Kaspersky Review (2023): Is This a Trustworthy Antivirus Tool


When we looked at privacy, we didn’t just consider Kaspersky’s own privacy protection capabilities but also the privacy policy of the company itself, the company’s history, and government influence. We came to the following conclusions:

Kaspersky Antivirus Cost and Plan Pricing

Kaspersky Antivirus App Home Screen - Product Header Image

Businesses around the world spend billions of dollars in cybersecurity every year, but for average internet users like us, securing our digital life doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, you may not have to spend anything at all with all the free options available from reputable brands.

One such option is Kaspersky. The Russian cybersecurity company offers premium antivirus software, but what many don’t know is that they also have one of the best antivirus software you can get for free. We tested Kaspersky ourselves, and our experience with both the free and premium antivirus was overwhelmingly positive. Of course, there were also a few downsides, especially when it comes to the brand’s reputation.

Is Kaspersky a good buy despite that? Is the free option reliable? Where can you get the best deals? We’ll answer all those in this page all about Kaspersky’s pricing, so kick back, relax, and keep reading.

Kaspersky Antivirus App Home Screen

Kaspersky Antivirus Pros

There’s always so much to talk about when it comes to testing and reviewing antivirus software. That’s why we made a separate page for our Kaspersky antivirus review. Head over there for a more detailed assessment of the software.

On this page, we’re focusing on Kaspersky’s overall cost, the inclusions of the free antivirus, and whether or not it’s a good purchase considering its features.

Let’s start with a high-level overview of Kaspersky’s best features based on our testing.

Detected 100 Percent of Viruses

We like to be hands-on in our tests, so we downloaded five different types of malware posing as regular computer files and hid them all throughout our test computer. Of the dozens of antivirus software we tested, Kaspersky was one of the only two that found all viruses. That’s an impressive feat, which was later corroborated by AV Test. More on that below.

Detected 99.9 to 100 Percent of Android Malware

Unlike our one-time virus detection test, the folks over at AV Test use a much larger sample size to test antivirus software, and they do these tests on a regular basis. In the latest published results (January and February 2023), Kaspersky notched a 100-percent score in both detecting zero-day attacks (new malware that haven’t been added to databases yet) and detecting prevalent malware in the past four weeks. That goes for Kaspersky’s Android and Windows apps.

Kaspersky Antivirus App Scan Menu

Free Antivirus Software

As previously mentioned, Kaspersky offers free antivirus software. And not to spoil anything for you, but even with the free software, Kaspersky is still great at detecting viruses. Keep reading to find out why.

Highly-Rated iOS and Android Apps

On the Google Play store, the Kaspersky Mobile Antivirus: AppLock & Web Security app has a 4.8, while the Kaspersky Security Cloud & VPN has a 4.7 on the Apple store.

Discounts for Longer Subscriptions

Commitment pays! If you’re looking for antivirus software you can use for the next couple of years, sign up for a two-year subscription to enjoy the best prices. One-year subscriptions are also available.

What Makes The Free Kaspersky Antivirus Great

The aptly named Kaspersky Free software is great not just because it’s free, but because it’s effective. It uses the same virus detection database as the premium version, which means if the premium antivirus can detect a piece of malware, so can the free software. In fact, during testing, it caught all five viruses we hid in our computer.

That’s not all. The free antivirus is also very thorough. In our testing, it managed to catch the viruses we hid several folders deep and in .zip archives. There are premium antiviruses that can’t do that, which begs the question: If the free Kaspersky antivirus is so good, why would you pay for premium software?

There are two reasons. First, the free version doesn’t actively protect your devices. It can hunt malware down when you scan your computer, but it doesn’t offer real-time protection to prevent your device from getting malware in the first place. If you forget to scan your computer, there’s a chance it might still get infected. With the premium software, every file you download, access, or view gets scanned in real-time.

Second, the premium version comes with useful extras, such as a VPN, password manager, and parental control features, which can help you keep your kids from seeing inappropriate content online. It also offers extended protection against phishing and ransomware. So if you want a more rounded-out protection, go with the premium Kaspersky antivirus.

Note: Kaspersky’s free antivirus app does not work on macOS devices. Rather, you’ll need to choose either an Kaspersky Plus or a Kaspersky Premium plan to cover your Macbook.


Kaspersky bundles its antivirus service with other digital protections like VPNs, firewalls, payment protection, and more. They also offer a number of add-on products for personal use, which we’ll cover below, as well as antivirus for business, which we won’t get into. First, let’s start with those package options.

Standard vs. Plus vs. Premium

Essentially, Kaspersky offers four packaged options that provide a varying level of cybersecurity. The lowest on the list is the free version, called Antivirus Free, while the Kaspersky Premium package offers the most all-around protection.

