Kaspersky Launches Free Antivirus

Kaspersky Launches Free Antivirus

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!”

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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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Conversation 52 comments

  • Narg

    26 July, 2017 - 10:00 am

    <p>I do not trust this Russian company, not one bit. Sorry. No, not sorry…</p>

    • IanM

      26 July, 2017 - 10:09 am

      <blockquote><a href="#153471"><em>In reply to Narg:</em></a></blockquote><blockquote><em>Narg makes a really interesting point here. How can we trust companies to be fully independent from their countries' intelligence agencies? And let's not kid ourselves that the US is entirely innocent in this regard!<br></em></blockquote><p><br></p>

      • chrisrut

        Premium Member
        26 July, 2017 - 6:53 pm

        <p><a href="#153479"><em>In reply to IanM:</em></a> Agreed. I think Narg's concerns are well-founded. The "computer spook" agencies would have to be brain-dead stupid to <em>not </em>put as many of their people as possible inside security companies, particularly when said company is located within one's borders. </p><p>I just hope our spooks are better than "their" spooks.</p><p>As I've mentioned in other posts, I take the DOD's – and hell, even <em>China's </em>official nods toward W10 (with their own encryption tools) as unmistakable handwriting on the wall. W10 is more secure.</p>

    • barry505

      26 July, 2017 - 10:23 am

      <blockquote><a href="#153471"><em>In reply to Narg:</em></a></blockquote><p>Besides that, it's completely unnecessary. I've been using nothing but Microsoft Security Essentials and now the built-in Defender since the XP days, and have never had a virus.</p>

      • Jaxidian

        26 July, 2017 - 10:41 am

        <blockquote><a href="#153490"><em>In reply to barry505:</em></a></blockquote><p>Perhaps that's your (valid) experience but I think that experience is insufficient to say that Kaspersky offers no value beyond MSE/Defender to others. You're probably an experienced enough person to avoid most ways people pick up a virus. For people not as smart as you, Kaspersky can have some real value in protecting them.</p>

      • johnlavey

        26 July, 2017 - 2:01 pm

        <blockquote><a href="#153490"><em>In reply to barry505:</em></a><em> </em><strong>Same here.</strong> Defender now also scans and REPORTS to me. How can you beat that no cost antivirus? <em> </em></blockquote><p><br></p>

    • Waethorn

      26 July, 2017 - 10:43 am

      <blockquote><a href="#153471"><em>In reply to Narg:</em></a></blockquote><p>It's not okay to have software ties to a former-Communist country, but having manufacturing tied to a fully-Communist country is just fine?</p><p><br></p><p>#hypocrisy</p>

      • RonH

        Premium Member
        26 July, 2017 - 11:06 am

        <blockquote><a href="#153541"><em>In reply to Waethorn:</em></a></blockquote><p>That could be an interesting topic for a full post.</p>

      • Narg

        26 July, 2017 - 11:57 am

        <blockquote><a href="#153541"><em>In reply to Waethorn:</em></a></blockquote><p>Style of government is not in question. Intentions of their State is…</p>

        • Waethorn

          26 July, 2017 - 12:03 pm

          <blockquote><a href="#153595"><em>In reply to Narg:</em></a></blockquote><p>China is taking over all of the US's debt to undermine their economy. They also install spyware onto hardware. Just look at the recent news of forced spyware installation in Xinjiang. The Chinese government isn't even concealing it.</p><p><br></p><p>What proof do you have of any intentions of Russia as a counter-argument? #fakenews?</p>

          • chrisrut

            Premium Member
            26 July, 2017 - 7:26 pm

            <p><a href="#153597"><em>In reply to Waethorn:</em></a> China wants to own the US, not wreck it. Microsoft's F/Us with Nokia notwithstanding, you don't typically buy something just to wreck it. They want the unfettered right to sell us stuff.</p><p><br></p>

            • Waethorn

              27 July, 2017 - 10:16 am

              <blockquote><a href="#153795"><em>In reply to chrisrut:</em></a></blockquote><p>Um….what?!?</p><p><br></p><p>You can't own a country's economy without breaking it first. If China own's the US, it'll put people out of jobs. They'll be consumer slaves where their own citizens are already producer slaves.</p>

