Now, with the invasion of Ukraine, several Russian-based companies have continued to face sanctions that could also affect Kaspersky in the future. With that, there’s a real possibility that your data can get exposed. So to stay protected, you might need a Kaspersky alternative that offers superior security features. I tested over 20 reputable antivirus programs and compiled the 5 best alternatives for Kaspersky. Norton is the best alternative, offering more robust features, which you can try risk-free for 60 days. Stay safe online with Norton

Quick Guide: Best Kaspersky Alternatives in 2023

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Why Do I Need an Alternative to Kaspersky?

Kaspersky antivirus provides near-perfect malware detection scores, strong antivirus protection, and other security features. However, beyond its impressive performance and features, there are privacy concerns associated with using the software. According to Russian law, Russian companies like Kaspersky have legal obligations to assist the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), which could mean personal information ending up in the hands of the intelligence service. Moreso, since the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, authorities around the world have advised against using said antivirus due to security concerns. Both the US FCC (Federal Communications Commission) and the UK NCSC (National Cyber Security Center) have warned against using Kaspersky, for example. They cite national security risks and the possible influence of Russian intelligence, which forbids us from recommending it. I compiled the best antivirus programs with strong privacy and security features, so you don’t have to go for an inferior product when replacing Kaspersky.

The Best Alternatives for Kaspersky — Fully Tested in January 2023

1. Norton — Powerful Antivirus With Perfect Malware Detection Rates

Key Features: Norton proves to be the overall best alternative for Kaspersky. You get comprehensive protection against known and emerging threats with Norton’s robust anti-malware engine. In addition, Norton offers real-time protection, so you don’t get caught unawares by threats. During my tests, Norton detected 100% of known threats, whereas Kaspersky fell behind, catching 99.7% of threats. Like Kaspersky, you get multiple scanning options on the Norton app, but with faster scan times. I ran a Quick Scan of the critical areas of my system in just 2 minutes. Norton’s powerful SONAR system uses machine learning and heuristic analysis to detect and block suspicious programs and files. Once a malicious file is detected, Norton immediately moves it to the quarantine zone. You can take further action by deleting the files. Norton presents many extra security features, which include:

Smart Firewall — blocks unauthorized incoming and outgoing traffic on your computer Safe Web & Safe Search — Protects against phishing and malicious sites Secure VPN — Surf the web securely using a secure private tunnel and stream home content when traveling Cloud Backup — Encrypted storage from 2GB to 500GB to backup sensitive files and documents Password Manager — Store and use all your passwords from an encrypted vault Parents Control — Protects your children from accessing inappropriate sites Device Optimization — Clear junk files and make your device run faster Dark Web Monitoring — Checks the dark web for compromised logins found in a data breach

One feature that stood out for me was Norton’s cloud backup. It allowed me to schedule backups for important folders and files on my system. Unlike Kaspersky, which offers only 2GB of cloud storage, Norton offers up to 50GB of storage on its top-tier plan (and up to 500GB on US plans). I also like Norton’s parental controls app. It allowed me to remotely limit screen time, block specific websites, filter content in search engines, and even completely lock the device on my daughter’s phone. Compared to Kaspersky, I found Norton very easy to install on all my devices. It’s compatible with popular operating systems like Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. It took a few minutes to install Norton on my Windows PC. The Mac app is equally user-friendly, with all the features neatly arranged to make navigation simple. Norton offers 5 different pricing plans and an additional 3 Lifelock plans for users in the US:

Norton Antivirus Plus — covers only 1 device but compensates for this with its support for all platforms, a firewall, online threat protection, a password manager, and 2GB of cloud storage. Norton 360 Standard — Covers 3 devices and offers all the Plus plan features, webcam protection, VPN, and 10GB cloud storage. Norton 360 Deluxe — Supports 5 devices and all the features in the 360 Standard plan, plus a privacy monitor, parental control, dark web monitoring, and 50GB cloud storage. Norton 360 Select (for US customers only) — Has all the Deluxe plan features, offers 250GB cloud storage, covers 10 devices, stolen wallet protection, identity restoration, credit monitoring, and ID verification monitoring.

