Kaspersky Secure Connection Review 2022: Before You Buy, Is It Worth It?

What do we look at?

🚀Speed 9.0 / 10
📍Servers 7.0 / 10
👍User Experience 8.0 / 10
📞Support 7.0 / 10
🏷️Pricing 7.0 / 10
Disclosures:
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Kaspersky Secure Connection Overview August 2022

When I read about Kaspersky Secure Connection, I was met with mixed reviews regarding its efficacy. I wanted to see which side of the discussion was right. So, I decided to test it out myself to see if it would fall short of my expectations or exceed them completely.

After extensive testing, I found that Kaspersky has excellent unblocking capabilities. It consistently exceeded my expectations with its fast speeds (on both nearby and distant servers), airtight encryption, and competitive price point.

Kaspersky comes with the industry-standard 30-day money-back guarantee, but requesting a refund isn’t as straightforward as you might think. If you’re looking for a well-rounded VPN, Kaspersky is a good buy, but I recommend you try its free version before purchasing it to see if it’s the right fit for you.

Having said that, Kaspersky does have some limitations, such as a lack of torrenting support and some privacy issues. If you’re looking for a premium VPN that has a large server network, torrenting features, and checks all the boxes concerning privacy and security, there are a few options worth checking out.

Don’t Have Time? Here’s a 1-Minute Summary

Kaspersky Secure Connection Unblocks Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and BBC iPlayer

I was thoroughly impressed by Kaspersky’s unblocking capabilities. While many other VPNs I’ve tested can unblock Netflix, HBO Max, and Hulu, they often run into trouble unblocking Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and BBC iPlayer. I was expecting Kaspersky to have the same problems, but I was wrong. It unblocked every single platform mentioned above and provided a quality streaming experience.

Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and BBC iPlayer: Unblocked

To start testing Kaspersky’s unblocking capabilities, I connected to the US server in New York and was able to access my US Netflix account easily. I streamed The Witcher for 20 minutes straight and experienced no buffering whatsoever. The video quality never dropped from HD either.

Screenshot of Kaspersky Secure Connect unblocking US Netflix

I found Kaspersky Secure Connect easily unblocked Netflix

Most VPNs can unblock Netflix since it’s a globally accessible service, so I wasn’t surprised to access Netflix with Kaspersky. To continue my test, I successfully logged into my account on Hulu and streamed Teen Titans Go in HD. It took a while for the episode to initially load, but, after that, I didn’t experience any buffering.

Screenshot of Kaspersky Secure Connect unblocking Hulu

Kaspersky Secure Connect allowed me to stream Hulu in HD

This was the point when I realized Kaspersky Secure Connect is really good for streaming. To test it further, however, I decided to access my HBO Max account. Most other VPNs I’ve tried before did unblock HBO Max but provided poor streaming quality. I thought Kaspersky would be no different, but I was wrong yet again.

I streamed two episodes of Rick and Morty and didn’t experience any buffering whatsoever.

Screenshot of Kaspersky Secure Connect unblocking HBO Max

You can access HBO Max with Kaspersky easily

Since Kaspersky had excelled so far, I had high expectations when I tried to use it with Amazon Prime Video. Thankfully, it did not disappoint when I decided to log into my Amazon Prime Video account. With Kaspersky, I was able to stream The Wheel of Time in HD without buffering.

There was one instance where my connection to the VPN’s server dropped for some reason, and I received the error message below. However, when I turned off the VPN and reconnected, I could stream Prime Video without any problems.

Amazon Video Unavailable: We’re experiencing a problem playing this video.

I’ve always had trouble accessing my US Disney+ account with most VPNs when traveling abroad. I either never make it past the login screen or get shown the error message below:

Sorry, Disney+ is not available in your region.

When I connected to Kaspersky’s network, I was able to unblock Disney+ without receiving any of the above error messages — it was a pleasant surprise, to say the least. I streamed The Avengers in HD for about half an hour and experienced no buffering at all.

Lastly, I wanted to test whether Kaspersky can unblock BBC iPlayer, a UK-specific streaming platform most VPNs can’t. Since I don’t live in the UK and don’t have an iPlayer account, I asked one of my colleagues who lives there to test out Kaspersky. She could access it seamlessly and streamed shows like Peaky Blinders in HD without issue.

