Kaspersky Review 2024 – Is Kaspersky Safe to Use?

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Is Kaspersky antivirus safe?

Kaspersky is a popular antivirus that has been debated over the past few years. Many users have been wary of the provider due to previous security flaws in the software.

However, Kaspersky is trying to rebuild trust these days, and AV-Tests confirm the software’s effectiveness. Kaspersky scored 100% in detecting zero-day malware attacks and preventing malware attacks. So, is Kaspersky reliable? Let’s delve deeper and see.

Pros

  • Good at dealing with zero-day threats
  • Nearly no impact on device performance
  • System optimization available
  • User-friendly interface

Cons

  • Relatively expensive
  • Fewer features on Apple devices
  • Russian origins and potential connections to Russian intelligence
NOTE: In April of 2024, Joe Biden and Donald Trump signed an order to prohibit Kaspersky Lab from providing certain products to U.S. companies and citizens. While nothing has been fully confirmed yet, the change might result in Kaspersky Lab products being banned in the U.S. For more details, see our full breakdown of Kaspersky’s U.S. ban.

Is Kaspersky safe to use? In this Kaspersky review, we’ll share our testing results to help you decide whether this antivirus is for you.

Our Kaspersky review will also explore the full details of its pricing plans, pros and cons. Plus, we’ll share how it compares to the best antiviruses in the market.

What is Kaspersky Antivirus?

Kaspersky is a cybersecurity product that can tackle malware, ransomware, spyware, and similar cyber threats. It offers real-time protection and is able to remove malicious files from your devices, no matter their source.

In addition, Kaspersky provides web protection features that can shield you from phishing attacks, store your passwords, and stop you from downloading malicious files. Besides its antivirus features, the company offers parental controls, a secure VPN solution, and dark web data leak monitoring.

Kaspersky has pricing plans for personal and business use on Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS devices.

Is Kaspersky Safe?

It’s highly debated whether Kaspersky is safe. But why?  Kaspersky antivirus protection is provided by Kaspersky Lab, a cybersecurity company founded in Russia by Eugene Kaspersky, a former military intelligence agent, and it has its headquarters in Moscow today.

Allegations of collaboration with Russian intelligence agencies led the Department of Homeland Security to ban its use by government agencies in the US in 2017 – and senior staff have included former KGB agents.

This action led to a steep decline in Kaspersky’s reputation. In response, Kaspersky has moved key operations and servers out of Russia. The company’s data processing and storage resources are spread around the world and are subject to third-party inspections to ensure the company respects user privacy.

Today, Kaspersky delivers one of the most comprehensive antivirus protection on the market, and it hasn’t faced any specific new accusations of spying on its users in years.

An additional issue, however, is that many businesses and consumers have begun to boycott Russian firms since the country’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022, and Eugene Kaspersky has refused to condemn the invasion. Following the invasion, the US government reportedly also began to warn American companies involved in critical infrastructure not to use Kaspersky software.

So, if you ask, “Is Kaspersky Safe in 2024?” and “Is Kaspersky Russian?” the answer is that it’s a global company that offers premium features and a good level of security; however, past experiences made users wary of using the services.

So if Kaspersky is not for you, check out our guide to the best Kaspersky alternatives for other antivirus solutions.

Kaspersky Plans & Pricing

Kaspersky isn’t the most affordable antivirus on the market, but few competitors have more features. In this section of our Kaspersky review, we’ll break down the product’s pricing plans and what they offer.

Kaspersky splits its personal protection plans into three tiers, allowing you to just pay for the features you need. All its core antivirus features are available with the cheapest plan, meaning you only need to upgrade to the more expensive plans if you want extra features.

