Kaspersky Antivirus Standard 2024: Review Summary
Kaspersky is ranked #9 of 28 antivirus brands.
Kaspersky Antivirus Standard is one of the best entry-level antivirus. It has perfect anti-malware protection, no impact on the speed of your PC, several security features, and an excellent price.
Buy it if you want straightforward protection. But keep in mind that you will get anti-malware, anti-phishing, a firewall, and a few bonus features. Not the password manager or VPN.
Alternatively, you could consider Norton Antivirus Plus. Norton’s entry-level antivirus costs the same, but includes a password manager and 2 GB of cloud storage. On top of that, it has a deeper first-year discount.
- Malware protection: 100%. Kaspersky detected and removed each of the 1,200 malware samples in our test.
- Speed impact: 100%. Kaspersky’s anti-malware engine is lightweight and did not slow down our test PC.
- Features: 80%. Kaspersky Antivirus Standard includes anti-malware, anti-phishing, and a firewall. But it misses a password manager and VPN.
- Price: 80%. Kaspersky Antivirus Standard has an excellent price, but Norton offers more features and a bigger first-year discount.
Thanks to the 30-day return policy, you can try it risk-free.
|Ranking||#9 of 28|
|Operating systems||Windows, macOS, iOS, Android|
|🔥 Discount||Save 20% on Kaspersky 🔥|
Kaspersky Antivirus Standard 2024: Full Review
Kaspersky is ranked #9 of the 28 best antivirus of 2024.
We tested Kaspersky and found it to be a robust solution for online safety. Its antivirus scanner is top-notch, and the extra features are worth noting. For example, the anti-phishing protection effectively blocks risky sites, and the built-in VPN is solid but not perfect for streaming services like Netflix.
The user interface is easy to navigate, even for beginners. Installation is a breeze; it took us just 5 minutes to get everything up and running. Once installed, the software immediately starts protecting your system.
Kaspersky offers three plans: Standard, Plus, and Premium, which can cover up to 20 devices. There’s also a free version, though it’s less feature-rich. All paid plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can test the waters risk-free.
In our hands-on testing, Kaspersky excelled in malware detection, standing shoulder to shoulder with competitors like Norton and Bitdefender. It uses a blend of database signatures and cloud-based machine learning for comprehensive protection. Kaspersky offers six types of scans, including Quick and Full Scans, each catering to different needs.
The Quick Scan is fast but limited, taking just 3 minutes but only finding about 70% of our test malware. The Full Scan, on the other hand, took 53 minutes but detected 100% of the samples. Importantly, our system performance wasn’t affected during the scan, unlike what we experienced with McAfee.
Kaspersky also shines in real-time protection, blocking all malicious files we attempted to download. Its Application Vulnerability Scanner was less impressive, taking two hours and missing some system updates. However, its built-in app updater worked well, updating four outdated programs in under 5 minutes.
In summary, Kaspersky delivers excellent malware detection and real-time protection without slowing down your system, although there’s room for improvement in vulnerability scanning.
We tested Kaspersky’s anti-phishing capabilities and found them to be strong, though not quite at the level of competitors like Norton and Bitdefender. The Safe Browsing feature works well in Edge, Chrome, and Firefox, effectively comparing websites to a database of harmful URLs. Kaspersky also adds a helpful green symbol next to safe sites, although this only worked for us on Firefox.
Private Browsing offers decent anti-tracking, but we were disappointed to see that by default, Kaspersky and its 82 partner sites are allowed to collect user data. This can be changed, but we’d prefer a more transparent initial setup.
An on-screen keyboard is available for added protection against keyloggers, a feature we didn’t find in many competitors. This pairs nicely with Safe Money, a secure browser for online transactions. While effective, Safe Money took over 10 seconds to load, slower than Bitdefender’s equivalent feature.
Overall, Kaspersky’s web protection is robust. It offers anti-phishing, anti-tracking, and additional layers like a secure browser and on-screen keyboard, though there’s room for improvement in speed and default privacy settings.
In our tests, Kaspersky’s firewall outperformed Windows Defender by effectively blocking a variety of exploit attacks. It offers detailed information about each application connecting to the internet, and advanced users will appreciate features like port access detection and the ability to modify individual packet rules.
However, the user interface could be more streamlined. Some firewall settings are not intuitively placed and are scattered across different menus, unlike Norton, which consolidates all settings. Also, the Mac version lags behind its Windows counterpart, lacking a full-fledged firewall and only featuring a network attack blocker.