Norton’s plans come with a 60-day money-back guarantee, whereas Kaspersky’s only offers a 30-day guarantee. In my view, the Norton 360 Deluxe plan provides the best value for money as it supports 5 devices and many antivirus security features. Evidently, Norton proves a better alternative to Kaspersky, considering its powerful anti-malware engine and extra security features. You can try Norton risk-free for 60 days using the generous money-back guarantee. Norton’s subscription plans start at $19.99 and include features such as VPN, firewall, password manager, and cloud storage. Get protected with Norton

2. McAfee — Blocks Sophisticated Malware Threats Using Artificial Intelligence

Key Features: McAfee is another excellent alternative to Kaspersky. It provides an antivirus program that consistently detects malware like viruses, trojans, worms, and ransomware. Like Norton, McAfee also offers perfect malware detection scores and protects against zero-day threats. McAfee offers fewer scanning options than Kaspersky, but its advanced Global Threat Intelligence system allows McAfee to block sophisticated threats and score higher rates. This cloud-based software examines known malware and viruses to predict the characteristics of novel cyber threats. Consequently, this feature is integrated into McAfee’s Ransomware Guard, which monitors your device for suspicious file changes. McAfee offers a variety of security features, which include:

Firewall — stops all network intrusion attacks on your computer Wi-Fi protection — protects you from hackers on public networks Anti-phishing protection — blocks malicious sites and phishing links Performance optimization — Remove junk files and make your computer faster VPN — Browse your favorite sites safely using a secure tunnel Parental controls — Monitor your child’s activities on all their devices Password Manager — Store all your logins in an encrypted vault File shredder — Permanently delete sensitive files from your device

I like how powerful and highly customizable McAfee’s firewall is, making it superior to the Windows Defender Firewall and better than the chunky firewall interface of Kaspersky. However, what captivates me the most about McAfee is its anti-phishing protection and file shredder features. The anti-phishing protector (WebAdvisor) blocks phishing sites, exploits attacks, and even provides ratings for some websites. The file shredder writes over your deleted sensitive data so they cannot be restored, which is useful if you want to sell your device or gift it to someone without the fear that some of your sensitive files could be restored. McAfee offers 4 pricing plans as follows:

Basic — Offers robust antivirus engine but works on only 1 device. Includes extra features like antivirus, VPN, identity monitoring, password manager, firewall, file encryption, web protection, and file shredder Plus — Includes all the features of the Basic plan but covers 5 devices and offers 5 VPN licenses Premium — Offers all the features of the Plus plan, supports unlimited devices, and offers a personal data cleanup feature Advanced — Has all the features of the Premium plan, including Lost wallet protection, credit monitoring, and $1M ID theft coverage & restoration

You can try McAfee risk-free using the 30-day money-back guarantee with the pricing plans starting at just $29.99. The Plus plan offers great value for me, considering that it offers robust protection for up to 5 devices. The strong antivirus scanner, anti-phishing protection, and other security features make McAfee a good alternative to Kaspersky antivirus. Stay safe online with McAfee

3. TotalAV — Offers Multiple Malware Detection Methods

Key Features: TotalAV is one of the best Kaspersky alternatives out there. Like Norton and McAfee, TotalAV offers a robust antivirus engine that prevents malware threats. The antivirus even offers a free malware scanner, but it only provides basic protection and lacks real-time protection. During my tests, I was impressed by TotalAV’s SAVAPI anti-malware engine, which uses multiple virus detection methods (cloud-based scanner, artificial intelligence, and endpoint security) to protect your devices in real time. TotalAV provides multiple scanning options similar to Kaspersky, but I like that TotalAV’s Smart Scan doesn’t just detect malware. It also fixes performance issues. Once I ran the Smart scan, Total AV removed all the malware samples on my device and junk files, tracking cookies, and duplicate files, thereby optimizing my PC. In addition to antivirus protection, TotalAV provides extra security features.

WebShield — blocks phishing scams and ads on popular browsers like Chrome, Edge, Firefox, and Opera System Tune-up — Optimize your device by removing junk files from your computer Password Vault — Store your login credentials in a secure vault and use it on Chrome, Firefox, and Edge Safe Browsing VPN — Browse safely and access your home content when traveling Data Breach Test — Check if you’ve been a victim of online identity theft

TotalAV’s apps are intuitive and easy to use. It took only a few minutes to set it up and run my first scan. There are apps for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS devices. With the app being easy to navigate on all devices, TotalAV is a solid choice for users new to antivirus software. Plus, TotalAV also offers customization options for more advanced users. TotalAV offers 3 premium plans:

Antivirus Pro — Offers antivirus, real-time protection, phishing protection device optimization, and ransomware protection for 3 devices. Internet Security — Provides all the Antivirus Pro features plus a VPN and covers 5 devices. Total Security — Includes all the Internet Security features, plus ad blocker and password vault for 6 devices.

