Kaspersky Secure Connection is the follow-up in our evergrowing collection of VPN providers that we analyze from numerous perspectives, test, review and bring the results back to you.
Kaspersky is already a player that doesn’t need any introduction in the cyber-security industry, but for the sake of it we’ll deliver a short presentation, maybe some checkpoints they’ve reached on their path and whatnot.
Although its reputation precedes it, we’re still going to put it under our microscope, test it for leaks, see if it’s fast enough for you, you know, as we do for other VPN service providers. Let’s begin.
We understand the fact that by the looks of it, this review might seem to be a bit too long a read and we’re not going to lie about it: it is a long read indeed, but nevertheless a handy, might we add educational one.
However, that doesn’t mean that you must retain every single part of it by heart or read it at a slow pace. Instead, you can read between the lines and we promise you that we won’t mind. Actually, we devised this “brilliant idea” of inserting a convenient table of content, just so that you could skip right to the chapters that interest you the most while skipping the boring parts at the same time. How does that sound?
- A bit of company information
- Major achievements
- U.S. Government concerns
- Ties with Russian hackers or not?
- Final dispositions
- Several services provided
- Terms of service analysis
- Unavailability of certain services
- Russian jurisdiction
- Finding your way on the website
- Register for an account
- Tweaking, agreeing, confirming
- Logging into your account; using the dashboard
- Buying a subscription; downloading Kaspersky Secure Connection
- Downloading without a subscription
- Checking for malware
- Installing requires an Internet connection
- Deploying the app on your computer
- Running the app for the first time
- First impressions
- Using Kaspersky Secure Connection
- Altering the settings
- Wi-fi related settings
- Getting more features
- Actually getting extra features
- Curious data logging in the dashboard
- The list of servers
- Services it unlocks
- Tor(renting) with Kaspersky Secure Connection
- Security results incoming
- Speed test results
- Our experience with customer support
- Slow customer support
- Free trial version
- A couple of subscription plans
A bit of company information
Kaspersky is a multinational cyber-security and antivirus provider that has its headquarters in Moscow, Russia and is currently operated by a holding company in the United Kingdom.
The company was founded by Eugene Kaspersky, Natalya Kaspersky and Alexey De-Monderik in 1997. Currently, Eugene Kaspersky is the CEO of this company. The main activity of this company is the development and selling of antivirus, password management, Internet security, endpoint security, and other such services and products.
As of 2016, the software they develop has approximately 400 million users and also the largest market share of cybersecurity providers in Europe. Currently (April 2019), it ranks sixth in the global ranking of antivirus vendors by revenue (6.37%).
In 2010, the Endpoint Security segment had Kaspersky placed on the 4th position according to IDC. In 2012, it was the third-largest vendor of consumer IT security software in the world and also the fifth largest provider of Enterprise Endpoint Protection solutions, according to Gartner.
Kaspersky’s GReAT team (Global Research and Analysis Team) has successfully identified various espionage platforms that were linked to U.S. intelligence such as the Stuxnet worm and the Equation Group, along with other government-sponsored cyber-espionage operations.
U.S. Government concerns
Although Kaspersky faced significant growth by expanding abroad and growing to $698 million in annual revenues by the year 2017, in North America revenues were down 8% as opposed to their total revenues, which went up 8% from 2016.
The reason behind this drop in revenues was that Kaspersky faced some controversy over claims that it has engaged with the Russian FSB (Federal Security Service). The company denied these allegations actively, but still, their products were banned from all government departments by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on 13 September 2017.
Ties with Russian hackers or not?
A month later, some reports alleged that a group of hackers employed by the Russian government infiltrated and stole sensitive information from a National Security Agency contractor’s personal computer by making use of Kaspersky antivirus software.
Besides denying these allegations, Kaspersky claimed that their software had detected Equation Group samples of malware that they had uploaded to their servers for further analysis. As of that moment, the company strove to increase its credibility by soliciting verification of its software solutions’ source code as well as independent reviews.
On top of that, the company also made an announcement that they will migrate some of its core infrastructures for their foreign customers from their current location (Russia) to Switzerland.
Despite their claims and attempts to make things right, since the year of 2015, Kaspersky was considered to have close ties to the Russian government by various media outlets and the US government itself.
In 2017, President Trump banned Kaspersky software from government computers by signing the legislation. As a result, buying or installing Kaspersky software on computers and other devices in US government institutions was (and currently still is) prohibited, despite the vendor’s plea to reconsider this move.
