Kaspersky Antivirus Review — Is It Safe to Use in 2024?

Our Score
8.6
GREAT
Ranked 7th out of 74 antiviruses
Ranked 7th out of 74 antiviruses
Updated on: May 24, 2024
Fact Checked by Kate Davidson
Sam Boyd
Sam Boyd
Published on: May 24, 2024

Kaspersky Review: Quick Expert Summary

At present, there is no indication that Kaspersky (headquartered in Russia) poses a risk to its clients. Nevertheless, if you are concerned that Kaspersky may compromise your security amid current geopolitical conflicts, there are many alternative options available, such as Norton and Bitdefender.

Kaspersky has an excellent antivirus scanner and some pretty good web protections. It caught all the malware samples I downloaded in my tests, and its anti-phishing protection detected most of the risky sites I tried visiting.

Kaspersky has some great additional features, too. I really like its parental controls, which are among the best around. I also like the Rescue Disk feature (which helps restore computers that won’t boot because of malware), the secure browser, the virtual keyboard (which makes online payments more secure), and the virtual private network (VPN).

I’m unfortunately less impressed with some of Kaspersky’s extras. The password manager is rather basic — it lacks important features such as secure password sharing and account recovery options. Moreover, Kaspersky’s system cleanup tools are decent, but competitors like TotalAV offer far more options. Plus, the Backup and Restore feature is just a free Dropbox account (Dropbox gives all users 2 GB storage space, so you’re not getting anything extra with this feature).

That said, I still believe Kaspersky Plus and Premium security suites are effective overall. These suites offer a high-quality antivirus scanner, useful features, and reasonable prices. Kaspersky is also one of the more transparent antivirus companies. Following accusations in 2017 that Kaspersky was involved in stealing US intelligence data for the Russian government, it has relocated its data processing centers to Switzerland, it established Transparency Centers worldwide, and it has been regularly passing SOC 2 audits since 2019 (most recently in June 2023).

Kaspersky offers 3 plans that cover 3–10 devices (up to 20 devices in some countries), it has great first-year discounts, and it offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

🏅 Overall Rank #7 out of 74 antiviruses
🔥 Firewall
🌐 VPN
🎁 Free Plan
💵 Pricing Starting at $34.99/year
💰 Money-Back Guarantee 30 days
💻 Operating Systems Windows, Android, Mac, iOS

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Kaspersky Full Review

Kaspersky Full Review

Kaspersky comes with a good antivirus scanner and a ton of additional features that can significantly boost your online safety. For example, it offers really good anti-phishing protection to prevent you from visiting dangerous websites, parental controls to keep your kids safe online, and a pretty decent VPN to keep your browsing data private.

The phishing protection uses multi-layered detection methods to block potentially harmful websites, and the Safe Browsing mode works effectively with popular browsers. The on-screen keyboard and Safe Money features also offer added layers of security, particularly against keyloggers.

I really like the VPN, too, which incorporates industry-standard security features and offers fast browsing and streaming, as well as letting you torrent on all servers. It does have certain limitations, most notably, its split-tunneling feature only works on Windows 10 computers or later. Though, honestly, since most users are already on Windows 10 or 11, I don’t consider this a huge deal.

Kaspersky’s user interface is intuitive and straightforward, and the navigation is simple, making it easy for newbies. The platform also offers helpful tutorials and support, providing a seamless user experience.

I had an easy time installing Kaspersky, too. It only took me 5 minutes to set it up and start using it. You simply need to follow the installation wizard and customize a few settings, such as the installation location. After you’ve installed Kaspersky, the protective measures automatically kick into action.

Kaspersky provides 3 packages: Standard, Plus, and Premium. These cover different numbers of devices, scaling up to 10 in the US with the Kaspersky Premium plan and 20 in a few other countries. Kaspersky also offers a basic free antivirus product, called Kaspersky Free. All paid plans have a 30-day money-back guarantee, giving you plenty of time to try them out.

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Kaspersky Security Features

Antivirus Engine

Kaspersky Security Features

Kaspersky’s malware scanner uses a virus database and cloud-based machine learning to detect all types of malware. When the scan detects something new and potentially malicious, the application uploads the file to Kaspersky’s cloud-based scanner for further analysis. The cloud-based scanner then uses machine learning to identify whether the file is malware.

During my testing, Kaspersky detected 100% of my malware samples, ranking it alongside top competitors like Norton and Bitdefender. Similar to Kaspersky, these brands also use a combination of signature databases and machine learning for optimal antivirus protection.

Kaspersky has 6 types of virus scans:

  • Quick Scan — Scans system startup files, system memory files, and boot sectors.
  • Background Scan — Scans startup objects, memory files, and system partitions when your computer isn’t active.
  • Full Scan — Scans every file, folder, and partitioned sector on your system.
  • Selective/Instant Scan — Allows you to scan any drive, file, or folder. You can also run this scan as a Context Menu scan by right-clicking on the file or folder you want to check for malware and then selecting Scan for viruses in the context menu that appears.
  • Removable Drive Scan — Allows you to scan removable drives, such as USB sticks or portable hard drives.
  • Application Vulnerability Scan — Scans for vulnerabilities in your system, including out-of-date applications and software exposed to malware.

Kaspersky also offers a wide range of scan-scheduling options, including the options to scan at a specified time, after application startup, and after every update.

The Quick Scan is fast, but it could be better. To test it, I hid nearly 1,000 test malware samples on my computer, including viruses, trojans, rootkits, ransomware, and keyloggers. I then ran a Quick Scan, which only took 2 minutes to complete. As said, this is fairly fast. For perspective, when I ran a Quick Scan on VIPRE, it took 10 minutes — that’s 5 times slower!

Kaspersky Security Features

Kaspersky’s Quick Scan didn’t find every malicious sample I hid on my system, but since the Quick Scan only looks in critical areas — such as those loaded when your OS starts up — this was to be expected. That said, because the Quick Scan found around 50% of the samples, Kaspersky immediately suggested I complete a Full Scan to look deeper into my system, which I did next.

