Kaspersky Antivirus Review

Every PC should have good antivirus protection, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of money on the latest all-in-one security package.

Kaspersky AntiVirus is the company’s entry-level consumer solution, a simple package that concentrates on the security basics: antivirus to identify well-known and new viruses, and harmful URL filtering to keep you away from risky URLs. (Simple performance optimization is also available, but nothing that can’t be improved for free with applications like CCleaner.)

A three-device, one-year Kaspersky Anti-Virus license costs just $30 with steep initial discounts, but it doubles to $60 on renewal.

Licenses can be extended for up to ten devices and two years (three-year licenses are unfortunately no longer available), which can save you some money. A five-device, two-year license, for example, costs $80 for the first term and $160 for renewal.

This is good value and within the range, we’d expect for a top security product, but if you dig past the initial markdown, you might find a better offer elsewhere.

There is no special introductory offer for Bitdefender Antivirus Plus, but its rates are reasonable. A ten-device, three-year license costs only $180, and it won’t double on renewal, saving you money in the long run.

Kaspersky Internet Security includes a firewall, a secure browser, and protection against camera hijacking in addition to anti-virus protection.

Content blocking and screen time management are included in the free version of Kaspersky Safe Kids’ parental control system, while ad and tracker blocking protect your online privacy, and a 200MB-per-day free version of Kaspersky’s VPN is available.

With apps for Mac and Android, choosing Kaspersky Internet Security broadens your platform support. Kaspersky Internet Security cost, like Anti-Virus, is most competitive at the low end, with a three-device, one-year license starting at a modest $40 ($80 on renewal).

A five-device, two-year license costs $90 initially and $180 when renewed. Bitdefender Internet Security is $130 for the equivalent license. The most expensive Kaspersky Total Security package contains the full commercial version of Kaspersky Safe Kids, plus a password manager for PC, Mac, and Android, as well as a Windows backup tool.

This isn’t the most comprehensive feature list, but the suite is only slightly more expensive than Internet Security, at $45 ($90 on renewal) for three devices for a year, or $150 ($300 on renewal) for ten devices for two years.

All of the same capabilities, plus a few more, are available in Kaspersky’s Security Cloudline. Kaspersky’s ‘adaptive protection’ technology provides intelligent assistance when you need it, such as warning you if your password is too weak or suggesting that you use its VPN if you’re on an unsecured network.

The Security Cloud range has a couple of standout features, even if it isn’t the most compelling of offerings. Security Cloud Free, which delivers capable antivirus protection for no cost, will appeal to bargain hunters. Even though it only has a few extra functions, the price is so close to Total Security that you might as well upgrade.

A ten-device one-year Total Security license, for example, costs $75 in the first year and $150 after that; purchasing Kaspersky Total Security Family costs a slightly higher $90 in the first year but the same $150 after that.

The installation process for Kaspersky is straightforward, streamlined, and nearly as quick as we’ve seen. On the website, the trial download links are prominently displayed, and the installation is small.

It asked us to accept the licensing agreement before downloading and installing the rest of the software for us. The installer didn’t care that we didn’t have a license or that we hadn’t supplied Kaspersky our email address. Our Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2021 installation was as simple as tapping an ‘Activate Trial License’ link.

(An additional message appeared, requesting us to link our software to a My Kaspersky account so that we could check its status from the web.) However, this isn’t required, and if you’re not interested, you can simply close the window and use the antivirus as usual.)

Only four services and four large background processes were added to our configuration by Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2021, which reduced the system clutter to a minimal (Bitdefender Anti-Virus Plus 2021 installed a total of 13.) To see if there was any performance impact, we ran PCMark Professional before and after installing Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2021.

Anti-Virus barely reduced our score by 0.62 percent, which was satisfactory. That’s a slight improvement over Bitdefender Anti-Virus Plus 2021, which slowed us by 0.95 percent, but not enough to notice in everyday use.

AV-Comparatives’ further in-depth analysis The October 2021 Performance Test assesses the impact of security products on a variety of common system tasks, including installing and running apps, accessing websites, downloading files, extracting archive contents, and more.

It ranked Kaspersky second out of 17 for low-performance impact, which is a fantastic result, with only Panda outperforming it. (Avast came in fourth, Bitdefender came in seventh, Avira came in tenth, and Microsoft Defender came in last.)