The pricing for each package varies depending on the number of devices they cover and the length of the subscription. In simple terms, they become more expensive as you protect more devices, but the cost of protecting each device lowers as you increase the subscription term length.

Of course, you don’t have to go all in right off the bat. That’s what the free version is for. You can start with the free antivirus, and once you get the hang of things and you’re sure that Kaspersky is right for you, you can upgrade to a premium package for better coverage.

Product Antivirus Free Kaspersky Standard Kaspersky Plus Kaspersky Premium
Compatibility Windows, Android, iOS Windows Windows, macOS, Android Windows, macOS, Android, iOS
Antivirus Yes Yes Yes Yes
Anti-malware Yes Yes Yes Yes
Anti-phishing No Yes Yes Yes
Anti-ransomware No Yes Yes Yes
Defends against network attacks No Yes Yes Yes
Payment protection No No Yes Yes
Two-way firewall No No Yes Yes
VPN No No Yes Yes
Block unauthorized access to smart cameras No No Yes Yes
Encrypted vault No No No Yes
Password manager No No No Yes
Parental controls No No No Yes
3 devices, 1 year price $0.00 $23.99 $31.99 $35.99
3 devices, 2 years price $0.00 $47.99 $63.99 $71.99
5 devices, 1 year price $0.00 $31.99 $35.99 $39.99
5 devices, 2 years price $0.00 $63.99 $71.99 $79.99
10 devices, 1 year price $0.00 $51.99 $55.99 $59.99
10 devices, 2 years price $0.00 $103.99 $111.99 $119.99

Security Cloud Personal

In addition to the four bundles above, Kaspersky has what they call a Security Cloud, which is a cloud-based solution that combines all of their apps into one package. It comes in Personal (for personal use) and Plus (for commercial use) variants, but here, we’ll focus on Security Cloud Personal. The package includes:

  • Data leak monitoring
  • Wi-Fi network monitoring
  • Device optimization
  • VPN with a daily data limit of 500 MB
  • Encrypted browser
  • Anti-phishing
  • Authentication
  • Hard drive health monitor
  • GPS tracking and alerts for kids
  • Monitoring of Facebook
  • Website filters
  • Screen time and application usage control
Features and prices Security Cloud Personal Security Cloud Family
Compatibility Windows, macOS, Android, iOS Windows, macOS, Android, iOS
Number of users 1 10
Parental controls No Yes
Price per year $26.99 for 3 devices or $29.99 for 5 devices $44.99 for 10 devices

There’s no doubt that the Security Cloud offers the most protection of any packages on this list, making it one of the best digital security products for families.

VPN Secure

Number of Devices Time Period Cost
5 1 year $30.00
5 1 month $4.99

If you want to buy a VPN separately, that’s also an option, although Kaspersky’s VPN only covers five devices maximum. Many VPNs cover unlimited devices, so this deal won’t be for everybody, especially considering that the average adult in America has more than 10 IoT devices in their own homes. 1

FYI: We haven’t reviewed Kaspersky’s VPN Secure, but we have reviewed a different VPN called VPNSecure; don’t get the two mixed up!

Safe Kids

There are a ton of risks for kids online, from child identity theft to general inappropriate content. We love that Kaspersky has a free app that lets parents control what online content their kids are seeing, and we think that this is sufficient, as many of the features in Premium, like child locator and Youtube search history, can be obtained in other ways for free, like through their phones’ GPS or in your browser’s search history.

Safe Kids Free Safe Kids Premium
Filter for online content Yes Yes
Youtube safe search Yes Yes
Control of app usage by time, age or category Yes Yes
Screen time management Yes Yes
Screen time scheduling No Yes
Child locator No Yes
Battery tracker No Yes
Social network monitoring No Yes
Youtube search history No Yes
Real-time alerts No Yes
Annual Cost $0.00 $14.99

Password Manager

Kaspersky also has a password manager, available for 15 usernames and passwords for free and an unlimited number of usernames and passwords for $14.99 a year. This is a pretty reasonable price, considering the fact that popular password managers like Dashlane charge $59.88 for a year of the exact same service. If you’re one of the 45 percent of Americans who use passwords of eight characters or less, as we found out in our password habit research, password managers can generate more complicated passwords for you, making your accounts more secure.

Free Premium
Maximum number of items 15 Unlimited
Compatibility Android, iOS, macOS, Windows Android, iOS, macOS, Windows
Maximum number of users 1 1
Annual Cost $0.00 $14.99

Student Discounts: How To Save

Want an extra 10 percent off of anything on Kaspersky’s website, and we do mean anything? Just verify that you’re a student with UNiDAYS 2 to unlock that discount. However, the student discount is only one of the several ways you can save with your antivirus purchase. If you’re not in a hurry, for example, you can wait for holidays to come around before shopping. Kaspersky often offers significant price-offs around Thanksgiving and especially on Cyber Monday.