The Full Scan took around 45 minutes to complete and found every single malware sample on my system. Also, while Kaspersky was scanning my system, I didn’t notice any system slowdown — I could still use my computer as normal. In comparison, McAfee’s full scan slowed my system down noticeably. When the scan was complete, I could see all the detected malware files in the Quarantine window.

Kaspersky lets you restore files it has quarantined and deleted. Most users wouldn’t want to do that, but this option allows you to restore legitimate files that Kaspersky shouldn’t have deleted. However, during my tests, Kaspersky didn’t give me any false positives.

Kaspersky Security Features

Kaspersky’s real-time protection also performed excellently in my tests, instantly blocking all of the malware samples I tried downloading to my computer. This puts Kaspersky on par with top performers like Norton and Bitdefender. Whenever Kaspersky detected I was trying to download a malicious file, it notified me before the download could start. I could then see more details about the malware. I also ran a ransomware simulator, and it wasn’t able to lock a single file before Kaspersky’s real-time protection stopped it.

Kaspersky Security Features

The Application Vulnerability Scanner left me disappointed, however. It took over 2 hours to scan my computer for vulnerabilities, and it didn’t find any. This was surprising, considering Kaspersky’s built-in app updater (a separate feature) found outdated applications. I also had outstanding Windows updates, which Kaspersky didn’t alert me to.

Kaspersky Security Features

When I ran the app updater, it found 4 instances of outdated software on my computer. I really like how Kaspersky lets you update outdated software from within the antivirus — it installed all 4 outstanding updates in less than 5 minutes.

Kaspersky Security Features

Overall, Kaspersky’s antivirus engine is really good — it has a 100% perfect detection rate, with several types of scans to choose from, excellent real-time protection, and it doesn’t slow down a system during a full system scan.

Web Protection

Kaspersky provides multi-layered web protection to detect and block malicious websites. The Safe Browsing mode (available for Edge, Chrome, Safari, and Firefox) compares the sites you visit against a database of malicious web addresses, and it also uses heuristic analysis to check URLs for suspicious behavior.

I visited known malicious websites and Kaspersky blocked most of them. Kaspersky’s results were pretty good — although competitors like Norton and Bitdefender were slightly better at detecting all of my test links.

Kaspersky Security Features

I also really like how Kaspersky’s URL Advisor puts a green symbol next to safe websites in search results — it’s an easy way to see if websites are dangerous before clicking on them.

Kaspersky Security Features

Private Browsing blocks tracking from social networks, web analytics, web beacons, and ad agencies — but you can also choose to allow data collection on specific sites. While I do like this feature, I’m not too happy that the default settings allow Kaspersky and its partners (a total of 86 sites!) to gather user data. Although it’s fairly easy to block Kaspersky and its partners from collecting data, I’d still like to see Kaspersky ask users whether they’re ok with this practice upon installing the extension.

You can also open an on-screen keyboard from Kaspersky’s Privacy menu. Not a lot of competitors offer an on-screen keyboard — Panda Dome has one, but it’s not very good — so I think it’s really cool that Kaspersky provides additional protection against keyloggers.

Kaspersky’s on-screen keyboard is best used in combination with Safe Money, a secure browser for online finances. Whenever you visit a banking or shopping site, Kaspersky asks if you want to add the site to Safe Money and, if so, prompts you to click Continue in Protected Browser. When using this mode, Safe Money scans for rootkits, untrusted modules, and invalid certificates in payment systems to help protect your online transactions.

In my tests, Kaspersky successfully identified all banking and shopping sites I visited and prompted me to use Safe Money — although I found it a little frustrating that the secure browser took more than 10 seconds to load every time I accessed it. Bitdefender also offers a secure browser, Safepay, which loads much faster than Kaspersky’s Safe Money.

Overall, Kaspersky’s web protection features are pretty good. The anti-phishing protection detected most of the phishing sites in my testing, and I also like that Kaspersky offers ad-blocking and anti-tracking — although I don’t like that anti-tracking is turned off for Kaspersky and its 80+ partner sites. I also think it’s really useful that Kaspersky has a secure browser and an on-screen keyboard for banking and shopping sites.

Firewall

Kaspersky Security Features

Kaspersky’s firewall shields your Wi-Fi network against intrusion and exploit attacks. It effectively blocked most of the exploit attacks I subjected it to, even those that managed to bypass the default security measures of Windows Defender’s firewall.

I like how Kaspersky shows detailed information about applications with an internet connection. I clicked on Firefox and was given a full breakdown of what the application is, how many users have it on their computer, and whether or not I could trust it. Kaspersky also makes it easy to adjust individual rules for applications — such as whether or not they can start or stop other processes.

Kaspersky Security Features

There are also several features that advanced users will appreciate. For example, Kaspersky includes port access detection (which works quite well), lets you modify individual packet rules, and change permissions on connections such as DNS over TCP or DNS over UDP.

Kaspersky Security Features

Kaspersky also includes a network monitor, which lets you see all applications on your PC with an active internet connection. It works pretty well, and I appreciate how it lets you block all network activity in 1 click — which will come in handy if you get a malware infection.

Kaspersky’s firewall interface is clunky, with some features (like the packet rules) in the firewall menu but others (such as the port access detection) hidden in network settings. Similarly, it hides the network monitor away in the Security menu. In contrast, Norton has all its firewall and network settings in one place. It was also disappointing that the Mac version of Kaspersky only includes a network attack blocker. Intego for Mac comes with a feature-rich firewall that works really well.

Having said that, Kaspersky’s firewall is still good at preventing network intrusions on a Windows-based PC. It effectively blocked the majority of the samples I tested against it and required no additional configuration.

System Cleanup Tools

Kaspersky has several PC cleanup tools, including:

  • PC Speed-Up.
  • Quick Startup.
  • Unused app cleaner.
  • Hard Drive Health Monitor.
  • Privacy Cleaner.
  • Weak settings scanner.
  • Microsoft Windows Troubleshooting tool.

Kaspersky’s PC Speed-Up identifies temporary files, registry issues, and recycle bin items that you may either want to remove or fix. You can also use it to remove Kaspersky application trace files from your PC. When I tested the speed-up tool on my Windows 11 PC, it took 2 minutes to analyze my entire system, and the results were pretty good. It discovered 6 registry issues and 43 MB of unused system data.