Finally, we conducted our self-protection tests, which check to determine if malware can disable security programs. Toggling settings in the Registry or configuration files to destroy important app files, terminate or suspend processes, stop services, uninstall or deactivate drivers, or turn features off are all examples of tests.

We were able to shut down several non-essential programs, such as Kaspersky’s Password Manager, but Anti-Virus prevented everything else we tried, ensuring that our security was never jeopardized.

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-What’s new?

Kaspersky Anti-Virus, 3 users, 1 Year Licence – White Falcon

Kaspersky Anti-Virus has been a leading protection program for a long time, so it’s no surprise that the 2021 release contains no significant modifications. Despite this, we noticed a few interesting changes on the ‘What’s New’ tab.

For example, the app now offers additional and better-organized settings, including new performance choices to lessen system effect while using battery power, utilizing a full-screen app, or when your CPU or hard drive is under heavy load.

A new Manage Settings option allows you to save and restore your existing settings, which is useful as a backup or if you want to use the same settings on multiple computers.

Anti-virus scans for Microsoft Office files now check files up to 8MB in size, increasing their chances of discovering threats. (A larger file isn’t vulnerable because it’ll be scanned when it’s accessed.) Installations are more efficient and stable (the installer uses earlier versions of.NET when possible rather than pushing you to download the most recent) and database updates are faster.

Kaspersky has discontinued its Application Advisor, which allowed users to check executable file reputation data. We don’t think this is a big deal because you can still check file reputation from the Explorer right-click menu.

The functionality of some of Kaspersky’s extra tools has been restructured. Previously, both the Vulnerability Scan and Windows Troubleshooting tools would report on improperly configured Windows security settings, which was mostly meaningless because both would give you the same information. The Vulnerability Scan now only looks for missing application updates, whereas the Windows Troubleshooting scan looks at all of your system settings, which is a far more practical approach.

Support for the old (pre-Chromium) Microsoft Edge is limited to traffic scanning, and Kaspersky’s Protection browser plugin is no longer compatible with Internet Explorer. The 2021 release has a few adjustments here and there, and the additional options are welcome, but nothing here will revolutionize your security life.

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-Antivirus

Kaspersky Anti-Virus offers a simple interface that shows your current protection status (hopefully a reassuring green tick) and four major buttons for doing critical functions including scanning, updating the database, viewing reports, and accessing an on-screen keyboard.

You may run quick or full system scans, as well as check your external devices or any files and folders you designate, using the Scan panel. Explorer’s right-click menu also allows users to scan specific things.

Anti-Virus took 19 minutes 14 seconds for the first scan of our target files (209,000 of them, totaling 50GB), and 2 minutes 50 seconds for the second scan. In comparison, Bitdefender Anti-Virus Plus took 39 minutes on the first run, but only 27 seconds on the second.

A simple scheduler is available to execute any scan type automatically every day, weekday, weekend, weekly, or monthly. If the computer is shut off in the middle of a scan, you can resume it the next day with sensible configuration parameters, and you can minimize any performance impact by performing scans only when the machine is locked or your screensaver is active.

Experts will appreciate the level of control Kaspersky Anti-Virus gives them over each scan type, including which areas of your system it scans, which files it examines, which detection engines it employs, and what happens to detected threats (does Kaspersky disinfect the file, delete it, or ask you what to do?).

The one noteworthy shortcoming is the lack of a custom scan type, which Avast and Avira both offer. There is no way to save scanning criteria such as scanning a custom download folder regularly or checking Microsoft Office documents in a specific network folder. You must select Kaspersky’s Selective Scan and set it up manually each time.

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-Protection

Kaspersky came in fourth out of 17 contestants in the latest summary report from July to October 2021, with 99.9% of threats prevented. Trend Micro, Panda, and Norton topped the list with perfect scores, although Kaspersky outscored huge brands such as Bitdefender (99.7%), Avira (99.2%), and ESET (99.2%). (98.9 percent).

Kaspersky Internet Security blocked 100 percent of both known and undiscovered threats, according to AV-October Test’s 2021 Windows Home User report.

The Q3 2021 Home Anti-Malware Protection study from SE-Labs couldn’t quite equal that, but it was still outstanding, with Kaspersky Internet Security coming in third out of nine candidates with a 98 percent Total Accuracy Rating.

MRG Effitas, an independent security testing organization, provided us with a list of 45 brand-new malicious and phishing URLs to start with. Even though several of the URLs are only hours old, Kaspersky managed to block 31% of them, compared to only 9% for Windows Defender.

