Kaspersky announced the worldwide rollout of Kaspersky Free, a free limited version of Kaspersky Internet Security, yesterday.
We reviewed the initial version of Kaspersky Free back in 2016 when Kaspersky began to distribute it in selection regions. While the security program was released only in those regions, downloads were not restricted to them.
Kasperksy plans to roll out the free version of the company's security software to a worldwide audience starting this month.
The roll out will happen gradually between July and November 2017, and cover all regions of the world. The first wave includes the United States, Canada and most Asia Pacific countries, the second in September Africa, Latin America and India, the third in October Europe, Japan and South Korea, and the final wave Vietnam and Thailand in November.
Windows users interested in Kaspersky Free can download the product right away on the Kaspersky website. Note that it may not be offered as a localized version right now. This downloads a stub installer which downloads the main package when you run the installer. The package has a size of about 140 Megabytes.
Note: You are prompted during installation about joining the Kaspersky Security Network. You share more data with Kaspersky when you participate, but benefit from better protection as well.
Kaspersky Free Antivirus requires that you create a Kaspersky portal account. Account creation is optional.
The application itself focuses on protecting the computer against malicious software. It comes with file, web, instant messenger and email protection modules, and may be used to scan the system at any time as well.
First thing you may want to do after signing in is to update the database. The main program interface lists scan and database update options only that are active. The other four options -- Safe Money, Privacy Protection, Parental Control and Protection for all devices -- are not available in the free version.
They are displayed to highlight what users get when they upgrade to the paid Internet Security product.
A click on more tools displays additional security modules and tools that are provided. All you get there however is access to the on-screen keyboard, the quarantine, and the cloud protection configuration.
The remaining tools -- Software Cleaner, Trusted Applications mode, Vulnerability scan and more -- are not available in the free version.
A click on scan provides you with options to run a full, quick or selective scan. You may schedule scans so that they run regularly. You cannot schedule a single scan however but only repeated scans.
Kaspersky protects the system against malicious software while it is up and running. The protection uses the same engines that Kaspersky's commercial products use. Independent tests by organizations such as AV Test or AV Comparatives suggest that Kaspersky's protection engine is one of the best in the industry.
As far as options are concerned: you can disable protection modules, e.g. IM Anti-Virus, manage exclusions and performance settings, and more.
One advantage of Kaspersky Free is that it is lighter in terms of resource usage than Kaspersky's commercial products. Kaspersky notes that the free version does not come "with all the usual nonsense" that free antivirus solutions ship with such as "advertising-oriented user-habit tracking and confidentially infringements".
Kaspersky Free is a one of the better free antivirus solutions that are available for Windows.
While it requires registration before you may use it, it seems to be less annoying and privacy invasive than some of the other free solutions that are available for the operating system. (via Deskmodder)
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.