Kaspersky Security Features

You can also run a duplicate or large file checker, which helps you clean up disk space. They both work quite well, but I find it strange they’re not packaged in with the PC Speed-Up tool.

The Quick Startup tool shows you every application that boots with your computer. I was pretty impressed with it. When I clicked on the Search button, it instantly listed the 6 applications set to Autorun at my computer’s startup, informing me of their impact on startup speed and giving me the option to toggle Autorun off.

Kaspersky Security Features

I really like the Hard Drive Health Monitor, too. It analyzes each hard drive connected to your PC and alerts you if there are any issues. My only complaint here is that Kaspersky only alerts you to issues — it doesn’t tell you how to fix them.

Kaspersky Security Features

Kaspersky’s Unused Apps feature checks for applications you haven’t used in more than 3 months. It took about 5 minutes to scan my entire PC, but unfortunately, I was quite disappointed with the results. The scan concluded I use all the applications on my PC. I know for certain that there are programs I haven’t opened in more than 3 months, so it was a shame Kaspersky failed to detect these.

The weak settings scanner worked decently in my tests. It took about a second to detect one minor issue and gave me the option to fix it instantly.

Kaspersky Security Features

I also liked Kaspersky’s Microsoft Windows Troubleshooting tool. While Windows has a built-in troubleshooter, it doesn’t work as well — Kaspersky found issues with my computer that the built-in troubleshooter missed.

Kaspersky Security Features

Finally, Privacy Cleaner cleans browser history, cookies, and other traces of your online activity that may compromise your online privacy.

Kaspersky Security Features

Kaspersky’s system cleanup tools are ok, but I wish you could run them all at once. Competing antiviruses like Bitdefender let you run all the optimization checks in 1 click. Still, some antiviruses like Sophos don’t even have system cleanup tools.

Overall, Kaspersky’s system cleanup tools let you quickly get rid of unwanted files and remove traces of your online activity. These tools aren’t the best on the market, but they work as promised, and they can even speed up your computer a bit.

Virtual Private Network (VPN)

Kaspersky’s VPN comes bundled with Kaspersky’s Plus and Premium plans. It includes:

  • Unlimited browsing data — No daily data limits.
  • Kill switch — Stops data transfer if the VPN is disrupted.
  • Full leak protection — Prevents your IP address from leaking and revealing your personal data.
  • Smart Protection — Automatically starts the VPN when connected to a public network.
  • Servers in 70+ countries — Users can connect to any server, including the fastest one.
  • Split-tunneling — Lets you use the VPN connection for specific apps and your regular internet connection for others.

The VPN performed pretty well in my speed tests. I ran a test with the VPN turned off, and then with the VPN turned on. Here are the results:

Kaspersky Security Features

As you can see, I had a higher ping and slower upload speed when connected to the VPN, but my download speed remained about the same. Even so, I could browse the internet without any noticeable difference in speed compared to when the VPN was switched off.

Another thing I like about Kaspersky’s VPN is that it works with popular streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime. Avira’s VPN doesn’t work as well with Amazon, so Kaspersky is a better choice in this regard.

Overall, Kaspersky’s VPN is pretty good for an antivirus-bundled VPN, with a decent number of servers worldwide, fast speeds, and industry-standard security and privacy.

View our full Kaspersky VPN Review

Password Manager

Kaspersky Security Features

Kaspersky’s password manager isn’t bad, but it may be too basic for some users. It secures all of your passwords and other sensitive data — like bank cards, addresses, and notes — with 256-bit AES encryption and a strict zero-knowledge policy.

The premium password manager doesn’t limit the number of passwords you can store (but it’s only included with the Plus and Premium plans). The free version that comes with Kaspersky Standard only lets you store 5 passwords — which is very limiting, especially when you consider Norton’s free password manager lets you store unlimited passwords.

Kaspersky’s password manager is very easy to set up and use. When you first open the program (which needs to be installed separately from the antivirus), you need to create a master password. If you ever lose this password, Kaspersky won’t be able to help you access your password vault. While it’s great that Kaspersky is a true zero-knowledge password manager, I’d like to see it add account recovery options or emergency access like Dashlane and LastPass have.

After you import all of your passwords, you’ll need to install a browser extension (available for Chrome, Firefox, Comodo Dragon, Yandex, Edge, Opera, and Safari) to be able to auto-save and auto-fill passwords.

During my tests, Kaspersky’s auto-save and auto-fill worked flawlessly every time. But keep in mind that to auto-fill bank card details and addresses on mobile, you’ll first need to enable the auto-fill functionality in Settings (it’s turned off by default).

Kaspersky Security Features

Kaspersky’s password vault is very simple to navigate. All of the features and options are clearly labeled and easily accessible. In addition to adding passwords (both for websites and applications), you can add bank cards, documents, addresses, and notes. Kaspersky also lets you organize your passwords into as many folders as you want.

Kaspersky has a good password generator that you can access both from the app and from the browser extension. The generator can create passwords 4–99 characters long, including uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Unfortunately, the available options do not include the ability to generate passwords that are ‘easy to say’ or ‘easy to read’ — this is something that password managers like LastPass offer. On the other hand, it does have a super helpful password history feature, which enables you to review the last 5 passwords you created and copied to the clipboard.

Kaspersky’s password manager features a built-in authenticator, too, which generates one-time codes for two-factor authentication (2FA). I found the authenticator a useful addition because it integrates 2FA directly within the password management process. No need to switch to apps like Google Authenticator anymore.

Overall, Kaspersky’s password manager is a pretty decent solution, but it lacks features the best standalone password managers have. But if you only need an easy-to-use, secure password manager for storing your passwords and other sensitive data, Kaspersky’s password manager is fine.

View our full Kaspersky Password Manager Review

Smart Home Monitor

Kaspersky’s Smart Home Monitor lets you see all of the devices connected to your Wi-Fi network. It’s a cool inclusion, but it’s somewhat basic.

Kaspersky Security Features

Kaspersky showed I had multiple devices connected to my network, and it correctly identified all of them. If I clicked on a device, Kaspersky would list the device type and its vendor, OC, IP address, and MAC address, and then offer to protect it. Unfortunately, there’s no way to scan the device for vulnerabilities like you can with ESET’s network monitor.

