Are you searching for the best antivirus software on the market? Do you need the maximum of protection with minimal of computer resources consumed? Search no more: you’re in the right place.
Our team has performed multiple tests in various environments and on different machines until we decided that the latest version of Kaspersky Antivirus 2021 is the one of the best antivirus software of the moment.
With a very long history behind, Kaspersky antivirus is probably a legendary antimalware software in the world. The producer’s company was launched in 1997 by a former Russian military software engineer, Eugene Kaspersky.
With a huge list of threats discovered and patched, Kaspersky’s name is now associated with the most robust antivirus protection.
Kaspersky Lab is involved in the development of multiple cyber security applications and products. From antivirus software to password management and internet security, the company is now one of the biggest protection software producers in the world.
Kaspersky Antivirus is their flagship product, a strong protection software, able to offer the best protection against malware and, at the same time, have a tiny effect on computer’s speed.
1. System Requirements
The first machine where we’ve tested Kaspersky Antivirus 2021 was a Windows 7 computer. The installation process asked for a computer running at least Service Pack 1, so we updated the machine to the Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (KB976932).
The installation process was fast and smooth. We also used a virtual machine environment (VMware) to test and install Kaspersky Antivirus 2021 on multiple operation systems. For this review, we installed KAV on Windows XP (Service Pack 3 – KB936929), Windows Vista 32-bit (KB936330), Windows 8 and 10. In all these situations, everything was fast and the system was stable after installation.
We also played with multiple hardware configurations to test its ability to work in different conditions: from a single core 1GHz processor to an Intel i7 dual-core processor, the latest version of Kaspersky antivirus worked remarkably well.
The list of features includes:
A great file antivirus module able to scan in real time all the files opened, saved or run from the computer. It’s one of the fastest tested module analyzed so far.
Because we used a protected environment for testing, we was able to intentionally infect the virtual computers where Kaspersky Antivirus 2021 had been installed. We also used the EICAR-AV-Test file, provided by Eicar.org, to test its ability to respond in real time to a new threat.
For this we used a simple .txt file, containing a unique code, used for testing purposes. When the file was saved, Kaspersky Antivirus reacted with a warning message „Malware has been detected” as you can see in the screenshot below:
The next step provided by Kaspersky Antivirus was to try and clean up the infected file.
Because the file was a .txt one, the only solution was the single step file deletion:
However, we were curious to see how the antivirus reacted if the file couldn’t be disinfected so we saved it several times, in the same location. The result is interesting: if the file can’t be removed from a single step, a restart will be required, as you can see below.
Of course, because the file has been used only for testing purpose, I used the option which permits disinfection without computer restarting.
This module is also responsible for the real-time file scanning, when a new device is attached to the computer via USB or when a new DVD is inserted into the tray. Once again, the reaction time is impressive.
You’re asked if you want to scan or not the files from the attached device. No matter what you decide, if you want to open a file from USB or DVD, Kaspersky Antivirus 2021 will start to scan it before allowing you access to it.
A web antivirus module, able to show you its status, in the browser, before visiting if a page is infected or not. This is another proactive feature if you’re interested in any solution able fo offer antivirus protection when you use a browser to visit various pages.
The module is compatible with all major browsers: Chrome, Firefox, Opera and Internet Explorer (at least IE 9.0). I was asked if I want to allow access before activation, so this web antivirus module is activated only with your consent.
The visited sites are categorized into three main groups: Safe (green), Unknown (gray) or Infected (red).
We don’t know how this pre-analysis is made but most probable, Kaspersky has a massive database of sites, pre-visited by its users. Based on that, the latest version of their antivirus can provide real-time feedback about website’s infections.
This module also includes a feature which scans the incoming web traffic and blocks any dangerous scripts from running on your PC. You have three security levels of protection: high, medium and low. The web antivirus feature can also be manually configured. Make sure you know what you’re doing if you want to use these advanced settings: both computer performance and anti-malware protection could be affected if the settings are wrong.
We recommend you to use the medium level of protection which offers the best protection with the minimum impact on resources. If your computer is not powerful enough and if you don’t visit dangerous sites, you’ll eventually decrease the protection level by using the „low” settings option.
The System Watcher module helps users maintain a good degree of protection against unwanted malware actions. Sometimes, an infected file starts changing the data structure or modify different applications. The illegal operations are automatically blocked if the module is activated and if this option is enabled. You can set up this feature in multiple ways.
If you’re not sure how to set up this feature, use the default settings. We don’t recommend you to switch the button to „Allow” because an eventual exploit could spread through the system files if you allow their access.
IM Anti-virus is an anti-malware module dedicated to messaging communication. The received messages are scanned in real time for any phishing attempts or any unwanted malware infection via this communication channel. The module can be deactivated if you are not a frequent user of messaging applications. We tested it in real time, and we’ve been pleasantly surprised by its effectiveness and speed.
The mail antivirus module is, as the name suggests, dedicated to real-time scanning of incoming emails. We tested it with both Thunderbird and Outlook, with good results against malware infections spread via email. As the number of very specific targeted email is increasing, we advise you to keep this module active, to prevent any phishing attempts. Remember that sometimes the received emails look like legit messages. Sometimes the sender’s name is a known person, and you may be fooled to open it. Kaspersky’s mail antivirus module prevents any email infection as long as the module is activated and the settings are correctly done.
