Having the best antivirus software on your computer or phone is a must in the world today. New forms of hacking are developing all the time, and we are spending more and more time on the internet.
So, we need quality data protection more than ever before. Which antivirus software should you install? This can be a difficult decision, as there are so many free and paid versions available.
Avast has well over 420 million users worldwide and is easily the most popular antivirus software out there today. Kaspersky is not far behind with around 400 million active users and is often put up against well-known Avast.
We have put together a comparison of these two leading antivirus options to see who outperforms the other.
Through doing this, we unpacked some of the main features of each product. This includes:
- The various free and paid versions of each software
- Malware protection
- Free virus protection comparison
- Performance/system speed
- Internet Security
- Ease of use
How can you decide on which product to install? And which brand offers the best array of features in their products? Follow our complete comparison and review to find out which antivirus option came out on top.
Overview of Avast vs Kaspersky
Avast is an antivirus company that is easily the most popular and well-known on the market.
It offers a basic free version and three different paid versions that are more advanced. It’s compatible with both Windows and Mac.
Below is a brief overview of the different versions of Avast that are available:
Avast Free Antivirus
Basic antivirus software to offer simple coverage. Avast Free Antivirus doesn’t cost anything, but it does lack advanced security features.
Avast Internet Security
The first upgrade in Avast antivirus is Avast Internet Security. This version offers more advanced data protection. Some useful features here include:
- An email filter to block spam and malicious emails
- A two-way firewall for constant malware protection
- A “real site” feature that takes you only to the correct site, avoiding any potential fake DNS routing
- A feature called “Sandbox Mode” to securely open any suspicious files or apps
Avast Premier takes the Internet Security option to the next level. This version keeps all the same features as before, but it also includes:
- Automatic software updates
- An anti-spying webcam protection tool
- A feature that can shred any sensitive files to the point where they cant get recovered
This is the most premium offering from Avast, and it includes all the security features that the company has to offer. Beyond what we have already covered, Avast premium offers:
- An Avast Cleanup feature that helps to improve the performance of your computer by removing any unnecessary files
- A VPN feature. This allows you to safely browse over different wifi networks with total anonymity. You can also access any sites that may be blocked due to geographic restrictions
Avast Security for Mac
If you use Apple, you can also utilize Avast through this antivirus option specially designed for Macs. As is the case with PC products, the Mac antivirus software is available in a free and paid version.
The free version offers a basic set of security features. The paid version upgrades this with:
- A vulnerability scanner
- More comprehensive ransomware attack protection
- A tool that alerts you on wifi intruders
Kaspersky also offers various antivirus solutions. This company has a free version, which offers basic security and malware protection, as well as four different paid versions for more advanced security. We have outlined the different features of each version below:
The free antivirus software from Kaspersky. This offering provides a basic set of antivirus security features and malware protection. This is only available for Windows. This is their most popular version, and certainly one of the best free antivirus programs available.
This is the first paid version from Kaspersky. It offers an advanced level of security that can protect your system against pretty much any type of threat. Kaspersky Anti-Virus has the following features:
- A vulnerability scanner that checks any areas that might leave your system open to attack
- A silent mode feature for you to not get any distractions while gaming or watching media
- Multi-layered ransomware protection
Kaspersky Internet Security
This version takes the software to a more advanced level. You still get all of the quality security but with the addition of these extra features:
- Two-way firewall feature
- An email filter for blocking spam and malicious mail
- A hardened browser feature that offers advanced financial protection for any online transactions
- A VPN feature (with limited use)
- A feature to block webcam spying
- Available for Windows, Mac, and smartphones
Kaspersky Total Security
This gives you all of the security features mentioned above, as well as adding:
- A very useful password manager
- A file encryption feature
- A parental control features
- An effective file shredding feature for sensitive files
Kaspersky Security Cloud
The Kaspersky security cloud is an antivirus option that includes every security feature listed above. This version also offers a more personalized user experience through its adaptive technology. It allows you to choose between family and personal versions to suit your needs.