Despite these downsides, Kaspersky’s firewall is solid for Windows users, successfully fending off most threats with little need for extra setup.
We tested Kaspersky’s password manager and found it to be straightforward but limited. It encrypts your data with strong 256-bit AES encryption, but the free version allows only 15 passwords, compared to Norton’s unlimited storage. Setup is easy: create a master password, and you’re good to go. However, if you forget this master password, there’s no recovery—something other services like Dashlane offer.
The auto-save and auto-fill features worked perfectly in our tests, but these are limited to desktops for bank cards and addresses. The password vault is easy to navigate, and Kaspersky includes a decent password generator, though it lacks customization options like ‘easy to say’ or ‘easy to read,’ which competitors offer.
One significant downside is the lack of advanced features such as two-factor authentication or encrypted cloud storage. While Windows Hello is supported for biometric login, we’d like to see more robust security measures, like Google Authenticator support.
In summary, Kaspersky’s password manager is secure and simple, but it lacks the features and flexibility found in specialized password managers. It’s an okay choice for basic needs but falls short for advanced users.
We put Kaspersky’s VPN through its paces and were mostly pleased with what we found. Bundled with their Plus and Premium plans, this VPN offers unlimited data, a kill switch, and IP leak protection. It also has a smart feature that kicks in when you connect to public Wi-Fi, enhancing your security automatically.
In speed tests, we experienced a slight drop in upload speed and an increase in ping, but download speeds stayed consistent. Importantly, browsing felt smooth even with the VPN on.
Another win for Kaspersky’s VPN is its compatibility with streaming services like Netflix. Unlike Avira’s VPN, Kaspersky allowed us to access the U.S. Netflix library while abroad, making it a better pick for streaming fans.
Overall, Kaspersky’s VPN is solid, especially considering it’s bundled with antivirus plans. It has a wide server range, maintains good speeds, and offers reliable security features. If you’re in the market for a VPN with your antivirus, it’s a worthy choice.
Other security features
We tested Kaspersky’s other features, focusing on parental controls and data leak checker, and here’s what we found:
Parental Controls (Safe Kids)
Kaspersky’s Safe Kids offers a robust set of features including content filtering, app limitations, and location tracking. We easily blocked sites based on categories, and even top-tier VPNs couldn’t bypass these restrictions. One caveat: iOS support is limited. For comprehensive monitoring on iPhones, you might want to consider alternatives like Qustodio.
Time scheduling and app usage reports are useful for managing screen time. Location tracking is accurate, but lacks a history view. Social media monitoring is present but limited to VK, a Russian social media platform.
Overall, Kaspersky’s parental controls are impressive, albeit with room for improvement on iOS and social media monitoring.
Data Leak Checker
Kaspersky scans the dark web for your compromised email. While it did catch leaks, it wasn’t as thorough as free services like Have I Been Pwned. It monitors for three types of data: personal, banking, and activity history but lacks specific details on what’s exposed.
In summary, it’s a decent feature but doesn’t replace specialized dark web monitoring services like Norton’s.
System Cleanup Tools
Kaspersky offers a variety of cleanup tools like PC Speed-Up and Hard Drive Health Monitor. The PC Speed-Up did a decent job, finding registry issues and unused system data in just 2 minutes. However, the Quick Startup tool was less effective, often displaying a “Please wait” message.
The Hard Drive Health Monitor is good for identifying issues but doesn’t offer solutions. The Unused Apps feature didn’t impress us; it couldn’t detect apps we hadn’t used in months. While Kaspersky’s cleanup tools are useful, they could benefit from a one-click optimization feature like Avira’s suite has.
Smart Home Monitor
This feature shows devices connected to your Wi-Fi but is quite basic. It often listed devices as unknown and lacked vulnerability scans. It also doesn’t offer profile-based network security settings like Bitdefender. You can access guides to disconnect untrusted devices, but the tool itself could be more robust.
Webcam Protection & More
Kaspersky’s webcam protection works but is limited to a few camera models, unlike Bitdefender’s universal compatibility. The intrusion prevention tool is useful for controlling app permissions and is user-friendly. However, the activity monitor feels redundant as it overlaps significantly with the intrusion prevention tool.
Stalkerware & Privacy
Kaspersky does well in stalkerware detection, alerting you to unauthorized access to your data. Its privacy protection also effectively blocks trackers. However, the ad blocker didn’t impress us; we still saw plenty of ads on tested websites.