Plan Starting Price Best Features
Standard $38.49/yr for 3 devices Real-Time Antivirus, Online Payment Protection, Performance Optimization
Plus $52.99/yr for 5 devices All Standard Features, VPN Service, Data Leak Monitoring
Premium $74.99/yr for 10 devices – All Plus Features, Identity Theft Protection, Expert Virus Checks
Standard PlanPlus PlanPremium Plan

Kaspersky Standard Plan – $38.49/yr (renewal price – $69.99)

Kaspersky’s cheapest antivirus plan, Standard, comes with fairly basic features, like malware protection, safe web browsing, ransomware protection, anti-phishing feature, webcam protection, online payment method protection, and crypto threat protection.

The plan is best suited for users looking to simply stop viruses and malware from harming their stationary and mobile devices. The most notable features for that would be Kaspersky’s two-way firewall and a quick scan.

Kaspersky Plus Plan – $52.99/yr (renewal price – $99.99)

Plus adds a reliable VPN service to the Standard plan features, which is a great addition for protecting your security and privacy.

The Plus plan also includes one of the best password managers around, which will help you create strong passwords, and a data leak monitoring feature that continuously scans the internet for personal data breaches, allowing you to protect your online identity and accounts.

Kaspersky Premium Plan – $74.99/yr (renewal price –$149.99)

Premium (also known as Kaspersky Total Security) has extra security features and lets you install Kaspersky on ten devices, so it’s an excellent pick for families. The identity protection features are particularly strong and let you store encrypted documents, synced across devices.

Kaspersky’s Premium plan also includes an Expert Virus Check, an in-depth inspection of your device by a Kaspersky expert, and a remote access detection, which scans for any potential unauthorized accesses, and stop them.

Premium (also known as Kaspersky Total Security) has extra security features and lets you install Kaspersky on ten devices, so it’s an excellent pick for families. The identity protection features are particularly strong and let you store encrypted documents synced across devices.

Kaspersky’s Premium plan also includes an Expert Virus Check, an in-depth inspection of your device by a Kaspersky expert, and remote access detection, which detects whether any malicious actors got an unauthorized access to your device.

Can I Get Kaspersky for Free?

Besides its paid plans, Kaspersky offers a limited free version to protect your devices from viruses. However, the free version lacks most of the features that make Kaspersky one of the best antivirus solutions, so its premium version is a much better option.

You can’t get the free Kaspersky antivirus on Mac, as it’s only available on Android, iOS, and Windows, but we encountered no performance or security issues using it on those platforms.

The full device scans are quick, and we saw no performance issues, meaning Kaspersky performs better than most of its competition Plus, we didn’t see anything concerning during our hands-on testing or receive excessive prompts to upgrade.

But is Kaspersky safe to use for free for all-around protection? Kaspersky’s free plan is seen as being safe, but we suggest using its 30-day free trial to test the product risk-free and get access to the full feature set.

Kaspersky Security Features

Although Kaspersky is best known for safeguarding devices from malicious websites and files, it offers a much broader range of features. In this section of our Kaspersky review, we’ll explain how its features help address your security needs.

Scanning

Although Kaspersky monitors your devices in real-time, looking for malware and online threats, periodically running either quick or full scans is a good idea. Kaspersky offers seven different device scans, giving you complete control over which files you want it to scan and a sense of how long the scan will last.

During our hands-on testing, Kaspersky’s Full Scan took just 20 minutes to scan over 100 installed apps on a Windows PC. That’s generally faster than the average time taken by antiviruses we’ve tested.

Its other scans allow you to scan a single folder or removable drive or run an application vulnerability scan, which lets you see which apps lower your device’s security. One of our favorite additions from Kaspersky is that you can right-click on any file or folder on your PC and scan it for viruses from the drop-down Menu.

We aren’t surprised that AV-Test gave Kaspersky a 6/6 score for malware detection in its latest tests, as we found very high detection rates during testing.

Kaspersky's security interface showing scan options

Password Manager

Kaspersky’s password manager is easy to use and allows you to automatically log into your accounts. This means you’ll only have to remember the master password needed to log into your Kaspersky Password Manager app.

