Short on time? Here’s the best Kaspersky alternative in 2023:
- 🥇Norton: A better antivirus than Kaspersky overall. Norton has an excellent malware engine and a great range of additional tools, including a virtual private network (VPN), a password manager, parental controls, dark web monitoring, and cloud backup.
Kaspersky is a legitimate antivirus, but there has been some concern about its security because the company is headquartered in Russia. Some users are worried that the Russian government may be using Kaspersky as a surveillance tool. However, there is no evidence to back up this suspicion. Nonetheless, if you do want to find another antivirus, there are some good alternatives to Kaspersky out there.
If you’re looking for an alternative to Kaspersky, you should choose carefully. Kaspersky is one of the top antiviruses on the market, with flawless malware detection and useful tools like web protection, a virtual private network (VPN), a password manager, and webcam protection. Most antiviruses don’t offer comparable quality — many have poor malware detection and additional tools that don’t really add any value.
After thoroughly testing a heap of antiviruses, I found 5 great Kaspersky alternatives in 2023. My list only includes products with comparable features to Kaspersky — and in some cases, the tools on offer work even better than Kaspersky’s. The brands I recommend also have easy-to-use apps and a beginner-friendly interface, and they either offer generous free trials or money-back guarantees, so you can try them out risk-free. My top pick, Norton, for example, offers a generous 60-day money-back guarantee.
Quick summary of the best Kaspersky antivirus alternatives:
- 🥇1. Norton — Best overall Kaspersky antivirus alternative in 2023.
- 🥈2. Bitdefender — Lightweight cloud-based scanner + tons of extras.
- 🥉3. McAfee — Great web protection + an advanced firewall.
- 4. Avira — Excellent free plan with decent cleanup tools.
- 5. Intego — Best Kaspersky antivirus alternative for Mac.
- Comparison of the Best Kaspersky Antivirus Alternatives in 2023.
🥇1. Norton — Best Antivirus Alternative to Kaspersky
Norton isn’t only the best Kaspersky alternative — it’s the best antivirus on the market in 2023 overall. Like Kaspersky, Norton provides excellent malware protection, advanced security tools, and a beginner-friendly user interface. But it also offers a wider range of extra features than Kaspersky does, and they all add a ton of value.
Norton has a powerful anti-malware engine that uses machine learning, heuristic analysis and a massive malware directory to identify all types of malware. I put over 1,000 malware samples onto my PC, including viruses, adware, worms, trojans, and more. Norton’s full system scan detected 100% of this malware. Kaspersky, Bitdefender, and McAfee also have excellent detection rates, but Norton’s full scans are the quickest, taking just 40 minutes.
Norton’s real-time protection is great, too. After I turned it on, I tried downloading the same set of malware samples, and Norton instantly blocked my attempts. Kaspersky also has excellent real-time protection, so it’s good to know that if you switch to Norton, you won’t lose this protection.
Norton’s other security tools include:
- Web protection.
- VPN (unlimited data).
- Password manager.
- Parental controls.
- Dark web monitoring.
- Cloud backup.
- ID theft protections (US only).
I like how Norton’s VPN comes with unlimited data on all plans. Kaspersky sets a 300 MB daily cap on your data, while Bitdefender only offers unlimited data on its top-tier plan. Norton’s VPN also comes with 256-bit AES encryption, a no-logs policy, a kill switch, and split-tunneling, and it’s a decent choice for streaming. While it’s not as good as the best standalone VPNs, it’s still one of the best antivirus-bundled VPNs around.
I also really like Norton’s password manager, which offers 256-bit AES encryption, unlimited password storage, auto-save and auto-fill, a password generator, and password vault auditing. Again, you get full functionality with all plans, while Kaspersky’s password manager limits you to just 15 passwords on its lower-tier plans.
For $9.99 / year, you can get Norton’s cheapest plan, Antivirus Plus, which covers 1 device (Windows, Mac, Android, or iOS) and includes malware and real-time protection, a firewall, web protections, 2 GB cloud storage, and a password manager.
But Norton 360 Deluxe is my favorite Norton plan. It protects up to 5 devices and adds a privacy monitor and parental controls for $24.99 / year. Norton’s Lifelock plans start at $69.99 / year and include credit monitoring and identity theft protection — but they’re only available for US customers. All plans come with a 60-day money-back guarantee.
