Kaspersky Anti-Virus Review!!! Editors’ Note: PCMag rates and evaluates all products, including Kaspersky’s, based on their merits and effectiveness, not on any political or other considerations. However, based on the increasing censure and criticism of Kaspersky by US government agencies, foreign agencies, and informed third parties, we can no longer recommend Kaspersky’s products. Because we have not found or been presented with any hard evidence of misdeeds on the part of Kaspersky, however, we are leaving our original review in place for those who wish to decide for themselves.
When you go to buy a cantaloupe, you can choose a good-looking one, pick it up, and sniff it for ripeness. But there’s no similar sniff test for antivirus software, so how do you choose? The independent antivirus testing labs, which evaluate and rate dozens of antivirus solutions, can help, and they declare Kaspersky Anti-Virus a winner. It earned top or near-top scores in every test by every lab that we follow and did well in our own tests as well. The core antivirus is the same excellent protection as what you get with Kaspersky Security Cloud Free, without the clutter that comes from all the unavailable premium-only features. More important, this antivirus gives you full access to tech support via phone and live chat.
You pay $59.99 per year for a three-license Kaspersky subscription or $79.99 for five licenses. That’s pretty standard, though F-Secure gives you three licenses for just $39.99. Norton AntiVirus Plus costs $59.99 too, but that gets you just one license. With McAfee, that same $59.99 price lets you install protection on every Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS device in your household.
Kaspersky’s main window hasn’t changed much in my last few reviews, with the same slightly textured white background and plenty of whitespaces. There’s a status panel at the top, a More Tools button at the bottom, and button panels for Scan, Database Update, Reports, and On-Screen Keyboard.
The purpose of the On-Screen Keyboard is to protect your entry of sensitive information against keyloggers, even hardware keyloggers. By default, it includes a number pad and arrow keys, but you can shrink those away if you don’t need them. I found that the first time I invoked the on-screen keyboard, Kaspersky required a reboot.
Interestingly, the interface for Kaspersky’s free antivirus is not based on that of the premium edition, reviewed here. Rather, the free product is a stripped-down version of Kaspersky Security Cloud, with a shield icon marking premium features as requiring an upgrade. I ran my hands-on tests simultaneously with this product and the free edition and got the same results.
Most of the enhancements in this latest edition are under the hood. In testing, I did have occasions to see the new stalker was protection in action. Kaspersky popped up a warning that it had found “user activity monitoring software” with the capacity for unauthorized access to personal data. According to a Kaspersky post, this type of malware grew by 35 percent in 2019.
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