Kaspersky Review: Does This Antivirus Software Provider Live Up to Its Reputation?

Girl sitting behind her computer with Kaspersky logo on screen
Click here for a short summary
Kaspersky Anti-Virus Review: A Quick Summary

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, and we recommend it wholeheartedly. We’ve awarded this antivirus with an 8.8/10.

Some of its award-winning features include:

  • Real-time antivirus
  • Anti-phishing protection
  • Performance optimization
  • Payment protection
  • Ad blocker
  • File protection
  • Password manager

You can protect up to five devices with one Kaspersky Anti-Virus 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.

Visit Kaspersky

Would you like to learn more about Kaspersky Anti-Virus and our experience with this software? Are you looking for an installation guide? You can find this and more in our full review below.

Kaspersky Lab is a Russian cybersecurity giant primarily known for its namesake antivirus. It is one of the larger cybersecurity providers, along with companies such as Symantec, Sophos, and McAfee. We investigated how Kaspersky fares when compared to other antivirus providers such as AVG, Avast, Avira, and Bitdefender.

You can read all about our findings and check our final test results in the review below.

Kaspersky Packages and Prices

Kaspersky offers three antivirus packages with different programs and features. They don’t 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.

KASPERSKY ANTI-VIRUS
(BASIC FUNCTIONS)
 KASPERSKY INTERNET SECURITY
(EXTRA FUNCTIONS)
KASPERSKY TOTAL SECURITY
(EXTRA FUNCTIONS)
Real-time antivirusPayment protectionGPS child locator
Anti-phishingSmart & fast VPNChild protection
Performance optimizationAd blockerPassword manager
Private browsing
WebCam protection
Adult content blocker
Screen-time management

Each subsequent package offers the features of the previous option with some useful extras. Since Total Security doesn’t really introduce any new antivirus features, we will focus on the first two options in this review. We will look at their user-friendliness, overall quality, and, of course, security. At the time of writing, Kaspersky’s pricing is as follows:

Kaspersky Antivirus packages and prices

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.

Visit Kaspersky

Security: How Well Does Kaspersky Protect Your Computer?

For real-time protection, Kaspersky relies on a firewall, which allows or blocks certain traffic. In addition, all incoming data is automatically scanned. This can be data coming from the internet or other sources like your 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. Even so, most antivirus software in the same price range is also comparable in this department.

Specific sub-functions

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.

Anti-fraud features

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 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.

Performance and ease of use

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.

Security level: score

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. Every single time we immediately received a notification. So, users will straight away be aware that something might have gone wrong. In most cases, files are blocked in the browser.

Kaspersky blocks virus test file message

In AV-Comparatives’ test for 2021, Kaspersky was able to fend of 99.5% of all threats, with no false positives. False positives are files that are incorrectly classified as threats. This is highly inconvenient if, in reality, the files you are trying to download are harmless, but quarantined regardless.

Because of Kaspersky’s 99.5% threat protection, its extensive functions, and the fact it did not generate any 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 Policy: How Does Kaspersky Handle Your Data?

When we look at privacy, we don’t just consider Kaspersky’s own privacy protection capabilities, but also the privacy policy of the company itself. In the past, there have been some issues, namely with certain scripts on web pages that could have been exploited to steal data. No evidence of actual abuse was ever found. Nonetheless, we decided to take a good look at Kaspersky’s privacy policy.

Kaspersky’s privacy policy states several times that they give users the possibility to opt-out of “most” forms of data collection. There are indeed different instances where you can indicate whether or not you want to send your data to Kaspersky. For example, when you want to receive their newsletters, but also for marketing and personalization purposes.

Unfortunately, sometimes choosing to opt-out means that you cannot use the software. So, in the end, users agree and Kaspersky is legally allowed to collect data from users who agree to the privacy policy:

“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.”

In addition, some governments have banned the use of Kaspersky Antivirus on, for example, federal agencies’ networks. Not necessarily because there is a reason to suspect the Russian company of espionage, but because the company is based in Russia and is therefore bound by the rules to aid the Russian intelligence service if requested. Indirectly, this does of course affect users’ privacy.

Sharing your data is far from ideal, but alas, this is the way providers can improve their protection. Be aware that you agree to data sharing when using Kaspersky Internet Security. In conclusion, we give Kaspersky a 7.5 for their privacy policy, because no evidence of abuse has been found and because their privacy policy clearly mentions the data collection.