You will need a browser extension to allow Kaspersky to auto-fill your passwords online, though. We tested the Firefox Kaspersky password manager extension and noticed no issues. The only drawback with this Kaspersky feature is that it requires a separate app since it isn’t a part of its antivirus suite.

Performance Optimization

Keeping your PC free of viruses will help it run faster, but Kaspersky also offers another feature to speed up your device. The Performance Optimization feature can help you address problems that slow down PC startup and impact performance when you perform resource-heavy tasks.

For example, clicking “Quick Startup” will show you a list of all the apps your PC automatically opens when you power it up. Kaspersky will highlight which apps use the most resources, and it allows you to stop them from automatically launching with a single click.

PC Speed-Up is our favorite Kaspersky performance-related feature. It can help you de-clutter your PC by showing you unused system files, and it can find Windows registry issues you can remove with a single click.

Kaspersky's performance boost feature

VPN

Kaspersky offers an excellent VPN service with its Plus and Premium plans, and it’s also available as a separate product. We ran a series of tests to see how it compares to the best antiviruses with a VPN, and Kaspersky doesn’t disappoint.

It’s able to bypass geo-restrictions when browsing foreign websites and streaming services, for example, which makes Kaspersky an excellent pick if you want to access overseas content libraries for Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Disney+.

So, is Kaspersky VPN safe? While it may not offer as many advanced features as Surfshark and other top VPNs, Kaspersky’s VPN solution has a strict no-logs policy that prevents it from recording or sharing your browsing history. It’s also beginner-friendly and affordable if you opt for the Plus and Premium plans.

Although antiviruses often have a small VPN server network, Kaspersky offers more than 2,000 servers in 100+ locations, which is more than many VPN-only services offer. In addition, its servers are peer-to-peer (P2P) friendly, making it a great choice if you torrent large files.

Web Protection

Besides detecting malicious programs on your devices, Kaspersky will also block malicious websites. The feature isn’t unique, with many of its competitors hosting their own databases of malicious websites, Kaspersky impressed us with Safe Money.

Safe Money is a secure browser that scans payment systems for invalid certificates and suspicious processes. This can save you from having your credit card details stolen.

Whenever you’re about to enter your credit card details on a website, the software will prompt you to continue in Safe Money instead of your regular browser – and we found the feature to be very easy to use.

Additionally, Kaspersky also has an ad-blocker, which to stop intrusive ads from loading and third-party trackers from collecting your information online.

Kaspersky's web protection interface

Kaspersky Safe Kids

Kaspersky can also help you monitor your kids with its Safe Kids feature, designed for parents. From tracking the physical location of your children to monitoring their online activity, Kaspersky’s parental control features contend with the best parental control apps today.

So, is it safe to use Kaspersky Safe Kids? Everything we’ve seen suggests parents can happily use Safe Kids on their child’s devices. Kaspersky can also detect any other spyware apps on your devices, allowing you to remove them.

Unlike most of its competition, Kaspersky Safe Kids lets you track your child’s activities on all major platforms, including Windows, Android, iOS, and Mac devices. You can use it to set daily screen time limits, schedule device usage, remotely block inappropriate apps and websites, and more.

Kaspersky Antivirus Performance

Since Kaspersky offers a large variety of security tools, let’s see how well said features protect your devices.

Based on an intendent report from AV-Test, Kaspersky got the highest score: 18 points out of 18. This evaluation included three different factors: security, performance, and usability. And Kaspersky showed perfect performance at each one.

Additionally, the antivirus caught 100% of zero-day threats and stopped numerous malware attacks with 0 false positive warnings.

Due to its Performance Optimization feature, the software was very fast. Also, even though Kaspersky has numerous security features, the dashboard is very simplistic and easy to navigate.

Kaspersky Compatibility and Ease of Use

Kaspersky is highly compatible with numerous popular operating systems. However, we only tested the Kaspersky app on Windows, Mac computers, and Android, and iOS mobile devices.

