A stray piece of malware could place your private data into the wrong hands in a matter of minutes. It could also lock you out of your computer until you pay a steep ransom. Using solid antivirus software will detect those attacks and block them before they reach your system.
Kaspersky has been at the very top of the antivirus market for almost two decades, but recent events and the company’s history with Russia has us cautious about its ability to keep user information private. Even with all of that, we’ve still awarded this antivirus with an 8.3/10.
Some of its award-winning features include:
- Real-time antivirus
- Anti-phishing protection
- Performance optimization
- Payment protection
- File protection
- Password manager
You can protect up to five devices with one Kaspersky Antivirus subscription. With a 30-day money-back guarantee, you have a full month to test the software cost-free and see if it works for you.
Kaspersky Lab is a global cybersecurity giant, primarily known for its namesake antivirus. It is one of the larger cybersecurity providers, with arguably the most popular antivirus offering right now.
In the review below, we tested the Kaspersky Internet Security package, because its features are comparable to the most popular software packages of other providers. This helps us ensure that our comparison remains as fair as possible.
Here’s our comprehensive Kaspersky review in 2022.
Kaspersky Review (2022): An Overview
|Multilayered malware protection||Based in Russia with connections to the local FSB|
|Extended protection for Wi-Fi network & peripherals||Moderate to high system impact|
|3, 5, and 10 device license options||Sub-par customer service|
|30-day free trial||Few features on the basic package|
|User Friendly||Basic package only available for Windows|
|Built-in VPN, Password manager, & parental controls included in some packages||Built-in VPN offers limited traffic bandwidth|
|Packages available for Windows, Android, Mac, and iOS|
For the Kaspersky review, we focused on five categories: security, speed and system load, privacy, ease of use, and customer service. We then combined the ratings for security (weightage of 0.4), privacy (weightage of 0.3), speed and system load (weightage of 0.1), ease of use (weightage of 0.1), and customer service (weightage of 0.1) to determine Kaspersky antivirus program’s overall score.
As you can see below, Kaspersky receives an overall score of 8.3. Their score was mainly affected by customer service issues and privacy concerns.
Kaspersky offers three antivirus packages with different programs and features. Each subsequent package offers the features of the previous option with some useful extras. The Kaspersky antivirus programs do not just protect you against viruses and malware, but also safeguard, for example, online payments and your privacy.
Of course, all three packages offer a scan function. This can be a quick scan, thorough scan, chosen folder/subfolder scan, or a scan of external devices (a USB, for example).
Check our summary of Kaspersky’s packages below.
|Feature||Kaspersky Anti-Virus||Kaspersky Internet Security||Kaspersky Total Security|
|Pricing||From $29.99||From $39.99||From $44.99|
|Smart & Fast VPN||✖||✔||✔|
|Adult Content Blocker||✖||✔||✔|
|GPS Child Locator||✖||✖||✔|
Do you want a subscription to one of the Kaspersky packages straight away? Click on the button below to go to the site of this premium antivirus provider.
Security: Can Kaspersky Internet Security Be Trusted?
Real-time threat protection
Kaspersky Anti-Virus, Kaspersky Internet Security, and Kaspersky Total Security not only automatically scan all incoming data but they all use a firewall for real-time protection. The firewall provides the first level of defense by either allowing or blocking certain traffic.
The scans review data coming from all sources, including from the internet, email, and an external drive like a USB stick. The scan function also checks the activity of all installed programs, preventing them from executing any harmful actions.
The scans can be scheduled or user-initiated, and they range from quick to thorough checks. You’ll read more about this in the “Speed and Performance” section. To assess the quality of Kaspersky’s protection, we’ve calculated an average based on the results of tests run by AV-Comparatives.
Furthermore, we compared Kaspersky’s features to those of other providers. This helped us calculate its price-to-value ratio. Kaspersky offers extremely high functionality and excellent real-time protection. Even so, most antivirus software in the same price range is also comparable in this department.
Some sub-functionalities are a real bonus. There’s a virtual keyboard, for example, that protects you against keyloggers. Instead of typing on your regular keyboard, you simply use the virtual one to securely enter sensitive information, such as your online banking details.
You can also add certain websites to a “Safe Money” list. Kaspersky will automatically open them in Protected Browser mode. This protects all payments made through those websites. This solution feels more secure than AVG’s counterpart, for example. Its “Payments protection” is more of an anti-phishing safeguard that only blocks fake sites and suspicious emails.
Another interesting security feature is “System Watcher.” It prevents ransomware or other malicious programs that lock you out of your PC. It also scans your system for network attacks, so that they can be stopped before reaching your device.
When it comes to privacy and anti-fraud, Kaspersky offers protection against data collection via websites, as well as protection against third-party takeovers of your webcam.
You also have the option to turn on an anti-banner filter to disable the display of those annoying advertisements. Furthermore, there is a feature that protects against phishing via text messages and e-mails. Kaspersky makes use of an extensive database to automatically recognize phishing messages in email programs such as Outlook.
Security testing: How does Kaspersky measure up?
We completed our own testing, as well as reviewed AV-Test and AV-Comparatives tests. We combined these findings to determine our security score for our Kaspersky review.
