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Kaspersky Antivirus Review — Is It Safe to Use in 2022?

Sam Boyd
Sam Boyd
Published on: September 21, 2022

Kaspersky Review: Quick Expert Summary

Currently, we have no evidence to suggest that Kaspersky (headquartered in Russia) is a danger to its users. However, if you are concerned about Kaspersky becoming a threat to your security due to recent geo-political tensions, there are many suitable alternatives, such as Norton and Bitdefender.

Kaspersky has an excellent antivirus scanner and some pretty good web protections. In my tests, it caught all of my malware samples, and its anti-phishing protection detected most of the risky sites I tried visiting.

Kaspersky has some great additional features, too. I really like its parental controls, which are among the best around. I also like the Rescue Disk feature (which disinfects computers infected with malware), the secure browser and virtual keyboard (which make online payments secure), and the premium version of the virtual private network (VPN).

But I’m not too impressed with some of Kaspersky’s extras. The password manager is okay, but it’s pretty basic — it doesn’t even have essential features like two-factor authentication (2FA) or dark web monitoring, which all of the top password managers in 2022 provide.

Kaspersky’s system cleanup tools are decent, but competitors like Avira offer far more options. The free VPN only provides 200 MB/day of browsing data (upgraded to 300 MB/day with the Internet Security and Total Security plans), and it only lets you connect to one server (the slowest one). Plus, the Backup and Restore feature is basically a free Dropbox account (Dropbox gives all users 2 GB storage space, so you’re not really getting anything with this feature).

That said, I still think Kaspersky Total Security is a good internet security suite overall. It has a high-quality antivirus scanner, some really useful features, and affordable pricing. Kaspersky is also one of the more transparent antivirus companies. Since the 2017 allegations that it was working with the Russian government to steal US intelligence data, Kaspersky has moved its data processing centers to Switzerland, opened Transparency Centers around the world, and passed a SOC 2 audit.

Kaspersky offers 3 plans that cover 3–10 devices, it has great first-year discounts, and it offers a 30-day money-back guarantee (14 days for UK users).

🏅 Overall Rank #7 out of 69 antiviruses
🔥 Firewall Yes
👤 VPN Yes (300 MB/day, upgrade available)
🎁 Free Plan Yes
💸 Pricing Starting at $29.99/year
💰 Money-Back Guarantee 30 days (USA), 14 days (UK)
📀 Operating Systems Windows, Android, Mac, iOS

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Kaspersky Full Review

Kaspersky Full Review

Kaspersky comes with a good antivirus scanner as well as a ton of additional features that can significantly boost your online safety. It’s also very easy to use, which makes it a particularly good choice for non-tech-savvy users.

While there are more affordable antiviruses on the market, Kaspersky does offer several competitively-priced payment plans and backs each purchase with a 30-day money-back guarantee (money-back guarantee duration depends on your location).

Kaspersky Security Features

Antivirus Engine

Kaspersky Security Features

Kaspersky’s virus scanner uses a virus database as well as cloud-based machine learning to detect all types of malware. When the scan detects something new and potentially malicious, the file is uploaded to Kaspersky’s cloud-based scanner for further analysis. The cloud-based scanner then uses machine learning to identify whether or not the file is actually malware.

Many top antivirus brands also use a combination of signature databases and machine learning, including Norton, McAfee, and Bitdefender. And like these top competitors, Kaspersky also has an excellent malware detection rate — it caught 100% of my malware samples during my tests.

Kaspersky has 5 different types of virus scans:

  • Quick Scan — Scans system startup files, system memory files, and boot sectors.
  • Full Scan — Scans every file, folder, and partitioned sector on your system.
  • Selective Scan — Allows you to scan any drive, file, or folder.
  • Removable Drive Scan — Allows you to scan removable drives, such as USB sticks or portable hard drives.
  • Vulnerability Scan — Scans for vulnerabilities in your system, including out-of-date applications and software exposed to malware.

Kaspersky also offers a wide range of scan-scheduling options, including the options to scan at a specified time, after application startup, and after every update.

To test Kaspersky, I hid nearly 1,000 test malware samples on my computer, including viruses, trojans, rootkits, ransomware, and keyloggers. I then ran a Quick Scan, which only took 2 minutes to complete. This is pretty quick. For perspective, when I ran a Quick Scan on VIPRE, it took 10 minutes — that’s 5 times slower!

Kaspersky Security Features

Kaspersky’s Quick Scan didn’t find every malicious sample I hid on my system, but since the Quick Scan only looks in critical areas — such as those loaded when your OS starts up — this was to be expected.