Avast vs Kaspersky Features
Avast Free Antivirus includes a great malware scanner that offers real-time anti-malware protection. This feature is built around the world’s largest threat detection network in order to detect, remove, and block any malware attacks.
It will automatically update with the latest anti-malware versions in order to stay up to date with the latest malware trends. It also helps to detect any suspicious activity in browser add-ons, outdated software, and any type of browser threat. It’s hard to find fault in Avast’s malware protection.
Kaspersky also offers advanced malware protection through its automatic threat scanner that constantly scans your computer. If any malware is detected, Kaspersky will remove it.
The software will also help to block any potential malware attacks. Kaspersky keeps its malware protection up to date to make sure that your device is always secure. This can also be utilized by Android and iOS smartphones.
So, which product comes out on top?
Both Avast and Kaspersky offer complete malware security, so it is difficult to find a clear winner. However, some may prefer Avast thanks to the efficient updates and browser protection.
Free Virus Protection
In order to do an Avast vs Kaspersky comparison, we are going to focus on the free offering from each company. Free virus protection is what most users are after for basic security, and these are the most popular options.
Avast Free Antivirus offers core protection capabilities with its powerful anti-malware protection. Some features you get in the free antivirus offering include good anti-phishing protection, an effective ransomware shield, a network security scanner, and email and web threat detection. For a free software version, you get a wide protection range from Avast.
In terms of its core capabilities, Kaspersky also ranks really well for its free virus protection offering. As already mentioned above, the malware-detection function is excellent.
You also get a limited VPN and password manager as additional features. The free version does not offer phishing protection without accepting their data sharing agreement (which shares a great deal of your data). You also don’t get safe payment and privacy protection, something reserved for the paid options.
Both brands have a good free virus protection offering, but they do differ in terms of the features that you get.
Overall, Avast seems to rank best in their free version as you get a more well-rounded security offering. However, the VPN (although it is limited), is a nice touch from Kaspersky.
Kaspersky offers a VPN secure connection to provide total online privacy. This VPN allows you to access global content wherever you are.
It also enhances your browsing speed and can stop hackers from accessing your data online. This is a powerful VPN tool that can run on up to five devices at the same time.
The Kaspersky VPN is available as a subscription product, but it is also included, to a limited extent, in their antivirus products.
Avast has a SecureLine VPN option to easily encrypt your internet connection. This VPN also offers privacy, a safer connection, access to global content, and fast browsing. The Avast VPN service is available as a free trial (for seven days) or as a subscription product.
While both Kaspersky and Avast offer a great VPN product, the best has to go to Kaspersky. Although it is limited, having a VPN included in your free antivirus software is a great bonus feature.
Your virus protection software should obviously keep your system safe, but it should also allow it to work at an optimal speed. The product should limit the number of resources it uses to run in order to keep your computer from experiencing any delays.
With this in mind, we have done an Avast vs Kaspersky system performance comparison.
To perform a solid analysis of system performance, the following categories should be considered:
- Will your computer slow down when busy websites are accessed?
- Download speeds
- Launching speed of applications
- Installation speed of applications
- Speed of file copying and transferring
With each of these considerations in mind, Kaspersky seems to slightly (and only slightly) outperform Avast.
However, there is another feature to take into consideration.
Avast offers a Cleanup Premium feature to boost the performance of your system. This can be used to increase the speed of your system, and get rid of any junk files.
For enhanced system performance, Avast also offers a Battery Saver to get the most out of your system’s battery life, as well as a driver updater for automatic updates. These are some useful performance features that Kaspersky does not meet.
Avast has an efficient private browser feature. It will help to enhance your browsing speed while keeping you secure online.
The Avast Secure Browser automatically blocks any ads, which increase website speed. Otherwise, it can also just hide very intrusive ads.
There are also advanced security features integrated into the secure browser to allow your data online to be kept safer. This can stop hackers from stealing your information, force websites to use encryption, and block malicious sites.
Then there is also your personal data that the Avast internet security keeps safe. It helps to prevent third parties from tracking you, it prevents websites from identifying you, and it monitors your passwords and login information. When all of these features are combined, your time online becomes significantly safer.