In our usage test, we immediately noticed that Kaspersky’s real-time protection capabilities are excellent. We tried to download a number of test files, which were disguised as malware for antivirus scanners.
Each time, we immediately received a notification regarding the affected file or malicious URL. In fact, in most cases, files are blocked in the browser and never made it onto our system.
AV-Test showed Kaspersky’s with 100% threat protection during their tests in November and December of 2021. These tests were against malware attacks, inclusive of web and e-mail threats.
When we reviewed AV-Comparatives’ tests for 2021, we weren’t surprised by their findings showing that the antivirus program was able to fend off 99.5% of all threats, with no false positives.
False positives occur when an antivirus program incorrectly identifies a file as a threat. This can be highly inconvenient if the files you are trying to download are harmless, but are quarantined regardless.
As you can see, Kaspersky offers some of the best protection against malware attacks. With its 99.5% threat protection, extensive functions, and track record of no false positives, we give Kaspersky Security a score of 9.5.
This is one of the most impressive scores among antivirus solutions we have reviewed.
Privacy: How Does Kaspersky Handle Your Data?
Kaspersky privacy protection capabilities
While Kaspersky offers user’s an impressive level of security, their privacy features are somewhat limited. The good thing is, they are helpful for keeping your information private. These features include:
- Kaspersky VPN – Kaspersky includes a VPN with their Internet Security and Total Security packages. While this is a nice bonus for users, the VPN isn’t the most impressive due to its limited traffic capabilities of 300MB per day. That can be used up in less than an hour when streaming online. With that being said, this is still enough for browsing online when you’re on public Wi-fi at the local coffee shop.
- Kaspersky privacy browsing – Another feature Kaspersky includes with their higher-tier packages is private browsing. This allows users to keep their activities and data from being tracked by websites. This partnered with the included VPN gives users some anonymity when surfing the web.
- You can opt out of certain data used for marketing personalization
- Promotional offer popups can be disabled
- Users can choose to opt out of Kaspersky Security Network (KSN), but this can cause issues with the viability of the product or service.
- Per Kaspersky’s support, the only information shared with third parties is the one-time password for activating the program on your device. For example, the one-time password is sent to Google when you use Google Play to download the application.
- Other information that Kaspersky could collect and use includes: license/subscription information, product information, device data (type of device, operating system, etc), threats and suspicious files detected, information on installed applications, URLs visited, Wi-Fi connection data (including your access point), user contact information, emails, child’s device information (including their location), and the unique identifier of a mobile device.
While that may seem like a lot of information, much of that data is required for the services and products to fully function. Kaspersky also states:
“However, if you do not provide personal data when requested, you may not be able to benefit from the full range of Kaspersky Lab products and services and we may not be able to provide you with information about products, services, and promotions.”
Kaspersky privacy issues and government connections
Kaspersky has its share of privacy concerns, but not due to data breaches or lax controls. For example, although the company had some issues with certain scripts on web pages that could have been exploited to steal data, no evidence of actual abuse was ever found.
Instead of hacking concerns, Kaspersky’s privacy concerns start where the company was founded and is still headquartered, in Russia. Since the company is based in Russia, it may be bound by the laws to aid the Russian intelligence service if requested.
Other governments have taken notice of this and have banned the use of Kaspersky Antivirus on, for example, federal agencies’ networks.
After reviewing the end-user license agreement, Kaspersky is governed by the laws in the country where the original purchase was completed. This means, if you live in a country with more government control, your private information could be shared with local government authorities without your permission. This is a cause for concern regarding Kaspersky users’ privacy, but there is good news.
When reviewing Kaspersky’s Law Enforcement and Government Requests Report, we noticed that, although Russia has, by far, requested the most user data, Kaspersky has not complied with their requests in the past two years.
|Year||Number of Requests||Requests Approved|
This doesn’t say that they have not in the past or will not comply again but does support the company’s claim to be a more transparent global entity.
Kaspersky privacy summary
Sharing your data is far from ideal, but it seems like most of the information collected by Kaspersky is for necessary purposes. However, it is still important to be aware of what exactly you are agreeing to share when using Kaspersky Internet Security.
Although there is no recent history of data breaches or compliance with government requests, the possible influence of governing authorities makes us uncertain of the level of protection they can offer users.
Ease of Use: How User-Friendly Is Kaspersky?
Kaspersky’s website looks clean and professional. In some countries, you first have to select whether you’re a business or a home user. In other countries, you can go straight to the product section. To install Kaspersky, first, click on “View Products”.
The next page will show you a wide variety of Kaspersky products. You can choose the system and package with a few clicks.
With a 30-day money-back guarantee, you have a full month to test the software cost-free and see if it works for you.
How do I install Kaspersky?
Kaspersky’s installation process is user-friendly with its self-explanatory prompts, similar to many other antivirus programs. After processing your payment, the installer will be downloaded automatically.
Next, you only have to click on “Run”. After you have gone through this process, Kaspersky immediately scans your system, after which the start screen appears.
You might have to indicate in which part of the world you live to make Kaspersky work properly before the installation file is downloaded. If this is the case, you can do this in the drop-down menu as shown below.