That said, because the Quick Scan found around 50% of the samples, Kaspersky immediately suggested I complete a Full Scan to look deeper into my system, which I did next.

The Full Scan took around 45 minutes, beating Bitdefender’s 1-hour scan time. Kaspersky’s scan results were excellent — the scanner found every single malware sample on my system. Also, while Kaspersky was scanning my system, I didn’t notice any system slowdown — I still was able to use my computer at normal speeds. In comparison, McAfee’s full scan slowed my system down quite noticeably.

When the scan was complete, I could see all of the detected malware files in the Quarantine window.

Despite quarantining and deleting the infections, Kaspersky still gives you the option to restore them. While most users wouldn’t want to do that, this option allows you to restore legitimate files that shouldn’t have ever been removed. However, during my tests, Kaspersky didn’t give me any false positives.

Kaspersky Security Features

If you cancel the scan early, Kaspersky won’t resolve any detected malware, and notifications will repeatedly warn you about it. However, you can go to the Notification Center, where you’ll be given more options for dealing with the malware from the interrupted scan.

Kaspersky Security Features

Next, I tested Kaspersky’s real-time protection. It operates silently in the background 24/7, scanning the apps you install or open on your device and checking them against Kaspersky’s virus database.

The real-time protection performed excellently in my tests, instantly blocking all of the malware samples I tried downloading to my computer. This puts Kaspersky on a par with top performers like Norton and Bitdefender. Whenever Kaspersky detected a threat, it notified me that it had detected malware. I could then either opt to see more details about the malware or instantly remove it from my PC.

I then ran a ransomware simulator, and it wasn’t able to lock a single file before Kaspersky’s real-time protection stopped it.

Finally, I tested the Vulnerability Scan to look for unsecure applications on my system that could be targeted by hackers or malware.

Kaspersky Security Features

The Vulnerability Scan only found two instances of outdated software on my computer, but I was impressed with how detailed the vulnerability report was. For example, the scanner detected an outdated Photoshop version and gave a full rundown on the vulnerabilities I exposed myself to — including when the vulnerability was detected, how hackers take advantage of the vulnerability, and how to resolve the issue. However, one downside is that Kaspersky doesn’t allow you to update apps from within the antivirus. Competitors such as Avira offer an auto-update feature that can quickly resolve all of the vulnerabilities on your system.

Overall, Kaspersky’s antivirus engine is really good — it has a 100% perfect detection rate, with several types of scans to choose from, excellent real-time protection, and it doesn’t slow down a system during a full system scan.

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Web Protection

Kaspersky provides multi-layered web protection. The Web Anti-Virus feature works together with the Kaspersky Protection browser extension to detect and block malicious and phishing URLs.

The Web Anti-Virus feature compares the sites you visit against a database of malicious web addresses, and it also uses heuristic analysis to check URLs for suspicious behavior.

The Kaspersky Protection browser extension — which is installed with the software — also detects malicious links. Plus, it marks sites as safe/unsafe, blocks tracking and ads, and allows users to activate a virtual keyboard.

I tested the anti-phishing feature by installing the extension on Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, and Google Chrome. I visited known malicious websites, and Kaspersky blocked the vast majority of them. Kaspersky’s results were pretty good — although competitors like Norton and Bitdefender were slightly better at detecting all of my test links.

Kaspersky Security Features

Kaspersky Protection’s anti-tracking feature blocks tracking from social networks, web analytics, web beacons, and ad agencies — but you can also choose to allow data collection on specific sites. While I do like this feature, I’m not too happy that the default settings allow Kaspersky and its partners (a total of 82 sites!) to gather user data. It’s fairly easy to block Kaspersky and its partners from collecting data, but I’d still like to see Kaspersky ask users whether or not they’re ok with this practice upon installing the extension.

From the browser extension, you can also open a virtual keyboard. Not a lot of competitors offer a virtual keyboard — Panda Dome has one, but it’s not very good — so I think it’s really cool that Kaspersky provides additional protection against keyloggers.

Kaspersky’s virtual keyboard is best used in combination with Safe Money, a secure browser for online finances. Whenever you visit a banking or shopping site, Kaspersky asks you whether or not you want to add the site to Safe Money — and if you click on the Continue in Protected Browser button, Kaserpsky will open the site in Safe Money. I tested this feature on a number of banking sites, and Kaspersky asked me to add all of them to Safe Money. However, the secure browser took over 10 seconds to load each time, which is a bit annoying. Bitdefender also offers a secure browser, Safepay, which loads much faster than Kaspersky’s Safe Money.