  • MikeGalos

    26 July, 2017 - 10:36 am

    <p>Let's see:</p><p>Windows already includes full anti-malware that works just fine (disclaimer, I worked on an earlier version)</p><p>Kaspersky has ties to the Russian government</p><p>Why would I want this?</p>

    • Waethorn

      26 July, 2017 - 10:41 am

      <blockquote><a href="#153534"><em>In reply to MikeGalos:</em></a></blockquote><p>So what if Kaspersky does have ties to the Russian government.</p><p><br></p><p>Microsoft's manufacturing partners have ties to the Chinese government.</p><p><br></p><p>And Microsoft deflects questions about tech support scams from India (where the vast majority of them come from) because "it insults the CEO's heritage".</p>

      • skane2600

        26 July, 2017 - 12:25 pm

        <blockquote><a href="#153539"><em>In reply to Waethorn:</em></a></blockquote><p>The concern over Russia relates to spying on the US, I've never heard that MS products manufactured by partners that "have ties to the Chinese government" have been compromised. </p>

      • rameshthanikodi

        26 July, 2017 - 2:37 pm

        <blockquote><a href="#153539"><em>In reply to Waethorn:</em></a></blockquote><p>Dude. How are you not getting this? Russians have been behind many state-sponsored attacks and are known for spying, China less so, and no one is talking about using chinese software here. China is mostly involved with hardware and if you don't trust their hardware then you probably have an issue with globalism in the first place, more than China.</p>

        • Waethorn

          26 July, 2017 - 2:45 pm

          <blockquote><a href="#153686"><em>In reply to FalseAgent:</em></a></blockquote><p>All I have to say is:</p><p><br></p><p>Where's the beef?</p><p><br></p><p>China has been spying on citizens and foreign nationals for years – they don't even conceal that fact. Where is the proof on state-sponsored attacks from Russia? Even the billionaire Clinton Foundation can't provide that.</p><p><br></p>

          • skane2600

            26 July, 2017 - 3:55 pm

            <blockquote><a href="#153690"><em>In reply to Waethorn:</em></a></blockquote><p>Ah, you mentioned Clinton. Enough said.</p>

          • bluvg

            28 July, 2017 - 1:03 am

            <blockquote><a href="#153690"><em>In reply to Waethorn:</em></a></blockquote><p>The United States intelligence agencies agree on it, and the Senate (Republican-controlled) just passed a bill involving sanctions because of it. ("It" being Russian interference in the 2016 US election, but of course this is hardly limited to that event.)</p>

    • Brian Devins

      26 July, 2017 - 11:22 am

      <blockquote><a href="#153534"><em>In reply to MikeGalos:</em></a></blockquote><p>Fully agreed. I'd advise anyone to search for "Kaspersky Russian intelligence" before deciding whether they want that software on their computers.</p><p>Windows Defender is all a reasonably responsible computer user needs to stay safe. It's a great product from a trustworthy company.</p>

      • Waethorn

        26 July, 2017 - 11:56 am

        <blockquote><a href="#153577"><em>In reply to demodulated:</em></a></blockquote><p>What about Microsoft giving the NSA access to their software?</p>

  • Waethorn

    26 July, 2017 - 10:39 am

    <p>No.</p><p><br></p><p>Not even once.</p>

  • Waethorn

    26 July, 2017 - 10:47 am

    <p>Kaspersky is just crap anyway. I don't trust it because they've had numerous false positives that bork Windows, and security researchers are saying that it itself is insecure, and makes the computer LESS secure – not more. Kaspersky has fought Microsoft before to reduce security in Windows so that Kaspersky can sell a product.</p><p><br></p><p>Kaspersky is just catching up to the premium up-sell market on this one. It's ad-ware to sell their full security suite. Nothing more.</p>

    • Narg

      26 July, 2017 - 10:53 am

      <blockquote><a href="#153542"><em>In reply to Waethorn:</em></a></blockquote><p>Not to mention that they also send data to Russia…</p>