Make sure you pay attention during this step if you have to go through it. Otherwise, the program you download might simply not work properly.
The options you have in Kaspersky’s Internet Security software are not much more extensive than with other providers. However, the software does come across as very transparent and easy to navigate during use.
It is, for example, very easy to view details of different parts of the software. By clicking on a section’s button, you can see at a glance what is protected and what is not.
What is also very user-friendly is that a brief explanation appears on your screen when you open a certain program component for the first time. With “Safe banking,” for example, it isn’t immediately clear from the standard interface what you can do with this part.
However, the explanation tells you how to use it. You can view these user manuals at any point later in time by clicking on the “How does it work?” button.
Such an explanation doesn’t appear in the Privacy Protection section, but this interface is more self-explanatory. This indicates that the developers have really thought about the design of the software so you won’t be confronted with annoying and unnecessary content.
How easy is it to cancel Kaspersky?
The cancellation process of Kaspersky is pretty easy. Below are two ways to cancel Kaspersky:
- Login to your account online.
- Click on Existing Customers and then My Kaspersky.
- Click on Subscriptions.
- Click on the subscription in question.
- Click manage subscription.
- Click on the “cancel” button at the bottom of the screen.
- Confirm your cancellation.
How easy is Kaspersky to use overall?
In our opinion, the software is generally easy to use and navigate. The installation process is easy and options are upfront for quick access. When we add its sleek website and straightforward cancelation process, we have to give Kaspersky a 9.0 for ease of use.
Kaspersky offers three options to connect with customer service: 24/7 Live Chat, Email, and Phone. Live chat seems like a fast option, but unfortunately, this is an AI assistant that never connected us with a human. The prompts only led us to links on the website or provided a phone number.
We wish we could say our customer service experience improved when we switched to phone support, but alas, that was not the case. We first clicked on About Us, then Contact Us. That is when we were taken to the contact page.
This page does provide an email and phone number for general inquiries, but to get technical support from a real person, you have to pay for premium support.
It’s also possible to send a support request, to which you will receive an answer by e-mail. This is fine if you are not in a rush. However, for someone looking for a quick answer, your best bet is to try to find the answer in the Kaspersky Knowledge Base, Kaspersky’s online support library, or call and hope your question is one the general customer support can answer.
Kaspersky’s Knowledge Base and chat assistant are both great resources, but their live support is lacking. One bright spot in our experience was how quickly our questions were answered once we finally connected with customer service.
So, the speed and effectiveness of customer support service are great. It just took too long to get there.
Honestly, our rating would have been higher if it would have been easier to contact customer service in the first place. That’s why we give Kaspersky’s customer service a rating of 6.5.
Speed and Performance
Kaspersky also has several functions that make your PC easier to use and boost its performance. The gaming mode, for example, guarantees that you’ll not be disturbed by antivirus notifications while gaming.
Furthermore, no scheduled antivirus tasks are performed when the battery is low. On top of that, Kaspersky’s software doesn’t drastically affect your PC’s performance.
Kaspersky’s scanning function gives you two options: a quick scan and a thorough scan. The thorough scan took us approximately 12.5 minutes, the quick scan only took 40 seconds. These are excellent speeds, meaning you can quickly do a scan without being disturbed during your day.
Kaspersky was pretty light on our system performance. You actually don’t even notice it when a scan is running or when real-time malware protection is active in the background.
These processes use a total of approximately 110 MB of working memory when running in the background. The CPU usage remains below 2 percent.
In addition to checking facts and figures, we have extensively tested whether other programs stay stable in combination with Kaspersky. We can simply conclude that, in that regard, little or nothing gives away that an antivirus program is running. During scans, CPU usage and working memory usage do go up quickly, but this is to be expected with good virus protection.
Above all, this did not hinder us when using other software. However, during the thorough scan, our computer did get very warm and the fans were running on full power. This is a slight drawback. We can imagine that some devices might suffer due to excessive system load.
Kaspersky’s good system performance resulted in a score of 9 in terms of performance and speed. We did subtract 0.5 points for the intense thorough scan, which demanded quite a lot from our system. In conclusion, we gave Kaspersky a score of 8.5.
Final Verdict: Is Kaspersky a Good Virus Scanner?
Are you as convinced of the quality of Kaspersky as we are? Would you like to take out a subscription right away? Click on the button below to go directly to the website.
Do you have a question you want a quick answer to? Check the FAQs below and your problem may be solved immediately.
Kaspersky is available in three packages, namely Kaspersky Anti-Virus for $29.99 per year (one device), Internet Security for $44.99 per year (one device), and Total Security for $59.99 per year (one device).
In Windows 10, Kaspersky can be removed by taking the following steps:
- Right-click the “Start” button in the bottom left-hand corner of your screen to open the context menu.
- Select “Apps and Features“.
- The “Apps and Features” screen opens.
- Select “Kaspersky Security Scan“.
- Click the “Uninstall” button.
For Mac, Kaspersky can be removed as follows:
- Open the installation file of your package.
- Double-click “Uninstall“.
- Enter your username and password.
- Kaspersky will be removed.