Overall, Kaspersky’s web protection features are pretty good. The anti-phishing protection detected most of the phishing sites in my testing, and I also like that Kaspersky offers ad-blocking and anti-tracking — although I don’t like that anti-tracking is turned off for Kaspersky and its 80+ partner sites. I also think it’s really useful that Kaspersky has a secure browser and virtual keyboard for banking sites.

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System Cleanup Tools

Kaspersky has several PC cleanup tools, including PC Cleaner, Unused Data Cleaner, and Privacy Cleaner.

Kaspersky’s PC Cleaner searches your system for applications and browser extensions you may either want to remove or fix. This includes programs you rarely use and bloatware (software that came pre-installed on your computer).

I tested the PC Cleaner on my Windows 10 laptop. The cleaner took 2 minutes to analyze the system, and the results were really impressive.

Kaspersky Security Features

The PC Cleaner discovered all the prepackaged bloatware, and gave me options to remove, ignore, or do a Google search to find more information about each program.

With Kaspersky’s PC Cleaner, you can easily choose the category of applications you want the PC Cleaner to target, including apps that were installed without your consent, apps that slow down your startup time, or apps that show banners.

Kaspersky Security Features

Kaspersky’s Unused Data Cleaner checks for log and temporary files, as well as for files in the Recycle Bin. This scan took less than 1 minute, and it found several unused files. Like with the PC Cleaner, the Unused Data Cleaner gives you several options for handling these files.

Finally, the Privacy Cleaner cleans browser history, cookies, and other traces of your online activity.

Kaspersky’s system cleanup tools are ok, but I’d like to see more system optimization tools added. The program lets you postpone system scans when your battery is running low, or when your system’s CPU is at a high load, but that’s pretty much it. Competing antiviruses like Avira also include system speedup tools, a startup optimizer, and other advanced PC optimization tools. That said, some antiviruses like Sophos don’t even have system cleanup tools.

Overall, Kaspersky’s system cleanup features let you quickly and easily get rid of unwanted or unused files, or remove traces of your online activity. These tools aren’t the best on the market, but they work as promised, and they can even speed up your computer a bit.

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Virtual Private Network (VPN)

Kaspersky’s free VPN comes bundled with Kaspersky’s Internet Security and Total Security plans (with a 300 MB daily limit). The free VPN only lets you connect to one server. Unfortunately, even if you subscribe to Kaspersky’s highest-tier payment plan, you won’t get access to the VPN with unlimited browsing data. In contrast, Norton includes a VPN with unlimited data even with its cheapest plans.

However, if you like Kaspersky’s VPN, you can purchase the premium version of the VPN as an add-on.

Kaspersky’s premium VPN has:

  • Unlimited browsing data — No daily data limits.
  • Kill switch — Stops data transfer if the VPN is disrupted.
  • Smart Protection — Automatically starts the VPN when connected to a public network.
  • Servers in 30+ countries — Users can connect to any server, including the fastest one.

I was interested in seeing how both the free and premium VPN performed in speed tests, so I ran a speed test on each of them. First, I ran a test with the VPN turned off, and then with the VPN turned on.

Here are the results:

Kaspersky Security Features

As you can see, with the free VPN running, my download speed was unaffected (it even increased a bit). However, my ping and upload speed slowed down by over half, and this was noticeable when I tried to share files over P2P networks.

Next, here are the results on the premium version of the VPN, connected to Kaspersky’s fastest server:

Kaspersky Security Features

Interestingly, my upload speed dropped even more on the premium VPN — but my ping was significantly lower, which was clear in my browsing speed. I could browse the internet without any noticeable difference in speed compared to when the VPN was switched off. My download speed increased again, probably due to ISP throttling.

Another thing I like about Kaspersky’s premium VPN is that it works with popular streaming services like Netflix. This means if you have a US Netflix account and are traveling abroad, you can still access Netflix’s US library with Kaspersky’s VPN. Avira’s VPN doesn’t work so well with Netflix, so Kaspersky is a better choice in this regard.

While the free VPN isn’t that good, the premium VPN is pretty good, with a decent number of servers worldwide, fast speeds, and access to popular streaming services. But it’s a separate purchase, and it doesn’t come included with Kaspersky’s main antivirus package.

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Password Manager

Kaspersky’s password manager secures all of your passwords and other sensitive data — like bank cards, addresses, and notes — with 256-bit AES encryption and a strict zero-knowledge policy.