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 see the overview of the purchase screen below:

Kaspersky Antivirus subscription options and prices

We’ve installed and tested the Advanced Suite package, because its features are comparable to the most popular software packages of other providers, such as AVG, Bitdefender or Avira. This way, our comparison between providers is as fair as possible.

How do I install Kaspersky?

Kaspersky’s installation process is self-explanatory, as is the case with 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.

Kaspersy installation finished screenshot

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.

Kaspersky drop-down menu to choose location before installation

Kaspersky’s software

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.

In our opinion, the software is generally easy to use and navigate. It’s quite obvious where to find certain options. When we add its sleek website and easy installation process, we have to give Kaspersky a 9.0 for ease of use.

Kaspersky interface screenshot

Customer Support

Kaspersky’s customer service with an actual person can be reached via live chat. As with many other antivirus providers, this option is somewhat hidden behind other support information on the website. There is, for example, a very extensive Knowledge Base, which in many cases provides you with the information you need.

When we actually tried to contact Kaspersky, however, it took a while before we could reach someone. This option is only available to those who have a user account. But even then, you have to complete a few too many steps.

It’s possible to send a support request, to which you will receive an answer by e-mail. In addition, there’s also the option of a live chat to get quick answers to your questions. Contact via the phone is also possible. The phone number, however, cannot be found on the support page and is only mentioned on the “About” page.

Once we entered the live chat, it only took a minute for our problem to be resolved. So, the speed and effectiveness of Kaspersky’s customer support service were certainly fine. However, our chat was cut off rather abruptly after we said “Yes” to the question if our problem had been solved, while it was quite possible that we had another problem.

Afterwards, we were asked if we wanted to fill in a survey about the quality of customer support. Honestly, our rating would have been higher if it would have been easier to contact customer service in the first place, and if we hadn’t been cut off too soon. That’s why we give Kaspersky’s customer service a rating of 6.5.

Speed and 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 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?

Kaspersky did not disappoint us, but no virus scanner is perfect. You can find our list of pros and cons below.

AdvantagesDisadvantages
Kaspersky’s protection is top qualityThe customer service did not work as smoothly and fast as we had hoped
Very user-friendly with a lot of informationThe privacy policy is not always very clear
Kaspersky offers many different types of scans that are also very fastOur computer sometimes became very hot during a thorough scan

In conclusion, Kaspersky is a high-level antivirus provider. The Russian giant clearly lives up to its reputation. Nonetheless, there are a few drawbacks as well, most notably customer service and customer support. Also, the privacy policy isn’t very transparent. Unfortunately, nowadays, this is the norm rather than the exception.

For our final assessment, we combined the ratings for security (weighting of 0.5), speed and system load (weighting of 0.2), privacy (weighting of 0.1), ease of use (weighting of 0.1), and customer service (weighting of 0.1). As you can see, Kaspersky receives a high score of 8.8. We must add that a more fine-tuned customer service process would certainly have resulted in a 9 or higher.

  • Security: 9.5
  • Speed and system load: 8.5
  • Privacy Policy: 7.5
  • Ease of use: 9.0
  • Customer service: 6.5
  • Final score: 8.8

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.

Visit Kaspersky
Kaspersky Antivirus – FAQs

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:

  1. Right-click the “Start” button in the bottom left-hand corner of your screen to open the context menu.
  2. Select “Apps and Features“.
  3. The “Apps and Features” screen opens.
  4. Select “Kaspersky Security Scan“.
  5. Click the “Uninstall” button.

For Mac, Kaspersky can be removed as follows:

  1. Open the installation file of your package.
  2. Double-click “Uninstall“.
  3. Enter your username and password.
  4. Kaspersky will be removed.

No, Kaspersky does not have a free version. But it is possible to download a demo version from the Kaspersky website to check whether the software suits you. Also, we recommend checking out our in-depth review to find out whether Kaspersky is for you.

IT communication specialist
Sandra has many years of experience in the IT and tech sector as a communication specialist. She's also been co-director of a company specializing in IT, editorial services and communications project management. For VPNoverview.com she follows relevant cybercrime and online privacy developments. She rigorously tests the quality of VPN services using VPNOverview.com's dedicated VPN testing protocol that has been finetuned and optimized over the years.