I also wish there was a feature to create specialized profiles with different security settings for different Wi-Fi networks, like you can with Bitdefender’s network monitor.

Kaspersky provides in-depth guides in its knowledge base on denying a device access to the network if you don’t trust it. You can access these guides via a link in each connection listed on the Smart Home Monitor.

Overall, Kaspersky’s Smart Home Monitor is a cool inclusion, but it’s pretty basic. While you can see what devices are connected to your Wi-Fi network, you get very little control over them, and there’s no way to scan them for vulnerabilities.

Data Leak Checker

Kaspersky’s data leak checker monitors the dark web for leaks containing your email address. If Kaspersky detects a leak, it’ll tell you the date the leak was detected, and what information is at risk. For example, when I put in a test email address I knew had been compromised, Kaspersky let me know there had been 13 breaches and my personal data and activity history were at risk.

The data leak checker is okay, but there are much better dark web monitors on the market. I ran the same email address through Have I Been Pwned — a free online dark web monitor — and it found 18 breaches as opposed to Kaspersky’s 13 breaches.

Kaspersky Standard only checks the email address you used to create the account, while Plus and Premium allow you to add up to 50 email addresses manually to check them, but will also automatically check every email you use after you’ve installed the program.

Kaspersky Security Features

Kaspersky’s dark web monitor also checks for leaks in 3 categories: personal data, banking data, and activity history. Unfortunately, it won’t give you any more specifics than the category of information that was leaked. You can, however, check for leaks of your phone number via Kaspersky’s Identity Theft Check (although I don’t know why this isn’t bundled with the main Data Leak Checker).

Overall, I much prefer Norton’s dark web monitor, which alerts you to breaches involving your specific bank account numbers, driver’s licenses, insurance IDs, addresses, credit cards, and more.

Kaspersky’s data leak checker is a decent inclusion, but it’s disappointing it doesn’t monitor specifics other than your email addresses, and it finds fewer breaches than free online checkers.

Parental Controls

Kaspersky’s parental controls (Safe Kids) are really good — they’re very intuitive and come with a lot of features that make it easy for you to protect your kids online. Like the password manager, the parental controls are also downloaded as a separate app. It only takes a few minutes to set up, and you’ll be guided by a helpful tutorial as well as advice on how to talk with your children about parental controls and internet safety.

Here’s what’s included with Kaspersky’s Safe Kids:

  • Content filtering for sites and apps.
  • Usage limitations.
  • YouTube monitoring.
  • Location tracking (Android and iOS only).
  • Geofencing.
  • Social network monitoring (VK only).
  • And more…

Kaspersky Security Features

Kaspersky’s content filtering worked pretty well in my tests — I could block sites based on categories and couldn’t bypass those blocks using top VPN programs. I could also set up specific exclusions and enable Safe Search to prevent inappropriate content from appearing in search results on popular browsers like Google, Yahoo, Bing, and Yandex. You can even do the same for YouTube!

I like that you can block apps based on 15+ categories, including Online shopping, Games, File sharing, and Gambling. You can also set time limits for specific apps, get app usage reports, and whitelist certain apps that can be used even if your child has exceeded their daily screen time limit — which is helpful if your child needs to use a certain app for school.

Kaspersky Safe Kids’s screen time scheduling feature is very useful — during my tests, I could easily set up weekly computer schedules and see screen time reports. I could also choose to block my test computer when a specified time limit was reached.

Unfortunately, many of these features aren’t available on iOS. Kaspersky Safe Kids for iOS is limited to YouTube monitoring, GPS tracking, and online activity reports. You can also find out when your kid’s battery is running low. While Kaspersky Safe Kids does advertise screen time management and internet usage monitoring on the Apple App Store, it’s only offered via an Apple Family account, which is a bit annoying!

Kaspersky Security Features

The location tracking and geo-fencing accurately tracked my Android phone’s location (and sent alerts if the phone left the designated safe area). My only complaint with the location tracking is the lack of a historical view, so you can’t see a list of places your kid has been to recently like you can with Norton Family.

Kaspersky Safe Kids includes social network monitoring — most competing antiviruses with parental controls don’t have this feature. Unfortunately, it only works with VK (a Russian social media website), so if you want to monitor your kid’s activity on sites like Facebook and X (Twitter), turn your attention to a standalone parental control program like Bark instead.

Overall, Kaspersky’s parental controls are some of the most comprehensive on the market, despite only having limited iOS support and social media monitoring. Not only are they full-featured and easy to use — there’s even advice from Kaspersky on how to talk with a child about parental controls.

View our full Kaspersky Safe Kids Review

Additional Features

Kaspersky has a few extra tools, including:

  • Webcam and Mic control (specific apps only).
  • Intrusion Prevention.
  • Stalkerware Detection.
  • Privacy Cleaner.
  • Ad blocker.
  • Backup and Restore.
  • Rescue Disk.
  • File shredder.
  • Gaming mode.
  • And more…

The webcam protection notified me any time I accessed an app that used my laptop’s webcam, like Skype or Zoom. I wish it was compatible with more webcams though as it only has guaranteed compatibility with 10 cameras. Bitdefender’s webcam protection works with most webcams.

I quite like the Intrusion Prevention. It shows all running processes on your PC and the popularity of those processes with other Kaspersky users. You can easily set the permissions of each process (such as what folders they can read or write data in) and block specific processes altogether.

The Stalkerware Detection is pretty good, too — it identifies suspicious apps and processes on your device that might be monitoring your activity or accessing your data without your permission. I like that it alerts you to any attempts made to access your location data, messages, or other sensitive information.

Privacy Cleaner stops websites from tracking your personal data, and it works well. When I enabled it and ran a tracking tester, I found Kaspersky was successfully blocking tracking ads, invisible trackers, and fingerprinting — which is great!

I found the ad blocker feature less impressive. With it enabled, I visited an ad-heavy website, but I was still bombarded with a large number of ads. TotalAV includes a much better ad blocker.