The free version of Kaspersky’s password manager only lets you store 15 passwords — which definitely isn’t enough for most users! The premium version of the password manager doesn’t limit the number of passwords you can store. While Kaspersky’s premium password manager isn’t bad, I’m pretty disappointed that it’s only available with the most expensive plan.

When you first open Kaspersky’s password manager (which needs to be installed separately from the antivirus), you need to create a master password. If you ever lose this password, Kaspersky won’t be able to help you access your password vault. While it’s great that Kaspersky is a true zero-knowledge password manager, I’d like to see it add account recovery options or emergency access, like Dashlane and LastPass have.

After you import all of your passwords, you’ll need to install a browser extension (available for Chrome, Firefox, Yandex, Edge, and Safari) to be able to auto-save and auto-fill passwords. During my tests, Kaspersky’s auto-save and auto-fill worked perfectly every time. But keep in mind that Kaspersky can only auto-fill bank cards and addresses on PCs and Macs, not on mobile.

Kaspersky Security Features

Kaspersky’s password vault is very simple to navigate. All of the features and options are clearly labeled and easily accessible. In addition to adding passwords (both for websites and applications), you can add bank cards, documents, addresses, and notes. Kaspersky also lets you organize your passwords into as many folders as you want.

Kaspersky has a good password generator that you can access both from the app and from the browser extension. The generator can create passwords 4–99 characters long, including uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. However, there are no options to create passwords that are ‘easy to say’ or ‘easy to read’ — this is something that password managers like LastPass offer.

Kaspersky lacks a lot of other features that are included in many of the better standalone password managers — including two-factor authentication (2FA), an automatic password changer, or encrypted cloud storage.

Overall, Kaspersky’s password manager is basic and lacks many features dedicated password managers have. But if you only need an easy-to-use, secure password manager for storing your passwords and other sensitive data, Kaspersky’s password manager is fine.

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Parental Controls

Kaspersky’s parental controls (Safe Kids) are pretty good — they’re very intuitive and come with a lot of features that make it easy for you to protect your kids online.

Like the password manager, the parental controls are also downloaded as a separate app. Setup only takes a couple of minutes, and it includes a quick tutorial as well as advice on how to talk with your children about parental controls and internet safety.

Here’s what’s included with Kaspersky’s Safe Kids:

  • Usage limitations.
  • Content filtering for sites and apps.
  • Social network monitoring (Facebook and VK).
  • Location tracking (Android and iOS only).

During my tests, I could easily set up weekly computer schedules, and I could also choose to block the test computer when the time limit was reached.

Kaspersky Security Features

Kaspersky’s content filtering also worked pretty well — I could limit sites based on categories, but I could also set up exclusions. You can enable Safe Search to prevent inappropriate content from appearing in search results on popular browsers like Google, Yahoo, Bing, and Yandex, and you can even do the same for YouTube.

There’s also an option to block apps based on categories (not available for iOS), as well as entertainment apps like games.

I tested the location tracking and geo-fencing features, and they were able to accurately track the location of my Android phone (and send alerts if the phone left the designated safe area).

I’m pretty happy to see that Kaspersky Safe Kids includes social network monitoring — most competing antiviruses with parental controls don’t have this feature.

Overall, Kaspersky’s parental controls are some of the most comprehensive on the market. Not only are they full-featured and easy to use — there’s even advice from Kaspersky on how to talk with a child about parental controls.

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Additional Features

Kaspersky has a few extra tools, including:

  • Webcam protection.
  • Backup and Restore.
  • Rescue Disk.
  • Data encryption & shredder.
  • Gaming mode.

The webcam protection feature notified me any time I accessed an app that used my laptop’s webcam, like Skype or Zoom. While I appreciate that Kaspersky offers this additional layer of protection against spyware, I’d also like to see microphone protection included — competitors like Bitdefender offer both webcam and microphone protection in their plans.

Backup and Restore lets users backup files to a removable drive or online cloud service — you can either use Dropbox (default option) or connect Kaspersky with another service. However, I don’t think this feature adds much value, as Dropbox gives all users 2 GB storage space for free, after which you’d need to upgrade to get more storage space. While I think it’s ok that Kaspersky offers a backup option, there are better ones out there (like Norton, which offers more storage space and doesn’t make you subscribe to another service).

Kaspersky’s Rescue Disk feature is pretty useful — it helps to clean up a computer infected with malware upon startup. To use this feature, you need to download Kaspersky Rescue Disk and upload it to a USB or CD/DVD, which you’ll then use to disinfect your PC. There are a couple other antiviruses that offer this — like ESET and Panda.