Speed9.0

Kaspersky Secure Connection Provides Amazing Speeds Even on Distant Servers

Based on my completely buffer-free streaming experience earlier, I had no doubt that Kaspersky would perform well in my subsequent speed tests. Nevertheless, I wanted to see it for myself. I tested it on the nearby, midrange, and distant servers to see how much the speed would drop with distance and found that it performs exceptionally well on all three fronts.

Speed Test Results

Before I describe my speed test results, I want to tell you that I frequently travel between North America, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. At the time I conducted this test, I was in Pakistan. This is important to know, so you have a clear idea of which servers were nearby, midrange, and distant for me.

Screenshot of Kaspersky speed test results

I got fast speeds on Kaspersky’s nearby and distant servers

First, I ran a speed test without connecting to the VPN. My baseline download speed was 10.86Mbps. After that, I connected to the VPN’s server in Pakistan and I got speeds of 10.82Mbps – a very small speed drop of 0.36%. That’s impressive, considering many other VPNs I’ve tried before gave me a speed drop of up to 15% on nearby servers.

Next, I tested Kaspersky’s speeds on midrange servers and connected to a server in the UAE. I got download speeds of 9.02Mbps, a 16.94% drop from my baseline. That’s not bad at all, and you can easily surf the internet and stream videos without any problem, especially if you have faster internet than mine.

Premium VPNs that provide fast speeds on short-distance and mid-range servers are common. The real test is how they perform on distant servers. I connected to a server in Chicago, US, and got download speeds of an impressive 8.95Mbps. That’s a 17.58% speed drop from my baseline and less than a 1% drop compared to the speeds I got on the midrange server.

I initially connected to a server in New York, but my IP was set to Dallas, Texas for some reason. I disconnected and reconnected multiple times, but the issue persisted. After that, I connected to Chicago and got an IP there without any problems.

Kaspersky also provides a Smart Connect feature that automatically finds the best server for your location. When I used it, I connected to a server in Sweden, which was odd since Sweden was far from my location. However, when I ran the speed test, I got download speeds of 9.45Mbps, more than what I got when connected to the midrange server.

Screenshot of Kaspersky's Smart Connect feature

I got better speeds than midrange servers using the Smart Connect feature

Overall, I was thoroughly impressed by Kaspersky’s performance on my extensive speed tests. It provides little to no speed drops on nearby servers and minimal drops on distant ones, which says a lot about its superior infrastructure.

Why Most Speed Tests are Pointless & How We Correctly Test VPN Speeds

Speed determines how fast content uploads, so if you're torrenting or streaming, you want the speed to be somewhat identical to your regular internet speed. Since a VPN encrypts your data, it usually takes a bit longer to send your data back and forth, which can slow down your connection. However, if your ISP deliberately slows down your connection (also known as throttling) a VPN might increase your internet speed. Testing a VPN is somewhat pointless because new servers pop up and affect speed. Your speed can also differ according to your location, so your speed test might not match ours. Having said that, we tested the speed in numerous locations to provide you with the average.

Servers7.0

Server Network – Does the Job but Could Be Larger

Kaspersky has servers in 65 countries, with most of them located in North America, South America, and Europe. Apart from having servers in major countries like the US, the UK, France, Australia, and Japan, Kaspersky also has servers in restrictive countries like Russia, Turkey, and the UAE.

Screenshot of Kaspersky's website showing number of servers.

Kaspersky’s website said it has servers in 30+ countries, but I could see servers in 65 countries on the app.

Kaspersky uses Hotspot Shield’s server technologies but offers different features and pricing under the Kaspersky brand. These servers are spread across the world, which increases your likelihood of unblocking your home content when you’re traveling. However, I still feel a server network across 65 countries might not be enough for some users. If you want a VPN with a larger server network, you can try ExpressVPN as it has over 3000 servers in 94 countries.

If you don’t want to commit just yet, Kaspersky has a free version you can use to test it out for as long as you like. However, you won’t have the luxury of trying out different servers as the free trial only lets you connect to one server through its Smart Connect feature.

The free version only provides 200MB of data per day. This data cap is insufficient if you use a VPN regularly and intensively. Nonetheless, if you want to sign up for the free trial, here’s a comprehensive guide on how to do it.