Although every TotalAV offers a robust antivirus engine, the Total Security plan provides the best value. It offers an ad blocker, unlimited VPN, and a password manager. You can try TotalAV’s Total Security plan risk-free using the 30-day money-back guarantee. TotalAV’s plans start at $29.00, and you’ll get many discounts for the AV, which you wouldn’t get with Kaspersky. Get protected with TotalAV

4. iolo — Speed Up Your Computer With a Wide Range of Optimization Tools

Key Features: iolo is a good alternative for Kaspersky, especially with its numerous system optimization features. The antivirus offers a capable anti-malware engine, as it detected and removed all EICAR malware samples I planted on my test machine. This includes spyware, adware, and other malware types. iolo offers 2 malware scanners in its System Mechanic Pro plan — Quick and Deep scan. The deep scan checked all areas of my computer in 20 minutes. Kaspersky’s scan is much faster, but iolo didn’t flag any legitimate files wrongly, so I wouldn’t have to spend much time sorting through quarantined files. In addition to malware protection, iolo offers many excellent system tune-up tools

PC Cleanup — Removes Junk Files and Apps Quickly Startup Optimizer — Noticeably Improves PC Boot-Time Speed Up — Tools Designed to Improve How Quickly Your PC Operates Drive Scrubber — Removes All Items, Files, and Apps From Drives Search and Recover — Restores Deleted Files to Your PC Password Manager — Encrypts and Secures Passwords With ByePass Privacy Guardian — Stops websites and data services from profiling you through your browsing activity

Most of iolo’s features are geared towards making your computer optimized and faster. For instance, the PowerSense feature redistributes CPU allocation when executing a high-impact activity like gaming. I was particularly impressed by the Memory Mechanic feature, which took seconds to run and recovered almost 1.5GB of RAM. iolo offers multiple products for optimization and malware protection.

Malware Killer — Removes known and novel malware threats, but lacks extra features System Shield AntiVirus and AntiSpyware — Basic anti-malware and antispyware service System Mechanic — PC Speed Up and Cleanup tools, but lacks antivirus protection System Mechanic Pro — Offers real-time malware protection, PC Cleanup and Speed Up tools, Drive Scrubber, and Search and Recover features System Mechanic Ultimate Defense — Offers all the System Mechanic Pro features plus Malware Killer, Privacy Guardian, and a password manager.

iolo’s products are simple and easy to use but are only available for PC users. You can try any iolo product risk-free using the 30-day money-back guarantee. All of iolo’s plans are reasonably priced, and you can get them for as low as $19.99. But you’ll get the best malware protection and PC optimization value on the System Mechanic Ultimate Defense plan. Get protected with iolo

5. Bitdefender — Offers Numerous Security Features Across All Plans

Key Features: Bitdefender offers an excellent alternative to Kaspersky due to its robust features and budget-friendly pricing. The antivirus protects you from all malware threats, including viruses, spyware, trojans, rootkits, and ransomware. During my tests, Bitdefender detected 100% of the malware samples I planted on my test machine. Like Norton, Bitdefender offers multiple scan options. The Quick scan took about 7 minutes to check over 10,000 files, which is much slower than Kaspersky’s scan time. However, Bitdefender had a low impact on my system compared to Kaspersky. Bitdefender’s lightweight antivirus engine is powered by its cloud-based scanner and Advance Threat Detection system that uses behavior-learning abilities to detect suspicious files. Bitdefender comes with additional features such as:

VPN — Access the web safely using a secure tunnel and stream your home content File shredder — Permanently delete sensitive files from your computer Webcam and audio protection — Alerts You When Apps Access Your Camera or Microphone Firewall — Monitor inbound and outbound traffic on your device and filter malicious connections Anti-spam — Blocks spam and filters junk mail on Outlook or Thunderbird Password manager — Store your logins in a secure vault and autofill them on websites Parental controls — Monitor your child’s internet activity remotely Safepay — Bank and shop with an extra layer of security OneClick Optimizer — Remove junk files from your system and speed up your computer

You can quickly install Bitdefender’s desktop or mobile apps with just a few clicks. It took less than 5 minutes to download, install, and configure the Bitdefender app. The Windows app features a user-friendly interface that makes navigation easy, like the best AVs for Windows. You even can arrange your dashboard for quick access to your favorite features, such as specific scans, SafePay, and more. Bitdefender offers multiple antivirus plans:

Antivirus Plus (Windows only) — The basic antivirus plan covers 3 to 10 devices, removes malware, offers real-time protection, VPN, password manager, ransomware protection, Safe Pay, anti-tracker, file shredder, anti-spam, and more Internet Security — Has all the Antivirus Plus plan features, plus microphone and webcam protection, parental control, and a firewall Total Security — Compatibility with Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS, offers all the previous features, including OneClick optimizer and anti-theft features Premium Security — Includes every Total Security feature, plus unlimited VPN, and priority support, and covers 10 devices Ultimate Security — This plan offers all the Premium Security features plus Identity theft protection. It also protects 10 devices

