industry was about to become huge. Eight years later, the man founded his company and started working on the now-iconic Kaspersky Antivirus.
Two decades later, this is the most trusted and recognized software on the market and 270K corporate clients around the globe work with various Kaspersky products. As a cyber-fighter, this company is always on the forefront. Every single third-party test proved that Kaspersky Lab’s packages are 100% effective against all kinds of malware – they both detect and terminate the viruses.
Most rivals usually detect 98/99 percent of prevalent/zero-day viruses. Furthermore, the engineers/technicians at KL managed to create one of the best engines that puts very little strain on the CPU. On the downside, the entry-level Kaspersky Antivirus is a bit limited in terms of available features (for example, Bitdefender is better that way).
If you’re looking for high-level features like parental control, online banking protection, and more, you’ll have to pay for the top tiers – the best-selling Kaspersky Internet Security and Total Security. That’s when you’ll realize that this company is, indeed, the leader when it comes to online security.
Kaspersky Best For
- Individual users
- Personal computers
- Users that are looking for basic protection. They can always go for the higher tiers
- Fans of fast, reliable, easy-to-use and well-respected antiviruses
Kaspersky Pros & Cons
Let us now dig deeper and go through all the pros and cons. True, the list of pros is much bigger, and with Kaspersky Lab, you always get the best value. However, there are some downsides, and we need to learn about them all in order to make the right decision.
- No virus will ever get through Kaspersky Antivirus
- Probably the least “hungry” product in terms of using your device’s resources
- A 30-day trial is included
- The totally free Kaspersky TDSSKILLER will scan your computer for rootkits and bootkits and remove them
- It is very easy to switch from the basic plan to the more advanced tiers
- The higher plans offer a huge list of amazing features
- The customization options will satisfy the fans of tweaking
- The Windows 10 client deserves the highest praise. The rest of the clients/apps are also great
- The entry-level package comes with a very limited set of features
- For some users, the ultimate plan might seem expensive (but it’s actually not)
- Unfortunately, the basic package is only available on Windows systems. To get Kaspersky for Mac and the mobile platforms, you’ll have to switch to the top tiers
- If you are concerned that the Russian government is spying on the users through this antivirus, then it might not be the best choice for you (there’s no official proof, though)
Kaspersky Pricing Information
With the pros and cons out of the way, and with you having a basic understanding of what Kaspersky has to offer to the potential clients, it is time for us to take a look at the available packages. This antivirus is very flexible and versatile, meaning you’ll be able to find a plan that works for you best. In addition to a free basic antivirus, there are three packages to choose from:
Kaspersky AntiVirus. Known as the entry-level offer by Kaspersky, this is the most cost-effective tier. Protection for 3 devices will cost you $29.99/year, and 5 devices license is worth $39.99/year. Sadly, it’s only available for PCs running on the Windows OS.
Kaspersky Internet Security. According to the company’s representatives, Internet Security is the most popular package among international users. It is available not only on Win OS but also Mac OS and mobile devices. A yearly plan for 3 or 5 devices cost $39.99 and $44.99 respectively.
Kaspersky Total Security. The most expensive Kaspersky package is equally secure, feature-packed, and reliable. Also available for all major platforms (PC, Mac, iOS, Android). You can choose between 5-devices package for $49.99 and 10-devices coverage for $74.99.
Please note that these are the introductory prices, meaning the antivirus will cost you more when you renew your subscription. To save up, you can pay for 2 or 3 years upfront making use of the new customers pricing.
Great news: every single Kaspersky product comes with a free trial. It allows you to see what it is worth with your eyes (and on your device) before purchasing it. These trials last for 30 days, which is more than enough.
Kaspersky Security & Reliability
Kaspersky Antivirus is among the most reliable, secure, and robust offers on the market. Protection is superb regardless of the packages you choose.
It needs to be said right away that this antivirus managed to earn perfect scores in every single test conducted by four independent companies! An important note: even though the more expensive tiers come with dozens of features and offer a better solution for Internet privacy, the Free version is packed with the same engine. That means these test results are accurate for all four Kaspersky products.
AV-Test rate antiviruses based on three tests: system impact, malware protection, and false alarms (when an antivirus claims a file/folder is dangerous when it really isn’t). With the score of six in each category, Kaspersky earned a perfect 18, sharing the top with Bitdefender.
AV-Comparatives run similar tests, and this antivirus earned a perfect rating (Advanced+) in four of the most essential “trials.”
SE Labs have a different approach. They simulate real-world scenarios to make the tests as close to the actual user experience as possible. They pick malicious websites and hit the antiviruses with the same type of attacks over and over again. C is the lowest rating; AAA is the highest. Kaspersky earned an AAA certification.
MRG-Effitas have some of the toughest tests. For example, the banking Trojans test is very hard to pass, but Kaspersky managed to do that (again, along with Bitdefender).
Overall, this antivirus earned a perfect 10 out of 10 in every single test, which is quite incredible. The only other software that managed to get close to 10/10 is Bitdefender with a total score of 9.9/10.
Even though Kaspersky passed all tests with flying colors, our team still had to run some of its own. The routine is simple and never changes: we open a folder containing numerous malware samples and try to run it. Kaspersky was quick enough to eliminate 79% of threats before we even got to them. However, when we did manage to run some of the surviving samples, the antivirus failed at blocking all installations. The final score was 8.5 out of 10, which is solid, but not great.