Security – Provides Airtight Security

When I used Kaspersky’s app on my Mac, I couldn’t see which encryption protocols it supported, which was a bit concerning. However, I dug around Kaspersky’s blog and found out that it uses AES 256-bit encryption, which is the strongest encryption out there and is used by military agencies to protect confidential data.

Apart from that, Kaspersky adds an extra layer of security with Perfect Forward Secrecy. This means the keys used to encrypt and decrypt your internet traffic keep changing, so your data is almost immune to being hacked.

Screenshot of Kaspersky live chat

I had to contact live support to find out which encryption protocols Kaspersky supports

That’s all well and good, but I think Kaspersky should mention its encryption protocols in its app for users’ peace of mind. I reached out to customer support via live chat and found that Kaspersky supports the OpenVPN protocol.

Screenshot of Kaspersky's kill switch feature on its Mac app

I had to turn on the kill switch on my Kaspersky Mac app

The only thing I could find on the app was its kill-switch function, which was turned off by default. The kill switch disconnects you from the internet if the connection to the VPN drops for any reason, ensuring that you remain anonymous at all times.

Privacy – Good Privacy Features but a Questionable History

Kaspersky Secure Connect has a zero logs policy, which means that it doesn’t collect your internet traffic and, thus, can’t sell it to third-party advertisers. However, it hasn’t undergone a third-party audit, so you’ll have to take the VPN’s word for it.

Screenshot of Kaspersky's no-logs policy

I looked up Kaspersky’s privacy policy and found out that it has a no-logs policy

Another thing that concerned me was that, although Kaspersky claimed it doesn’t store your information, its privacy policy states that it can store information such as what device(s) you’re using Kaspersky on, your subscription details, and wireless network specifications.

Screenshot of Kaspersky's privacy policy and what personal data it might store

I found Kaspersky might store some of your personal information like which device you’re using

Apart from the caveats in its privacy policy, Kaspersky has a questionable history. I dug around various sources and stumbled upon a 2017 Bloomberg report that stated Kaspersky allegedly works for Russian intelligence, including Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB). Apparently, emails exchanged between Kaspersky and FSB point to the fact the two have a working relationship.

Screenshot of Kaspersky's preferences menu

I always keep this box unchecked on the off chance that it could expose my personal data

Overall, I wouldn’t recommend Kaspersky Secure Connect to someone who wants airtight privacy. Although Kaspersky’s privacy features are enough for the average user, its privacy policy has loopholes and the VPN’s alleged affiliation with the Russian government is a point of great concern.

To be safe, I kept the ‘Improved Experience’ box unchecked while testing on the off chance that it reveals my personal information. I urge you to do the same when using Kaspersky.

Torrenting – Lack of Specialized Torrenting Servers

When I initially browsed through Kaspersky’s list of servers, I didn’t find any information on which ones support torrenting. On the surface, it seemed like either all of them support torrenting or none of them do. I decided to dig into Kaspersky’s FAQs and Knowledge Base to find answers, but, unfortunately, I didn’t find anything. So, I decided to test its torrenting capabilities on my own.

I connected to a server in the US and downloaded a 3.5GB copyright-free file via uTorrent. It took about 8 minutes for the file to download. After that, I connected to the optimal server in Sweden and downloaded the same file again. This time, the file was downloaded in under 7 minutes.

Overall, the download speeds are adequate, but at times my connection got interrupted in between. That’s because Kaspersky doesn’t have any P2P-optimized servers, which it should. P2P servers have higher bandwidth and provide a fast and steady connection suitable for torrenting.

Having said that, my team and I don’t condone illegal torrenting, so it’s always wise to check the rules and regulations in the country you’re in.

Does Kaspersky Secure Connection Work in China? No

China has some of the strictest laws for VPNs, so it’s rare to find a VPN that works there. So, I inferred Kaspersky would probably not work there. However, when I was browsing through Kaspersky’s website, I stumbled upon a note underneath the pricing section that stated Kaspersky isn’t available for downloading or activation in Belarus, China, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Oman, Pakistan, and Qatar.

