Kaspersky, a renowned security product and service vendor, also offers a VPN (Virtual Private Network). Called “Kaspersky Secure Connection” on desktop and laptops and “Kaspersky Fast Secure VPN” on mobile devices, it represents a staple in their online privacy and security toolset. However, many users don’t even know Kaspersky offers the product at all. Others do but remain reluctant. One of the reasons is that the United States banned the use of Kaspersky software on government agencies’ devices, whether civilian or defense. With that said, let’s begin our Kaspersky VPN review.
Kaspersky VPN Features
The following are key features of Kaspersky VPN:
Base of Operations and Ownership
Kaspersky VPN, owned by Kaspersky Lab, is based in Russia. The company’s products were banned from governmental devices in 2016 by the then United States President, Donald Trump. While the ban persists, it doesn’t extend to regular users. Furthermore, while Russia isn’t a member of the 14-Eyes Alliance, it demands a degree of data retention by law.
Data Logging Policy
Their VPN practices were part of a 2019 independent audit named SOC (Service and Organization) 2 conducted by one of the “Big Four” companies. It found Kaspersky upheld availability, protection, confidentiality, and privacy to the desired standards. However, Kaspersky inadvertently confirms it keeps some data logs. Their Application Usage Agreement reveals they will aid the authorities in discovering your identity if you break their Terms and Conditions. Because Kaspersky VPN rents Hotspot Shield VPN‘s infrastructure, we can conclude they may collect IP address, location, and VPN session duration.
Kaspersky VPN offers 2000+ servers in total, although not all are available on each platform. The number of locations varies constantly but remains above 30 countries. This is primarily because it leases network equipment from Hotspot Shield.
Kaspersky claims to be the World’s Fastest VPN in 2019 and 2020 according to the Kaspersky VPN engine, which uses Hotspot Shield technologies. Here are our results:
- Our country (in Europe): The VPN download speed decreased by 37%.
- United Kingdom: Download speed dropped by 49%.
- United States: VPN download speed loss of 61%.
- Australia: VPN download speed was reduced by 68%.
Data Leak Testing and Concurrent Connections
We ran several tests using websites to check a VPN. We found no IPv4, IPv6, DNS, or WebRTC leaks while using Kaspersky VPN. Furthermore, we established the version of Kaspersky VPN is limited to one connection at a time. In contrast, paid Kaspersky VPN can sustain up to 5 simultaneous connections.
Encryption and Security Protocols
Kaspersky VPN uses the golden industry standard level of encryption 256-bit AES (Advanced Encryption Standard). Moreover, it supports a variety of protocols such as:
- OpenVPN (Android, iOS)
- Catapult Hydra (Windows, macOS) — Hotspot Shield’s proprietary VPN protocol
It does not support WireGuard nor lets you manually choose a protocol unless your application or operating system is outdated.
Additional Features of Kaspersky VPN
We’re continuing our Kaspersky VPN review with several extra features the provider makes available:
Unblocking Streaming Services
We stopped testing whether a service can bypass VPN blocking because geo-blocking exists for a reason. Although we don’t condone that behavior and strongly advise you to respect your country’s laws, we compiled user experiences to give you a consensus:
- The paid version can unblock Netflix US and Hulu.
- Kaspersky VPN cannot circumvent anti-VPN measures employed by Disney+, ESPN+, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime Video.
Kill Switch, Smart Protection, Secure Keyboard Input
This Russian VPN service offers these 3 additional security features.
- VPN Kill Switch. Comes built into the application but can only be activated with a paid license.
- Secure Keyboard Input. Stops keyloggers in their tracks by stopping browsers from detecting input and autofilling information.
- Smart Protection. Because connecting to public Wi-Fi isn’t safe, Kaspersky Secure Connection will automatically block the connection and ensure you’re connected to the VPN first.
Torrenting and Static IP Address
All Kaspersky VPN servers support P2P traffic. Remain rigorous about what you download, though — using it for illegal content will void their Terms and Conditions. You may also benefit from their offer of a static VPN public IP address.
Kaspersky VPN Installation and User Interface
After selecting a plan from a horizontal banner immediately visible on the home page, finish paying for Kaspersky VPN. You’ll see a download button and have an activation code e-mailed to you. After installing on Windows or Mac, enter the code to sign in, and you’ll see a clean white user interface. Settings are placed in a taskbar on the left that collapses and expands. The server location is in the bottom left corner, and you can click the green hexagon with a Kaspersky VPN icon to connect. App for Android and iOS are even simpler, and only have a location selection and an ON/OFF button.
Kaspersky VPN Pricing
Kaspersky VPN offers three pricing tiers:
- Free – You can use VPN for free on one device up to a daily limit of 200 MB. The number of available servers is greatly reduced, however.
- Monthly – $4.99 monthly for up to 5 devices at a time.
- Yearly – $29.99 annually or $2.49 monthly for up to 5 devices simultaneously.
There’s a 30-day money-back guarantee for all countries except the United Kingdom, where the limit is 14 days.
- 2000+ VPN servers in 30+ countries
- Passed a comprehensive independent security audit
- Military-grade protection
- 30-day money return guarantee
- Great VPN speeds, suitable for gaming
- Supports P2P transfer
- Offers 256-bit AES encryption
- Supports OpenVPN, Catapult Hydra, and IKEv2
- Website has FAQ and Community pages suitable for newbies
- Very affordable
- Works in unison with other Kaspersky software
- Has a one-device free VPN for up to 200 MB of data daily
- Based in Russia, a country with some data retention laws
- Customer Support limited to a ticketing system
- Lacks split tunneling and double VPN
- Undisclosed number of servers per country
- Only a 14-day money-back guarantee for UK residents
- Keeps some logs that can identify users
- Doesn’t work in China
- Can’t unblock major streaming services except Netflix and Hulu
While wrapping up our review of Kaspersky VPN, we could only surmise the service is suitable for any regular user. It ticks all the right boxes for general, casual use. However, it’s not fitting for those who require a strict zero-log policy or plan to consume lots of multimedia from streaming platforms. With a 30-day money refund guarantee and a low price for servers Hotspot Shield charges almost four times more for, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Kaspersky VPN Review
Kaspersky VPN is a Russian VPN service for users who don’t require top-of-the-line privacy protection practices, yet require top-notch security. It lacks app support, better Customer Service, and permits for more simultaneous devices.