Norton is the best alternative to Kaspersky antivirus in 2023. It offers flawless malware detection and excellent extras like a password manager, parental controls, dark web monitoring, and a VPN with unlimited data on all plans. It has cheap plans that are covered by a 60-day money-back guarantee.
🥈2. Bitdefender — Best Kaspersky Alternative With a Lightweight Cloud-Based Scanner
Bitdefender comes with a lightweight antivirus scanner that has perfect malware detection rates — it found all the malware samples I hid on my Windows PC. Like Norton, Bitdefender’s malware engine uses machine learning, advanced heuristics, and an immense malware directory to detect all threats. And because it’s cloud-based, I didn’t experience any slowdown during full system scans.
Other Bitdefender features include:
- Web protection.
- Ransomware remediation.
- Secure web browser.
- Password manager.
- VPN (200 MB/day).
- System optimization.
- Parental controls.
- Webcam protection.
I really like Bitdefender’s web protection — when I tried accessing several phishing sites, Bitdefender blocked all of them. Kaspersky’s anti-phishing tool, on the other hand, missed a couple of risky sites. Another thing I really like is Bitdefender’s notification screen, which displays all the websites the software blocked and why. This made it easy to whitelist websites that I knew were actually safe.
Bitdefender has a secure web browser called Safepay, which is similar to Kaspersky’s Safe Money but loads much more quickly. Safepay prevents hackers from accessing your device and stealing personal information during online transactions. I tested this by logging into my Payoneer account —- I found I couldn’t copy and paste info or take screenshots while using Safepay. Plus, Safepay has a virtual keyboard, which prevents keyloggers from tracking your keystrokes.
Bitdefender has several plans to choose from. Its entry-level plan, Antivirus Plus, costs $23.99 / year, covers 3 devices (Windows only), and includes malware protection, anti-phishing protection, a VPN with a 200 MB daily limit, and ransomware protection. If you want to cover multiple operating systems, Total Security is a great choice. It protects up to 5 devices (Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android) and adds parental controls, webcam protection, and a device optimizer for only $35.99 / year. Bitdefender backs all plans with a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.
Bitdefender has a powerful cloud-based malware engine that can detect any threat on your device. It also offers web protection, system optimization, a VPN, a password manager, and identity theft protection — all of which make it an excellent Kaspersky alternative. All plans are backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read the full Bitdefender review here
🥉3. McAfee — Great Web Protection + Advanced Firewall
McAfee offers great malware protection and unbeatable web security features. Its antivirus scanner uses machine learning, heuristics, and behavioral detection to detect, isolate, and remove all sorts of threats. Just like Norton and Bitdefender, McAfee was able to discover every single threat on my computer. However, unlike with Norton and Bitdefender, my system slowed down when I carried out full system scans with McAfee.
McAfee’s extra features include:
- Anti-phishing protection.
- Wi-Fi network protection.
- VPN (unlimited with auto-renewal).
- Password manager.
- Performance optimization.
- Parental controls.
- Identity theft protection.
WebAdvisor is McAfee’s browser extension — it’s similar to Kaspersky’s Web Anti-Virus. WebAdvisor blocks exploit attacks, phishing sites, and browser-based cryptojackers. In my tests, it successfully blocked every phishing site and exploit attack. While Kaspersky’s web protection is also really good, it did let a couple of malicious sites through, so McAfee has the edge.
I was also very impressed with McAfee’s firewall — I found it effective and easy to use. It detected and blocked several of the threats I tested against it, including exploits and network intrusions (most of which Windows’s built-in firewall failed to detect). Compared to Kaspersky’s firewall, McAfee offers more customization options for advanced users, and its interface is more intuitive than Kaspersky’s.
