Is Kaspersky Safe to Use? A Kaspersky Review for 2024

Is Kaspersky safe to use?  In this Kaspersky review, we’ll share the results of our testing to help you decide whether it’s a suitable antivirus solution for your needs.

Our Kaspersky review will also explore the full details of its pricing plans, pros and cons, and how it compares to the competition.

Is Kaspersky a Russian Company?

The Kaspersky antivirus product 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 federal 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 antiviruses 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 Russian?” the answer is that it’s a global company that certainly has its origins in the country. Whether this will be a cause for concern is up to the individual user.

You can also check out our guide to the best Kaspersky alternatives for other antivirus solutions.

What is Kaspersky?

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.

Pros and Cons of Using Kaspersky

Kaspersky is one of the strongest antivirus software solutions around, but it doesn’t come without flaws. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of using Kaspersky in 2024:

Pros

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

Cons

  • Relatively expensive
  • Fewer features on Apple devices
  • Difficult to troubleshoot without customer support
  • Russian origins and potential connections to Russian intelligence

How Much Does Kaspersky Cost? Kaspersky’s Plans and 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 Price Devices per Subscription Best Features
Standard $38.49/year 3 – Real-Time Antivirus
– Online Payment Protection
– Performance Optimization
Plus $52.99/year 5 – All Standard Features
– VPN Service
– Data Leak Monitoring
Premium $74.99/year 10 – All Plus Features
– Identity Protection
– Expert Virus Checks

Standard Plan

Kaspersky’s cheapest plan, Standard, can stop viruses and malware from harming your devices and accessing data with both a firewall and antivirus scanning tools.

It can also help prevent hackers from obtaining your credit card details and financial data when you make payments online, and you can use its Performance Optimization features to help your PC start up more quickly and run more smoothly.

Plus Plan

Plus adds a VPN service to the Standard plan features, which is a great addition for protecting your security and privacy, and it stands alongside the best VPN solutions.

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 data leaks that include your credentials, allowing you to protect your online accounts.

Premium Plan

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, where a Kaspersky employee will check your device and tackle even the most persistent issues and malware threats you’re facing.

Creating an account, downloading, and installing Kaspersky antivirus takes just a few minutes, and it’s very easy to install.

We also looked into the 30-day money-back guarantee and cancellation process, and it was refreshing to see an antivirus with an auto-cancellation option, which means you won’t need to contact the customer support team to get a refund.

Is Kaspersky’s Free Option Any Good?

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 paid plans are 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 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, and 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.

What Does Kaspersky Do?

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. Although this feature isn’t unique, with many of its competitors hosting their own databases of malicious websites, Kaspersky impressed us with Safe Money.

This is a secure browser that scans payment systems for invalid certificates and suspicious processes – which 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.

Kaspersky also has an ad-blocker 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.

How Does Kaspersky Compare Against Other Antivirus Software Products

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 Test Results Starting Price Max Devices Supported Compatibility Free Version Top 3 Features
Kaspersky – 6/6 for performance, usability, and protection
– 100% malware detection rate
$38.49/year 10 Windows, Android, Mac, iOS Free-Forever Plan – Online Payment Protection
– Identity Protection
– Data Leak Monitoring
TotalAV 5.5/6 for performance and 6/6 for usability $29/year 6 Windows, Android, Mac, iOS Free Scan – Browser Manager
– Ransomware Protection
– PUA Protection
Norton 6/6 for protection and usability $19.99/year 10 Windows, Android, Mac, iOS 30-Day Trial – Dark Web Monitoring
– Privacy Monitor
– Parental Controls
TrendMicro 6/6 for protection, performance, and usability $19.95/year 10 Windows, Android, Mac, iOS Limited Free Tools – Pay Guard
– Email Scam Protection
– System Optimization
ESET – 6/6 for usability
– 5.5/6 for protection and performance
$39.99/year 10 Windows, Android, and Mac 30-Day Trial – Metadata Cleanup
– Notification Blocker
– Sensitive Data Encryption
Avast 6/6 for protection, performance, and usability Free / $34.68/year 30 Windows, Android, Mac, iOS Free-Forever Plan – Spyware Protection
– App Updater
– Password Manager
Avira 6/6 for protection, performance, and usability $26.99/year 5 Windows, Android, Mac, iOS Free-Forever Plan – PC Cleaner
– Firewall
– VPN Service

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 $29/year.

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.

While 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.

Additional 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.

Summary – Is Kaspersky a Safe Antivirus Product?

Kaspersky has spent a great deal of energy on rebuilding its reputation since 2017, but is Kaspersky safe for Americans? There’s no hard evidence that Kaspersky spies on its users today, and the firm supplies some of the most effective anti-spyware tools available.

It has a lightweight antivirus app that can deal with viruses and malware, including everything from ransomware to adware and zero-day threats. Its VPN service, meanwhile, has a no-logs policy, meaning Kaspersky doesn’t store any user information on its servers.

Kaspersky has a free plan and a 30-day free trial, so you can try its services without committing. That said, the company’s Russian origins complicate its status, given the war in Ukraine – so buyers will have to consider whether it’s an appropriate purchase or if they’d rather explore the other antiviruses available today.

Kaspersky Antivirus Software Review 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

Ilija Miljkovac is a Techopedia writer with 7 years of experience covering all things tech. He writes about everything from cybersecurity to ISPs, ensuring businesses and customers are educated about the latest products and services. He's written for publications such as Business2Community, TheTechReport, Comparitech, and more. When he's not maniacally hacking away at his keyboard, Ilija spends his time either hiking in nature or holed up in his apartment gaming.