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Kaspersky Free vs. Paid: Is it worth upgrading?

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Kaspersky Free vs. Paid: Is it worth upgrading? 1

Kaspersky’s free option is now part of its Security Cloud line, which brings new features beyond pure antivirus software. It also includes VPN data, a password manager, the ability to scan for weak settings, and monitoring for your online accounts. For most people, this is a great level of protection to keep browsing safe and machines clean of infection.

Free at Kaspersky

Pros

  • Virus protection
  • Protects from suspicious sites
  • VPN included
  • Account monitoring

Cons

  • Always connected service
  • Limited privacy protection
  • Not a lot of VPN data

Upgrading your Security Cloud account comes with some great extras like the bonus privacy protection and home Wi-Fi monitoring so you know if an unauthorized device gets access to your network. You keep rapid cloud updates and account management. Some other nice bonuses such as hard drive health monitoring and application control will be great for some.

From $54/year at Kaspersky

Pros

  • Virus protection
  • Protects privacy online
  • Blocks tracking and webcam spies
  • VPN included
  • Account monitoring
  • Home Wi-Fi monitoring

Cons

  • Expensive upgrade
  • Not much VPN data

The Security Cloud upgrade has quite a few nice features and for some users, these features will be totally worth the entry price. For most users, the basic package provides more than enough protection especially since it comes with full system scan abilities, an up-to-date database of threats, and even a feature to check your online accounts. The additional privacy protection and home network monitoring will be great for someone concerned about spying and tracking. Still, most people won’t find these extras worth the price.

How much security do you need?

Most people already keep their important files and information behind a layer of security with cloud storage and secure connections. It’s also feasible that this information is encrypted by a VPN connection. While not perfect, this level is enough for many users. Some computers and networks are responsible for much more information and every precaution should be taken. If you need to make sure your entire PC is safe, the upgrade to a Personal account may very well be worth it. The additional webcam and home network security can be great if someone may suspect attempted intrusion.

Kaspersky Security Cloud – Free Kaspersky Security Cloud – Personal
System scan Quick
Full
Custom
Quick
Full
Custom
VPN data 200MB (+100MB with account) 200MB (+100MB with account)
Browser extension
Password Manager
PC Cleaner
Home network monitor
Software updater
Backup files
Hard drive health

Like any good antivirus software, all of the essentials are in the free version of the software. For some people though, the peace of mind knowing that their applications are secure and their home network is free from any unauthorized device might be worth the upgrade price.

Shared features

Source: Android Central

Kaspersky includes a lot of great features in the free version of the software and all of these features are also included in the paid version, as one might expect. The full range of system scanning is included with quick scans, full scans, and custom scans that can be run on individual folders or external storage devices.

An encrypted VPN is included with both versions as well, though the data is limited to only 300MB per month. It’s nice to have in a pinch but if you spend a lot of time on public Wi-Fi you should consider getting an unlimited VPN with good reviews and clear data policies.

Kaspersky Security Cloud Weak Settings scan

Source: Android Central

You also get a scanner for weak system settings in both versions. There’s also an included file shredder that can wipe spinning hard drives of leftover data and an onscreen keyboard that can prevent keylogging. This would mainly be used for entering passwords on sites without proper two-factor authentication.

You can also download a secure password manager that can autofill your passwords but does so more securely than some browsers do. It can also generate strong passwords for you. One of the most interesting features included is an Account Check. This can monitor your online accounts for data leaks and notify you of security issues.

Upgrade features

Kaspersky Security Cloud Upgrade

Source: Android Central

If you upgrade your account, the biggest feature you gain is additional privacy protection. Now, you can hide your browsing as well as block webcam access. You will also get improved tracking blocking. You also get a feature called Safe Money, which can provide additional security for online banking and shopping.

A PC Cleaner is included as well as a software control that can search your PC for applications and make sure there are no vulnerabilities as well as provide updates for the ones that have issues. It can also monitor other applications for potentially problematic behavior.

One of the most interesting inclusions comes in the My Network tab. From here you can see the devices connected to your home network. This can help you know if there is an unauthorized device with access to your network. There’s also a Network Monitor that can show the network activity of all applications.

Other Kaspersky options

If you look around Kaspersky’s website you’ll quickly notice its other antivirus packages. Anti-Virus, for example, has most of the same features as the free cloud option with a few bonuses. More importantly, you don’t need to participate in Kaspersky’s cloud services. You can also bump up to the Internet Security package, which adds extra privacy options. The Total Security package adds in file protection to back up important files and a password manager that can sync across multiple devices.

These are all good options if you don’t want to participate in the connected cloud design. Kaspersky states that all shared cloud data doesn’t contain personal information like health statistics, religion, or your identity but a lot of people don’t love the idea of adding another always connected online service.

Is it worth it?

The best thing any antivirus software can give you is the information you need to make the best possible decision. When it comes to information, there’s no doubt the Kaspersky Security Cloud – Personal gives you more. The problem is that for many people, a lot of the extras are redundant to either safe browsing techniques or additional apps such as a router app that monitors traffic. Still, there’s a lot to like and it conveniently comes in a single package and application window.

For most people, the feature set of the free version offers more than enough to keep them safe. Unless someone needs an extra level of security or just wants to be absolutely sure, the Kaspersky Security Cloud – Free is the best choice for most people.

Enough for most


Kaspersky Free vs. Paid: Is it worth upgrading? 2

Kaspersky Security Cloud – Free

Always connected means up-to-date

A wealth of scanning options alongside support for a great browser extension makes Kaspersky Security Cloud – Free a great option for keeping your PC secure with no delay.

Privacy focused


Kaspersky Free vs. Paid: Is it worth upgrading? 4

Kaspersky Security Cloud – Personal

Upgrade with better privacy and PC health features

Security doesn’t stop at your web browser and the upgraded Personal account adds great controls for wi-fi monitoring as well as blocking access to your webcam.

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