Kaspersky Ease Of Use And Setup
Kaspersky is straightforward to install and set up.
Kasperskys user interface is very clean. Its main features, such as the antivirus scanner, secure browser, and password manager, are all accessible through large, clearly marked buttons. If you only want the most basic features from this antivirus, Kasperskys very simple to use.
Whats interesting is that Kaspersky only shows you the features that are available to you. For example, if you have a bottom-tier plan, there are no greyed-out features or upgrade prompts. This is great because Kaspersky makes every package feel complete.
That said, some of Kasperskys tools can be difficult to find. For example, to use the PC Cleaner, you have to click on More Tools, Clean and Optimize, and then PC Cleaner. With that, if you dont know the tool is included, you may never see it. Id like to have seen a side-bar like the one TotalAV uses, making everything available easy to access.
Once you get used to Kasperskys UI, however, its very organized. There are even ways to customize your experience. Most features have small settings icons next to them that allow you to control various options. For example, those in Kasperskys Quick Scan.
One area I particularly like is the Notification Center, which can be accessed from the main Kaspersky window. It shows you critical information and allows you to decide what to do with it.
What Is Kaspersky VPN
What does Kaspersky Secure Connection do? Basically, it hides your IP address from your internet service provider, thus making it impossible for your ISP and other third parties to gain access to your personal data, such as passwords, payment options and your browsing history.
Kaspersky was founded in Moscow, Russia, in 1997, but it was relocated to Switzerland and is now run by a UK holding company. It has since grown into a global cybersecurity company that currently operates in 200 countries with 34 offices around the world. The current CEO is Eugene Kaspersky, also one of the founders of the company.
Kaspersky Plans And Pricing
Kaspersky offers 3 packages, and given the number of features each package includes, theyre quite reasonably priced.
The available packages are:
With Kaspersky Anti-Virus, you can choose if you want protection on 3, 5, or 10 Windows computers. Kaspersky Internet Security covers 3, 5, or 10 Windows, Mac, or Android devices. And Kaspersky Total Security can protect 5 or 10 Windows, Mac, Android, or iOS devices.
Unfortunately, theres no free product in Kasperskys main antivirus product line. However, a discontinued product called Kaspersky Anti-Virus Free has been repackaged as Kaspersky Security Cloud Free. It doesnt offer many of the features mentioned in this review, but it does have basic antivirus protection and a limited VPN.
Here are the packages offered in Kasperskys main antivirus line:
Kaspersky Anti-Virus Entry-Level Plan
This is Kasperskys most basic paid plan that only covers Windows devices. It has:
- Real-time protection
- Free VPN .
- Free password manager .
- Rescue Disc.
If youre looking for a lightweight, easy-to-use Windows antivirus product, Kaspersky Anti-Virus is a decent, low-cost choice.
Kaspersky Internet Security Best-value plan for most users
Kasperskys mid-tier plan works on Windows, Mac, and Android devices, and it offers all of the features mentioned above, plus:
- Secure web browser.
- Ad and tracking link blocker.
- Free parental controls .
Kaspersky Total Security Advanced plan with strong extras
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Will A VPN Slow Down My Internet Connection
No, a VPN should connect to your existing Wi-Fi network with no conflicts. The VPN should only affect your virtual network connection and not the actual connection with the phone/broadband line. So, youll still be connected to your original network, though you will appear to be running through your own network. Therefore, your internet connection should still run at a reasonable speed.
Why You Shouldnt Use Kaspersky VPN
Thats it for Positive Polly. Bring out Negative Nancy, her evil sister who just wants you to be really well-informed about the Kaspersky VPN. Really, who can blame her?
No Split Tunneling
A lack of split tunneling isnt going to be a dealbreaker for most people. However, if you need to access your VPN and the public Wi-Fi network directly at the same time, then Kaspersky is definitely not for you.
Also not a dealbreaker for most, Kaspersky only encrypted our data once through a single server, whereas some encrypt it multiple times through multiple servers, a process called multi-hop.
Need Multi-Hop: Some VPNs with multi-hop that weve tested out include NordVPN, Surfshark and Windscribe.
Latency on Windows
Looking for a VPN for Windows? Or, more specifically, maybe youre a Windows-user who wants a VPN for gaming. If thats the case, wed steer clear of Kaspersky. In our speed tests, our latency increased 3,100 percent from four ms to 128, certainly a large jump indeed.
Only Five Devices Allowed
Unfortunately, we could only connect five devices total to Kaspersky, and there was no way to increase this number, either. While that may be enough in terms of simultaneous connections, we wish the overall limit wasnt this small.
Free Trial Limits
|Knowledge Base||Knowledge Base, phone, chat support|
Despite these limits, you can get a pretty good idea of Kasperskys service with the free trial or the free version.
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Does Mcafee Offer A VPN
Your McAfee Total Protection plus VPN subscription includes our McAfee® Safe Connect VPN, which allows you to confidently connect to public hotspots or unsecured networks with bank-grade WiFi encryption. McAfee Mobile Security protects your Android and iOS devices with an award-winning mobile security app.
