Cloudwards Video Courses New may earn a small commission from some purchases made through our site. However, any earnings do not affect how we review services. Learn more about our editorial integrity and research process.

Visit Kaspersky Anti-Virus
  • Easy to use
  • Inexpensive
  • Secure payment browser

Kaspersky Antivirus Review

Kaspersky is an antivirus shrouded in controversy, but it stays in the game due to good word of mouth and excellent performance and security test results. Find out if Kaspersky is a good option for you in this Kaspersky Antivirus review.

Mindy Born
By Mindy Born (Writer)
— Last Updated: 2024-07-12T09:53:10+00:00 Facts checked by Igor Kurtz
Key Takeaways: What Is Kaspersky Antivirus & Is It Good to Use?
  • Strong performance and features: Kaspersky Antivirus consistently scores 99%-100% in independent lab tests for threat detection, and it has features like anti-phishing, parental controls, secure browsing for online payments and a VPN.
  • Controversies and concerns: The company’s Russian origins have led to significant controversy, including allegations of ties to Russian intelligence and a ban by the U.S. government. 
  • Proactive transparency measures: Kaspersky denies any connection to the Russian government. In response to the U.S.’ allegations, it has relocated its data processing centers to Switzerland and opened several data transparency centers globally.

Facts & Expert Analysis About Kaspersky Antivirus:

  • Advanced threat detection algorithms: Kaspersky uses a multi-layered approach to identify malware, employing signature-based detection, heuristic analysis and machine learning algorithms.
  • Security architecture: Kaspersky’s “safe money” feature uses isolated browser environments with digital certificates and encrypted communications to protect financial transactions from attacks and keyloggers, similar to how HTTPS authenticates websites.
  • Data transparency: Kaspersky has taken some measures to assuage concerns about the Russian government compromising it. However, it’s still banned in the United States.

Eugene Kaspersky founded the Kaspersky product in 1997. In 1989, Kaspersky, then an engineer, became interested in antivirus software when his computer was infected by a virus. Kaspersky is a Russian antivirus service headquartered in Moscow, and its national origins have caused some users to question its safety. In this Kaspersky Antivirus review, we will examine how safe it is.

Though Kaspersky does very well in independent testing, the company has faced controversy due to its Russian origins, with the U.S. government labeling it a security threat in 2017 due to allegations that it has collaborated with the Russian Security Service (FSB). For that reason, we’ve left it off our best antivirus software list for the last few years.

Though Kaspersky denies any connections to the Russian government and highlights the global nature of its company — with its data processing centers located in Switzerland — some users may be uncomfortable using a Russian antivirus app. Plus, U.S. users are out of luck. We will dive deeper into the features of Kaspersky Antivirus, as well as some of the controversies surrounding it, in this review.

  • 03/15/2022

    Added information about the German government warning against Kaspersky.

  • 07/12/2024 Facts checked

    We’ve rewritten this article with new information about the U.S. ban on Kaspersky and how it runs as an antivirus.

What Is Kaspersky & Who Is It For?

The Kaspersky Antivirus app (sometimes written as the “Kaspersky Anti Virus” app) has features like anti-phishing protection, parental controls, a secure browser for online payments and a VPN. Its excellent independent testing results earned it an honorable mention in our list of the best free antivirus article.

Kaspersky’s easy-to-use security software makes it a good choice for beginners and seasoned antivirus software users alike. Given the controversy surrounding its privacy, it may be better for individuals who are more concerned with strong antivirus performance than remaining private. It’s also not an option for U.S. users because of the June 2024 Kaspersky ban.

Controversies: Is Kaspersky a Russian Company?

There have been many controversies regarding Kaspersky’s potential ties to the Russian government. Eugene Kaspersky, the company’s founder, has a background in the Soviet military and was educated at a technical college sponsored by the KGB. 

This has raised concerns about possible connections to Russian intelligence and led to the U.S. government issuing a warning against using the product. As of June 20, 2024, the United States government has banned the sale of Kaspersky to new users.

kaspersky message to US users
If you visit the Kaspersky website from the U.S., this pop-up will
notify you that the service is no longer available.

Despite Kaspersky’s denials of any misconduct, the company’s Russian origins and alleged government connections due to Eugene Kaspersky’s college sponsorship continue to fuel worries about potential backdoors or other malicious activity in its software. The controversy has also led to Kaspersky issuing a lawsuit against the U.S. government. 

Controversies: A Flaw in Kaspersky Antivirus Security

In 2019, journalist Ronald Eikenberg wrote an article for German magazine “c’t” exposing a bug in Kaspersky’s code. At the time, Kaspersky used unique identifiers in its scripts that could be used to track users across every site they visited, but all the sites that a user visited would have had to cooperate in order for the user to be tracked.