Backup, Restore, & Rescue Disk
The Backup and Restore feature is functional but doesn’t offer more than what Dropbox already provides for free. The Rescue Disk feature is quite handy for malware-infected systems, although it’s not unique to Kaspersky.
The gaming mode is okay but doesn’t boost performance like Norton’s specialized game booster.
Kaspersky Mobile App
We tested Kaspersky’s mobile app on both Android and iOS. The Android app is feature-rich with an antivirus scanner, call blocker, anti-theft, and more. One-tap scans are quick and caught all our test malware. Real-time protection also worked well, although Norton’s App Advisor and Bitdefender’s Anomaly Detection are more proactive.
Kaspersky’s anti-theft features are strong. Once logged into your Kaspersky account, you can lock your device, sound an alarm, and even snap a photo of a potential thief. You can also block your phone if a new SIM is inserted.
The mobile VPN is decent, with reasonable speeds on the free version and little change when using the premium service.
On the iOS side, features are limited but functional. Anti-phishing and jailbreak protection are noteworthy. Overall, Kaspersky’s mobile suite is decent but lacks features like network scanning, which competitors like Avira offer.
Kaspersky’s support options include email, 24/7 chat, phone, and a knowledge base. While thorough, accessing support is more complicated than it should be. Contacting them via phone involved a web form and extra steps, but they were quick and efficient once reached. Live chat was quicker, connecting us to a knowledgeable agent in under 2 minutes. Email support took just over a day and was helpful, though it lacked a personal touch.
Plans and pricing
In the table below are the core products with their features and prices.
The prices shown are from the USA. However, most brands have different prices (and currencies) in other regions. So visit the brand’s website to see the price in our country.
Note: Kaspersky has rebranded its products. Kaspersky Anti-Virus, Kaspersky Internet Security, and Kaspersky Total Security are now Standard, Plus, and Premium. The Kaspersky Security Cloud is also no longer available.
Kaspersky has three main plans—Standard, Plus, and Premium. All come with a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you’re looking for free basic protection, Kaspersky Free offers minimal antivirus features.
Priced at $38.49/year, the Standard plan covers 3 to 10 devices. It offers essential features like malware scanning, anti-phishing, and a firewall. If you only need basic protection for more than one device, this is a solid start. However, Norton AntiVirus Plus offers similar features for a slightly lower price for a single device.
This middle-tier plan is $52.99/year and covers up to 10 devices. It adds perks like an unlimited-data VPN and a password manager. This plan packs good value, offering features like file shredding and a data leak checker for up to 50 emails. Most users will find this plan the best fit for a mix of security and privacy features.
The high-end plan is $74.99/year and can cover up to 20 devices. It includes everything in the Plus plan, along with identity protection and parental controls for one year. However, the premium support option feels a bit redundant given their already robust 24/7 customer service.
Kaspersky Plus is the sweet spot for most, delivering both security and extra features like an unlimited VPN. The Premium plan is best for families wanting to test out Kaspersky’s strong parental controls. Overall, Kaspersky offers flexible and feature-rich plans, but make sure to compare with competitors like Norton or McAfee for the best value.
Test score comparison
Next to our own anti-malware tests, we analyze those by AV-Test. We’ve compared the results of the 10 most recent tests for Windows 10. The tests were performed by AV-Test, the German anti-malware test lab. They use three factors:
- Protection (1-6): Antivirus protection against malware attacks.
- Performance (1-6): System slowdown caused by the antivirus.
- Usability (1-6): Frequency of false alarms and disruptions.
We used their results, and this formula, to calculate the final score:
Final Score = 60% Protection + 20% Performance + 20% Usability.
Brands not listed in the table haven’t participated in the analysis by AV-Test. This is usually not a good sign. Because most reputable brands, except Panda, ESET, and Sophos, partake in the test.
We’ve compared the prices of the top antivirus products for Windows. To make it a fair comparison, we looked at what it would cost us, to protect a single Windows PC with the most essential features:
- Anti-phishing (web protection)
- Password manager
- Unlimited VPN (no data limit)
A few notes:
- Some brands are missing features, lowering their value for money.
- Prices are second-year prices in the USA, without first-year discounts.
- Prices are rounded up for readability (e.g., $99.99 becomes $100).
Brands have different prices outside the USA. See those on their website.
We’ve compared the user reviews of all antivirus brands. We’ve used the scores and review count of TrustPilot, a leading user review platform. However, take these results with a grain of salt, as some brands actively attempt to increase their ratings.
