VPNs are growing in popularity for a reason. In a world becoming increasingly digital, data-centric and dangerous, VPNs offer a convenient way of ensuring that your sensitive information is kept safe and secret online.
If you didn’t know, VPN stands for Virtual Private Network, and a good VPN will keep all the information about your online activities from your internet service provider and any other third parties who might be trying to snoop on you and your internet usage.
Kaspersky is already a big name in cybersecurity, being the company behind the well-regarded Kaspersky antivirus software. But how does their VPN measure up? We’ll look at that here so you can make a decision about whether it’s right for you.
Kaspersky is a Russian company that built its name in producing antivirus software before expanding into other kinds of software, including their VPN. The VPN is a big hitter, offering quite a lot of features and an impressive network of servers worldwide.
It also includes some extra safety features that we’ll get into now, so read on!
This is usually the number one concern for anyone who’s looking to get a VPN. Luckily, Kaspersky performs well in this area. It uses the industry-standard 256-bit encryption (also sometimes called military grade encryption), so you can be sure that your activity is safe from prying eyes.
Kaspersky VPN will not keep records of your IP address, name, email, or web activity, so no such records will exist to be leaked or stolen by anyone.
It comes with a killswitch setting, meaning that you can set it to disconnect your device from the internet if your VPN connection is lost. This ensures that no data will be at risk in the event of a connection problem.
One thing that some people might miss is split tunneling in this VPN. Split tunneling is the ability to set up your VPN such that some of your internet traffic goes through it while the rest of it doesn’t.
This is useful because it allows you to keep certain sensitive information safe, while increasing speed by not requiring the VPN to encrypt other, unimportant things.
Unlike some of its rivals, Kaspersky doesn’t offer the split tunneling function. While this isn’t a vital function for most people, if it is important to you, you’ll need to look elsewhere as Kaspersky won’t make your VPN shortlist.
Kaspersky, as you might have guessed from the name, is based in Russia, putting it outside the jurisdiction of the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing alliance, or any other similar alliances.
Depending on your internet activities and how close you sail to the line, this is may be a positive for you and your information, since it means these intelligence networks won’t be able to request any information from Kaspersky.
The extent to which the Russian government has access to Kaspersky’s information is unknown. Some have alleged that the Russian government has used information of Kaspersky’s American customers for political purposeds and, in 2016, US president Donald Trump banned Kaspersky software from US government devices.
On the other hand, the Kazpersky strenuously denies doing any such thing, so it’s up to you to decide where your trust lies.
Another popular reason that many people like to use VPNs is for streaming. Many online streaming services (like Netflix, Hulu, etc.) are region-locked, meaning that you can only use them from within a certain country (or countries).
A good VPN can get you around that problem by making it appear that you are somewhere other than where you really are. For instance, if you want to access the UK Netflix library from the US or vice versa, a VPN should be able to make it happen.
The good news here is that Kaspersky is very effective for this. While some VPNs (including a number that claim otherwise) can’t do this because the sites in question detect that a VPN is being used, Kaspersky has no trouble accessing a wide range of streaming sites.
This includes Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and various others, no matter where in the world you are.
Kaspersky is generally solid when it comes to speeds. All VPNs will drop speed at least a little, since the encryption process (and the other means that a VPN uses to keep your data safe) takes time.
However, the speeds on Kaspersky’s premium servers are generally high, though you can expect the exact speeds you receive to vary based on your location and which server you’re using.
In general, we found that download speeds are more reliably good than upload speeds, and latency can vary a fair bit.
Still, latency was generally manageable in our tests, and the overall speeds were sufficient for most purposes, including streaming in 4K. This is an important consideration for most consumers.
One feature where Kaspersky does very well is in the number of servers if offers. Some smaller VPNs only offer a few hundred servers, but Kaspersky offers over 2000 in 38 countries and territories.
This should give you a lot of options for connecting, and the large number of servers means that overcrowding doesn’t have the same negative impact on speeds that it could have.
It also means you’ll have a lot of options to choose from, from wherever in the world you are connecting from. Note that proximity to the server is also related to the speeds you can expect from it, and so a plethora of servers is generally seen as an asset.
Subscription Plans And Pricing
Kaspersky offers a couple of different plans, including one that’s actually free! We’ll start with that one before moving onto the paid plans.
As you might expect from a free plan, it’s somewhat limited – it only allows you up to 200 MB of data per day, which means you’ll have to ration its use if you’re going to be downloading or streaming anything big.
It also only permits you to connect to whichever server is closest to you, meaning it’s probably not going to be much use for unblocking region-locked content. You also won’t be able to pick another server if yours appears to be slow.
It also lacks some of the features that the paid version has, like the killswitch. Still, we’ll emphasize again that it’s free, and if you’re looking for a free VPN, then you could certainly do a lot worse.
If you’re interested in getting full use out of your VPN, then the free version won’t cut it. If you go for the paid version, you can either buy a subscription for a month or a year.
As is usually the case, the latter means paying more up front but less overall, compared to renewing monthly. It also boasts the full range of features, including things like access to all the servers and the killswitch.
One thing that might give you pause for thought, is the number of devices you can connect at one time. The maximum is five, and there isn’t any way to increase this limit.
This might be all you need, and five might even be enough for a family, but it would be nice to be able to increase that number if you wanted to keep secure on more devices.
Nevertheless, the prices themselves are also very reasonable considering what you’re getting for them. This VPN is not the cheapest option on the market, but then it’s not supposed to be either. Kaspersky is targeted towards the more premium end of the market for a reason.
Distinct from the free version mentioned above, there is also a free trial of the full version of Kaspersky VPN available, which includes all the features. This free trial lasts for a week, which should sufficient for you to get clarity on whether the Kazpersky VPN has what you’re looking for.
You can pay for Kaspersky VPN with most major credit and debit cards. You can also choose Paypal, but note that Kaspersky does not yet allow you to pay through other more niche methods, most notably Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency.
Though this isn’t likely to be a huge problem for many people, but it will be disappointing for a number of its early-adopter, crypto-savvy customers.
Kaspersky VPN is available on Android, iOS, Mac, and Windows. This covers the major bases, but it can’t be installed on other things such as Amazon Fire Stick, Smart TV and so on. If you’re hoping to use your VPN on one of these, then you’ll want to look elsewhere.
In addition to being able to email with problems, subscribers (to either the monthly or yearly service) are also able to either chat online or call on the phone for support at any time.
This should ensure that any issues you run into are dealt with promptly and professionally. Some other VPN services (especially smaller ones) offer email support only, so this is a real step up from that.
Overall, the service provided by Kaspersky VPN is of a very high standard. You can expect good speeds wherever you are, partly thanks to the extensive network of servers that the company maintains all across the world.
You should have no trouble accessing a wide range of streaming services, unlike with some cheaper VPNs, and the extra safety features like the killswitch go the extra mile to make sure your data is completely safe and protected.
You’ll pay slightly more for all of this, but the extra features make it worth that price in our opinion. You can use the week-long free trial to decide for yourself, though, so you should know exactly what you’re getting for your money.