Kaspersky Security Cloud Free: Antivirus Performance
Kaspersky has one of the best malware-detection engines of any consumer antivirus maker, and the engine is shared by all Kaspersky Windows antivirus products.
The program detected 100% of all malware in every monthly test run by German lab AV-Test in 2018 and 2019, a feat matched only by Norton, which doesn’t offer free antivirus software. The same winning streak continued in AV-Test’s January-February 2020 round.
But Kaspersky had a better balance than Norton between efficiency and zealousness, racking up only three false positives over that two-year period, compared with Norton’s 22 false positives.
Kaspersky’s results with Austrian lab AV-Comparatives were not quite as perfect. While it stopped an average of 100% of malware in the lab’s February-May 2019 and February-March 2020 tests, Kaspersky averaged only 99.1% in the July-October 2019 round.
Overall, Norton did better, and Bitdefender and Microsoft Windows Defender were close behind Kaspersky, but Norton and Microsoft had many false positives while Kaspersky had zero.
However, London-based SE Labs saw Kaspersky scoring 100% in both protection accuracy and total accuracy for its July-September 2019, October-December 2019 and January-March 2020 rounds. No other brand did as well.
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Better Speeds With Ikev2
The security protocol you use makes a big difference in speed. I tested 10 servers with OpenVPN, Wireguard, and IKEv2 and averaged their speeds to see how each protocol would affect them.
IKEv2 was the clear winner, reaching an average speed of 157.4 Mbps. Youll want to switch over to it when youre prioritizing speed. OpenVPN is the safest protocol, so its best to use when you need to be extra secure, while WireGuard strikes a nice balance between safety and speed.
Kaspersky Internet Security: Password Manager
Key takeaway: Kasperskys password manager is excellent. It allows you to use biometrics to log in, and creating, storing, and auto-filling passwords is a breeze on all operating software. In contrast to most password managers, it relies on desktop apps on Windows and macOS, rather than a web app. But that doesnt get in the way of an excellent user experience.
Note: Kaspersky Internet Security does not incorporate the password manager for free, only as a paid extra. Should you want to use it, we recommend upgrading to the higher-end Total Security, which includes it as a free feature.
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Are Cyberghosts Speeds Fast Enough For Gaming Yes
CyberGhost isnt the fastest gaming VPN Ive tested, but its local servers can support online play. The international servers slowed me down, so I would need to see more consistency across its network before I felt comfortable recommending it as a top VPN for gamers.
Your inputs are very important when youre playing online games. The higher the ping rate, the longer it takes for your commands to register. When the ping is high, youll be at a significant disadvantage in competitive play. Its just not very fun when youre skilled at a game but keep losing due to a bad connection.
So, I was disappointed when I connected to a gaming optimized server in New York, and the ping was way too high . Its best to have it under 100 ms for gaming. However, I connected to a regular New York server, and it actually had a much lower ping .
I loaded up StarCraft 2 and was impressed with how smooth it was using a non-optimized server. All of the textures loaded up normally, and I could run around the map without any slowdowns. However, as we approached the end of the match and the map started getting overcrowded, I experienced some choppiness, but nothing too bad. If youre interested in a VPN thats great for gaming, check out our top recommendations for gaming VPNs here.
How To Stay Secure With A VPN
A VPN works by encrypting your online presence. The only way to decipher this encryption is with a key. Only your computer and the VPN know this key, making it impossible for your ISP to tell where you are browsing.
Different VPNs will use different encryption processes, but generally speaking, it works in three stages:
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Hands On With Secure Connection
I tested Kaspersky Secure Connection on my Intel NUC Kit NUC8i7BEH desktop running the latest version of Windows 10. The app installed quickly and easily, and a helpful tutorial popped up after installation to walk me through the basics of using the app.
The Secure Connection is limited to a single window, but it manages to feel breezy and uncluttered. Done up in Kaspersky’s trademark off-white and teal, it has a clean, unified look that’s easy to understand. It’s much improved from previous versions of the app.
The central panel shows a large toggle that activates the VPN with a click. I really appreciate it when services make it easy to get online and don’t have customers jump through hoops. Once connected, a large green hexagon rotates lazily. It’s a small but nice touch that is almost soothing to watch. It’s not as friendly as TunnelBear’s bright yellow and bear-filled map, but the calm it exudes is still a welcome improvement.
In terms of additional features, Kaspersky runs light. You can configure it to run and connect automatically at startup, and prompt you to connect when you join a potentially dangerous Wi-Fi network. The Kill Switch, a new feature, prevents apps from sending data should the VPN connection be interrupted. This is a common feature across VPN services and I’m happy to see it here.
Kaspersky VPN Security Features
Kaspersky VPN is pretty barebones on the security front. It appears that customers will have to buy separate products if they need well-rounded security. And dont forget to read our full Kaspersky VPN review to find out more about it.