Kaspersky promptly fixed the problem with a patch that made the identifiers uniform for all users, preventing individual tracking. The fix was automatically applied through product updates. 

Mindy Born

The Cloudwards Expert Opinion

Mindy Born is a expert in online security, including antivirus products.

Independent lab tests of Kaspersky Antivirus show it consistently detects 99%-100% of threats, which is an excellent detection rate. It has received perfect 6/6 scores in protection, performance and usability from AV-TEST every quarter since February 2021.

However, Kaspersky has faced controversy due to its Russian origins, with the U.S. government labeling it a national security threat. In 2022, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) added Kaspersky to a list of companies that threaten U.S. security, saying its Russian staff could be coerced into helping to provide remote access to customers’ computers. 

In my opinion, Kaspersky’s outstanding test records show a commitment to providing a solid antivirus product. I like that the company has responded quickly to all allegations and taken swift action to fix any noted security risks. 

However, there are many antivirus programs, such as Bitdefender and ESET, that test just as well and don’t come with privacy or espionage concerns. Read our Bitdefender Antivirus review and our ESET Antivirus review for more.

Kaspersky Antivirus Software Alternatives

Kaspersky Antivirus Pros & Cons


  • Strong lab results
  • Good user interface
  • Inexpensive
  • Additional online security features


  • Mac version is heavy on system resources
  • Privacy concerns
  • Banned in the U.S.

Kaspersky download
Kaspersky has a lot of useful features, including a VPN.

Features: What Can Kaspersky Do?

80 % – Good

Kaspersky offers competitive features for both home and business users. Kaspersky Total Security includes core antivirus protection, safe browsing that protects you from suspicious websites and performance optimization tools that organize computer files and delete duplicates.

A lot of Kaspersky tools are focused on privacy, such as webcam protection that will alert you if someone tries to access your webcam. There is also a browser extension that encrypts your online banking and a VPN with unlimited bandwidth but mixed reviews. 

Kaspersky continuously updates its database with new virus definitions and uses behavioral analysis to detect unknown threats based on suspicious activity patterns. We’ll delve deeper into these features below.

Kaspersky VPN

We can’t recommend Kaspersky Secure Connection VPN due to the company’s privacy concerns. Its VPN is provided in partnership with Pango, a trusted VPN infrastructure provider that has been independently audited. Pango is the same company that powers Bitdefender’s VPN, but Kaspersky’s privacy policy is what dictates how your data is used

The VPN is fast and user-friendly, and it unblocked U.S. Netflix in our testing (but not U.K. or European Netflix libraries). However, it has not been independently audited or verified as a no-logs VPN. Try one of the best VPNs for Netflix instead.

Kaspersky Protection Browser Extension

Kaspersky’s browser protection feature requires installing and enabling the Kaspersky Protection extension. The extension injects a script into web pages and traffic to interact securely with online banking sites protected by Kaspersky’s encrypted Safe Money network. 

The extension secures data using digital signatures from antivirus databases and Kaspersky Security Network. It does this through a method similar to what HTTPS websites use, employing a secure handshake to ensure any banking website you visit is authentic.

Identity Protection Wallet

Kaspersky’s identity protection wallet is a secure digital vault that stores and manages sensitive personal information such as passwords, credit card details, personal identification and secure notes. We like some of its features, but it didn’t make our best identity theft protection ranking.

It uses strong encryption and a master password to secure your information so that even if someone gains access to the file, they cannot read or use its contents. You set a master password to lock and unlock the wallet. Besides storing documents, the wallet can generate secure passwords for your online accounts and store them for easy access.

kaspersky safe kids
Kaspersky’s Safe Kids parental control offers a lot of customization options.
Parental Controls

Kaspersky’s parental control helps parents monitor and limit their children’s online activity. It includes web filtering to block inappropriate websites, time limits to prevent excessive screen time, social media monitoring that keeps parents informed about their children’s online interactions and app filtering to restrict access to specific apps the parents choose.

If you’re interested in managing your child’s time on the internet, check out our guide to the best parental control apps.

Password Manager 

Kaspersky’s password manager safeguards private information like passwords, bank details and notes by securely storing data protected with a master password. It automatically syncs data across devices and lets you access it anywhere via “my Kaspersky,” an online portal that allows users to manage their Kaspersky products and services from a centralized location. 

The password manager also has an autofill feature that fills out online forms for you, plus a single sign-on feature that allows you to sign in to multiple accounts through one set of credentials. It’s not one of our favorites, though — see our best password manager article to learn what we’d recommend instead.