Kaspersky offers internet security that will also enhance your browsing experience. This can work on a Mac, PC, or mobile device.
Firstly, the software blocks viruses, CryptoLockers, and attacks. Internet security helps to stop online trackers from accessing your information. It also uses advanced encryption to make online transactions much safer.
Some other benefits include the protection of your webcam (unauthorized access is automatically blocked), a child safety feature for browsing, and a password manager/login protection.
Clearly, both Avast and Kaspersky take their internet and browsing security seriously. Avast does help to enhance browsing speed which is a bonus, while Kaspersky has that VPN we mentioned earlier. It’s a difficult category to hand over to a winner, but we would have to recommend Avast in terms of its browsing security.
Ease of Use
The user interface is another consideration for good antivirus software. It should be effortless to use and manage. Let’s consider the different Avast vs Kaspersky interface options.
Avast has an organized and informative interface. It’s very simple, with big buttons, clear statistics, and easy navigation.
You really don’t have to think much when using this software. The free version, however, has loads of ads popping up which can be very annoying. We don’t recommend this.
Kaspersky is much the same when it comes to a user-friendly interface. When you open Kaspersky, all of the different options and security features are simply laid out and easy to access. There is the possibility for customization here which is always a bonus for a program like this.
Antivirus software should be easy to use, and both of these options are.
Kaspersky takes the lead here though, thanks to its personalization opportunities and lack of unwanted ads. Kaspersky is a very intuitive, simple to use product.
You could have the greatest software available, but if the price is not right then nobody will be interested in using it. This is an important feature of antivirus software, particularly because there are so many good free options available.
We have already discussed the different free options offered by Avast vs Kaspersky, so now we can take a look at the paid options.
In terms of affordability, Avast takes the win. You get excellent value for money with their products. Not only are their products slightly cheaper, but you also generally get more value out of each one.
Our Avast vs Kaspersky comparison has covered a great deal of information and different features.
Both of these companies have a number of different product options, and each of these products has a unique list of features. Due to this, it can be tricky to make direct comparisons.
Without a doubt, the most important aspect of this Avast vs Kaspersky review is based on security. Antivirus software needs to keep your device safe from all kinds of possible threats, and having a secure system is the most important takeaway from your provider.
Security covers everything from malware protection to secure browsing, free antivirus offers, ransomware protection, webcam protection, and anything else that will help to prevent viruses and malicious attacks.
With all features considered, we would rank Avast as the better option for security measures.
You get secure browsing, then you get privacy and data protection. Privacy is an increasingly important concern for internet users since there is so much data being shared online, something that can have significant effects.
The software privacy features include things like their VPN offering, password protection, data protection online, child-safe browsing, and anti-tracking features.
This is a tricky category to award, as both options have some excellent offerings. We have chosen Kaspersky as the top choice though, thanks to its VPN and number of greater privacy features.
The way that the software performs is the next consideration. A great product needs to work well, but it should also be convenient for the user.
Performance includes anything that can affect the way your computer runs when using the software. Will it slow down your system? Is the software easy to use? Are there performance-enhancing features? Do you get good value for money?
Kaspersky may have a faster-operating speed, but Avast offers more performance-enhancing features. It is also better value for money.
The Avast vs Kaspersky comparison has been a tricky one, as both software options offer many powerful and unique features.
The choice usually depends on the type of use you are interested in. You could be looking for great free antivirus software, an advanced security option, a good VPN, or a performance-enhancing program. With each of these, different options may apply.
With all considerations in place, we would have to rank Avast as the overall top choice though.
Avast has a wide range of features that will help to enhance security and system performance. Avast remains a more popular option and offers great value. If you are looking for a new antivirus provider, then be sure to check out what Avast has to offer.
Mike Hostetler is an Entrepreneur & Technologist currently working to help technical teams grow and thrive. Mike formerly founded appendTo, a boutique consultancy born out of the jQuery project. He is an active OSS supporter and currently serves as CEO & Publisher of ModernWeb.com. Mike is passionate about Remote Work, the Future of Work, Leadership and helping others succeed.