Data encryption lets you create a secure vault for sensitive files that you can only open with a password, and the data shredder allows you to permanently delete files.

Finally, the gaming mode pauses scans and notifications during gameplay or whenever you open an app in full-screen mode. Kaspersky’s gaming mode is ok, but Norton is better — it offers a specialized game booster that actually improves performance during gameplay.

Kaspersky’s additional tools are pretty decent. However, I’d like to see the company add advanced tools like dark web monitoring and identity theft protection to its premium plans. Top competitors like TotalAV offer dark web monitoring and identity theft protection for US users, while antiviruses like Norton and McAfee expand identity theft protection to users in Canada, the UK, Australia, parts of Asia, New Zealand, and most of Europe.

But I do appreciate that Kaspersky offers a couple of useful extras, especially considering that most antiviruses only offer basic antivirus and internet security protection. While I don’t think Kaspersky’s Backup and Restore feature is too useful, I like the Rescue Disk functionality that lets you save critically infected computers.

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Kaspersky Plans and Pricing

Kaspersky offers 3 packages, and given the number of features each package includes, they’re quite reasonably priced.

The available packages are:

With Kaspersky Anti-Virus, you can choose if you want protection on 3, 5, or 10 Windows computers. Kaspersky Internet Security covers 3, 5, or 10 Windows, Mac, or Android devices. And Kaspersky Total Security can protect 3, 5, or 10 Windows, Mac, Android, or iOS devices.

Unfortunately, there’s no free product in Kaspersky’s main antivirus product line. However, a discontinued product called Kaspersky Anti-Virus Free has been repackaged as Kaspersky Security Cloud Free. It doesn’t offer many of the features mentioned in this review, but it does have basic antivirus protection. If you’re looking for a more feature-rich free plan, however, Avira’s is one of the best on the market.

Here are the packages offered in Kaspersky’s main antivirus line:

Kaspersky Anti-Virus — Entry-Level Plan (Windows Only)

This is Kaspersky’s most basic paid plan that only covers Windows devices. It has:

  • Real-time protection
  • Anti-phishing protection.
  • System tuneup tools.
  • Free password manager (stores up to 15 passwords).
  • Rescue Disk.

If you’re looking for a lightweight, easy-to-use Windows antivirus product, Kaspersky Anti-Virus is a decent choice, and at $29.99 / year, it’s really low-cost.

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Kaspersky Internet Security — Best-Value Plan for Most Users

Kaspersky’s mid-tier plan works on Windows, Mac, and Android devices, and it offers all of the features mentioned above, plus:

  • Secure web browser.
  • Webcam protection.
  • Payment protection.
  • VPN (300 MB daily limit).
  • Ad and tracking link blocker.
  • Free parental controls (content filtering and device usage).

Kaspersky Internet Security adds a couple of important features, and with prices starting at $39.99 / year, it only costs a little more than the entry-level Anti-Virus plan. Plus, it offers protection for Mac and Android as well as Windows.

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Kaspersky Total Security — Advanced Plan with Strong Extras

This is Kaspersky’s premium package that covers Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. It includes all of the features from the previous plan, plus:

  • Parental controls (premium version).
  • Password manager (premium version).
  • Backup and Restore.
  • Data encryption (Windows only).

Kaspersky’s password manager is an ok addition to an already comprehensive internet security suite, and the parental controls are among the best on the market.

Overall, Kaspersky Total Security is a good choice for users looking for a strong antivirus alongside excellent parental controls and a basic password manager. You can get it for $49.99 / year.

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Kaspersky Ease of Use and Setup

Kaspersky is straightforward to install and set up, and its user interface is very clean. The main features, such as the antivirus scanner, secure browser, and password manager, are all accessible through large, clearly marked buttons. If you only want the most basic features from this antivirus, Kaspersky is very simple to use.

Kaspersky Ease of Use and SetupWhat’s interesting is that Kaspersky only shows you the features that are available to you. For example, if you have a bottom-tier plan, there are no grayed-out features or upgrade prompts. This is great, because it makes every package feel complete.

That said, some of Kaspersky’s tools can be difficult to find. For example, to use the PC Cleaner, you have to click on More Tools, Clean and Optimize, and then PC Cleaner. If you don’t know the tool is included, you may never see it. IIt would be good if Kaspersky had a side-bar like the one TotalAV uses, making everything available and easy to access.