Kaspersky Features Overview

Password manager
File shredder
Multi-OS support
Parental control
Disk cleanup
Ransomware protection
Webcam protection
Real-time monitoring
Secure browser
Download protection
Phishing protection
Operating System
Desktop UI
Mobile application
Browser extension
Help Center
Live Chat
24/7 Support
Video Tutorial
Free Plan

User-Friendliness & Hands-On Testing

80 % – Good

Kaspersky has a clean and minimalist design that makes it easy to focus on the features and settings you want. The installation wizard walks new users through the features.

Kaspersky Antivirus on Desktop: macOS & Windows Apps
Kaspersky Mac
Kaspersky’s macOS and Windows versions have very similar sets of features.

Kaspersky’s antivirus software for macOS and Windows have both demonstrated excellent malware detection capabilities, scoring highly on independent tests. Kaspersky for Windows and macOS supports an on-premises administration server and console that ensures secure and efficient data exchange between the user’s device and the Kaspersky security center.

The macOS version offers a web-based administration console for business users. Kaspersky is more optimized for Windows than for macOS, so scanning speeds may be slower on Apple devices.

Kaspersky Antivirus on Mobile: Android & iOS Apps
Kaspersky ready to scan
Kaspersky for Android and iOS differs
quite a bit.

The Android version of Kaspersky Internet Security includes features like SMS scanning for phishing, incoming call identification to identify and block spam calls, and allowing calls only from contacts. Kaspersky Safe Kids on iOS lacks the browser blocking features that are available in the Android version.

Android allows for deeper system integration and more comprehensive permissions, which means that antiviruses on Android will be able to run more advanced malware protection than on iOS.

Apple’s strict control over iOS limits the capabilities of security apps to access the device’s root coding and make system-level changes. Kaspersky’s Android app supports a wide range of devices and versions, while the iOS app is limited to Apple devices running iOS 14.0 or later.

kaspersky after a scan
Kaspersky has a lot of helpful customization options on its Android platform.

Kaspersky Antivirus Price: How Much Does It Cost?

70 % – Decent

Kaspersky’s security services are reasonably priced, in line with its competitors. The cheapest plan starts at $2.92 per month, billed at $34.99 annually. This includes antivirus, anti-malware, anti-ransomware and safe web browsing features for up to three devices. Many of its plans were previously sold as Kaspersky Security Cloud, which is no longer available.

The Plus plan is $4 per month, billed at $47.99 (one-year plan) per year, and covers up to five devices. It adds a data leak checker and a VPN. The Premium plan includes up to 10 devices and starts at $6.25 per month, billed at $74.99 annually. This plan adds the identity protection wallet and Safe Kids parental controls.

  • Three devices, banking protection, webcam protection, parental controls
  • Five devices, password manager, backup and restore, advanced parental controls
Pricing Plan Breakdown

Kaspersky’s longer subscription terms don’t offer significant savings over the one-year plans. You will only save a few dollars by committing to a two-year or three-year plan (and the three-year plan is only available with Premium). The real value here is in locking in the lower pricing for a longer period, as all plans renew at nearly double the initial sign-up price.

Kaspersky Antivirus Free Plan & Money-Back Guarantee

Kaspersky offers a bare-bones free version of its antivirus software that scans for malware and viruses and protects devices. The free version impacts system resources less than other free software, like Microsoft Defender.

A 30-day money-back guarantee covers all plans. To claim your money back under the guarantee, just contact customer support and ask for a refund. The vast majority of people who commented online about refund requests reported that they were able to claim their refund, with a minority reporting that they were not successful. 

A Comparison of Antivirus Softwares vs Kaspersky

Kaspersky’s strength is its independent lab tests, like AV-TEST and AV Comparatives, where it consistently ranks among the top antivirus products. In fact, Kaspersky and Bitdefender are often tied for the highest scores in malware detection, and it regularly outpaces McAfee and F-Secure. For more, read our full article on Bitdefender vs Kaspersky.

Kaspersky’s biggest weakness is the controversy surrounding its alleged ties to the Russian government. There are concerns that it could be compelled to provide user data or introduce backdoors for surveillance purposes. It is also slower than some competitors, like Webroot. Check out our Webroot vs Kaspersky review for more.

Kaspersky AntivirusNorton AntivirusBitdefender Total Security
Parental Controls
Identity Theft Protection
Password Protection
Free Version

Security: Is Kaspersky Safe?

70 % – Decent

Quite a lot of controversy surrounds Kaspersky Antivirus, making it difficult to determine how safe the product actually is. Governments and privacy experts alike have expressed concerns that the Russian government could coerce Kaspersky into exposing users’ data, but Kaspersky has taken significant steps to prove it is trustworthy.

Kaspersky has relocated its data processing operations to Swiss facilities, which are compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The GDPR permits data transfers only to countries that the European Commission has deemed provide an adequate level of data protection. At the moment, Russia is not on that list.