McAfee Total Protection Plus costs $39.99 / year and covers 5 Windows, Android, iOS, macOS, or ChromeOS devices. It provides web protection, a VPN (unlimited with auto-renewal), a password manager, a file shredder, and identity monitoring. However, my favorite plan is Premium, which costs $54.99 / year and protects an unlimited number of devices. It also includes personal data cleanup scans, and the family version of this plan adds parental controls. Every McAfee subscription comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
McAfee is an excellent Kaspersky alternative with a flawless antivirus scanner and great online security features. Its WebAdvisor browser extension protects you from unsafe websites and other malicious threats, and its firewall is very effective at preventing network intrusions and exploit attacks. McAfee also comes with extras like parental controls, a VPN, and a password manager. All plans are backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read the full McAfee review here
4. Avira — Excellent Free Plan With Good Cleanup Tools
Avira uses one of the most powerful malware engines on the market. Its anti-malware technology is so good that it’s been licensed out to competitors such as TotalAV. And like Kaspersky, Avira’s malware engine is cloud-based, so it doesn’t put strain on your system.
When I tested Avira, it detected all the sample malware on my computer, and the scan didn’t slow my system down at all. My only problem with Avira’s full scan is that it takes over an hour — Kaspersky’s scans only take about 45 minutes. However, this isn’t a big deal since you can use your computer as normal while Avira is scanning.
I really like Avira’s free plan. While Kaspersky does have a basic free product (Kaspersky Security Cloud), it only offers bare-bones antivirus protection, whereas Avira’s free plan comes with extras such as:
- Safe Shopping browser extension.
- Performance optimization tools.
- VPN (500 MB monthly limit).
- Password manager.
- File shredder.
I particularly like Avira’s PC junk file cleaner, which detects and removes junk files and folders from your PC. It was able to find over 1 GB of junk files on my system. I also like the driver updater, which showed me all my outdated programs. Kaspersky also comes with optimization features, such as its PC Cleaner and Unused Data Cleaner, but it doesn’t offer advanced tools like Avira’s battery usage manager and system speed-up tools.
Upgrading to Avira Prime unlocks all features, including web protection, an unlimited-data VPN, and advanced optimization tools, for just $59.99 / year, All Avira plans come with a 60-day money-back guarantee.
Avira has a powerful cloud-based malware engine and good system optimization tools. The free plan includes a VPN, a password manager, and a Safe Shopping browser extension. Avira’s premium plans are also a good value, and they’re all backed by a 60-day money-back guarantee.
5. Intego — Best Kaspersky Alternative for macOS
Intego is my favorite internet security suite for macOS. Its antivirus scanner — VirusBarrier — has near-perfect malware detection rates, and it offers an excellent range of Mac-specific security tools.
Intego’s full scan took about an hour to scan over 1 million files, but because it uses a file caching system (the same technology Norton uses to skip previously scanned files), subsequent scans took only a few minutes. VirusBarrier also lets you scan external drives or iOS devices you connect to your Mac, making it easy to protect your other devices.
Intego’s features include:
- Advanced firewall.
- Mac optimization and cleaning tools.
- Customizable backup options.
- Parental controls.
I was impressed with Intego’s NetBarrier firewall. It alerts you to incoming and outgoing network connections and gives you the option to allow or block them. It also adjusts settings depending on the network you’re using — home, work, or public Wi-Fi. Kaspersky, on the other hand, only includes a network attack blocker in its Mac version rather than a comprehensive firewall, which is disappointing.
Another stand-out Intego feature is the Washing Machine system optimizer, which scans your Mac for junk files and duplicates and helps you arrange apps and files on your system. After scanning my MacBook for about a minute, Washing Machine discovered over 100 duplicate files. Overall, it’s a great optimization tool, on a similar level to Kaspersky’s system cleanup tools.
Intego has two plans — Mac Internet Security X9 and Mac Premium Bundle X9. Priced at $19.99 / year, Mac Internet Security X9 offers malware protection and a firewall. But to access parental controls and optimization tools, you should get Mac Premium Bundle X9, which costs $34.99 / year. Both plans protect up to 5 Mac devices and are covered by a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.
Intego provides great malware detection and removal and a range of excellent Mac-specific security features. Its advanced firewall, backup tools, and parental controls are much better than Apple’s own built-in features. Intego’s plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you have plenty of time to test it and see if it’s right for you.
