Wednesday, 26 July 2017 14:38

Kaspersky Lab turns 20, gives Kaspersky Free AV as present

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Watch out, AVG, Avast, Microsoft and anyone else with free AV, Kaspersky has launched Kaspersky Free Anti-Virus, but its paid suites still offer many features definitely worth paying for.

Kaspersky Lab has been in the news of late, more over US concerns than for its Internet security prowess, but has taken back the initiative following the company’s 20th birthday with the launch of Kaspersky Free AV.

And, for the time being, Kaspersky Free is only available on Windows.

The news comes via the company’s eponymous founder, Eugene Kaspersky, in an official blog post entitled “KL AV for Free. Secure the Whole World Will Be.”

The great man himself notes that the company has been “working on this release for a good year-and-a-half, with pilot versions in a few regions, research, analysis, tweaks and the rest of it,” and after all of that, Kaspersky and his team have deduced the following:

  • The free antivirus won’t be competing with Kaspersky's paid-for versions.
  • In the paid-for versions there are many extra features, like: Parental Control, Online Payment Protection, and Secure Connection (VPN), which easily justify the ~$50 for premium protection.
  • There are a lot of users who don’t have the ~$50 to spend on premium protection; therefore, they install traditional freebies (which have more holes than Swiss cheese for malware to slip through) or they even rely on Windows Defender (ye gods!).
  • An increase in the number of installations of Kaspersky Free will positively affect the quality of protection of all users, since the big-data-bases will have more numbers to work with to better hone the machine learning.
  • And based on those three deductions, Kaspersky realised they had to do one thing, and fast: roll out a Kaspersky Lab freebie all over the planet!

Kaspersky also noted the free version had been “successfully piloted in the Russia-Ukraine-Belarus region, in China, and also in the Nordic countries (that’s Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland, in case you were wondering).”

So, how successful was this pilot programme?

Kaspersky exclaimed that “successfully” would be an understatement, given that “with practically zero promo activity”, the Kaspersky Free product “was installed several million times, in doing so cranking up our market share considerably".

He notes that a simple increase in market share isn’t the aim, instead “our aim is to raise the overall level of protection on the Internet”, and gives “thanks to all Kaspersky Free users for helping us save the world!”

The product also comes hot on the heels of Kaspersky Lab's 20th birthday, (last month on June 26), with the planet getting Kaspersky’s present.

Also the rollout isn’t global on an immediate basis, will be “done over four months in waves as per different regions. The first wave will be the US, 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".

So if you go to the Kaspersky Free AV AV page, you might not see the free download yet.

With that, and by then, Kaspersky believes that will be “the whole planet covered".

So, what is in Kaspersky Free?

Eugene explains:

  • It’s a version with all the bare essentials: file, email and web antivirus; automatic updates, self-defense; quarantine; and so on.
  • This arsenal ensures convenient and safe Web surfing (is it still surfing? Sounds a bit 90s to me), working with USB sticks and other portable storage media, and protection against both phishing and infected files being run.
  • In short, the indispensable basics that no one on the planet should do without.
  • Kaspersky Free is also lighter on system resources and quicker than its big brothers.
  • It’s based on the same technologies as those older brothers, which you all know always come out on top in independent testing.
  • This means that, though it features just the bare basics, it still packs a punch – "a punch we’re no less proud of".
  • The same protection without compromise: "we detect any cyber threat regardless of its origin or intention – even if certain folks don’t like it".
  • At the same time Kaspersky Free doesn’t come cut with all the usual nonsense like advertising-oriented user-habit tracking and confidentiality infringements – which free AV normally suffers badly from in order to make it financially worthwhile to its manufacturers.

Kaspersky also proudly boasts of several other free Kaspersky utilities you can find here.

 

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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