10 Things You Need to Know about Kaspersky Free Antivirus
Article by George Norman
On 26 Jul 2017
Top-notch real-time protection against viruses doesn’t have to cost money, not if you go with the recently introduced Kaspersky Free antivirus solution. It may not come with a lot of bells and whistles, but it nicely covers all the basics and it’s definitely a heck of a lot better than the built-in Windows Defender – at least that’s what Eugene Kaspersky says, and he’s not saying that just because he has a bone to pick with Microsoft. Is... he?

If you want to jump right in and give Kaspersky Free a try, then by all means go and get the free antivirus. Before you do, perhaps you’d like to learn more about this new product. Listed below are the 10 most important things I believe you should know about the new Kaspersky Free antivirus application.


1. The system requirements are very low and the setup is straightforward

Kaspersky Free’s system requirements are so low that even an older and less powerful computer will easily meet them. Here, take a look for yourself:
  • CPU – 1GHZ processor or better.
  • RAM – at least 1GB for 32-bit systems, 2GB or more for 64-bit systems.
  • HDD – 800MB of free storage space.
  • OS – 32- or 64-bit Windows edition, any version from Windows XP up to Windows 10.
Since I’m sure to that your PC will have no problems meeting these requirements, let’s focus on a few other things you need to know about.

Kaspersky Free will be downloaded during the installation process, and the download is close to 150MB in size.

The setup wizard will look for incompatible software during the installation. If it finds anything, it will tell you what incompatible software it found and it will offer to remove it. To continue the Kaspersky Free installation once the incompatible software has been removed, you might have to restart your computer.

So to recap, the system requirements are so low that you don’t even need to worry about them. And thanks to a straightforward setup wizard, you’ll be able to quickly and easily install Kaspersky Free on your Windows computer.

2. You’ll also get a browser extension and a VPN

Kaspersky Free’s setup wizard doesn’t install the free antivirus solution and just the free antivirus solution. No, it also install a couple of extras: the Kaspersky Protection browser extension and the Kaspersky Secure Connection VPN application.

"Kaspersky Protection’s main point is to prevent your passwords, credit card numbers and other personal data from leakage," explained Kaspersky Lab’s Olga Fedorova. "With the help of this extension our security solutions check every link on the active browser tab. If there are dangerous links among them, Kaspersky Protection will mark it with a red icon, while all secure links are marked with green icons.”

Kaspersky Secure Connection is a VPN application and if you know anything about VPNs then you know that they encrypt your connection to the web, hide your real IP address, and spoof your location. The Free version offers 200MB of free traffic per day (meaning that you could get 6GB per month) and it automatically connects to a VPN server (meaning that you can’t connect to a specific server).

If you don’t like (or don’t need) the Kaspersky Protection extension, you can easily remove it. And if you don’t want to use Kaspersky Secure Connection, you can easily uninstall it. I recommend GeekUninstaller for all your software removal needs.

3. You don’t really need a My Kaspersky account

On first run, Kaspersky Free will invite you to register for a My Kaspersky account or sign into you account if you already have one. If you want to register for an account, then that’s great. If you don’t want to register for an account, you don’t really have to. Kaspersky Free works even if you don’t register/sign into your account.

Kaspersky Secure Connection might ask you to register for an account as well. Once again, you don’t really need to do that unless you want to. The VPN will work even if you don’t register/sign into your My Kaspersky account.

4. Real-time antivirus protection for your PC

Kaspersky Free launches at startup by default and protects your system while it’s up and running. Or to put it in other words, Kaspersky Free offers real-time protection as you go about your day and browse the web, watch the most popular YouTube videos of all time, read the latest news, and so on.

If you open the Settings menu and go to Protection, you’ll get a closer look at what Kaspersky Free does to keep you safe.

While Kaspersky Free is up and running, it protects against files that might be infected with a virus, it prevents dangerous scripts from running, it checks instant messages for phishing or malicious links, and it scans incoming/outgoing email messages for dangerous objects.

5. You can run several types of scans, on-demand or automatically

If you want to run and on-demand scan and make sure that everything is fine, then you’ll be glad to know that Kaspersky Free lets you run several types of scans. A Full Scan will check your entire computer, but it might take a bit of time to complete. A Quick Scan will only take a moment, but it will only check the objects that run at startup. The Selective Scan option lets you scan individual items and the External Device Scan lets you check any external device that is connected to your PC.