Screenshot showing which countries Kaspersky doesn't work in

I found Kaspersky doesn’t work in a handful of countries

This was odd because I used Kaspersky in Pakistan, and it worked just fine. Although I didn’t purchase it there and had asked my colleague in Australia to buy it for me, I activated it in Pakistan. After this, I got curious insert if it works in Pakistan, would it work in China?

Unfortunately, I didn’t have any of my colleagues in China who could test it out for me. So, I decided to contact customer support. I submitted a ticket and didn’t get a response from the team for the next 18 hours. After that, I spoke to a customer service representative via live chat, and he told me that Kaspersky doesn’t work in China.

Getting past China’s Great Firewall is no easy task, and only a few VPNs are up for the task. One of them is ExpressVPN. If you’re traveling to China, make sure you install ExpressVPN’s app on your devices before you arrive there.

Bear in mind that it’s illegal to use a non-approved VPN in China, but there haven’t been any cases of tourists being punished for using them. That’s because the Chinese government focuses on technologically blocking VPNs instead of going after individuals.

Server Locations

Argentina
Australia
Austria
Brazil
Czech Republic
France
Germany
India
Indonesia
Ireland
Italy
Japan
Luxembourg
Romania
Russia
See all supported locations...

User Experience8.0

Simultaneous Device Connections – 5 Simultaneous Device Connections

Kaspersky Secure Connection supports 5 simultaneous device connections, which is the industry standard and enough for most users. I was able to connect my Mac, iPhone, and iPad without any problems. I could surf the internet and stream YouTube on all of them at the same time. There was a little bit of buffering at first since the speed was being shared, but it didn’t persist.

If you’re using the free version, you can connect as many devices as you want. Of course, that doesn’t matter much since you’ll only have a data cap of 300MB per day.

Device Compatibility – Supports All Major Platforms

Kaspersky is compatible with Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. I used its macOS and iOS apps and found that both have a user-friendly and easy-to-navigate interface. However, the iOS app has a few additional features, such as a data leak checker, which checks if your personal information is leaking.

Screenshot of Kaspersky's Wifi security checker function on its macOS app

I found the WiFi security checker useful, especially when connected to public WiFi networks

On the other hand, the Mac app has a built-in kill-switch function, which isn’t available on the iOS app. Apart from that, both apps have a WiFi security checker, which checks if you can trust the WiFi networks available to you.

Although Kaspersky is compatible with all major platforms, I think it should support other platforms like smart TVs, routers, and gaming consoles too.

Ease of Set-Up & Installation – Easy to Install

Installing Kaspersky is easy. All you need to do is sign up with your email to create a “My Kaspersky” account and choose whether you want to access the free plan or the paid one. If you want the latter, you’ll get an activation code, which you’ll have to put into the VPN app. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to set up and install Kaspersky:

Get Kaspersky Secure Connection in 4 Easy Steps

  1. Create a My Kaspersky account. Enter your details to sign up.
    Screenshot of My Kaspersky sign up page
  2. Buy the premium plan. Choose your platform to proceed with the purchase.
    Screenshot of My Kaspersky choose your platform page
  3. Enter the Activation Code. Visit My Kaspersky after purchasing the premium plan to activate the plan.
    Screenshot of Kaspersky Activation Code validation page
  4. Install the Kaspersky app. Then sign in with your My Kaspersky login credentials.
    Screenshot of Kaspersky Mac app's sign in page

The My Kaspersky dashboard has a user-friendly interface. You can easily manage your subscription and see how many devices are connected to Kaspersky.

Screenshot of My Kaspersky client dashboard

I found My Kaspersky easy to use and I could see how many devices I’ve connected

When I downloaded and installed Kaspersky on my iPhone and signed in with my login credentials, I could see my iPhone added to the list of devices on the client dashboard.

Support7.0

Kaspersky’s support options vary depending on location. If you’re in the US, you can use the virtual assistant tool (which is practically useless), live chat, and a ticket system.

I used the live chat, and it was cumbersome to use. I had to fill in multiple drop-down boxes and submit my email address before I could start the chat. However, the representative was available as soon as I entered the chat room, which was impressive.