Ways to Pay

Kaspersky accepts a number of payment methods, including Visa, Mastercard, and PayPal. Unfortunately, Discover and American Express cardholders won’t be able to use their cards, so the only option if you have those cards is to use PayPal.

In fact, we recommend paying through PayPal regardless of your credit card provider. PayPal is a safe payment processor, much safer than putting down your credit card information. Instead of seeing your payment information, websites you sign up with can only see your PayPal account, which significantly reduces the risk of your credit card being included in data breaches. At the same time, your bank or card provider won’t see what you purchased with your PayPal account. They’ll see that you used PayPal, but they won’t see what you used it for.

Kaspersky Antivirus Settings Menu


From the day you click purchase, you have 30 days to return any Kaspersky product for a full refund; simply look up your order 3 and request a refund, and you’ll get reimbursed within five to seven business days. After that 30 days, you won’t be able to get reimbursed, though.

Kaspersky Antivirus Support Webpage

Business Background

Want to learn more about the company behind the software? Kaspersky was founded in 1997 and now has more than 400 million users as well as 270,000 business clients. Clearly, they’re a very recognizable name in the cyber security industry, but the company is not without its hardships.

For example, in 2019, a German journalist found a security flaw in their antivirus software that would have allowed hackers to spy on users online. 4 Since, the company has issued a patch, but this is more than a little disheartening for a company whose aim is to protect users against hackers, not expose them more. However, these sorts of vulnerabilities are incredibly common, so we can’t knock Kaspersky for something that literally all major tech companies have experienced.

The other biggest media story surrounding Kaspersky is its rumored ties to the Russian government, being a company founded in Russia. In fact, government computers are banned from using Kaspersky on their computers since 2017, 5 but if you’re not concerned about Russian hacking, or you aren’t dealing with sensitive national security data, it shouldn’t be too big of a concern.

Overall, Kaspersky isn’t anantivirus to avoid just because of those allegations. It has denied its involvement with Russia, and even moved its data centers out of the country to prove its innocence.


Kaspersky’s rates are more than reasonable. Its subscription plans for its antivirus software and other digital security products are affordable, and they offer a lot of value considering their price.

We recommend buying multi-product packages to save money, but if you already have a VPN, password manager, and parental control software, Kaspersky has antivirus-only plans as well.

We also suggest buying a long-term subscription for those extra savings. That’s how you can get the most value from your purchase.

Of course, if you’re a little low on budget, basic protection from Kaspersky’s free antivirus software is available. As long as you remember to scan your devices regularly, it should be able to protect you without the premium features of paid-for plans.

Kaspersky Antivirus FAQs

We’re absolutely out of breath from telling you everything about Kaspersky’s pricing, but we’ll answer the questions we get the most for the cheap seats in the back.

Kaspersky is a good antivirus software that detected 99.9 percent of malware and, in our own testing, 100 percent of all viruses.

Kaspersky is banned from government computers because President Donald Trump and his administration believed it was vulnerable to Russian influence and would risk the United States’ national security, according to Reuters. However, Kaspersky denies these claims.

Kaspersky does have a free antivirus app for iOS, Windows and Android devices.

McAfee and Kaspersky are pretty neck and neck, but our recommendation goes to Kaspersky because of its overall performance in the malware detection department. After all, antivirus software is all about detecting malware, and Kaspersky does that job better than McAfee.

Kaspersky Review (2023): Is This a Trustworthy Antivirus Tool?

Review star bar, magnifying glass, Kaspersky logo and a star showing a review score of 7.7

Kaspersky Lab is a global cybersecurity giant primarily known for its antivirus software. It is one of the larger cybersecurity providers, with arguably the most popular and controversial antivirus program available today.

We investigated how the Kaspersky antivirus software fares compared to other antivirus providers such as AVG, Avast, Avira, Surfshark One, and Bitdefender, including how its ties to Russia may affect customers’ privacy and security.

During our tests, we used the Kaspersky Internet Security package. The features in this plan are comparable to the most popular software packages of other providers. However, we also mention how features are broken down into all other subscription tiers. Here’s our comprehensive Kaspersky review.