Because a Full Scan might take a long time to complete, Kaspersky Free offers to automatically shut down the computer when it’s done.

Kaspersky Free can automatically run scans as well. By using the built-in scheduler you can set it so that Kaspersky Free will run a Full or a Quick Scan every weekday, every weekend, weekly, or monthly.

So if you schedule scans to run automatically, do you need to pay Kaspersky Free any attention? After all, it can automatically update itself, it can automatically select an action when it detects a threat, and it automatically launches at startup and offers real-time protection against viruses.

6. Prevent unauthorized access to Kaspersky Free

Perhaps you share your Windows computer with someone else and you don’t want that someone messing around with Kaspersky Free’s settings. If that is the case, then you’ll be glad to know that access to the free antivirus can be password protected from the Settings menu, as seen in the image below.

By setting up a password you can prevent unauthorized access to Kaspersky Free’s settings and you can ensure that you and you alone can quit or remove Kaspersky Free.

7. Pause antivirus protection and schedule pauses

Right click Kaspersky Free’s tray icon and select "Pause protection." This will bring up a menu that lets you pause protection for up to 5 hours, pause protection until application restart, or simply pause the protection right then and there.

And if you go to Options -> Performance you can pause protection based on a schedule.

8. You can actually exit the application

One of the things that bothers me the most about modern security solutions is that they don’t let you exit the application. They let you pause the protection, but they don’t let you actually exit the application – not unless you go and force them to close from the Task Manager.

Kaspersky Free isn’t like that. And if you want to close it, you need only right click its tray icon and select Exit.

Left clicking the tray icon will bring up Kaspersky Free’s interface, obviously.

9. A Kaspersky Free license is valid for 1 year

Take a look in the lower right hand corner and you’ll see that Kaspersky Free isn’t free forever. Once you install it on your Windows PC, it’s license will kick in and you have 1 year until it expires.

What will happen once the license expires? I honestly don’t know. Perhaps by then you’ll upgrade to the paid Kaspersky Internet Security. Click on a feature that isn’t available and you will be asked if you want to activate it by upgrading Kaspersky Internet Security.

Let me just remind you that a 1 year and 1 device Kaspersky Internet Security license is $59.95.

10. It’s being rolled out globally as we speak

Kaspersky Lab released this free antivirus in Russia, China, Ukraine and the Nordic countries a year ago. On July 25, Kaspersky Lab officially released Kaspersky Free and started rolling it out globally.

"The roll-out won’t be fully global instantaneously; it’s going to be done over four months in waves as per different regions," explained Eugene Kaspersky. "The first wave will be the U.S.A., Canada, and many of the Asia Pacific countries. September: India, Hong Kong, Middle East, Africa, Turkey and Latin America. October: Europe, Japan and South Korea. November: Vietnam and Thailand. And that, I do believe, will be it – the whole planet covered."

You don’t have to wait to give Kaspersky Free a try. Download the global English version right now, right here on FindMySoft.

20th anniversary or Microsoft squabble?

If you’re familiar with Kaspersky Lab’s free products, then you know that the best you can hope for is an antivirus scanner, not an actual antivirus solution that offers real-time protection. Until now that is! Now that Kaspersky Free has been released, any Windows users who doesn’t (or can’t) spend money on an antivirus can get this free one from Kaspersky Lab.

Which brings up the obvious question: Why? Why is Kaspersky Lab offering this tool right now? You might say that it’s because Kaspersky Lab is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, and you might be right. This might indeed have something to do with the company’s turning 20. But my money is on the fact that Kaspersky Lab is in an antitrust squabble with Microsoft.

Kaspersky Lab is accusing Microsoft that it’s using its position to promote Windows Defender. So the way I see it, this is Eugene Kaspersky’s way of giving Microsoft the finger. He’s already called Windows Defender an inferior product, now he’s offering a free antivirus to all the Windows users who don’t want to rely on Microsoft’s Windows Defender.

But then again I might be wrong and it might actually have something to do with Kaspersky Lab's 20th.

Tags: Kaspersky Lab, Kaspersky Free, antivirus, security, Microsoft, Windows, Eugene Kaspersky
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
You can follow him on Google+, Facebook or Twitter

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