Comparison of the Best Kaspersky Antivirus Alternatives in 2023
|Antivirus||Starting Price||Firewall||VPN||Free Plan||Money-Back Guarantee|
|1.🥇Norton||$54.99 / year||✅||Unlimited data||❌||60-days|
|2.🥈Bitdefender||$23.99 / year||✅||Unlimited data (with Bitdefender Premium Security)||✅||30-days|
|3.🥉McAfee||$39.99 / year||✅||Unlimited data (with auto-renewals)||❌||30-days|
|4. Avira||$45.99 / year||❌||Unlimited data (with Avira Prime)||✅||60-days|
|5. Intego||$1.67 / month||✅||Unlimited data (separate purchase)||❌||30-days|
How to Choose the Best Kaspersky Alternative in 2023
- Malware detection. Because Kaspersky has an excellent malware scanner, it only makes sense to choose an alternative with perfect or near-perfect detection rates like Norton or Bitdefender.
- Extra features. I only recommend products that come with useful additional features like VPNs, password managers, and system optimization tools. I tested each feature for every antivirus on this list to make sure they work effectively and highlighted features that are as good as or better than Kaspersky’s. For example, Norton’s password manager and McAfee’s firewall are both superior to Kaspersky’s equivalent features.
- Ease of use. It’s always good when a product is easy to use. Whether you’re tech-savvy or have never used antivirus software before, you’ll find the antiviruses on this list very easy to download, install, and get to grips with. They all have user-friendly and intuitive interfaces, and there’s not too much of a learning curve involved in navigating their features. That said, products like Norton and Bitdefender also offer great customization options for more advanced users.
- Reputation. Reputation is important — the reason some people are looking for an alternative to Kaspersky is because they believe its reputation to be at stake. Therefore, I only considered products that have never been involved in unethical business practices, such as spying on you or selling your data to online businesses.
- Overall value. To compete with Kaspersky, an antivirus needs to have a range of affordable plans that offer a decent selection of features and cover multiple devices. I also ensured every product on my list offers a risk-free money-back guarantee — Norton and Avira both have 60- day money-back guarantees.
Top Brands That Didn’t Make the Cut
- Trend Micro. Trend Micro’s antivirus scanner is decent, detecting around 97% of the malware samples in our tests, but the brands that made it to this list have perfect malware detection and removal rates.
- Malwarebytes. Malwarebytes offers great web protection and a VPN with unlimited data. However, I’m not impressed with its 95% malware detection rate. Plus, Malwarebytes doesn’t offer much in the way of additional features.
- Heimdal. Heimdal has a 98% malware detection rate and a couple of useful tools for advanced users, but it’s also somewhat buggy and lacks additional features like a VPN and password manager.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the best alternative to Kaspersky?
I recommend Norton as the best overall alternative to Kaspersky. It has a powerful malware engine with a 100% detection rate. What’s more, its full scans only take 40 minutes, and I never experienced any slowdowns during scans. Norton also provides useful extra features like web protection, a VPN, a password manager, dark web monitoring, parental controls, and identity theft protections (US only).
How secure is Kaspersky?
According to independent audits and third-party tests, Kaspersky is very secure. However, Russia’s war against Ukraine has raised concerns about Kaspersky’s security, causing governments to warn against the antivirus product, or even ban its use on sensitive computers. Kaspersky has denied all allegations, and there’s no proof to support any of these suspicions. But if you’re concerned about the potential risks of using Kaspersky, you can check out any of these great antivirus alternatives.
Is Kaspersky owned by Russia?
No, Kaspersky isn’t owned by Russia. Kaspersky was founded in Russia, and its headquarters are in Moscow. Also, Eugene Kaspersky, the current CEO of Kaspersky Lab, worked in The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation before co-founding Kaspersky Lab in 1997. However, these facts don’t imply that Kaspersky works for the Russian government.
The major concern regarding Kaspersky and the Russian government is that Russian agents may be using Kaspersky as a surveillance tool. But there is no evidence to suggest that the Russian government is exploiting Kaspersky’s network.
Is Microsoft Defender better than Kaspersky?
No, Microsoft Defender is not better than Kaspersky. Kaspersky has a flawless antivirus engine that detects malware more effectively than Microsoft Defender. Plus, it offers a secure browser, webcam protection, a VPN, and a password manager, all of which Microsoft Defender lacks. It also has better web protection and more advanced parental controls than Microsoft Defender.
Overall, Kaspersky’s excellent features put it more on a par with premium antivirus competitors like Norton and Bitdefender.