Total score table showing results per reviewed category, Kaspersky

Kaspersky Short Review

Pros Cons
Multilayered malware protection Based in Russia, subject to government oversight
Scanning to detect zero-day threats The privacy policy could be better
Extended protection for Wi-Fi networks & peripherals Moderate to high system impact
One, three, and five-device license options Kaspersky collects license and subscription information
Packages available for Windows, Android, Mac, and iOS devices The basic package is only available for Windows
User-friendly Challenging to get in touch with customer service
Built-in VPN, password manager, and parental controls included in some packages Built-in VPN offers limited traffic bandwidth
30-day money-back guarantee

Kaspersky’s antivirus software does its job well: it keeps you safe from malware and shows excellent results in external tests. On top of that, it offers countless additional security and privacy features that users can benefit from, like an ad blocker, VPN, anti-fraud features, and performance optimization options.

During our Kaspersky review tests, we paid special attention to its attitude towards privacy. Since Kaspersky is a Russian company, and since Russia’s laws don’t always support the public’s right to privacy, it’s important that this antivirus provider has their business in order. Unfortunately, while Kaspersky has done a lot of work to show that it’s working to regain people’s trust, the Kaspersky privacy policy could be improved a lot in terms of clarity and completeness.

When it comes to Kaspersky’s speed and performance, we were generally impressed, although the thorough scan demanded a lot from our system. Our device heated up, and these issues would likely result in some lag and slower systems for many other users.

Kaspersky’s software is easy to install and use. You can protect up to five devices with one Kaspersky Antivirus subscription. With their 30-day money-back guarantee, you have a full month to test the Kaspersky antivirus software and see if it works for you. The major drawback we found in terms of usability is that customer support can be hard to reach.

Based on our tests, Kaspersky receives an overall score of 7.7. Do you want to get a subscription to one of the Kaspersky packages straight away? Click on the button below to get your premium antivirus subscription today.

Kaspersky Specifications and Subscriptions

The Kaspersky Antivirus programs do not just protect you against viruses and malware, but also safeguard, for example, online payments and privacy. Unfortunately, Kaspersky has different offers based on where you live as well as which device you use.

Here is an overview of Kaspersky’s packages for Windows in most parts of the world (excluding the US, Canada, and the UK):

Feature Kaspersky Antivirus Kaspersky Internet Security Kaspersky Total Security
Pricing From $27.99 (one year)* From $41.99 (one year)* From $55.99 (one year)*
Number of devices One PC One device One device
Compatibility Windows Windows, macOS, Android Windows, macOS, Android, iOS
Real-Time Antivirus
Performance Optimization
Payment Protection
Smart & Fast VPN
Ad Blocker
Private Browsing
WebCam Protection
Adult Content Blocker
Screen-Time Management
GPS Child Locator
File Protection
Password Manager
Download Link Get Kaspersky Anti-Virus Get Kaspersky Internet Security Get Kaspersky Total Security

In the US, Canada, the UK, and other parts of the world, they have rolled out slightly different plans:

Screenshot of Kaspersky Antivirus, pricing plans

Regardless of what you buy, all packages offer a scan function. This can be a quick scan, a thorough scan, chosen folder/subfolder scan, or a scan of external devices (a USB, for example). All plans also feature advanced scan scheduling and plenty of options about what to do if you do find malware on your PC. So the core protection is there no matter what plan you choose.

The macOS versions of Kaspersky’s packages is slightly different: both Internet Security and Total Security lack some additional features, like the ad blocker.

Kaspersky also offers additional packages for macOS and Android devices:

  • Kaspersky Internet Security for Mac: from $19.99 per year* (not available in all countries)
  • Kaspersky Internet Security for Android: from $9.99 per year*
  • Kaspersky Security Cloud Personal: from $62.99 per year*
  • Kaspersky Safe Kids: from $14.99/year*
  • Kaspersky VPN Secure Connection: from $29.99/year*
  • Kaspersky Password Manager: from $14.99/year*

* Kaspersky prices change regularly and fluctuate greatly depending on the time of your visit, your location, and your browser. If you find higher prices than those listed above, it might help to use a different browser or activate a VPN. For the most recent prices, visit the Kaspersky site directly.

Security: Can Kaspersky Be Trusted?

Score scale 8.5/10

Kaspersky offers some of the best protection against malware attacks. These are our findings:

  • Independent test results show that Kaspersky has a 99.70% online protection rate and a track record of very few false positives.
  • Kaspersky has received multiple top product awards from AV-Comparatives and Top Product certified awards from AV-Test.
  • Aside from solid real-time threat protection, Kaspersky offers many extra security options, as well as anti-fraud features.

We give Kaspersky a score of 8.5 for its security, earning it a good place in our rankings.

Security testing: How does Kaspersky measure up?

We completed our testing of Kaspersky’s security and also reviewed AV-Test and AV-Comparatives tests. We combined these findings to determine our security score for this Kaspersky review.