Backup and Restore lets users backup files to a removable drive or online cloud service — you can either use Dropbox (default option) or connect Kaspersky with another service. However, I don’t think this feature adds much value, as Dropbox gives all users 2 GB storage space for free, after which you’d need to upgrade to get more storage space. While I think it’s ok that Kaspersky offers a backup option, there are better ones out there (like Norton, which offers more storage space and doesn’t make you subscribe to another service).

Kaspersky’s Rescue Disk is useful — it cleans up a computer infected with malware upon startup. To use this feature, you need to download Kaspersky Rescue Disk and upload it to a USB or CD/DVD, which you’ll then use to disinfect your PC.

Finally, the gaming mode pauses scans and notifications during gameplay or whenever you open an app in full-screen mode. Kaspersky’s gaming mode is ok, but Norton is better — it offers a specialized game booster that actually improves performance during gameplay.

Kaspersky’s additional tools are pretty decent, but I’d like to see the company add advanced tools like identity theft protection to its premium plans. Currently, Kaspersky’s Identity Theft Check is limited to monitoring accounts linked to the phone number you provide and notifying you in case of a breach. Top competitors like TotalAV offer comprehensive identity theft protection for US users, while McAfee expands identity theft protection to users in the UK, Australia, parts of Asia, New Zealand, and most of Europe.

I appreciate Kaspersky offering a couple of useful extras, which is noteworthy given that most antiviruses only offer basic antivirus and internet security protection. While I don’t think Kaspersky’s Backup and Restore feature is too useful, I like the Rescue Disk functionality that lets you save critically infected computers.

Kaspersky Plans & Pricing

Kaspersky offers 1 free and 3 paid packages:

  • Kaspersky Free.
  • Kaspersky Standard.
  • Kaspersky Plus.
  • Kaspersky Premium.

Kaspersky Free can only protect your Windows devices, while paid Kaspersky packages provide coverage for 3, 5, or 10 Windows, Mac, Android, or iOS devices (20 in some locations).

There’s a 30-day money-back guarantee on all plans, so if you’re not satisfied, you can easily cancel your subscription and get a refund.

Here’s an overview of all plans:

Free Standard Plus Premium
Platforms Windows Windows, macOS, Android, iOS Windows, macOS, Android, iOS Windows, macOS, Android, iOS
Price Free $34.99 / year $47.99 / year $67.49 / year
Number of device licenses 1 3, 5, or 10 devices. 3, 5, or 10 devices. 3, 5, 10, or 20 devices.
Malware scanning & removal
Real-time protection
Firewall
Web protections
Rescue disk

(Separate download)

Password manager
VPN
System cleanup tools
(Includes Hard Drive Health Monitor and Backup and Restore features)

(Includes Hard Drive Health Monitor and Backup and Restore features)
Smart home monitor
Data leak checker 1 email address only
Webcam protection
Secret vault
File shredder
Privacy cleaner
Parental controls

(1 Year Free)

Cloud backup
Identity protection wallet
Remote access detection
Premium support

Kaspersky Free — Basic Protection for Windows

Kaspersky offers a free antivirus for Windows, which you can install after setting up your My Kaspersky account. It includes:

  • Malware scanner.
  • Email & web protection.
  • Ransomware protection.
  • Keylogger protection.

The biggest advantage of Kaspersky Free is that it gives you access to Kaspersky’s excellent anti-malware engine and easy-to-use desktop application. However, many of its advanced features, including the VPN, parental control, password manager, and system cleanup tools are not available on this basic plan. That said, Kaspersky Free a good “quick fix” for a virus infection, but for anything more than that, I’d recommend upgrading to a paid plan.

Kaspersky Standard — Entry-Level Plan

Kaspersky’s entry-level plan costs $34.99 / year and offers coverage for 3, 5, or 10 devices with the basic features. These include:

  • Malware scanner.
  • Anti-phishing protection.
  • Firewall.
  • Data leak checker (1 email).
  • System clean-up tools.
  • And more…

Each of these features works really well, but Norton AntiVirus Plus has similar features and is cheaper — so I’d go for that if you’re just wanting to protect 1 device.

Kaspersky Standard is a good entry point for basic protection across multiple devices. It lacks a lot of extra features, like Kaspersky’s password manager and VPN, but it includes enough to keep your computer fully protected in 2024.

Kaspersky Plus — Best-Value Plan for Most Users

Kaspersky Plus costs $47.99 / year, offers coverage for 3, 5, or 10 devices, and includes everything in Kaspersky Standard in addition to:

  • Password manager.
  • VPN (Virtual private network).
  • File shredder.
  • Secret vault.
  • Data leak checker (up to 50 emails).

I really like the inclusion of an unlimited-data VPN. Competitors like Bitdefender only include an unlimited-data VPN in their highest-tier plans, so it’s great to see one available at a relatively low cost. However, it’s disappointing that features like the file shredder are only included here — especially when you consider other competitors like McAfee include these features in their entry-level plans.

Regardless, I think this is the best plan for most users. It includes everything you need to keep your computer protected from malware and has features to protect your privacy online — such as an unlimited-data VPN and data leak checker.

Kaspersky Premium — Advanced Plan with Strong Extras

Kaspersky Premium costs $67.49 / year, offers coverage for 3, 5, or 10 devices (up to 20 in some countries), and includes everything in Kaspersky Plus as well as:

  • Identity protection wallet.
  • Remote access detection.
  • Parental controls (1 year only).
  • Premium support.

The best part about this plan is the free parental controls for 1 year. Kaspersky offers some of the best parental controls on the market in 2024, and they worked really well in my tests. It’s just a shame Kaspersky only lets you try them out for 1 year before asking you to sign up for a separate subscription. Competitors like Norton provide unlimited parental controls on their higher-tiered plans.

I’m also not a massive fan of the premium support. Kaspersky already offers 24/7 live chat, email support, phone support, and a knowledge base — so I don’t think you need to pay extra for a premium level of support that only adds remote assistance.

That being said, if you live in a household with children, this plan is a good choice if you want to try Kaspersky’s parental controls while staying protected from the latest malware threats.

Kaspersky Ease of Use & Setup

Kaspersky is straightforward to install and configure, and its user interface is very clean.