The company has also established global transparency centers, where the software’s source code, threat detection rules and software updates can be reviewed. These centers address some concerns about potential government access, but users should still be mindful of the possible risk.

Kaspersky Security Features

Kaspersky’s security features include web threat protection, which: 

  • Blocks malicious websites and phishing pages
  • Adds anti-phishing protection to prevent credential theft by blocking access to known phishing sites
  • Includes analysis of URLs and web content for suspicious patterns
  • Filters phishing emails
  • Provides real-time alerts

Kaspersky’s safe browsing makes surfing the internet less risky by scanning websites and downloads for threats. Kaspersky detected every piece of malware in many recent tests, so we’re prepared to say its real-time protection is enough to keep you safe from external assault.

Independent Audits

Kaspersky got a perfect 100% protection score in SE Labs security testing, as well as a 6/6 in AV-TEST security testing. Its software passed several SOC 2 audits conducted by an independent accounting firm, most recently in May 2023. A SOC 2 audit is an assessment of a service provider’s system privacy and security. 

Privacy: Is Kaspersky Private?

80 % – Good

Kaspersky has been scrutinized due to its Russian origins and alleged ties to the Russian government, despite no confirmed violations of its privacy policies or intentional data compromises. The company’s global privacy policy states that it employs measures like encryption, access controls and employee training to protect personal data.

However, its VPN is not independently audited, and some experts and governments worry that the Russian authorities could compel the company to provide access to user data. To refute this, Kaspersky has moved its data processing center to Switzerland, though the U.S. ban suggests that some intelligence risks may still exist.

Privacy Policy: What Information Does Kaspersky Collect?

Kaspersky’s privacy policy raises some red flags in its language and data collection practices. The policy’s broad statements about its data collection scope and vague notification methods for policy updates are points of concern. 

Data collection from the website includes:

  • Browser fingerprinting
  • Cookies
  • Tracking technologies

The mobile apps gather:

  • Personal information
  • Technical details
  • Behavioral data

This is all standard for most antivirus privacy policies, but the lack of specificity and potential privacy implications mean that users should read the full policy to decide whether the risk is acceptable. As we noted in the features section, it’s worth being especially cautious of Kaspersky’s VPN.

Kaspersky Antivirus Customer Support

95 % – Excellent

Kaspersky offers a knowledgebase, a comprehensive FAQ, how-to videos, email support, a user forum and live chat. The knowledgebase and FAQ are full of up-to-date information and contain comprehensive tutorials to help users with all products and features. There are also more than a dozen short how-to videos and phone support. 

Live Chat Support Speed & Quality/Email Support Speed & Quality

Kaspersky’s live chat is better than most, with a live support agent available almost immediately. The agent was able to answer all our questions within seconds and emailed us all the relevant information and guides for our test questions. They knew the product well, which is not our experience with all antivirus products.

Community Feedback: Kaspersky Antivirus Reviews on Reddit

Many users on Reddit express distrust of Kaspersky due to its potential ties to the Russian government and FSB. Some believe geopolitical tensions influence these opinions and argue that the fears are driven more by politics than by facts, noting Kaspersky’s long-standing reputation in cybersecurity.

Many people in our comment section and on Reddit praised Kaspersky’s effectiveness. Some noted that they trust the company for personal use but said it may not be the best choice for corporate data. One user commented that they had a hard time getting Kaspersky to honor its money-back guarantee.

The Verdict: Is Kaspersky a Good Antivirus Service?

Kaspersky does very well in independent antivirus testing and has strong user reviews. Its anti-phishing system uses artificial intelligence to analyze vast amounts of data from global users, and its VPN is powered by Pango, a trusted VPN infrastructure (though the privacy policy governing the use of data is Kaspersky’s).

There is a lot of controversy surrounding the safety of user data, considering Eugene Kaspersky’s background ties to the Russian government and the company’s headquarters in Moscow. Kaspersky has taken steps to make users feel more comfortable about their data safety, including moving data processing centers and submitting to independent audits. However, it’s not a good option for U.S. users, due to the Kaspersky ban.2

FAQ: Kaspersky Antivirus Software

  • There is no conclusive evidence that Kaspersky isn’t trustworthy, but red flags have been raised more than once. Kaspersky has responded promptly to every allegation and made changes to its systems when required.

  • Kaspersky’s biggest con is its Russian connection and the associated concerns about privacy. This is counterbalanced with its excellent independent test results.

  • Both antivirus solutions test well and have pros and cons. Kaspersky has a much lower rate of false detections, while McAfee has a slightly higher rate of online protection. Kaspersky presents some privacy concerns, while McAfee places a heavier burden on system resources.

  • In our opinion, Bitdefender is the best antivirus. Depending on your preferences, you might also like Norton.

↑ Top