All of Bitdefender’s plans are affordable and offer good value for money. However, I prefer the Total Security plan as it offers the most security features at a budget-friendly cost. You can try Bitdefender risk-free using the 30-day free trial or subscribe to the premium plans for as low as $19.99. The robust antivirus engine and many extra features make Bitdefender a better alternative to Kaspersky. Get protected with Bitdefender

Warning! Avoid These 3 Antivirus Brands

You shouldn’t install just any “antivirus” program. Some of the products you may have heard about can cause serious damage to your device, while others can put your privacy at risk. Here are some antivirus brands you should avoid and why you shouldn’t use them. You should instead go for a safer antivirus program. Norton provides excellent malware detection scores for every type of malware, doesn’t collect your personal information, and even has a built-in VPN that provides an additional layer of security.

2. Trend Micro

While Trend Micro can detect different types of malware, it fails to detect some trojans, which are one of the main types of malware. The antivirus can put your computer at risk since it cannot detect or remove trojan files.

3. Lookout Mobile Security

Lookout Mobile security misses a lot of malware during scans and fails to provide comprehensive protection. Worst still, the Lookout Safe Browser is incompatible with VPNs. This prevents you from using an additional layer of security that protects you from hackers.

Quick Comparison Table: 2023’s Best Alternatives for Kaspersky Antivirus

4 Easy Steps: How to Install & Use the Best Antiviruses

How I Tested & Ranked the Top Kaspersky Alternatives in 2023

When looking at the best alternatives for Kaspersky, it’s important to look out for certain key factors. I ensured that I picked the most relevant criteria, which included malware detection rates, extra features, ease of use, and value for money.

Anti-malware protection — I selected antivirus programs that offer robust protection from all types of malware threats. Real-time protection — I chose antiviruses that catch known and emerging threats in real time. Extra Features — I picked antivirus programs that offer extra features like VPN, password manager, system optimization tools, a customizable firewall, and parental controls. Ease of Use — Antivirus programs should be easy to use and support multiple platforms like Windows, Android, macOS, and iOS. Value for money — I chose antivirus programs that are good value for money, offer tons of features, and have money-back guarantees.

Should I use Kaspersky in 2023?

I don’t recommend it. Although Kaspersky provides a competent antivirus program, authorities have warned against using the software over security concerns. Russian companies like Kaspersky are obligated by law to cooperate with Russian Intelligence, which is a privacy concern. For this reason, I can no longer recommend Kaspersky. You should still use an antivirus program due to the ever-increasing malware threats on the internet. Antivirus programs like Norton offer excellent malware detection scores and many extra features. You can try Norton risk-free using the 30-day money-back guarantee.

What’s the best Kaspersky alternative?

Norton is the best alternative for Kaspersky. From my tests, Norton detected 100% of malware threats, much higher than Kaspersky’s rates, and provides many extra security features like VPN, password manager, firewall, cloud backup, and parental controls.

Where is Kaspersky based?

Kaspersky is based in Russia. Since the Ukraine conflict started, US and UK authorities strongly recommend against using the Kaspersky antivirus program over national security concerns. You still need to stay protected from cyber threats with a competent antivirus program. You can do that by downloading one of the best Kaspersky alternatives I’ve recommended above.

Can I use a free Kaspersky antivirus alternative?

Yes, but I usually advise against it. This is because many free antivirus programs like Avast have been caught selling their user’s data to advertisers, some can’t even detect sophisticated malware types, and others are actually malware disguised as antivirus programs. I always recommend a premium alternative as they are much safer and more competent. You don’t have to spend a fortune to get comprehensive protection. For example, Norton offers robust protection and a wide range of security features starting at $19.99. Try Norton 360 risk-free

Get a Robust Antivirus Alternative for Kaspersky

Without antivirus protection, you’re susceptible to malware threats like viruses, trojans, worms, and ransomware, and your computer could be at risk. Kaspersky offers great protection against many types of threats. However, with concerns over Kaspersky’s safety and authorities advising against the antivirus, you shouldn’t take any risks. Instead, take the opportunity to go for an antivirus with better malware detection rates. After thorough research and testing 20+ antivirus programs, I compiled a list of the 5 best alternatives for Kaspersky. These alternative antivirus programs offer excellent malware detection abilities and surpass Kaspersky in features and performance. From my tests, I found that Norton offers the best antivirus program with robust protection, matching Kaspersky in strengths, providing multiple features, and being trusted by authorities worldwide.

In Summary — Best Kaspersky Antivirus Alternatives in 2023