Personally, we are wary of exceptionally high scores. Especially those by brands such as TotalAV, known for aggressive marketing and sales tactics.
We consider scores between 4.0 and 4.5 good and realistic. Higher scores are dubious, and lower scores indicate that the brand might have a poor product or customer service. McAfee’s scores, for instance, are worrying.
Kaspersky is a leading cybersecurity firm, privately held with its holding company based in the United Kingdom. Founded in 1997, the company has amassed over 25 years of experience in the industry, and it protects more than 400 million individuals and 240,000 corporations across 200 countries and territories.
The company prides itself on its commitment to quality, regularly participating in independent tests to evaluate the effectiveness of its technologies against evolving threats. This has earned Kaspersky a strong presence in public TOP3 metrics and numerous awards.
At the core of Kaspersky’s operations is a team of 4,000 highly qualified specialists. They focus on developing innovative and user-friendly solutions that allow people to use technology without worrying about cybersecurity risks. The company’s portfolio is diverse, offering various security solutions that cater to a wide range of customer needs.
In terms of corporate values, Kaspersky prioritizes transparency, innovation, simplicity, and a human-centric approach. The company aims to build a safer world by adopting a “Cyber Immune” security model, which focuses on creating systems that are inherently secure. This approach is guided by the philosophy that the cost of launching a successful cyberattack should exceed its potential benefits. Eugene Kaspersky, the CEO, is a key proponent of this forward-thinking strategy.
By consistently delivering high-quality, effective solutions and maintaining a strong set of values, Kaspersky has established itself as a market leader in cybersecurity.
How we test antivirus software
Below we describe how we run our tests. For even more details, visit our blog posts on how we test antivirus software.
Anti-malware protection test
We analyze antivirus software’s capability to detect and eliminate known and unknown malware, using heuristic analysis for behavior monitoring.
We conduct in-house tests and analyze those from labs like AV-Test, SE Labs, and AV-Comparatives to determine the best malware protection.
Malware includes adware, keyloggers, ransomware, rootkits, spyware, trojans, viruses, worms, and more. Other cyber threats, usually not classified as malware, are (zero-day) exploits, hacks, identity theft, phishing attacks, scams, and social engineering.
False positives test
False positives occur when antivirus software misidentifies legitimate software, files, or websites as malicious. We rely on AV-Test’s large-scale analysis of false positives in its usability test to guide our evaluations.
System performance test
We measure the CPU load during antivirus software system scans and consider AV-Test’s performance results on the slowdown caused by antivirus software when opening websites and handling software.
We evaluate two-way firewalls that filter incoming and outgoing data and allow users to set rules to regulate data streams. We use the ShieldsUP! test to determine if the antivirus software blocks all ports.
Password manager test
We assess password managers’ ability to create, store, and autofill secure passwords, as well as additional features like two-factor authentication and biometric login.
Virtual Private Network (VPN) test
We evaluate built-in VPNs on their security, privacy, speed, compatibility with streaming services, unlimited data access, and support for peer-to-peer networks and torrent clients.
Parental control test
We examine parental control features, such as screen time rules, website/app blocking, and real-world location tracking. We test these features on a device and attempt to circumvent them, checking if the activity is accurately reported in the parental control admin.
Anti-phishing protection test
We evaluate antivirus browser extensions that block phishing sites by installing them and attempting to visit dangerous URLs.
Ransomware protection test
We assess security suites’ ability to prevent data encryption through exploit prevention and behavioral detection during ransomware attacks.
Bonus features test
We test any additional cybersecurity tools such as:
- Ad Blocker
- Dark web monitoring (identity protection)
- Email protection
- File encryption
- File shredder
- Gaming mode
- Microphone protection
- PC maintenance features
- Secure browser (hardened browser to protect your online banking)
- Secure cloud storage (cloud backup)
- Spam filter
- Startup optimizer
- Tune up tools
- Virtual keyboard
- Webcam protection
Ownership and reputation test
We analyze the trustworthiness of antivirus companies, especially concerning customer data. We read press releases, news articles, and privacy policies to determine their reputation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are the most frequently asked questions.
Is Kaspersky a good antivirus program?
How do we test antivirus software?
We analyze the protection from malware, the performance impact on a PC, and the number of false positives. On top of that, we test various security features such as the firewall, password manager, VPN, and more.
Author: Tibor Moes
Founder & Chief Editor at SoftwareLab