Kaspersky Password Manager Review
Kaspersky is an established name in the DIY security scene, and Kaspersky Password Manager lives up to the company's reputation. It's easy to use, has plenty of features and is pretty cheap, too. There are some questions surrounding its Russian links, however, which you can read all about in our full review.
Kaspersky Password Manager is just one product in its cybersecurity lineup. While some areas certainly make it a contender for the best password managers, others make it feel off balance with little support and questionable security.
In this Kaspersky Password Manager review, we’re going to cover where this service excels and falls behind. We’ll evaluate features, pricing, user friendliness, security and support before giving out final verdict on who it’s best suited for.
A password manager goes a long way in protecting you, but it doesn’t mean anything if your password is still weak. Use our own password generator to create a strong one and make sure to check out our guide on how to set up a strong password.
- Easy to use
- Applications on all major platforms
- Multi-device sync
- Form auto-fill
- No two-factor authentication
- No direct support
- Limited free plan
Kaspersky covers all the bases with Password Manager, but doesn’t go beyond them to stand out from the competition. Even so, as an additional product to the rest of Kaspersky’s lineup, Password Manager does quite well.
Your vault stores passwords, applications, credit cards, addresses, notes and images. While the lineup certainly isn’t as dense as 1Password (read our 1Password review), there’s still enough that most of your private information can be locked up.
The most interesting inclusion of the bunch is storage for images. Kaspersky isn’t clear as to how much storage you get and doesn’t intend for Password Manager to be solely image storage (check out our best cloud storage for photos for that). Rather, this area is meant to store confidential photos that you otherwise wouldn’t want saved locally.
We really like Kaspersky’s addition of offline applications to your vault as well. Normally, password managers skip out on this area, forcing you to copy and paste your passwords into desktop clients. This password manager simply auto-fills your information as if you were in a browser.
Speaking of applications, you can get Password Manager on Windows, Mac, iOS and Android, though, sadly, there’s no Linux client. Extensions are available for all major browsers including Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and the all too clumsy Microsoft Edge.
There are a few features we would have liked to see. We missed having some sort of universal password changer. Our favorite password manager, Dashlane (read our Dashlane review), has one, so it’s something we always look for.
We also wanted item sharing. Since Kaspersky allows you to store images and notes, it makes sense to also allow sharing them. Plans are single user, as we’ll discuss in the next section, so this small feature would make a difference.
Kaspersky offers a lot considering the price. Extra storage for images, auto-fill and manual back-up (which we’ll touch on in the user friendliness section) are all welcome inclusions, especially considering the low price point.
Kaspersky offers two flavors of Password Manager: free and premium. The plans are nearly identical with only a single discernible difference. Even so, it’s hard to say the upgrade isn’t worth it given how cheap this password manager is.
As per usual, we like the addition of a free plan. You have full access to the vault with support for multi-device sync, a feature that F-Secure’s Key (read our F-Secure Key review) doesn’t offer on free plans.
Still, this plan feels more like a trial and less like a service. You’re limited to 15 entries in total. That means 15 single notes, addresses, images, passwords and/or credit cards. We couldn’t even import password data on a free plan because it required more than 15 entries (and that’s just for online accounts).
Because of that, we’re not certain we can claim it’s a free “plan,” but rather a lite version that you can try out. Even so, it’s hard to knock Kaspersky for this decision with how cheap a Premium upgrade is.
An annual price of $15 is nearly half the cost of an individual plan at LastPass (read our LastPass review). For a point of reference, we usually use LastPass as a counterpoint to more costly password managers because it’s so cheap.
You don’t get as many features here as you do with LastPass, but, judging the price in isolation, it’s hard to beat.
We appreciate Kaspersky’s simplified approach to the password manager lineup, but would still like to see some sort of multi-user plan. As it stands now, you can only use Password Manager with a single user.
Out of the two offerings, however, we’d recommend the Premium upgrade. The price is low enough and the free plan feels far too restrictive when compared to any other password manager on the market.
Kaspersky’s password manager is easy to use. Instead of installing all the different pieces, the desktop application will automatically install browser extensions and sync with any mobile applications.
When you first install the desktop application, you can import your existing passwords. Kaspersky accepts any .csv file, but also imports from Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer. This is a nice feature to have, but we wish Kaspersky would prompt you to import your passwords when setting up instead of burying it in the settings.
If you’d rather add as you go, the browser extension allows you to do so. When you sign in on a new site, it will pull up a window asking if you want to save the password and, if you do, how you want the application to auto-fill.