      • Waethorn

        26 July, 2017 - 11:55 am

        <blockquote><a href="#153545"><em>In reply to Narg:</em></a></blockquote><p>If you believe that, then you must believe that Microsoft sends data to the CIA.</p>

        • skane2600

          26 July, 2017 - 12:20 pm

          <blockquote><a href="#153592"><em>In reply to Waethorn:</em></a></blockquote><p>No idea if either is true but they are entirely unconnected.</p>

          • Waethorn

            26 July, 2017 - 12:29 pm

            <blockquote><a href="#153623"><em>In reply to skane2600:</em></a></blockquote><p>I'm just trying to find the outrage towards the US government, or its technology partner companies like India and China. I mean, all of this blather going on in the comment section is just perpetuating unsubstantiated claims that were only brought up as a fake politicized talking point when there are proven claims against these other players. It's hypocritical, plain and simple.</p>

            • skane2600

              26 July, 2017 - 1:10 pm

              <blockquote><a href="#153628"><em>In reply to Waethorn:</em></a></blockquote><p>It's not really about outrage, it's a concern about security. </p>

              • Waethorn

                26 July, 2017 - 3:03 pm

                <blockquote><a href="#153651"><em>In reply to skane2600:</em></a></blockquote><p><br></p><p>I think companies in the US outsourcing things like support and coding to outside nations like China and India is a bigger story. None of the major tech companies use Russian developers. China already has a massive spy operation. The entire world knows it, and it's not like they even keep that fact from their own citizens. Yet companies like Microsoft are outsourcing their development to China. India is a big threat for security too. Lots of development work is getting outsourced to dev farms there, and it's no secret that most of the tech support scams come from India (even though Microsoft doesn't want you thinking that). Brazil is an up-and-coming nation where the same levels of crime and murder occur, and tech companies are embracing them.</p><p><br></p><p>Answer me this: Why is it then, that tech companies are attracting work from nations with high levels of criminal activity in IT?</p>

                • skane2600

                  26 July, 2017 - 3:53 pm

                  <blockquote><a href="#153693"><em>In reply to Waethorn:</em></a></blockquote><p>Your mixing a lot of different things together. We talking about an anti-virus program that runs on a PC. We aren't talking about the whole universe of IT. Tech support scams from India or anywhere else don't imply a nefarious connection to MS. </p>

                • Waethorn

                  27 July, 2017 - 10:24 am

                  <blockquote><a href="#153703"><em>In reply to skane2600:</em></a></blockquote><p>"Tech support scams from India or anywhere else don't imply a nefarious connection to MS."</p><p><br></p><p>Neither does one antivirus company residing in Russia having a connection to the Russian government.</p>

                • skane2600

                  27 July, 2017 - 11:09 am

                  <blockquote><a href="#153952"><em>In reply to Waethorn:</em></a></blockquote><p>Except that in this particular case the founder does indeed have a connection with the Russian government.</p>

                • Waethorn

                  27 July, 2017 - 11:15 am

                  <blockquote><a href="#153983"><em>In reply to skane2600:</em></a></blockquote><p>And you think a person running million-dollar businesses and sides with the Conservative government doesn't have his political buddies to lobby to?</p>

        • Stooks

          26 July, 2017 - 3:54 pm

          <blockquote><a href="#153592"><em>In reply to Waethorn:</em></a></blockquote><p>Eugene Kaspersky was in the KGB and is a personal friend of Putin. I believe his wife was in the KGB as well.</p><p><br></p><p><br></p>

          • Waethorn

            27 July, 2017 - 10:18 am

            <blockquote><a href="#153704"><em>In reply to Stooks:</em></a></blockquote><p>Well, Kevin O'Leary owned a security software company, and then ran for PM in Canada. How is that any different?</p>

            • skane2600

              27 July, 2017 - 11:10 am

              <blockquote><a href="#153950"><em>In reply to Waethorn:</em></a></blockquote><p>Maybe because Russia is adversarial country and Canada is not. </p>

              • Waethorn

                27 July, 2017 - 11:14 am

                <blockquote><a href="#153984"><em>In reply to skane2600:</em></a></blockquote><p>How is Russia adversarial? Please tell us what the Clinton campaign could not.</p>