Once you get used to Kaspersky’s UI, however, it’s very organized. There are even ways to customize your experience. Most features have small settings icons next to them that allow you to control various options.

Kaspersky Ease of Use and Setup

One area I particularly like is the Notification Center, which can be accessed from the main Kaspersky window. It shows you critical information and allows you to decide what to do with it.

Kaspersky Ease of Use and Setup

The Notification Center makes the essential functions simple to turn on or off. Many antiviruses with a notification center simply alert you to something being disabled and take you to the relevant tool when you click on it. With Kaspersky, you can quickly resolve security issues without having to leave the Notification Center.

Kaspersky’s layout takes a little getting used to, but once you do get used to it, it’s really quick to navigate and easy to use. And I love that the customization options give you full freedom, making for a great interface that feels complete no matter which plan you choose.

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Kaspersky Mobile App

Kaspersky offers a complete internet security app for Android. iOS users, on the other hand, only get access to basic security features, the parental controls, the password manager, and the VPN.

Security Cloud for iOS has:

  • Adaptive security — Changes settings based on user behavior. For example, connecting to a public network will automatically activate the VPN.
  • Security live — Fixes weak settings in your iOS, for example a vulnerability in the OS due to jailbreaking.
  • Account check — Checks your email for data breaches.
  • QR scanner — Scans QR codes and lets you safely access the information encrypted in them.

The Android app offers far more features. I tested the Android app on my Huawei P30 Lite.

Kaspersky’s Android mobile app has:

  • Antivirus scanner.
  • Call blocker.
  • Anti-theft.
  • Real-time protection.
  • App lock.
  • Anti-smishing (SMS phishing).
  • Browsing protection.

The antivirus scanner can be started with one tap from within the application. You can perform the following scans:

  • Quick scan — Scan installed apps for malware.
  • Full scan — Scan entire device for malware.
  • Folder scan — Scan a selected folder.

To test Kaspersky’s malware scanner, I hid 80 malware samples on my phone and ran a full scan. Kaspersky detected every malware file in less than 5 minutes and automatically quarantined them.

Kaspersky Mobile App

The app’s real-time protection also worked really well. It detected all of the malware traces I tried putting on my phone and even stopped me from downloading dangerous apps on the Google Play Store. This is a convenient feature, but I must admit, I much prefer Norton’s Mobile Security App Advisor, which can warn you about apps before you download them.

Even so, Kaspersky still intercepted dangerous app downloads and immediately quarantined them, keeping my device protected.

The Kaspersky mobile app also offers free anti-theft protection. You need to make a Kaspersky account for it to work, as using it requires you to log into the My Kaspersky online hub.

Once you log into My Kaspersky, you get 4 anti-theft features — including the ability to lock or wipe the device, sound an alarm, and capture an image of the person using your lost or stolen device.

Kaspersky Mobile App

Kaspersky’s anti-theft tool also lets you block your device if a thief inserts a new SIM into the phone. What’s more, you can protect the Kaspersky app from being uninstalled. These are two excellent ways to create a strong anti-theft shield.

Finally, I tested Kaspersky’s VPN. I was disappointed with the free VPN on PC, so I was quite eager to try the mobile version.

Kaspersky Mobile App

As before, I connected to Kaspersky’s free server — which comes with a 200 MB daily limit — and ran a speed test, making sure I had mobile data switched off so it wouldn’t interfere.

Here are the results:

Kaspersky Mobile App

As you can see, there is a bit of a slowdown in download speeds and ping, but my upload speeds didn’t slow down nearly as much as the PC version of the VPN.

Since I had the premium VPN on PC, I could also connect to the premium VPN on mobile. Here are my test results:

Kaspersky Mobile App

This is a pretty good result — both download and upload speeds stayed about the same.

Overall, the Kaspersky mobile app isn’t the most in-depth I’ve seen. It lacks many features competitors like Avira have, such as performance optimization features, network scanner, and identity protection. But Kaspersky’s mobile app isn’t bad — the scanner had perfect detection rates in my testing, and the anti-theft tools are among the best around.

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Kaspersky Customer Support

Kaspersky has 4 different options for customer support, including:

  • Email support.
  • 24/7 live chat.
  • Phone support.
  • Knowledge base.

It was a little hard to navigate Kaspersky’s customer support, and it felt as if the company wanted me to use the knowledge base and community answers instead of contacting a representative.