(If Kaspersky’s score appears to be poor, remember that we’re simply looking at how quickly new URLs are blocked.) Even if Kaspersky’s URL filtering misses an initial link, the other layers of the software may stop redirection, harmful web page content, dubious downloads, and more.

The Anti-Phishing Certification Test 2021 from AV-Comparatives provides a more comprehensive assessment of Kaspersky’s phishing accuracy. Its 94 percent blocking rate is impressive, outperforming Bitdefender (87 percent) and ESET (91 percent), but it falls short of Avast and Trend Micro (both 96 percent ).

After that, we tested the application against our ransomware simulator. Even though it wasn’t particularly complex, it wouldn’t be a recognized danger to Kaspersky, forcing it to rely on its behavior monitoring.

We began our test application, and Kaspersky’s System Watcher module was activated to keep track of the simulator’s activity. It quickly concluded our software was hazardous and terminated it, as well as removing its executable.

The simulator was only able to encrypt five documents before being stopped, but that wasn’t a problem because Kaspersky Anti-Virus was able to restore the originals almost instantly.

This puts Kaspersky in a tight fight with Bitdefender for the best overall score in this test: both programs immediately spotted the danger, shut it down, and recovered all encrypted information.

However, Kaspersky comes out on top in a few areas: our ransomware encrypts fewer files before being killed (5 vs. 10 for Bitdefender), and it quarantines the ransomware executable, whereas Bitdefender does not, potentially allowing it to execute again.

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-More features

Kaspersky Anti-Virus is capable of much more than just detecting viruses. A limited version of Kaspersky’s VPN is most likely at the top of the list. There’s no choice of location (you’re instantly connected to the nearest server), no-kill switch, and a daily limit of 200MB – but it might be handy for light browsing on public Wi-Fi on rare occasions.

The integrated Kaspersky Password Manager is a similar story. With the ability to keep passwords for websites and applications, as well as hold and automatically enter credit card information and addresses, record safe notes, and more, this covers a lot of ground.

But there’s a catch: it’s only a limited free edition, with a maximum of 15 passwords. Even if that is sufficient for your needs, you can install and use it without purchasing Kaspersky Anti-Virus.

To prevent the logging of usernames, passwords, account numbers, and other sensitive information, a basic on-screen keyboard is always available. We tested it against two commercial keyloggers, and neither of them was able to record any of our keystrokes.

The Kaspersky Vulnerability Scan checks your system for apps that have been reported as having known vulnerabilities according to the CVE system. The good news is that the scan checks all executable files in addition to installed applications, and it was able to detect an old portable version of Wireshark that we had unzipped previously.

The bad news is that you can read about these flaws on a website, but you’ll have to download and install any necessary upgrades yourself. A Windows Troubleshooting Wizard searches for any non-standard operating system settings that may have been corrupted by malware and allows you to fix them all at once.

Because the module only searches for setting errors with Internet Explorer, the Browser Configuration Wizard isn’t as exciting as it sounds. Even if you haven’t used Internet Explorer in years, locating and correcting any gremlins may help make you slightly safer. However, moving these checks to the Windows Troubleshooting Wizard makes more sense.

From your surfing history and cookies to your Recent Documents lists, the last programs you’ve run, the folders you’ve viewed, and more, the Privacy Cleaner can detect and erase numerous Windows and application records of your actions.

It’s a little more capable than the other add-ons — the utility can wipe out Chrome and Opera traces, but not Firefox – but there are more capable freeware tools out there.

The last item, Kaspersky Rescue Disk, is a bootable environment for detecting and removing deeply implanted infections that may prevent Windows from properly launching. This is a great tool, but anyone can get it for free from the Kaspersky website, and all Kaspersky Anti-Virus does is the link to it.

Overall, Kaspersky’s supplementary features are either ineffective or freely available outside of Anti-Virus, and they fall short of the finest in the industry.

The superb Wi-Fi Inspector included with Avast Free Antivirus can detect wifi vulnerabilities, check password strength, and detect and update missing software patches. Bitdefender Antivirus Plus adds a better password manager, online banking protection, and a bootable rescue mode to the mix (or optical drive or USB key required).

Although you shouldn’t buy antivirus for the extras, we’d like to see Kaspersky provide a little more than it does now.