Screenshot of Kaspersky live chat with customer service representative

When I entered the live chat room, the agent was already there and I didn’t have to wait

Kaspersky provides an FAQ section and a Knowledge Base, which aren’t very detailed but will help you fix basic VPN issues. I found them a bit confusing and difficult to navigate, especially since you have to find your way through the Kaspersky suite of services to get to the correct FAQ page.

I also used Kaspersky’s ticket system, and the support team’s response time was slow. I received a response after 18 hours, which is not impressive at all. Other VPNs I’ve used before provided a response within a couple of hours.

How We Test Customer Support and Why Should You Care

We personally test the customer support team of every VPN we review. This means asking technical question through the live chat feature (where applicable) and measuring the response time for email questions. Whether you need to connect to a specific server, change your security protocol, or configure a VPN on your router, finding a VPN with quality customer support should be important to you.

Pricing7.0

Kaspersky Secure Connect has two plans — a free plan and the premium plan. The free plan has no time limit, and you can use it for as long as you want. However, your data will be capped to 200MB per day. Also, you can’t pick and choose servers on the free plan. Instead, you get the Smart Connect feature that connects you to the closest server to your location.

On the other hand, the premium plan has no data caps, and you can choose to connect to servers in 60+ countries. The premium plan also includes a kill switch on its Mac app. Upon purchase, you’re required to provide Kaspersky valid email and personal details like your passport or ID, which I wasn’t comfortable giving.

Kaspersky accepts payment in credit and debit cards, net banking, prepaid cards, and other mobile payment methods. It doesn’t accept payments in cryptocurrency yet. Also, it provides a 30-day money-back guarantee. However, requesting a refund isn’t as simple. You need to contact 2Checkout via email or phone.

Screenshot of Kaspersky's refund policy

You have to request a refund from 2Checkout, a company that handles Kaspersky’s accounts

While Kaspersky offers great performance at an affordable price, its refund policy is a bit questionable. If you’re looking for a VPN with a reliable refund policy, I recommend using CyberGhost.

Kaspersky Secure Connection offers the following plans

Final Verdict

Overall, Kaspersky Secure Connect is a good buy because it provides fast speeds, a relatively well spread-out server network, and solid security. Its excellent unblocking capabilities, along with its user-friendly app make it suitable for avid streamers who want to access geoblocked content when they are traveling.

The only thing Kaspersky lacks is good torrenting features such as P2P-optimized servers. Other than that, its privacy and refund policies are questionable. Therefore, if you just need a VPN to get by the day, you can use Kaspersky’s free version. If you want to buy the premium plan, I recommend you get the 1-month plan to see if it suits your needs.

If you’re looking for a premium VPN with excellent torrenting features, airtight security, and blazing-fast speeds, I strongly recommend you try ExpressVPN.

FAQs About Kaspersky Secure Connection

Is Kaspersky Secure Connection good?

Yes, Kaspersky is a great VPN. It provides consistent and fast speeds with little to no speed drops. Plus, it has decent security features such as a built-in kill switch for its desktop app, leak test on the iOS app, and perfect forward secrecy.

Apart from that, it has a decent server network across 60+ countries. If you travel frequently like I do and are an avid streamer, you can use Kaspersky to access geoblocked content from anywhere in the world.

Can I use Kaspersky Secure Connection for free?

Yes, Kaspersky has a free version that you can use for as long as you want to. However, you’ll have a data cap of 200MB per day, which is not suitable if you’re an intensive VPN user. Also, you can’t pick and choose servers on the free version. You can only use the Smart Connect feature, which connects you to the best possible server based on your location.

The caveat of using free VPNs, including the free version of Kaspersky, is the low data caps. If you’re looking for a free VPN that has little to no data restrictions, there are a few reliable options.

Is Kaspersky VPN really safe?

Not entirely. Kaspersky is completely safe to download as it doesn’t contain any malware that would infect your computer. It also has good security features, such as AES 256-bit encryption, Perfect Forward Secrecy, a built-in kill switch, and OpenVPN encryption protocol.

On the downside, though, Kaspersky’s privacy policy has loopholes. Despite having a no-logs policy, it might store some of your personal data, including what device you are using Kaspersky on and your WiFi networks. Apart from that, Kaspersky is based in Russia and allegedly has a history of working with the FSB.

Important to know

Russia
1997
No
5
30 days guaranteed

Contact Details

info@kaspersky.com

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