Kaspersky’s desktop app has a support button on its main page, but when you click on it, all you get is a pop-up window:

Kaspersky Customer Support

There’s no way in the application to contact a representative or to access Kaspersky’s knowledge base. I actually had to search for the knowledge base on Google to access it. I wasn’t impressed by this — other top brands like Bitdefender make their knowledge base really accessible.

But that’s not all.

On Kaspersky’s communication channels, I chose to contact customer support via phone, and instead of giving me a phone number, the site took me to another form to fill out.

I filled that form out… and then I was given another prompt asking if I was sure I wanted to contact support!

Luckily, when I eventually did fill out all of the forms and got to Kaspersky’s phone number, they answered me quickly and were able to resolve my problem.

I had to fill out the same forms to access Kaspersky’s live support, but I connected with an agent in around 2 minutes. The customer support agent was really friendly and solved all of my issues.

Kaspersky Customer Support

I also tested Kaspersky’s email support. I sent an email saying I was having problems updating the desktop application. Their response came in just over a day, which is pretty standard for email support.

The customer support team was able to help me, and spoke about my concern directly, but I was a little surprised they didn’t call me by name. Being known as “customer” over email despite it being a direct support ticket felt very impersonal and unwelcoming. With competitors like Bitdefender and Avira, you’ll get a more personalised response.

Kaspersky Customer Support

That said, once Kaspersky had emailed me once, they started getting back to me much more quickly. The representative knew what he was talking about and was able to help me quickly and effectively resolve my issue.

Overall, getting in touch with Kaspersky requires more work than with other antiviruses I’ve tested. However, it was good not having to explain my issues to the support agents. Thanks to the forms, the customer support agents have the exact details they need when you reach out to them, and they can provide quick solutions.

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Is Kaspersky a Safe Antivirus?

Yes, Kaspersky is a safe antivirus. Kaspersky was involved in a serious scandal a few years ago — while the company denied collaborating with the Russian government, the accusations damaged its reputation. But Kaspersky has since started its Global Transparency initiative in an effort to restore both its reputation and the trust of its users.

Kaspersky’s perfect malware detection rates are on par with some of the biggest names in the cybersecurity industry, including Norton, McAfee, and Bitdefender. Kaspersky also has pretty good web protection features, including decent anti-phishing protection and extras like a secure browser, virtual keyboard, and anti-tracking protection.

It comes with a range of additional tools, including system cleanup tools, a VPN, a password manager, parental controls, file encryption and shredding, file backup, and a Rescue Disk which helps clean infected computers.

I really like Kaspersky’s parental controls, which allow parents to set up usage schedules, content filters, location tracking, and social media monitoring. The parental controls also have geo-fencing, alerting users when a child leaves a predefined safe zone.

Kaspersky lacks some of the features I want to see in a premium internet security package, like dark web monitoring, identity theft protection, and a more full-featured VPN (all things Norton 360 has). And I was pretty disappointed with Kaspersky’s customer support — finding a way to contact a customer support representative is way too difficult and time-consuming.

But overall, Kaspersky is a good product, with excellent malware detection rates, lots of useful and well-made features, an intuitive dashboard, transparent company practices, and reasonable prices. If you’re interested in Kaspersky, you can try out the company’s plans with a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee (money-back guarantee terms may differ depending on your location).

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Can Kaspersky be trusted?

Absolutely! Kaspersky faced controversy in 2017 following allegations that it had links with the Russian government. But since then, Kasperksy has been working hard to show users it can be trusted through its Kaspersky Global Transparency Initiative — which provides exact information regarding Kaspersky’s source code, threat detection rules, and data collection processes. Kaspersky also passed the Service Organization Control for Service Organizations (SOC 2) Type 1 audit in 2019.

Can Kaspersky detect malware?

Yes, Kaspersky is excellent at detecting malware. I thoroughly tested Kaspersky’s malware scanner after hiding nearly 1,000 samples on my Windows computer, and Kaspersky’s full system scan detected all of the test malware. Kaspersky’s real-time protection is also excellent, blocking all of the test malware before I could download any of it onto my computer. In terms of malware protection, Kaspersky is up there with the best antiviruses of 2022.

Which Kaspersky version should I buy?

Kaspersky has 3 different plans, Kaspersky Anti-Virus, Kaspersky Internet Security, and Kaspersky Total Security.

Kaspersky Total Security is the best choice if you’re looking for a comprehensive internet security suite with a password manager and excellent parental controls. However, if you don’t need a password manager and only need basic parental controls, Internet Security is just fine (but it doesn’t cover iOS). Users looking for basic antivirus protection for Windows should check out Kaspersky Anti-Virus.