Here are our findings:

WindowsmacOSAndroidiOS

Kaspersky for Windows

We had a very smooth and pleasant experience when using Kaspersky on a Windows device. The interface is fairly minimalistic, which is makes it easy to use and navigate.

You can expand your list of features on the screen; however, the main 6 will always be displayed on your screen first. Which makes running a quick malware scan that much easier. Overall, Kaspersky has a very good Windows app, making it a strong candidate for one of the best antiviruses for Windows.

Kaspersky for macOS

Kaspersky’s Mac app interface looks a little different, compared to the Windows one. However, the functionality and ease of use remains the same for Mac users.

You can expect to find the quick scan and update options right on your screen. It’s that easy. However, one downside does exist: compared to Windows performance, Kaspersky showed slower results.

Kaspersky for Android

When it comes to Android devices, Kaspersky has a very sleek and functional app to offer.

From its core security technologies, you can expect additional features like a VPN, a password manager, privacy protection, and more. It’s also very modern looking.

Overall, the Android antivirus app is very functional, enabling users to quickly scan their phones for viruses, connect to a remote VPN server, and store unlimited passwords securely.

Kaspersky for iOS

Kaspersky Security Cloud for iOS looks fairly similar to the Android app. However, unlike its counterpart, the iOS app displays only the antivirus scan results on the home page.

All other features, like a VPN, a password manager, and more can be found in the Menu at the top left corner.

And while Kaspersky can’t scan iOS phones for malware, a vulnerability check can still be performed. That will typically notify you about any unconfigured built-in security measures, like a FaceID.

How Does Kaspersky Compare Against Other Antiviruses?

To help you determine which antivirus service best fits your needs, we’ve compared Kaspersky to its top competitors. Since we’ve tested each provider, we’ll point out their main differences with Kaspersky.

Antivirus Software Starting Price Max Devices Supported Real-Time Protection Firewall Top 3 Features
Kaspersky $38.49 for the first year 3 Quick, System, Smart, Custom
TotalAV $19.00 for the first year 6 Quick, System, Smart, Custom
Norton $29.99/year 10 Quick, Full, Smart, Custom

Kaspersky vs. TotalAV

One noticeable advantage Kaspersky has over TotalAV is with the extra features it offers. TotalAV lacks Kaspersky’s parental controls, and its VPN offers far fewer servers and features than Kaspersky’s solution.

However, if you’re only looking for antivirus features, TotalAV is more budget-friendly, as its cheapest plan costs just $19.00/year. Plus, it offers excellent protection.

Kaspersky vs. Norton

These two antivirus providers have similar features and additional solutions, making it tough to pick a winner. While Norton is cheaper than Kaspersky, it doesn’t offer flawless performance and may slow down your devices while working in the background.

You can’t go wrong with any of the antivirus solutions above, Kaspersky will be the best pick for users looking for an all-in-one solution, especially if its Premium plan fits your budget.

TotalAV, Norton, or TrendMicro are excellent choices if you’re looking for a cheaper but comparable solution. You can also check out our guide to the best antivirus software to learn more about other providers.

Our Other Antivirus Guides

Going beyond our Kaspersky antivirus review, we’ve created guides to a wide range of other cybersecurity solutions. Since no antivirus performs equally well on every platform, we’ve highlighted the best service for each use case and device type with the following resources.

FAQs

What is Kaspersky?

Is Kaspersky safe?

Is Kaspersky Russian?

How much is Kaspersky Safe Kids?

Why is Kaspersky banned?

Who is Kaspersky best for?

Is Kaspersky password manager safe?

Ilijia Miljkovac
Technology Writer
Ilijia Miljkovac
Technology Writer

Ilijia Miljkovac is a Techopedia writer with seven years of experience covering all things tech. He writes about cybersecurity topics, spanning VPNs, antiviruses, and hosting, helping to inform B2B and B2C audiences about the latest products and services. He's written for publications such as Business2Community, TheTechReport, Comparitech, and more. When he's not working, Ilijia spends his time hiking in nature or holed up in his apartment gaming.