Although Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2021 lacks the bells and whistles of some of its competitors, who cares when you’re getting one of the best and most accurate antivirus engines available? Kaspersky Online Security is a little extension of the Kaspersky Anti-Virus line, providing many of the same capabilities as any other internet security suite.

A firewall, for example, can be used to restrict network threats and control which of your programs can access the internet. You also get a secure browser, a spam filter, and protection against webcam hijacking, in addition to a spam filter to keep your online transactions safe.

Perhaps most importantly, it’s no longer just for Windows: Internet Security now provides programs for Mac and mobile devices as well.

While none of this excites us, these extras aren’t prohibitively pricey. For example, a three-device, one-year license costs $40 at first and $80 at renewal, making it only slightly more expensive than Kaspersky Anti-Virus Plus ($30 at first, $60 at renewal).

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-Multi-platform

Kaspersky Internet Security is known for its multi-platform compatibility, which includes apps for Android, Mac, and PCs.

The Mac program is a powerful product with antivirus, malicious URL filtering, webcam hijacking protection, and a secure browser to keep your online banking transactions safe from prying eyes, and it looks comparable to the Windows build.

Automatic scanning, anti-phishing, anti-theft, and an app locker are all available in the Android app, but it’s not your only option. Sticking with Kaspersky Anti-Virus doesn’t mean you have to leave your Android phone completely unsecured; the free build includes anti-theft and basic on-demand scanning, which should help keep you safe.

Overall, Kaspersky Internet Security appears to be well worth the extra cost if you have Macs to protect or simply want to add Android functionality with no effort.

However, experienced users who already have a good free Android antivirus app may not see much of an advantage, especially if Kaspersky’s free Android product can be used as a second layer of defense. If that describes you, try out the trial version first to see how it compares to your current antivirus.

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-Features

When you install Kaspersky Internet Security, you get an intelligent firewall that manages internet access and protects your network from attacks.

It rarely bothers you with prompts or alarms, which is a significant improvement over certain competitors (ESET’s somewhat inept firewall may ask you to choose which connections to accept and which to block). We had no problems with this, but if you have any issues or require a bespoke setup, you can alter or apply specific rules for apps or packets.

A Spam Filter is included in Internet Security, however, it is turned off by default. When our Outlook configuration deactivated the Kaspersky add-in for lowering performance, turning it on offered us a clue as to why.

The filter raised an alert about message #44 later when we sent a batch of 100 test emails. Outlook then stalled at the ‘Sending message #44#’ stage, never reaching message #45, until we manually closed the Send window, for no apparent reason.

Quick assessments revealed that the filter’s accuracy wasn’t outstanding, with only about 70% of trash being blocked (Bitdefender managed more than 90 percent .) It’s a lot more adjustable than we imagined, so there’s room for improvement there, but if you truly need antispam, you’re better off looking somewhere else.

Safe Money starts your current browser in a secure, isolated environment that tries to protect your financial information when you shop online. When we tried to access a banking or e-commerce site – such as eBay or Amazon – Internet Security urged us to open the link in Safe Money (you may manually add additional links if they aren’t recognized).

We agreed, and the payment page appeared in a Safe Money window, where we handed over our money as usual. We used keyloggers and screen capture tools to simulate a virus attack, but Safe Money was able to resist everything we threw at it.

A Private Browsing feature protects your privacy more actively by preventing different sorts of site trackers (social networks, web analytics, ad agencies, web beacons).

Untrusted programs are automatically blocked from accessing your webcam by a Webcam Protection module, which also allows you to manually restrict individual apps or all applications. For us, it performed as expected.

The suite can also identify and stop efforts to capture audio, even though it does not advertise it on its website. This is presented via a separate alert system, which we don’t believe makes much sense – we think webcam and microphone hijacking attempts should be managed together at the very least – but that’s a small point: it detects the threat, and that’s all that matters.

A Software Updater module looks for patches that aren’t installed. It not only discovered and installed much more updates on our test PC than the Vulnerability Scan, but it also did it automatically. It’s well worth the money. The free edition of Kaspersky’s Safe Kids, a parental controls module, can be downloaded and installed with Kaspersky Internet Security.

However, this version only includes the most basic capabilities, such as the ability to restrict website access and device usage by time. The Premium version (also available in Kaspersky Total Security, as we’ll see in a moment) has more advanced functions, such as checking your child’s position on a map, monitoring social media accounts, and reporting on their activity.