We found that Kaspersky’s real-time protection capabilities are excellent. We tried to download a number of test files, which were disguised as malware for antivirus scanners. Each time, we immediately received a notification regarding the malicious file or URL. In fact, in most cases, the files were blocked in the browser and never made it onto our system.

Kaspersky blocks virus test file message

AV-Test reported that Kaspersky had 100% threat protection during their tests in September and October of 2022. These tests were against malware attacks, inclusive of web and e-mail threats.

When we reviewed AV-Comparatives’ tests for 2022, we found that the antivirus program had a 95% online detection rate, which is high but not among the highest in this particular test. It was able to fend off 99.70% of the threats, with only one false positive. These are very good results compared to most antiviruses. However, a lot of services had comparable or better results. Software like Avast, AVG, and Norton all performed better.

False positives occur when an antivirus program incorrectly identifies a file as a threat. This can be highly inconvenient if the files you are trying to download are harmless but are quarantined regardless. A benefit of Kaspersky is that you can more easily take files out of quarantine if you know they’re safe.

Real-time threat protection

Kaspersky Anti-Virus, Kaspersky Internet Security, and Kaspersky Total Security do not only automatically scan all incoming data, but they all use a firewall for real-time protection as well. The firewall provides the first level of defense by either allowing or blocking certain traffic.

The scans cover data coming from all sources, including the internet, e-mail, and external drives like a USB stick. They also check the activity of all installed programs, preventing them from executing any harmful actions. Scans can be scheduled or user-initiated, and they range from quick to thorough checks. You’ll read more about this in the “Speed and Performance” section.

Kaspersky offers extremely high functionality and excellent real-time protection. Even so, most antivirus software in the same price range is comparable in this department, so while Kaspersky does a good job, the competition is tough.

Anti-fraud and anti-ransomware features

When it comes to extra safety features, Kaspersky has a few interesting options:

  • Anti-banner filter: This filter can disable displays of annoying advertisements within your browser.
  • Anti-phishing: You can protect yourself against phishing via text messages and e-mails with Kaspersky’s extensive database that automatically recognizes phishing messages in e-mail programs such as Outlook.
  • System Watcher: This feature helps prevent ransomware and other malicious programs from locking you out of your PC. It also scans your system for network attacks, so they can be stopped before reaching your device.
  • Virtual keyboard: This protects you against keyloggers. Instead of typing on your regular keyboard, you can simply use the virtual one to securely enter sensitive information, such as your online banking details.
  • Vulnerability scans: When you use this scan, it analyzes all of your apps to see if any of them can be exploited. However, this option is not available in the Kaspersky Security package or the Standard Plan.
  • Safe Money: If you get the Kaspersky Browser Extension, it will automatically analyze the websites and payment processors you visit to certify that they’re trustworthy.

In other words: Kaspersky offers more than enough high-quality tools to keep your device safe against outside attacks. The question is: do you need to sacrifice your privacy in return?

Privacy: How Does Kaspersky Handle Your Data?

Score scale 6.5/10

When we looked at privacy, we didn’t just consider Kaspersky’s own privacy protection capabilities but also the privacy policy of the company itself, the company’s history, and government influence. We came to the following conclusions:

  • Kaspersky offers multiple privacy-enhancing features, including its own VPN for Plus plans and above.
  • Most of the information collected by Kaspersky is necessary, and optioning out of (some forms of) data collection might influence the performance of the product.
  • Kaspersky has solid features to limit tracking by ad networks when you browse the internet.
  • Despite worries about government control, we found no evidence to suggest Kaspersky is influenced by the Russian authorities.

After reviewing all the areas above, taking into account the necessity of data sharing and the possible influence of the governing bodies, we gave Kaspersky a score of 6.5 for privacy.

Kaspersky’s privacy protection features

Kaspersky offers users an impressive level of security, and their privacy features include some extra options which are especially helpful for keeping your information private. These features include:

  • Kaspersky VPN: A VPN helps keep you anonymous while browsing online when you’re on public Wi-Fi at the local coffee shop. Kaspersky VPN is only available through the Internet Security and Total Security packages and has a bandwidth limit of 300MB per day, which you can easily use up in less than an hour when streaming online. If you’re looking for better VPNs, check out the dedicated providers in our top 5 VPN list.
  • Kaspersky privacy browsing: This allows users to keep their activities and data from being tracked by websites, giving users some anonymity while surfing the web. If you add websites to a “Safe Money” list, they will automatically be opened in Protected Browser mode.
  • Kaspersky WebCam security: The antivirus software also offers protection against third-party takeovers of your webcam. You’ll be able to grant or deny applications permission when they try to access your webcam.
  • Data collection protection: Kaspersky offers protection against your data being collected while visiting websites. This can be extremely invasive, and Kaspersky stops tracking on numerous browsers. Just make sure you also opt out of tracking by Kaspersky and its plenty of ad partners!
  • Ad Blocker: Kaspersky can block ad banners, remove adware, or check websites for advertising. Unfortunately, the Ad Blocker is only available on Windows PC versions of Total Security and Internet Security. If you purchase the Plus or Premium plan though, you’ll get the feature on macOS, too.