                • skane2600

                  27 July, 2017 - 3:20 pm

                  <blockquote><a href="#153987"><em>In reply to Waethorn:</em></a></blockquote><p>You seem to have an agenda that has nothing to do with the subject. Do the Clintons have an anti-virus program I'm not aware of? If not, I don't see the relevance to this discussion.</p>

                • Waethorn

                  27 July, 2017 - 7:03 pm

                  <blockquote><a href="#154103"><em>In reply to skane2600:</em></a></blockquote><p>Neither does the Russian government.</p>

                • skane2600

                  27 July, 2017 - 8:17 pm

                  <blockquote><a href="#154483"><em>In reply to Waethorn:</em></a></blockquote><p>Of course not, they are more in the pro-virus category.</p>

                • Waethorn

                  01 August, 2017 - 11:35 am

                  <blockquote><a href="#154511"><em>In reply to skane2600:</em></a></blockquote><p>Where is the smoking gun?</p>

            • bluvg

              28 July, 2017 - 12:59 am

              <blockquote><a href="#153950"><em>In reply to Waethorn:</em></a></blockquote><p>KGB =/= security software company. Quite different things.</p>

              • Waethorn

                01 August, 2017 - 11:34 am

                <blockquote><a href="#154584"><em>In reply to bluvg:</em></a></blockquote><p>The same could be said about Norton, but I digress.</p>

  • Gary Dexter

    26 July, 2017 - 10:51 am

    <p>You forgot to mention the most important part..</p><p><br></p><p>"<span style="color: rgb(43, 45, 50);">The company says the software isn't riddled with advertisements like other free antivirus offerings. Instead of trying to make ad money off your patronage, Kaspersky will use the data you contribute to improve machine learning across its products"</span></p>

  • Martin Pelletier

    Premium Member
    26 July, 2017 - 11:21 am

    <p>BitDefender has one too</p>

  • DaveHelps

    Premium Member
    26 July, 2017 - 11:21 am

    <p>I wonder if or how the paid product will fall back to the free product should the user allow their license to expire?</p><p><br></p><p>And moreover, whether it will do so in a way that harms consumers by not informing them about other free products they can use…&lt;/snark&gt; :)</p>

  • rth314

    Premium Member
    26 July, 2017 - 11:38 am

    <p>Seems like it would have been reasonable to mention that the U.S. government has warned citizens against using products made by Kaspersky Labs, and has banned their products on U.S. government computers. And to find out that Michael Flynn received $11,250 from Kaspersky makes me pause before accepting "free" products from this cast of characters.</p>

  • SRLRacing

    26 July, 2017 - 11:54 am

    <p>Russiaphobia aside. I have never trusted Kaspersky. Back in the XP days, I used to find malware, Trojans, and viruses all the time that were identified as being from them. I would not put any of their products anywhere nears my information.</p>

  • mruszczyk

    26 July, 2017 - 12:41 pm

    <p>If I feel the need to install a home AV for users I support I tend towards the free offering from Sophos. https://home.sophos.com/ It's not ad ridden and doesn't compete with a consumer level offering from the same provider so they are not trying to upsell anything.</p>

  • George Rae

    26 July, 2017 - 1:24 pm

    <p>I'm sure this marketing move isn't related to the GSA dropping them as a vendor and other issues surrounding them. Google <span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">Kaspersky</span> and <span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">siloviki</span> plenty of stories going back to 2012 about this. <span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);"> </span></p>

  • John Scott

    27 July, 2017 - 10:41 am

    <p>Lot of poor countries have users running Windows XP yet, or Windows 7. Probably don't spend money on security. I used to be a solid AVG user but Defender in Windows 10 has done Ok for me. Malwarebytes is a good backup scanner. </p>

  • oao

    27 July, 2017 - 3:32 pm

    <p>Aside from the connection to Russian intelligence, I tried to install their products and they give you no control over where you want them installed. I never allow this for any software — it reflects disrespect for the user and cannot be trusted.</p><p><br></p><p><br></p>

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