3. Additional functionalities
Other features included in Kaspersky Antivirus 2021 are:
- Self Defense module;
- Advanced updating preferences;
- Reports and Quarantine area;
- Secured Connections;
- Safe Money;
- Threats and exclusions;
- On-screen keyboard;
- Vulnerability scan.
The self-defense area has been introduced to prevent any software modification attempt. By keeping this module active, you can make sure that the cyber criminals can’t modify the main core of Kaspersky Antivirus.
Depending on your preferences, the interval between updates can be changed. We advise you to make sure KAV is frequently updated, to prevent any infection with a new virus, which is not present in the database, because the updates are made very rarely.
The reporting and quarantine area is a section useful if you need to check anytime if Kaspersky Antivirus has blocked suspicious events. You can modify the monitored interval to see the activity where KAV decided to interfere. This is also useful when a popup which shows a warning message disappears before reading.
In this situation, go to Tools > Reports > Details and analyze the data provided by Kaspersky Antivirus. If a file is quarantined by mistake, you may choose to restore it. Make sure you know what are you doing because KAV will probably delete the file, once again, if it’s suspicious or infected with malware.
Secured connections is a module powered by Hotspot Shield. By using it, you can hide your real location when you are browsing on the web. The trial version of Kaspersky Antivirus permits about 200 MB of traffic. We tested this module on our machines: the only weak point of secured connections is the limited speed for data downloading.
If you only browse the web, the speed difference is no noticeable, but if you need to use your machine for other bandwidth consuming activities, you’ll discover that your connection is not very fast.
Safe money is one of the most useful features of Kaspersky Antivirus. Based on the visited web page, the module starts and asks you if you want to use a more secure environment to replace the traditional usage of your browser. This feature is very useful because data can be stolen from your browser if the connection it not encrypted or if the system is compromised. By using „Safe money”, your transactions are automatically hidden and are impossible to be tracked by hackers.
The threats and exclusions area is dedicated to the apps you know are safe, but you need to run them in a controlled environment.
The on-screen keyboard is an additional Kaspersky’s tool which provides support against keyloggers. These tools used by hackers and other cyber criminals are used to steal data. When someone is typing on an infected machine, the typing is recorded. By using the onscreen keyboard, you’ll make sure the keyloggers become inefficient. It’s just an additional layer of security provided by Kaspersky. Notice that in tests, a reboot was required before activating this feature.
Vulnerabilities scan is a module which can find the machine’s weak points and where it can be eventually attacked. Because Kaspersky Antivirus is a proactive tool, it can prevent malware infections and vulnerabilities by offering recommendations based on the system state.
At the end of the scanning process, a list of vulnerabilities is displayed. You can modify the system settings, to prevent any unwanted vulnerability.
4. Loaded resources
We installed and tested Kaspersky Antivirus on multiple machines and configurations. Even on a single core computer, with a 1GHz processor, KAV 2021 worked without problems. However, if a scan is started, the system speed will be affected. But this is normal if you consider the number of tasks behind a scan and the configuration of the computer used for this test.
Kaspersky’s support page is well-organized and provides knowledge basis for various categories of users and applications. From home users to business customers, all the groups of clients are covered.
We contacted the support team to check their responsiveness. The support team was very helpful, even if our questions may have been very dummy. We also tested the support team with in-depth questions: their answers have been useful and fast every time we asked the questions. If you decide to purchase Kaspersky Antivirus, you’ll benefit from the best support.
6. Value for money
Even if it’s not the cheapest antivirus from the market, Kaspersky 2017 is one of the best antimalware solution tested by our team. You’ll benefit from the best support team and maximum antivirus protection.
Your computer will be protected, and its performance will remain unaffected.
7. Prizes and awards
The name of Kaspersky is nowadays associated with the best security products. In the tests performed by the independent laboratories, Kaspersky Antivirus 2021 provides impressive results: a very high detection rate and a low percentage of false detection warnings.
8. Associated products
Because it’s one of the biggest antivirus software companies, Kaspersky provides multiple protection solutions for home users segment.
You may choose between Kaspersky Antivirus, Internet Security, and Total Security. This review has been done for KAV 2021. We will publish in-depth analysis for Kaspersky Internet Security and Total Security 2021 in the upcoming weeks.
9. Pros and cons
- Great effectiveness
- Low impact on computer’s resources
- Easy to use interface
- Good value for the money
- The secured connections module provides limited speed
The conclusion? Kaspersky provides one of the best antivirus of the year. You’ll make no mistake if you choose it for the protection of your computer.
The latest version of Kaspersky is an excellent antivirus.
Our rating: 9.8/10
Compatibility: Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 and 10
Price: $29.99 / 3 devices
With a price starting from $29.99 per year, for three machines license, Kaspersky provides the best computer protection at an excellent cost. If you need more than one license, the pricing cost per protected computer will be reduced. Have a look at their dedicated page and benefit from the best deal.
If you need a better protection you can choose between Kaspersky Internet Security at only $39.99 / 5 devices and Total Security 2021 ($49.99 / 5 devices). At these prices you will benefit from top-notch protection against malware and threats.
Cyber attacks have increased dramatically during the last couple of years. The Kaspersky Antivirus will make sure you enjoy the best protection from hackers before they even try to launch an attack your way.
Updated: January 06, 2021