How to Install Kaspersky (Just 3 Easy Steps):

  • Step 1: Choose a Kaspersky plan. Each plan offers different features, so pick the one that best fits your needs and sign up for it.
  • Step 2: Download and install Kaspersky. You can find the download in My Kaspersky, but you can also get it from the downloads page on Kaspersky’s official website.
  • Step 3: Install Kaspersky. Click the downloaded setup file and follow the installation wizard. Then open the app, perform your first system scan, and get to know Kaspersky’s other features.

The main features are all accessible through clearly marked buttons on the Home screen. This includes the antivirus scanner, system cleanup tools, and VPN. The rest of the features are split across 5 categories:

  • Security.
  • Performance.
  • Privacy.
  • Identity.
  • Smart Home.

Kaspersky Ease of Use & Setup

Each of the 5 categories has a scroll bar, so you can access every relevant feature without having to go into any menus.

There’s also a small question mark next to every feature giving you a rundown of what it does — this is super handy if you need quick information and don’t want to go onto the knowledge base.

That said, some of Kaspersky’s tools can be difficult to find. For example, to use the File Shredder, you have to click Privacy and then scroll to the bottom of that category. To use the Backup and Restore feature, you have to click Performance and scroll halfway down that category. I often found I would forget where certain features were. Luckily, there’s a search box you can use to quickly locate all the features.

Overall, however, Kaspersky’s UI is well-structured and easy to navigate once you get used to it. There are even ways to customize your experience. Most features have small setting icons next to them that allow you to control various options.

Kaspersky Ease of Use & Setup

One area I particularly like is the Timeline, which can be accessed by scrolling to the very bottom of the Home screen. It shows everything Kaspersky has been doing on your system in chronological order.

Kaspersky Ease of Use & Setup

There’s also a really helpful Notification Center that makes the essential functions simple to turn on or off. Many antiviruses with a notification center simply alert you to something being disabled and take you to the relevant tool when you click on it. With Kaspersky, you can quickly resolve security issues without having to leave the Notification Center.

Kaspersky Ease of Use & Setup

Kaspersky’s layout takes a little getting used to but soon becomes quick and easy to navigate. And I love that the customization options give you full freedom, making for a great interface that feels complete no matter which plan you choose.

Kaspersky Mobile App

Kaspersky offers a complete internet security app for Android. iOS users, on the other hand, only get access to basic security features, the parental controls, the password manager, and the VPN.

Kaspersky’s VPN & Antivirus for Android has:

  • Antivirus scanner.
  • Call blocker.
  • Anti-theft.
  • Real-time protection.
  • App lock.
  • Anti-smishing (SMS phishing).
  • Browsing protection.
  • Privacy protection.
  • And more…

The antivirus scanner can be started with 1 tap from within the application. You can perform the following scans:

  • Quick scan — Scan installed apps for malware.
  • Full scan — Scan entire device for malware.
  • Selective scan — Scan a selected folder.

Kaspersky detected every malware file I hid on my phone and automatically quarantined them all in under 5 minutes.

Kaspersky Mobile App

The app’s real-time protection also worked really well. It detected all the malware traces I tried putting on my phone and even stopped me from downloading dangerous apps on the Google Play Store. This is a convenient feature, but I must admit, I much prefer Norton Mobile Security’s App Advisor, which can warn you about apps before you download them, or Bitdefender’s App Anomaly Detection, which monitors Android apps in real-time for suspicious behavior. Even so, Kaspersky still intercepted dangerous app downloads and immediately quarantined them, keeping my device protected.

The Kaspersky mobile app also offers free anti-theft protection. You need to make a Kaspersky account for it to work, as using it requires you to log into the My Kaspersky online hub. Once you log into My Kaspersky, you get 4 anti-theft features:

  • Lock the device and locate it.
  • Capture an image of the person using your lost or stolen device.
  • Sound an alarm.
  • Wipe the data on the device.

Kaspersky Mobile App

Kaspersky’s anti-theft tool also lets you block your device if a thief inserts a new SIM into the phone. What’s more, you can protect the Kaspersky app from being uninstalled. These are two excellent ways to create a strong anti-theft shield.

Kaspersky’s free mobile VPN is pretty good, too. To test the speeds of the VPN, I connected to Kaspersky’s free server — which comes with a 300 MB daily limit if you have a My Kaspersky account — and ran a speed test, making sure I had mobile data switched off so it wouldn’t interfere.

Here are the results from my speed test with the free VPN:

Kaspersky Mobile App

Here are my speed test results with the premium VPN:

Kaspersky Mobile App

The mobile VPN provides good speeds overall. With the free version, there was a bit of slowdown in download speeds and ping, but with the premium version, both download and upload speeds stayed about the same.

Kaspersky VPN & Antivirus for iOS has:

  • Anti-phishing protection — Blocks links to potentially dangerous sites.
  • Jailbreak protection — Alerts you if someone has attempted to jailbreak your device.
  • Account check — Checks your email for data breaches.
  • QR scanner — Scans QR codes and lets you safely access the information encrypted in them.
  • Private Browsing — Prevents tracking in Safari.

Overall, the Kaspersky mobile app isn’t the most in-depth I’ve seen. It lacks many features competitors like Avira have, such as performance optimization features, a network scanner, and identity protection. But Kaspersky’s mobile app isn’t bad — the scanner had perfect detection rates in my testing, and the anti-theft tools for Android are among the best around.

Kaspersky Customer Support

Kaspersky has 4 options for customer support:

  • Email support.
  • 24/7 live chat.
  • Phone support.
  • Knowledge base.

Kaspersky Customer Support

It was a little hard to navigate Kaspersky’s customer support, and it felt as if the company wanted me to use the knowledge base and community answers instead of contacting a representative. For example, Kaspersky’s desktop app has a support button on its main page, but when you click on it, all you get is a pop-up window. There’s no way in the application to contact a representative or to access Kaspersky’s knowledge base. I actually had to search for the knowledge base on Google to access it.

It was challenging to contact the support team, too. When I tried to reach customer support via phone through their website, I was redirected to an online form instead of getting a phone number. Filling out that form led to another prompt asking if I was sure I wanted to contact support! Fortunately, after completing all the forms and obtaining Kaspersky’s phone number, they responded swiftly and resolved my issue.