Internet Security contains a lot of smaller tools buried away, but most of them are underpowered and serve only to fill in the gaps. Despite this, there’s plenty of protection here, with numerous layers working together to decrease your vulnerability to attackers.

Overall, Kaspersky Internet Security does not provide anything new to Kaspersky’s customer base. Still, the firewall works well, Safe Money’s browser protection is useful, and everything is built on Kaspersky’s superb antivirus engine.

Although Kaspersky Internet Security isn’t particularly fascinating, it is a reliable program that does a lot to keep you safe. Kaspersky Total Security is a comprehensive security package that builds on Kaspersky Internet Security and adds several essential features.

While Internet Security only comes with a restricted free version of Kaspersky’s Password Manager, Total Security contains the full version, which costs $15 per year. It’s a solid middle-of-the-road option for creating, maintaining, and syncing passwords across Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android devices.

It’s more capable than other competitors’ password managers, with features like auto-filling for addresses and credit card details, as well as a protected photo gallery (Avira’s is significantly more limited, for example). However, there are flaws: many complex functions aren’t available on the mobile apps, for example, and it can’t compete with password managers like Dashlane.

Similarly, Total Security includes the full version of Kaspersky’s Safe Kids rather than the limited version. It’s a clever parental controls module that combines all of the core features you’d expect (filtering unwanted web content, limiting time spent on specific activities, or using a device) with useful social media monitoring (watch changes to your child’s Friends list, look for posts where they’re mentioned).

You can view your child’s mobile device position on a map, and you can even receive an alert if your child enters an area you’ve designated as a prohibited zone. It’s a good setup, but you don’t need Kaspersky Total Security to obtain it; Safe Kids Premium can be purchased separately for $15 per year.

Simple backups to local drives or your own Dropbox account are possible using a rudimentary backup program. It’s supposed to be simple to use, such as backing up all of your movies in just a few clicks, but there are freeware apps that can do much more.

Some security suites go even farther; NortonLifeLock’s 360 Select subscription, for instance, provides a professional online backup solution with 100GB of cloud storage.

There are no must-have’ features here, similar to Kaspersky Internet Security. However, if you’ll be using Safe Kids and want a password manager without having to go looking for one separately, Total Security sounds like a good option for $50 ($100 on renewal) for five devices over a year, or $150 ($300 on renewal) for ten devices over two years. But if you’re looking for more, keep reading since Kaspersky’s consumer security line isn’t yet complete.

The typical consumer security options for most manufacturers are a basic antivirus, a mid-range suite, and a high-end suite. However, for reasons we don’t quite comprehend, Kaspersky offers a separate Security Cloud family with its own set of features.

The key benefit of Security Cloud, according to the Kaspersky website, is ‘adaptive protection,’ which means that the service adapts its behavior to your needs automatically. If a site you visit frequently is hacked, you’ll be prompted to change your password.

When you’re out and about, it’ll instantly launch a secure browser or enable the VPN to protect your credit card information. Alternatively, if there isn’t much happening on, it will clean up system garbage and optimize your device for optimal performance.

There are a few other things, but they aren’t that useful. A ‘hard drive health’ feature, for example, uses the SMART data from your Windows or Mac hard drive to warn of impending failure; fascinating, but there are more capable free tools available.

Similarly, the Devices In My Network tool does a quick network scan to identify and display the devices on your Wi-Fi network, with the option to receive notifications when new devices connect. Although novices may appreciate having this included with the suite, more experienced users will find there are many more powerful scanners available.

Security Cloud Free is at the bottom of the scale. It lacks the extras found in the premium utilities – no Safe Money, VPN, Password Manager, Safe Kids, anti-tracking, or anything else – but it does have the Kaspersky antivirus engine, which, depending on your needs, may be sufficient.

Kaspersky Security Cloud Personal is essentially Total Security plus adaptive protection and extra capabilities for business products.

It’s difficult to comprehend why Kaspersky offers two sets at such similar prices. For example, a Kaspersky Total Security 10-device one-year license costs $75 for the first year and $150 for renewal.

However, Kaspersky Security Cloud can protect up to 20 devices for a fraction of the price, at $90 for the first year and $150 thereafter.

In the long run, Kaspersky Security Cloud appears to be a good option for individuals who have a lot of hardware to safeguard.

If you’re still unsure, keep in mind that each of the products we’ve listed has its 30-day trial, as well as a Security Cloud Free, build that you can use indefinitely, so you’ll have plenty of time to figure out what works best for you.

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