It’s not available in the US yet, but Kaspersky Labs this week announced a free version of its flagship antivirus solution.
“We’ve been working on this release for a good year-and-a-half, with pilot versions in a few regions, research, analysis, tweaks and the rest of it,” Kaspersky Labs Eugene Kaspersky writes. “And we realized we had to do one thing, and fast: Roll out a Kaspersky Labs freebie all over the planet!”
Kaspersky Free, as the product is called, is aimed at those who can’t afford the $50 or more that retail AV products cost. And because it works better than Microsoft’s (also free, and bundled in Windows) Defender product—according to Mr. Kaspersky, anyway—everyone will benefit from the Internet being just that much safer.
As important, Kaspersky says that the free product won’t compete with the company’s paid products because it’s only AV. Those who do pay the $50 premium for the paid version get additional features like parental controls, online payment protection, a secure VPN connection, and more, he says.
That said, Kaspersky Free does appear to offer the essentials: AV protection across file, email and web, with self-defense and quarantine capabilities “This arsenal ensures convenient and safe web surfing, working with USB sticks and other portable storage media, and protection against both phishing and infected files being run,” Kaspersky says. “In short, the indispensable basics that no one on the planet should do without.” It also takes up fewer system resources than its paid siblings.
The bad news, if you want such a thing, is that Kaspersky Free is not yet available in the United States. Today, it’s available in Russia, Ukraine, China, Finland, Sweden, Norway, and Denmark. And then the US, Canada, and other countries will get access to Kaspersky Free in a wave two release over the next month. The product will be rolled out globally by November, the company says.
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