Is Kaspersky banned in the US?

Kaspersky isn’t banned in the US for personal use. However, in 2017, former US president Donald Trump banned the use of all Kaspersky products within the US government. Kaspersky, on the other hand, denied giving information to the Russian government or collaborating with any other government. To regain the trust of its users, Kaspersky started its Global Transparency Initiative, allowing governments and partners to review its source code, learn more about its data collecting and processing practices, and more.

Kaspersky Products & Pricing

Kaspersky Anti-Virus
$29.99 / year
Free Trial
Kaspersky Internet Security
$39.99 / year
Free Trial
Kaspersky Total Security
$49.99 / year
Free Trial
Bottom Line

Kaspersky offers excellent protection against malware, a decent set of features, and an intuitive dashboard. It’s also gone a long way in improving its transparency and reputation since it was accused of espionage in 2017. Kaspersky detected all of my test malware and blocked most of the phishing sites during my tests. I like Kaspersky’s parental controls, the Rescue Disk, and its premium VPN (available as a separate purchase), but I’m not too impressed with its system tuneup tools, password manager, or file backup feature. Kaspersky is easy to use, but some features are hard to locate, and the customer support could use some improvement. Kaspersky’s plans are all reasonably priced, and you can try them out with a risk-free money-back guarantee of up to 30 days (duration depends on your location).

About the Author
Sam Boyd
Sam Boyd

About the Author

Sam Boyd is an avid tech fan with a keen interest in cybersecurity products and online safety. When he isn't researching the latest online threats, he enjoys chilling out with some video games and getting outside, exploring new parts of the world with his family.

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Kaspersky User Reviews

*User reviews are not verified

88 107
Based on 195 reviews in 27 languages 6.3
You can trust the Community! Companies can't ask us to delete or change user reviews.
the useless Kaspersky
Windows User
installed on my computer and my PC would not start after that. I had to use 'previous setting restore' to get my computer back. it is a bad POS
United States
Total Scam.
Windows User
Basically, Kaspersky's software was always glitching up in various ways. On 9/24/19, within tech support request INC000010811799, I got so fed up with the glitches and tech support that I demanded a refund. On 10/1, they said that they would get back to me about that, although, I had already told them, on 9/30, that I found a way to make it work, and that it will have to suffice, but that I will not be renewing my subscription if they don't actually fix the software. I replied, on 10/1, after they contacted me, saying that I would keep my subscription active because I found a way to make it work, but that they do need to actually fix the software if they want me to renew my subscription. On 10/7, they deactivated my software and refunde...Show More
Davo Girl
Davo Girl
Poor quality software, not as good as they make themselves out to be
Android User
I am very unhappy with my experience of my paid trial of Kaspersky total security antivirus, as it completely failed to adequately protect my computer from a virus, which took over my system, evading my full control of my windows security and software. Even though I generally always ran a scan on Kaspersky to check for threats on average once per day, I noticed I was unable to gain access to my kaspersky software and upon further investigation after using another antivirus software to run a scan, realised a number of Trojans and viruses had entered my system prohibiting my access to my administrative privelages, windows security settings and firewall, disabled my windows updates and in turn had hijacked and blocked me from using my kaspersk...Show More
Android User
After installation my sound device was removed by this crapware. Took 1hr and 3 reboots to uninstall . Can now start working on sound issue. 2hr of my life I won't get back
United States
kaspersky antivirus total security
Windows User
The best thing of Kaspersky antivirus total security is that Kaspersky Internet Security developers time to time upgrade their Database so it also protects us form latest and unknown viruses.
United States
kaspersky internet total security
Windows User
The best thing of Kaspersky antivirus total security is that Kaspersky Internet Security developers time to time upgrade their Database so it also protects us form latest and unknown viruses.
worst service
Windows User
worst antivirus software, they are just looters, i purchased the software, first they told update your OS, now they are saying please install old version, such a unprofessional idiots...
Justin Coffman
Justin Coffman
United States
What kind of insane tripe is this review?
Windows User
No one has provided any evidence to substantiate these claims. Kaspersky, on the other hand, has taken drastic steps to increase transparency and accountability. This is paranoid, jingoistic pandering at its worst.
Horton Chad Ferid
Windows User
What is this? How is Kaspersky a virus if ti disables NSA backdoor in Windows? That's the reason US labeled it as a "security threat" because they found their backdoor and disabled it.
United Kingdom
Windows User
This anti virus software is very poor, unreliable i will never ever purchase this software again
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