Kaspersky’s privacy policy

Like most privacy policies, Kaspersky’s privacy document can be tricky to read. It states several times that they give users the option to opt out ofmostforms of data collection. However, you have to dig to find exactly what information the company collects and what you can opt out of. Below are our findings:

Screenshot of Kaspersky, Welcome to protection you can trust window

  • You can opt out of certain data used for marketing personalization.
  • Promotional offer pop-ups can be disabled.
  • Users can choose to opt out of Kaspersky Security Network (KSN), but this can cause issues with the viability of the product or service.
  • Per Kaspersky’s support, the only information the company shares with third parties is the one-time password for activating the program on your device. For example, a one-time password is sent to Google when you use Google Play to download the application.
  • Other information that Kaspersky could collect and use includes: license and subscription information, product information, device data (type of device, operating system, etc.), threats and suspicious files detected, information on installed applications, URLs visited, Wi-Fi connection data (including your access point), user contact information, e-mails, child’s device information (including their location), and the unique identifier of a mobile device.

While that may seem like a lot of information, much of that data is required for the services and products to function properly. In Kaspersky’s own words:

[I]f you do not provide personal data when requested, you may not be able to benefit from the full range of Kaspersky Lab products and services, and we may not be able to provide you with information about products, services, and promotions.”

In theory, Kaspersky appears to be a decent antivirus as far as privacy is concerned, but there are some strange inconsistencies that make us wary. You can opt out of tracking for promotional reasons, and you can use Kaspersky to block data collection by ad networks, which is nice. We just wish it was easier to stop Kaspersky’s own tracking. On top of that, it would be nice if Kaspersky’s privacy policy was more straight-forward and complete, so all information is found in one place.

Kaspersky privacy issues and government connections

Kaspersky has its share of privacy concerns, but not due to data breaches or lax controls. For example, although the company had some issues with certain scripts on web pages that could be exploited to steal data, no evidence of actual abuse was ever found.

Instead, Kaspersky’s privacy concerns have to do with the composition and location of the company. Kaspersky was founded in and is still based in Russia, meaning the company could be bound by law to aid the Russian intelligence service if requested. In its privacy policy, Kaspersky even states that they comply with government agency requests.

However, the company also says: “Kaspersky has strict principles and internal procedures in regard to requests from law enforcement and government agencies worldwide. Every request we receive goes through legal verification to ensure our compliance with applicable laws and procedures.”

In practice, this looks as follows. Kaspersky is governed by the laws of the country where the original purchase was completed. This means that if you live in a country with more government control, your private information could be shared with local government authorities without your permission. This is a cause for concern, but there is good news.

When reviewing Kaspersky’s Law Enforcement and Government Requests Report, we noticed that, although Russia has requested the most user data, Kaspersky has not complied with its personal data requests in the past three years.

Year Number of Requests Requests Approved
2020 27 0
2021 14 0
2022* 9 0

*This data only covers the first half of 2022. Kaspersky’s transparency report for the second half is not out at the time of writing.

Kaspersky’s Global Transparency Initiative

In response to allegations about Kaspersky’s ties to Russia and the possible negative effects of that on user privacy, Kaspersky has set up the Global Transparency Initiative. This project is aimed at proving the company’s dedication to privacy and independence. As part of this, they’ve moved their data centers to Switzerland and opened up their source code for review to organizations and governments, among other transparency-oriented decisions.

Over the past few years, Kaspersky has faced a lot of negative press, which has damaged their reputation thoroughly. Though part of it might be unfounded, there are some serious privacy concerns when it comes to this antivirus program. In turn, Kaspersky is doing everything in their power to prove their sincerity and dedication. If you ask us, they’re on the right path, but only time will tell.

We understand if you’re still apprehensive about using a service headquartered in Russia. So, by all means, choose a different antivirus if it puts your mind at ease. You can check out our Bitdefender review or our TotalAV review if you are looking for other alternatives. But as it stands, Kaspersky isn’t as bad for your privacy as some might fear.

Usability: How User-Friendly Is Kaspersky?