In your browser, there’s a small icon next to any password entry field where you can pull up all your accounts on that site, much like LastPass handles auto-fill. The browser extension also allows you to generate a strong password on the spot with options for special characters and password length.
Password Manager supports password, contact information and credit card auto-fill. Do note, however, that each of these entries count against the 15-entry limit on free plans.
There’s no browser UI to deal with, so you’ll be spending most of your time with Password Manager in the desktop client. Thankfully, it’s easy to use allowing you to see your passwords in either a tile or list layout.
Additionally, the browser has folders built in so you can organize your passwords inside.
If we were to find a gripe with the desktop client, it’s that there’s no way to change the icon of your entries like F-Secure Key. Your entries simply fetch the favicon for the site they’re associated with and, unfortunately, it looks a bit ugly.
Even so, that’s an aesthetic issue and not a technical one. Overall, Kaspersky’s password manager is easy to use inside the desktop client and in your browser. We’d like to see import options during setup, but that’s only a small concern in the scheme of things.
Things get a bit rocky for Kaspersky when it comes to security. It still uses the industry standard AES-256 encryption for your accounts, notes, images and identities. It’s encrypted at rest and then sent over an SSL/TLS channel to protect it even more while in transit.
That protects against decryption, but not against brute force attacks. We dug around quite a bit to see if Kaspersky is using any rounds of hashing to slow brute force attacks, but could not find any information on the matter.
Even so, Kaspersky uses a zero-knowledge model with Password Manager. That means you, and only you, know your master password. Kaspersky never stores it and, as a result, cannot restore your account in the event you get locked out.
Usually, we see some sort of account restoration tool with a randomly generated code. Password Manager instead allows you to backup your information so, in the event you are locked out, you can restore your data to a new account.
It works for account restoration, but doesn’t help us sleep at night knowing that some account out there still has a copy of all our previous passwords.
The issue with all of this is that Kaspersky offers no form of two-factor authentication. This process usually means a code is sent to your mobile device to verify your identity before you log in. With a sketchy account restoration process and questionable hashing methods, this is an essential feature.
While not directly related to Password Manager, Kaspersky is a Russian company and rumored to have ties to the privacy-unfriendly government there. There’s no concrete evidence, but allegations of Kaspersky spying on its anti-virus customers for Russian intelligence agencies came up around this time last year.
The concern is largely U.S.-based with Best Buy removing Kaspersky products from the shelves and the U.S. government moving its products to the “banned” list. Given the political climate of the States, though, it’s difficult not to imagine this is largely anti-Russian hysteria and nothing more. However, the company is moving some of its data centers away from Russian soil.
If that is the case, the U.S. government has some answering to do for the PRISM project as well.
Speaking of gathering information, Kaspersky will ask you to opt into marketing mining when you sign up. You can decline, but the way it presents the agreement makes it look more like you’re agreeing to the terms of service than opting into data collection.
Security is the weakest link for Kaspersky Password Manager. While encryption measures are sound, no 2FA is a major concern. There’s a lot of heat on Kaspersky as well, but the claims are largely without evidence, so it’s hard for us to factor that into the score with a clean conscience.
As Kaspersky is a much larger company than just the password manager, support can be a bit difficult to navigate. You have a knowledge base to look through that shows a few common questions but not much else.
Since Kaspersky’s lineup is so dense, the knowledge base isn’t that nice to look at either. It’s simply a list of articles with no clear organizational pattern. We understand why Kaspersky needs to do it this way, but it isn’t very pleasing to use.
You also have a community forum dedicated to Password Manager. The forum seems fairly active with a couple of topics published in the last 24 hours at the time of writing. It doesn’t appear Kaspersky staff poke around in the forums, however, so you’re locked to community help.
Premium users can request support as well, although there’s no dedicated line. You must enter your activation code while filling out a support form and there’s no guaranteed window of when Kaspersky will get back with you.
Overall, there’s not much going on with Password Manager, so support isn’t too big of a concern. Still, we would’ve liked to see some sort of direct contact on free plans and a place to report bugs in the client.
For a lot of features and a cheap price tag to boot, it’s hard to go wrong with Dashlane.
Kaspersky offers a simple password manager that misses in a few areas but is worth considering. If you want a few more options, make sure to check out our list of password manager reviews. You can also learn how to securely store your passwords in the cloud.
What do you think of Kaspersky Password Manager? Let us know in the comments below and, as always, thanks for reading.