In the URL blocking test, Kaspersky instantly blocked access to 52% of the websites and removed 40% of the threats at the downloading process with a score of 9.2. In the phishing sites test, Kaspersky earned a perfect rating (100). The previous version only managed to earn 89.
The Scan panel (you’ll find it on the main screen) gives you access to multiple scan types. The list includes a full scan, one that only checks your external drives, and a customizable scan. Yes, it allows you to hand-pick files and folders that should be tested by the antivirus. And, of course, there’s also a quick scan.
The bad news is – it takes as much as three clicks to get to the most basic (quick) scan, while you can do that with one single click in most antiviruses. The good news is – the latest Kaspersky 2020 packages are a lot faster, and you’ll be impressed by how quickly they run all scans. The scheduler, in turn, allows you to set the exact time a scan should be launched and let the software take care of the rest.
Even though this antivirus doesn’t put much strain on performance (read about that in the “Performance” section of our Kaspersky review), it would still be a good idea to run any scans while you’re away. And don’t forget about the Vulnerability scan. In this mode, Kaspersky searches for any “holes” in your OS and does its best to fix them.
Missing patches, outdated critical programs, Windows settings that put the system in danger – this scan finds it all. For example, if removable drive autorun is enabled, that will make it easier for certain types of malware to infiltrate your OS. This antivirus will help you fix that in just 10 minutes.
Kaspersky Ease of Use
The Kaspersky antivirus is known as one of the most user-friendly solutions on the market. As we mentioned in the beginning, it has been around for almost three decades, and they’ve been perfecting the original formula for all those years. It doesn’t take a pro to make sense of all the menus and options, even though they might seem a bit intimidating at first.
The most important menus are always on the main screen. The scans, the settings, the updates – they’ve all right there, within arm’s reach. You can check the license status in the lower right corner (it shows exactly how long the current license will last). For the advanced users, there’s a lot of fine-tuning to do in the Settings menu.
Download and Installation
The installation procedure is pretty standard though it will take your system up to 20 minutes or more to install it on your computer. During installation, it will check your device for incompatible software (this is a relatively new feature). The antivirus will signal if there’s another antivirus already installed on your computer. It is highly advisable to get rid of any antivirus software on your computer/mobile device, as Kaspersky tends to have compatibility issues.
Before installation is complete, Kaspersky Lab will ask you to connect to its Network. If you answer “Yes,” your device will “patch you in.” Next, whenever the antivirus finds malware or any suspicious codes on your system, it will automatically be sent to KSN for further analysis. This way, the company can stay on top of things 24/7 and protect other users from threats found on their devices.
The dashboard looks equally friendly and professional, with just the right mix of colors. All the menus are self-explanatory, and Kaspersky gives a lot of room for configuration. If you see a green tick in the middle of the main screen, that means your device is well-protected, and there are no issues. It changes the red whenever new threats come your way.
In the lower half of the screen, there are four buttons. They can be used to update the antivirus, scan the computer, check the latest reports and launch the on-screen keyboard. We already talked about the scanning options. The update section is simple: all you’ll need to do is confirm your request, and Kaspersky will do the rest.
The reports are also easy to navigate through. The on-screen keyboard, in turn, is a smart solution for protecting your logins and passwords. With it running, no hacker will be able to steal your credentials or access your bank account. Our team of experts tried to “trick” it with several commercial keyloggers, but they failed at recording the keystrokes.
The ability to provide decent protection while taking as little system resources as possible has always been a key feature of the Kaspersky antivirus. Compared to the rivals, this software slows down performance only by 8-12 percent, which is an industry-leading result. The industry average is up to 30 percent. The only other product that can compete with Kaspersky is Bitdefender.
While running in the background and protecting your device, Kaspersky requires less than 1GB of hard drive space to operate. And RAM requirements are less than 512Mb, which is quite impressive. The antivirus launches two core processes (you can check that in the Task Manager). So, as you can see, with this product, you won’t feel a drastic drop in performance and will be able to carry on using your computer/mobile device while it’s working.
Kaspersky AntiVirus. This is the entry-level package. As mentioned earlier, it only works with PCs running on Windows. With this tier, you get access to even more useful features.
- Protection against ransomware, viruses, and other malware
- Industry-leading performance with little system impact
Kaspersky Internet Security. According to company officials, this is the most popular package. Along with all the features from the previous two packages, you’ll also get:
- Privacy protection
- Safe Money (more security during online transactions)
Kaspersky Total Security. The ultimate offer from Kaspersky Lab provides the best protection for you and your family. Here are the features:
- Security For Kids (parental control)
- Secure Password Manager
- File protection (additional security for your most precious data)
Kaspersky Customer Support
As always, you’ll find tons of useful information on Kaspersky’s site. There’s a helpful Knowledge Base, an active forum, and even video guides.
If you’re looking for direct customer support, you can get it from the user’s page. Create a ticket and wait for one of the staff members to come through with a response.
You might stumble upon a Kaspersky Antivirus review on the Internet that claims support is very slow and lacks professionalism, but that’s not really true. Don’t believe the rumors – believe the reviews from respected experts.
As we keep repeating throughout our review, Kaspersky is a leading antivirus solution, and it’s only getting better. With the latest 2020 edition, we have an impressive product that excels at being affordable, reliable, and easy to use. Plus, it has a minimal impact on system performance and comes with some of the best antivirus protocols and algorithms on the market.
All four products, starting with the Free edition and ending with TS (Total Security), appeal to different clients, but they all have one thing in common: fantastic performance. With numerous plans to choose from and excellent customer support, this is an antivirus that will make every single penny you paid for it worth it.