- Wide selection of scans available
- Protects against emerging threats
- Email and IM protection
- No live chat for technical support
What happens on your computer, stays on your computer. Or not? While most experts in the field agree that Kaspersky Free Anti-Virus is a quality product, it also represents a controversial solution. In 2017, the US Department of Home Security banned the Russian company’s products because of claims surrounding basic privacy problems to hackers attempting to attain information from a National Security Agency service provider. This free antivirus software provides basic safety, helping you to defend your device against viruses, block malicious files and apps, and warning you about any threatening websites. The tool can offer security for a PC without slowing it down and since it is updated automatically, it is always kept up to date. It has two upgrades available, the basic package being the Kaspersky Internet Security for one device with a price of $34.87 per year. These upgrades come with additional features such as advanced protection, protection across multiple platforms.
As you might expect from a basic, free antivirus, Kaspersky Free Anti-Virus enables system security against known infected files, viruses, malicious apps, and dangerous websites. Its interface is simple and easy to use and highlights the level of defense of the device. While there are a number of icons that indicate the actions you can undertake with the software, only a couple of these are actually available for the free version, a yellow shield indicating those that are available in one of the paid upgrades.
The free version of this antivirus does not have too many additional features besides the core protection, however it does provide email protection by verifying incoming and outgoing emails for malicious software or viruses. It also offers antiphishing, where it checks websites being visited to see if they have been flagged as potential phishing threats.
By upgrading, Kaspersky provides further functionalities to control malicious apps as well as malware behavior and personal privacy.
There are several types of scans available with Kaspersky Free Anti-Virus: full, quick, custom, and the option to scan an external device. A scan can be initiated with only a few clicks, the time it takes is relatively short. Both the full and quick scans can be scheduled, too, for a time when you are not working on your PC, meaning they won’t interfere with your productivity. However, the software itself actually puts a minimal load on the system anyway, and since it is automatically updated it really is an install-and-forget piece of software.
Kaspersky Free Anti-Virus is based on modern cloud technology to allow it to receive real-time information on emerging threats automatically so that it can prevent a wide range of digital threats. It also provides IM protection to maintain security for your system while utilizing instant messaging apps and network attack defense that can identify the activity of incoming traffic blocks and potential issues.
Besides the web antivirus, which is able to detect and stop scripts on sites in case they present a risk to your PC and therefore automatically blocking any malicious websites, this free antivirus also has a basic on-screen keyboard built-in. This means that passwords or other confidential information can be entered without being detected by keylogging malware.
Alongside the core protection, Kaspersky Free Anti-Virus provides numerous extra features. One such example is its antiphishing defense, which blocks any malicious websites that attempt to put their hands on your confidential data by tricking you into believing they are legitimate. It’s a reliable function, too, providing solid protection and consistent detection of such sites across a range of web browsers.
Other additional features include parental control, privacy protection, and use of the software across more platforms and devices. There’s also a financial security feature called Safe Money that provides safety for confidential information when utilizing online banking services and payment systems. All of these features are only available in the upgraded versions, however.
Kaspersky does offer a VPN that comes as an additional paid upgrade feature, costing $4.99 per month for one user account across five devices. This feature means you’ll remain secure on public Wi-Fi, ensures your communications are private, and allows you to access content and websites otherwise blocked by geo-restrictions. But this feature does not log your online traffic and nor does it keep records of the websites you visit, which is an essential feature for VPN tools.
The systems requirements for installing Kaspersky Free Anti-Virus expects 1.5GB of free space on the hard drive, Microsoft Windows 7/8/10 operating systems and a 1GHz or higher processor. However, by upgrading to a paid version of Kaspersky, it’s also possible to protect a combination of Mac or mobile device. These upgrades utilize an innovative technology that provides multilayer security, as well as antitheft features that allow you to lock, wipe, or locate any lost or stolen Android devices. But on top of that, by opening a free account with the provider, you’ll be able to manage your protection across all devices – PC, tablets, and phones – from anywhere as long as you have access to the internet. Here you’ll also have quick access to the company’s technical support.
If you feel you need to get more from Kaspersky than the features available in the free version, then there are two upgrades available: Kaspersky Internet Security, which is priced at $34.87 yearly for one device and Kaspersky Total Security, which costs $68.94 each year. Both these two upgrades have more extended features, for instance firewall protection that enables your device to remain safe whenever you connect to local networks and the internet. There’s also a so-called System Watcher, a function that restores your device after changes have been inflicted by malicious apps, therefore protecting it against malware such as exploits, screen lockers, or ransomware encryption.
Payment methods include credit cards via Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover, PayPal, as well as bank transfers, Skrill Wallet, or NETELLER. The company offers a 30-day free trial and a 14-day money-back guarantee for the paid versions.
Kaspersky offers a support page, resource center, and a blog, where further details can be found on its products. The support page is structured into three sections: the one for home and mobile devices, one for businesses, and the one for virus fighting. By choosing the first you’ll be directed to a thorough online library where the FAQ and forum are kept. The company provides further details on each of its products online, so you can further study them by yourself.
The website does not offer live chat, however, so contacting the company is only possible via email or telephone. It does have a Facebook page, as well, where we found that our questions were answered reasonably quickly and with a decent amount of courtesy, although the answers were a bit vague and rushed.
By providing basic protection for your PC, Kaspersky Free Anti-Virus is capable of doing what it takes to defend against known viruses, infected files, or malicious apps and websites. The software automatically receives real-time data on emerging threats, and so therefore it can protect your device against a wide variety of digital dangers.
With features capable of enabling incoming and outgoing email scanning and antiphishing protection, too, there’s a lot of additional protection capable with the suite. Extras like its ability to protect your device while using instant messaging applications or defense against attacks to the network only strength its value to would-be users.
Then there are paid upgrades in Kaspersky Internet Security and Kaspersky Total Security, which are fairly priced and very value thanks to more complex features like personal privacy or protection while you are shopping and banking online. Controversial or not, Kaspersky Free Anti-Virus is highly appraised by most experts in the industry and it seems for good reason, since it is a more than capable solution for those who want to protect their home PCs for free.
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