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Kaspersky’s refreshed client platform is great but not perfect

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Cybersecurity is more than installing an antivirus solution on your computer and smartphone. There are times when you need a secure folder to store sensitive information or maybe you need a VPN to add an extra layer of privacy to your browsing.

The way we interact with and use technology has changed, and surprisingly, consumer security software hasn’t changed all that much. Today, Kaspersky is reinventing its security software suite and making things much easier to understand.

For one thing, all of Kaspersky’s consumer product plans are now platform independent, so whether you’re using Windows, macOS, iOS, or Android, the software will work.

There are three regimes namely:

  • Kaspersky Standard,
  • Kaspersky Plus,
  • Kaspersky Premium.

As you’d expect, some features are locked behind higher subscription levels. For example, with Kaspersky Standard you don’t get unlimited VPN service, but with Plus and Premium you do.

Prior to this announcement, Kaspersky granted Hypertext early access to Kaspersky Premium, Plus, and Standard.

The standard is about as standard as it gets. For your money, you get real-time protection, safe browsing and anti-phishing as well as Pre Kaspersky virus removal. This tool will scan your PC for viruses and threats that may have appeared before the software was installed.

There are also a variety of performance and monitoring tools.

The Plus subscription is where things start to pick up speed. As mentioned, Kaspersky Unlimited VPN is included, as is Data Leak Checker. Here you can ask Kaspersky to monitor your online profiles using your email address for any leaks, including your details on the open and dark web.

Of course, Premium holds the real magic, including priority access to a team of specialists via online chat. Kaspersky says experts will help users with the highest priority, but we have some issues with that.

While most of the menus and options in the newly designed app are straightforward, the support system is not. Although we said we would have access to a specialist team, there is no clear path to these experts.

To contact support, click Answers to frequently asked questionsscroll to the bottom of the page that opens in a browser window, then click How to contact support. This will takes you to this page where you can select the best portal. Just add live chat option to Kaspersky app support page, please.

Clean, intuitive and not too greedy

The redesigned user interface is very fluid.

The different products available to you are arranged in clear menus. For example, in the Security menu, you can access all security-related features, including network monitoring, scans even recommend updating potentially vulnerable settings.

Shortly after installation, the software recommended that we enable the display of file extensions so as not to accidentally install malware when opening what we assumed was a PDF.

You can perform a quick scan, view recent events, and monitor your subscription right from the homepage. It’s just a very clean and very well thought out user interface. We also really appreciate the simple language used by Kaspersky as well as the explanations accessible by clicking on the icon in the form of a question mark on certain functions.

In terms of resource usage, even when scanning, the software was using 0.1% of our CPU power, but it uses around 100MB of memory. Scans take a while depending on how many files you have, but scans run in the background and have never had a negative impact on our performance.

One of the features that we think will attract the most people here is Kaspersky VPN.

Given that it’s included with your security solution, identity protection, etc., we didn’t expect the same experience we would expect from a company that specializes in VPN services. That said, Kaspersky’s solution is fine, but the ping to the South African server is oddly high, so we don’t recommend it for gaming.

Download (Mbps) Download (Mbps) Ping (ms) Download latency (ms) Download latency (ms)
No VPN 48.67 52.7 4 92 8
Kaspersky VPN (South Africa) 43.62 30.76 351 819 481
Kaspersky VPN (Manchester) 47.97 27.58 364 838 525

That said, this comes bundled with Kaspersky’s protection software, so it’s pretty good from that perspective. We had no problem streaming content while connected to a node across the pond, we just wouldn’t use it for online gaming.

Pricing is based on the number of devices you wish to protect. We’ve listed the prices below based on protecting a device, but you can configure plans according to your needs here.

  • Kaspersky Standard – R420 per year,
  • Kaspersky Plus – R600 per year,
  • Kaspersky Premium – R661 per year.

We know on the face of it that R661 for Premium is expensive, but we’d say that R55.08 per month for a security solution, high priority support and a decent VPN isn’t a bad price.

Of course, we have to mention the elephant in the room.

Kaspersky is not to be trusted given that it is a Russian company and there are allegations that the company has ties to the Russian government.

Earlier this year BBC reported that the German Federal Information Office has warned that Russian companies could be coerced or coerced into attacking target systems or spying on users. Moreover, Kaspersky itself could be spied on.

However, in this excellent opinion piece by Neil Rubenking on PC Magit is emphasized that Kaspersky is a global entity and has no political ties.

Ultimately the decision on which security solution to use is up to you, but this refresh from Kaspersky is pretty good and we plan to use it for next year and report on our experience.