Score scale 8/10

In our opinion, the Kaspersky software is generally easy to use. However, their customer support could do with some minor improvements. Here are our main conclusions:

  • Kaspersky has a very insightful website and the installation process is easy.
  • The Kaspersky dashboard is designed to allow you easy and quick access to all options.
  • This provider has a straightforward cancellation process with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
  • It can be a struggle to get in touch with Kaspersky’s customer service, but you’ll get great assistance once you find the right contact information.

We awarded Kaspersky with an 8.0 for ease of use.

How do I install Kaspersky?

Kaspersky’s installation process is user-friendly, with self-explanatory prompts, similar to many other antivirus programs. Kaspersky’s website looks clean and professional, making it easy to get a subscription and download the app.

Screenshot of Kaspersky website homepage

Here’s how you can install Kaspersky on your Windows computer:

  1. Go to the Kaspersky website. In some countries, you first have to select whether you’re a business or a home user. In other countries, you can go straight to the product section. To install Kaspersky, click on “View Products.”
  2. Choose the system and package of your choice and click “Learn More.”
  3. Choose the number of devices you’d like to get a subscription for as well as the length of your plan. Make sure you (un)check the “Auto-Renewal” option, based on whether you want your subscription to renew automatically or not. then click “Buy Now.”
  4. Fill in your billing information and choose your payment method, then click “Buy Now.”
  5. Once your payment is processed, you can download the software by following the link that shows up on the confirmation page and by clicking “Download.”
  6. Open the file you’ve downloaded and click on “Run.”
  7. Follow the steps and agree to the license agreement by checking the boxes and pressing “Accept.” We advise you to decline the agreement about data collection for marketing purposes.
  8. Click “Install” and wait for Kaspersky to finish installing.
  9. Add your “MyKaspersky” account for full access to all the features of the software.

You’re done! Kaspersky will immediately scan your system, after which the start screen appears.

Kaspersy installation finished screenshot

You might have to indicate what part of the world you live in to make Kaspersky work properly before the installation file is downloaded. If this is the case, you can do this on the drop-down menu as shown below.

Kaspersky drop-down menu to choose location before installation

Make sure you pay attention during this step. Otherwise, the program you download might not work properly.

Kaspersky’s antivirus software

The options Kaspersky’s Internet Security software offers are not much more extensive than other providers. However, the software comes across as very transparent and easy to navigate.

Kaspersky interface screenshot

It is, for example, very easy to view details of different parts of the software. By clicking on a section’s button, you can see what is protected and what is not at a glance.

A brief explanation appears on your screen when you open a program component for the first time. With “Safe banking,” for example, it isn’t immediately clear from the standard interface what this feature entails, but then the pop-up explanation tells you how to use it.

You can view these user manuals at any point later in time by clicking the “How does it work?” button. This is very user-friendly and makes Kaspersky easy to use for beginners.

These explanations don’t appear in thePrivacy Protectionsection, since the interface there is more self-explanatory. It’s really easy to enable privacy-enhancing features, like the option to block website tracking, for example.

Screenshot of website tracking blocked by Kaspersky

This shows that the developers have really thought about the design of the software so you aren’t confronted with annoying and unnecessary content.

How easy is it to cancel a Kaspersky subscription?

With its 30-day money-back guarantee, you have a full month to test the Kaspersky software. If you decide it’s not for you, you can cancel and get a full refund. The cancellation process is pretty easy:

  1. Log in to your account online.
  2. Click on “Existing Customers” and then “My Kaspersky.”

Screenshot of Kaspersky, Existing Customers dropdown menu

Go to “Subscriptions.”

Screenshot of Kaspersky, website menu, Subscription option highlighted

  • Click on the subscription in question.
  • Open the “Manage subscription” menu.

    Screenshot of Kaspersky, Manage Subscription window

    Click on the “Cancel” button at the bottom of the screen.

    Screenshot of Kaspersky, Cancel Kaspersky Subscription

    Confirm your cancellation.

    Screenshot of Kaspersky, Confirmation window

    Remember that, if you cancel your subscription after the first 30 days, you won’t get a refund.

    Kaspersky’s customer support

    When you go to the “Customer Support” section under “Existing Customers” on the homepage, you’ll see that Kaspersky offers different options to connect with customer service.

    Screenshot of Kaspersky website, support menu

    These had varying degrees of success when we tested them:

    • Knowledge base and FAQ: Kaspersky’s online support library can help you find the answer to a question, as long as it’s a more general one.
    • Kaspersky’s forum: Here, users can post their questions and get help from other users and Kaspersky moderators. Searching the forum for answers might help you out when you encounter an issue.
    • Live chat: Live chat is usually a quick, reliable way for customers to get support. Unfortunately, Kaspersky’s version is an AI assistant that never connected us with a human. The prompts only led us to links on the website or provided a phone number.
    • Phone: Phone support is available in many languages, including English, French, and German. When we called them, we were aided quickly and efficiently.
    • E-mail: You can send in a support request, to which you will receive an answer by e-mail. This is fine if you are not in a rush, as it can take a full day for the support team to get back to you.