Kaspersky’s live chat has a slight edge over its phone support. I wasn’t super happy that I had to fill out forms to get in touch with a live chat agent, but once I finished that, I was connected with an agent in under 2 minutes. Plus, the agent was very knowledgeable and answered all of my questions.

Kaspersky Customer Support

The email support is also decent. I sent an email saying I was having problems updating the desktop application. Their response came in just over a day, which is pretty standard for email support. The customer support team was able to help me, but I was a little surprised they didn’t call me by name. Being known as “customer” over email despite it being a direct support ticket felt very impersonal and unwelcoming. With competitors like Bitdefender and Avira, you’ll get a more personalized response.

Kaspersky Customer Support

Contacting Kaspersky requires slightly more effort than other antivirus support teams. Nonetheless, the comprehensive forms ensure you don’t need to repeatedly explain your issues to the support reps, and they always have the necessary information readily available to assist you in resolving your problem.

What Kaspersky Can Do Better

Though I’m a big fan of Kaspersky, I do have some complaints.

I think Kaspersky has done a great job at assuaging consumer concerns in the aftermath of the US government’s allegations. That said, they could do better when it comes to transparency. Undergoing additional audits or moving all of its facilities to Switzerland would make me more likely to recommend Kaspersky. As it is, some people simply won’t want security software from a company headquartered in Russia.

As for the product itself, I don’t like the fact that the tracker blocker is automatically turned off not only on Kaspersky’s website but also on 80+ partner sites. I can see why they do this, but it’s annoying. I don’t want anyone tracking me online, cybersecurity companies included. It’s also a shame that the webcam blocker is only guaranteed to work on specific types of cameras. Bitdefender’s webcam protection works better and doesn’t give any caveats about its effectiveness.

I would love it if Kaspersky improved its breach monitoring tool. As things are now, it can only check for leaked emails. What’s more, it isn’t even as good as free breach checkers like Have I Been Pwned. Norton has a much more advanced breach checker, which uses live agents and can check for leaked credit cards, addresses, and more.

Finally, I wish Kaspersky made it easier to access customer support. They do have good channels for helping customers with issues (including live chat and phone support), but these are hard to get to. You need to fill out forms and navigate through several pages first.

All in all, Kaspersky is a solid antivirus that could be made even better through a few small changes.

Is Kaspersky a Safe Antivirus?

Yes, Kaspersky is a safe antivirus. Kaspersky was involved in a serious scandal a few years ago — while the company denied collaborating with the Russian government, the accusations damaged its reputation. But Kaspersky has since started its Global Transparency initiative in an effort to restore both its reputation and the trust of its users.

Kaspersky’s perfect malware detection rates are on par with some of the best in the cybersecurity industry. Kaspersky also has pretty good web protection features, including decent anti-phishing protection and extras like a secure browser, virtual keyboard, and anti-tracking protection.

It comes with a range of additional tools, including system cleanup tools, a VPN, a password manager, parental controls, file encryption and shredding, file backup, and a Rescue Disk feature which helps clean infected computers. I really like Kaspersky’s parental controls, which allow parents to set up usage schedules, content filters, location tracking, and social media monitoring. The parental controls also have geo-fencing, alerting users when a child leaves a predefined safe zone.

Kaspersky lacks a few of the features I want to see in a premium internet security package, like the ability to monitor credit cards and driver’s licenses on the dark web, identity theft protection, and parental controls that don’t eventually require a separate subscription (all things Norton 360 has). And I was pretty disappointed with Kaspersky’s customer support — finding a way to contact a customer support representative is way too difficult and time-consuming.

But overall, Kaspersky is a good product, with excellent malware detection rates, lots of useful and well-made features, an intuitive dashboard, transparent company practices, and reasonable prices. If you’re interested in Kaspersky, you can try out the company’s plans with a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee (money-back guarantee terms may differ depending on your location).

If there’s something we haven’t covered in our Kaspersky review that you’re curious about, send us a message — we’ll be happy to carry out extra tests and answer any questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Kaspersky be trusted?

Absolutely! Kaspersky faced controversy in 2017 following allegations that it had links with the Russian government. But since then, Kaspersky has been working hard to show users it can be trusted through its Kaspersky Global Transparency Initiative — which provides exact information regarding Kaspersky’s source code, threat detection rules, and data collection processes. Since 2019, Kaspersky has also been regularly passing Service Organization Control for Service Organizations (SOC 2) Type 1 audits.

Can Kaspersky detect malware?

Yes, Kaspersky is excellent at detecting malware. I thoroughly tested Kaspersky’s malware scanner after hiding nearly 1,000 samples on my Windows computer, and Kaspersky’s full system scan detected all of the test malware. Kaspersky’s real-time protection is also excellent, blocking all of the test malware before I could download any of it onto my computer. In terms of malware protection, Kaspersky is up there with the best antiviruses of 2024.

Which Kaspersky version should I buy?

Kaspersky has 3 plans: Kaspersky Standard, Kaspersky Plus, and Kaspersky Premium. I think Kaspersky Plus is the best option for most users. It comes with good malware protection and gives you access to an unlimited-data VPN. Kaspersky Premium is good if you want to try the parental controls out for a year, but otherwise, it doesn’t really add many worthwhile features. Finally, Kaspersky Standard is a good entry-level option — but it has some limitations, like only being able to monitor one email address in the data leak checker and the lack of a password manager.

Is Kaspersky banned in the US?

Kaspersky isn’t banned in the US for personal use. However, in 2017, former US president Donald Trump banned the use of all Kaspersky products within the US government due to concerns about the company’s links to the Russian government. Kaspersky, on the other hand, denied giving information to the Russian government or collaborating with any other government. To regain the trust of its users, Kaspersky started its Global Transparency Initiative, allowing governments and partners to review its source code, learn more about its data collecting and processing practices, and more.