- Smart Protection. This feature ensures that Kaspersky VPN runs when youre connecting to potentially dangerous public Wi-Fi.
- Kill switch. Most VPN users know that a kill switch shuts off your web connection if the virtual private network fails. Its worth mentioning that this feature is unavailable on Kaspersky VPNs free version.
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Kaspersky VPN Secure Connection Streaming & Torrenting
Kaspersky VPN is good for streaming it works with Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, and BBC iPlayer. However, I dont like that Kaspersky VPN doesnt work with HBO Go at all, and it took my colleague in the US 4 tries to successfully access Netflix US.
If you need an excellent VPN for streaming that consistently works with Netflix and other streaming sites, I recommend ExpressVPN it claims to work with 65+ streaming apps and provides blazing-fast speeds.
Kaspersky VPN is good for torrenting it allows P2P traffic on all of its 2,000+ servers and it works with popular torrenting apps like qBittorrent, uTorrent, and Deluge.
That said, there are much better torrenting VPNs out thereExpressVPN allows P2P traffic on more servers in more countries and Private Internet Access comes with port forwarding .
Overall, Kaspersky VPN works with popular streaming sites and all of its servers support torrenting.
Kaspersky Secure Connection Features And Usability
The VPNs default installation settings opt you into the Kaspersky Secure Network, an anti-malware service which provides instant response to new threats and real-time website reputation information. If youd rather not have this, you can untick the relevant box before hitting install.
The client opens above the notification area and is easy to use, connecting by default to the fastest available endpoint and with the option of selecting one of the VPNs 18 endpoint countries. Free users dont get to select their endpoint and are automatically assigned one, usually in Denmark or Ukraine.
Advanced settings allow you to configure whether the client opens at boot time, whether it connects as soon as it opens and how it behaves when you connect to an insecure Wi-Fi network. You can also select a specific country to connect to by default.
However, the privacy-conscious should note that theres no kill switch to automatically disconnect you if your VPN connection goes down, which can expose your online activity to your ISP or someone on your local network.
Secure Connection uses the OpenVPN protocol but only allows you to connect using Windows, macOS, Android and iOS devices. No clients or connection instructions are provided for any other platforms.
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Kaspersky Security Cloud Free: Performance And System Impact
To gauge Kaspersky Security Cloud Free’s impact on overall performance, we used our custom benchmark test, which measures how long it takes to match 20,000 names with 20,000 addresses in an OpenOffice spreadsheet.
We used an Asus X555LA notebook with a 2GHz Core i3-5005U processor, 6GB of RAM, 34.1GB of files on a 500GB hard drive and the latest Windows 10 updates.
Before installing Kaspersky Security Cloud Free, the system completed the spreadsheet benchmark in an average of 7 minutes and 15 seconds, which we used as the baseline.
Benchmark completion time dropped to an average of 7 minutes and 11 seconds after Kaspersky Security Cloud Free was installed, a background system-performance improvement of 0.9%.
That seems to indicate that Kaspersky Security Cloud Free runs a little more smoothly than the built-in Windows Defender antivirus, which switches off when a third-party antivirus program is installed.
While performing a full scan, the test system took 7 minutes and 40 seconds to complete the benchmark tasks, a slowdown of 5.7% from the baseline and 6.7% from the background. A Quick Scan led to a 1.1% performance drop from the baseline and a 2.1% drop from the background.
That impact is much lighter than any other free software we tested. Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition and Avast Free Antivirus each caused 29% slowdowns from the pre-installation baseline during full scans, and even Windows Defender created a 20% slowdown from its own background load.
Kaspersky VPN Secure Connection Features
Kaspersky VPN provides the following industry-standard VPN security features:
- 256-bit AES encryption. Kaspersky VPN uses bank-grade encryption to make your traffic unreadable.
- No-logs policy. Kaspersky VPN has a strict no-logs policy, meaning it doesnt record your IP address and online traffic.
- Kill switch. This feature disables your internet access if the VPN connection drops to prevent traffic leaks.
All of Kaspersky VPNs apps use the OpenVPN protocol, which is very secure and provides good speeds. That said, Id like to see Kaspersky VPN add support for WireGuard like Private Internet Access and CyberGhost VPN WireGuard is just as secure as OpenVPN but much faster.
I like that Kaspersky VPN includes advanced security features like perfect forward secrecy it changes your encryption key for each VPN session to prevent hackers from compromising past or future encryption keys to spy on your traffic.
Kaspersky VPN comes with full leak protection against IPv6, DNS, and WebRTC leaks on all of its apps. I ran multiple leak tests on servers in 20+ countries and thankfully never saw any leaks.
I also like the Smart Protection feature, which lets you personalize your VPN connection preferences. For example, you can make Kaspersky VPN automatically connect to a VPN server when it detects that youre connecting to an unsecured public Wi-Fi network.
Overall, Kaspersky VPN lacks extra features, but it includes essential VPN security features and convenient automation options.
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