    Kaspersky’s knowledge base and chat assistant are both great resources, but their live support is lacking. Although the support page provides an e-mail and phone number for general inquiries, you have to pay for premium support in the setup process.

    On top of that, Kaspersky asks for a lot of information about your system, account, and issue before they connect you to support, which takes a lot of time and isn’t great for your privacy.

    One bright spot in our experience was how quickly our questions were answered once we finally connected with customer service. In short, the speed and effectiveness of the customer support service are great, but the options for support could’ve been more accessible overall.

    Speed and Performance: Will Kaspersky Slow Down My System?

    Score scale 7.5/10

    In terms of the speeds of scans and the performance of the antivirus overall, Kaspersky scored well. Here are our findings:

    • Kaspersky’s quick and thorough scans took a little while and worked well.
    • The specific “gaming mode” allows you to be undisturbed by the antivirus while it works in the background.
    • Kaspersky didn’t have a major impact on our CPU speed, although it heated our computer considerably.

    Kaspersky’s good system performance resulted in a decent score in this category. We did subtract 0.5 points for the intense thorough scan, which demanded a lot from our system. Overall, we gave Kaspersky a score of 7.5.

    How long does a scan take?

    Kaspersky’s scanning function gives you two options: a quick scan and a thorough scan. The thorough scan took us approximately 12.5 minutes, while the quick scan only took 40 seconds. These are excellent speeds, meaning you can quickly do a scan without it disturbing your other activities.

    Aside from that, Kaspersky has several functions that make your PC easier to use and boost its performance. The gaming mode, for example, guarantees that you won’t be disturbed by antivirus notifications while gaming. Furthermore, no scheduled antivirus tasks are performed when the battery is low.

    How does Kaspersky impact my CPU?

    Kaspersky was pretty light on our system. You’ll barely notice when a scan is running or when real-time malware protection is active in the background. During our tests, these processes used a total of approximately 110MB of working memory when running in the background. The CPU usage remained below two percent.

    In addition to checking facts and figures, we have extensively tested whether other programs stay stable in combination with Kaspersky. We can conclude that, in that regard, little or nothing gives away that an antivirus program is running.

    However, during scans, CPU usage and working memory usage go up quickly. Although this is to be expected with good virus protection, it is worth noting, as this might affect your system. For us, these increases did not affect the performance of other software.

    Unfortunately, during the thorough scan, our computer got very warm, and the fans were running at their full power. We can imagine that some devices might suffer due to excessive system load.

    Final Verdict: Is Kaspersky a Good Virus Scanner?

    Kaspersky is a high-level antivirus provider that is struggling to get rid of its negative reputation. It provides excellent security and stops nearly all malware that might try to attack you. On top of that, Kaspersky offers various extra features that help you improve your safety and anonymity. The software is easy to work with and functions well in the background.

    The Russian giant also comes with a few drawbacks, as indicated in this Kaspersky review. Most notable are the privacy issues. Due to the antivirus’s ties with Russia, many users are hesitant to get a subscription. Kaspersky, however, is working on restoring trust. While their privacy policy can still be improved, we believe they’re on the right track.

    Does Kaspersky sound like a good deal to you? Click on the button below to get a Kaspersky subscription.

    Are you curious how other antivirus solutions compare to Kaspersky? Have a look at our antivirus review page for in-depth research on the most popular virus scanners.

    Kaspersky Review: Frequently Asked Questions

    Do you have a question you want a quick answer to? Check the FAQs below, and your problem may be solved immediately.

    How much does Kaspersky cost?

    The prices currently listed on Kaspersky’s website are:

    • Kaspersky Antivirus for $25 per year (one device)
    • Kaspersky Internet Security for $33 per year (one device)
    • Kaspersky Total Security for $66 per year (one device)

    However, subscription plans show up with different prices depending on your location, the time of your visit, and sometimes even your browser, making the subscription process slightly confusing.

    How do I remove Kaspersky?

    In Windows 10, Kaspersky can be removed by taking the following steps:

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

    For Mac, Kaspersky can be removed as follows:

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

    Does Kaspersky have a free version?

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

    Kat Oran Author

    Content & Copywriter Coordinator

    Kat is an IT security business professional in the areas of cybersecurity, online privacy, and censorship with experience in project management, process development, and leadership. She coordinates our team of expert copywriters.