Kaspersky Products & Pricing

Standard
$34.99 / year
Free Trial
Plus
$47.99 / year
Free Trial
Premium
$67.49 / year
Free Trial
Bottom Line

Kaspersky offers excellent protection against malware, plus a decent set of features and an intuitive dashboard. It’s also gone a long way in improving its transparency and reputation since it was accused of espionage in 2017. Kaspersky detected all of my test malware and blocked most of the phishing sites during my tests. I like Kaspersky’s parental controls, the Rescue Disk, and its VPN, but I’m not too impressed with its password manager or file backup feature. Kaspersky is easy to use, but some features are hard to locate, and customer support could use some improvement. Kaspersky’s plans are all reasonably priced, and you can try them out with a risk-free money-back guarantee of up to 30 days.

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About the Author
Sam Boyd
Sam Boyd
Chief Editor

About the Author

Sam Boyd is a Chief Editor at SafetyDetectives. He has years of experience writing, reviewing, editing, and optimizing blog articles, and he has researched and tested hundreds of cybersecurity products since joining the SafetyDetectives team. When he isn’t exploring the latest cybersecurity products, he enjoys chilling out with video games, watching sports, and exploring new parts of the world with his family.

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Kaspersky User Reviews

*User reviews are not verified

97 113
Based on 210 reviews in 27 languages 6.4
Language
You can trust the Community! Companies can't ask us to delete or change user reviews.
Kim Schwartzenberger
Kim Schwartzenberger
United States
2.0
Kapersky SCAM
Android User
I had Kapersky in 2018. I was not intending to renew. This morning, Sunday, March 31st, I received an email from Kapersky claiming "success" on my purchase, and charged me $84.99. In the email there was a link to my "supposed" order where I was able to download an invoice. The invoice said the charge was $49, not $84.99, and even had my home address incorrect. When I attempted to find contact information for Kapersky, I discovered I would have to call Russia. Recently, my existing Kapersky opened up something called "password manager". It wanted me to allow it to collect all of my password's. I was not able to "back" or "close" it. I could only get out by opening my "task manager" and shuttting down the program. BEWARE Kapersky! It has chan...Show More
Gabriel Lazarov
Gabriel Lazarov
Germany
9.0
Help
Windows User
Mrs. Zacks, you desperately need help.
Nigel
Nigel
Spain
1.0
Kaspersky Product Lineup For Windows
Windows User
I absolutely agree with your review for ALL of Kaspersky Product's package (specially K. Lineup For Windows). It is a truly harmful product for Windows and mobiles. Furthermore, it should be banned from the EU market as well.
T. A. Morse
T. A. Morse
United States
10.0
Kaspersky is great, and Ms. Zacks' review is a hatchet job
Windows User
I don't remember reading a IT-related review written as maliciously as this one. My experience with Kaspersky Antivirus is fantastic. Before Kaspersky, I have used several free av programs (Avast, AVG, Avira, etc). Then I switched to Kaspersky Free Antivirus, and it was obvious to me that Kaspersky is superior. Now I use Kaspersky Total Security, and it's great. It's easy to use, light on resources and offers many additional features (VPN, firewall, protected browser, password manager, etc).

Russian government's meddling into other countries political systems is currently one of the greatest threats to freedom, democracy and peace in the world. But claims of Kaspersky Lab being a front for FSB are not proven. Until hard evidence for such...Show More
Chris Stam
Chris Stam
Germany
10.0
Stalin revival
Windows User
You continue to censor my comments.
That's exactly what Stalin did.
Jose
Jose
Indonesia
2.0
I'm agree
Windows User
I just tried installed Kaspersky (trial) to my laptop, it have annoying notification and I uninstall it right away.
Aaaand boom!!!
Kaspersky blocked my internet connection (I can't connect to wifi even with Ethernet cable)
I tried to download (from my smartphone ofc) some drivers to fix this problem but it's not working.
I have to reinstall my windows to fix this problem.
Very amazing virus with antivirus uniform!
Dexcello
Dexcello
Finland
10.0
This woman knows nothing
Windows User
Do not listen to this tech illiterate SJW woman. Kaspersky is among the best AV's you can buy (they do have free version too). This is just lame attempt to play the Russian conspiracy card (BTW SJWs, Mueller already proved your fake news nonsense wrong). Either this woman is a paid shill, or she simply is so gullible as to believe the baseless accusations. The real reason the US government is so mad about Kaspersky is because the software was able to find US government developed malware and the US didn't like it so they want the product banned.
Stephen Stratford
Stephen Stratford
United Kingdom
10.0
A biased and xenophobic review.
Windows User
You fail to mention that Kaspersky also has an user forum. I've used both Norton and Kaspersky products (not at the same time) and they are both excellent products. As the Technical Director of the UK's NCSC stated in December 2017 (See report at https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/blog-post/managing-supply-chain-risk-cloud-enabled-products) it is far more complex that just a blanket ban of excellent product A from bad county X. Kaspersky's products have consistently excellent reviews from numerous institutions in various countries. You just adopted a lazy, biased approach to your review instead of actually looking at all the evidence instead of just blindly reprinting articles from various newspapers.
Diana Montgomery
Diana Montgomery
United States
1.0
You also can't uninstall it!
Windows User
I had system resource problems. So, I began uninstalling programs. When I uninstalled Kaspersky Free Antivirus, not only did it leave most, or maybe all, of the folders and files in my program files but I could not delete them. I tried LockHunter but it couldn't unlock them or delete them even when it said it would delete them on restart. I finally went into safe mode to delete them. Thank God I know how to do that but I'm wondering if they can use the files left on computers to track users' information. I would not put that past them. I had the same thing happen with Avast. Do they have any Russian ties?
Chris Stam
Chris Stam
Germany
10.0
The best
Windows User
Do you believe that Russia is spying on U.S.? It's true.Do you believe that U.S. is spying on Russia? It's true.
Do you believe that U.S. and Russia are spying on their citizens? It's true.
There must be no fanaticism and we must not participate in the political games of governments,media and perverse journalists,we must have an open mind.Now we comment on Kaspersky and the users want to learn about.Kaspersky is the best protection ever and completely protects the computer from any threat and infection,no other antivirus can achieve this so effectively.However,Kaspersky has a single disadvantage,significantly slows the computer.Only for that reason I don't use it anymore.
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