Several services provided
We’ve seen this happen before. A service provider who attempts to extend the range of services or products and the end result is often that “the spread is too thin”. Meaning that instead of focusing on the strengths of their main product and developing it further and further, some providers choose to reallocate their resources between several similar products and the result is often that all their services have to suffer.
That’s not entirely the case with Kaspersky Secure Connection, but it’s not amongst the most powerful players on the market either, so maybe there’s still some truth to that phrase.
Terms of service analysis
You’ll probably notice it on their website; Kaspersky claims that they don’t log data regarding the way you use their VPN service, what you’re doing online or which websites you visit while connected to their services.
A bit of logging is, however, done, by any VPN service provider. The reason behind these bits of data being recorded is that they need to understand how their service is being used so that they can improve or troubleshoot it.
Since Kaspersky is not exactly tiny in terms of company size and range of products and services delivered, we didn’t expect dedicated terms of service documentation for each of their products, so we’re going to have to settle.
We dug around a lot on the Kaspersky website, which is quite confusing (a lot), but finally, we were able to locate something that resembles a list of conditions available for Kaspersky Secure Connection users. Basically it’s a list of things you can’t do with the service, but we’re okay with that.
- You are not allowed to use Kaspersky Secure Connection for any purpose that violates any applicable laws, whether local, national or international laws we’re talking about;
- You are not allowed to use Kaspersky Secure Connection in order to inflict harm or attempt to inflict harm on minors by any means;
- You are not allowed to use the Kaspersky Secure Connection application to intentionally deploy harmful or malicious computer software or other similar materials that could inflict technological damage;
- You are not allowed to reverse engineer, disassemble, decompile, interpret, modify or attempt to reveal the source code of the app, or create derivative operations out of it;
- You are not allowed to use the service to obtain unauthorized access, inflict damage on or interfere with the app unless you’re ready to be reported to the authorities, which Kaspersky will gladly help to identify you;
- You are not allowed to use the service to upload, email, publish or transfer content that’s aimed at provoking unlawful, violent, threatening, harassment-intended, demeaning, immoral, dishonest, indecent, malicious, racist, defamatory or privacy encroaching behavior;
- You are not allowed to use Kaspersky Secure Connection to pretend to be another person or legal entity, or even distort your personal identity or even association with a legal entity;
- You are not allowed to falsify or manipulate means of identification so as to conceal the original source of any content that you might transmit over the VPN system;
- You are not allowed to upload, email, publish or transfer content that infringes any third party’s rights, such as patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, or other intellectual property while you’re using Kaspersky Secure Connection;
- You are not allowed to upload, email, publish or transfer unwanted or unauthorized advertisement material or announcements such as pyramid schemes, chain letters, spam or junk email while connected to the service;
- You are not allowed to use Kaspersky Secure Connection to interfere with or incapacitate VPN systems, servers, and/or networks, or even violate any requirement, policy, rule or procedure of networks that are connected to VPN systems;
- You are not allowed to use this service to collect and store personal data about other users without their knowledge;
- You are not allowed to use Kaspersky Secure Connection to distribute information that incites unlawful behavior or promotes infliction of physical damage or injury to any individuals or group of people, or content that promotes any kind of violence against animals;
Last, but not least, we’ll leave this excerpt from the “Application usage restriction” document in its entirety:
Kaspersky Lab is not a provider of VPN (Virtual Private Network) services. If access to specific websites or services is limited in the VPN service provider’s region, you will not be able to access these websites and services through Kaspersky Secure Connection.
Sources that Kaspersky Lab uses to collect data about you:
- Products and services;
- Your registration for a Kaspersky Lab product or service;
- Technical support messages or other communications between you and Kaspersky Lab;
- Kaspersky’s websites;
- Marketing or other communications;
- Participation in an offer, promotion or program;
Types of data that Kaspersky collects through the means stated above:
- License/ subscription information;
- Product information;
- Device data;
- Threats detected;
- Information on installed applications;
- URLs visited;
- Operating System events;
- Suspicious files and files that could be exploited by intruders;
- Wi-Fi connection data;
- User contact data;
- Dump and trace files;
- Data about stolen devices;
- Data for child protection feature;
- Unique identifier of the mobile device;
Please understand that the details mentioned above are collected differently based on the Kaspersky product you’re using.
Reasons to collect data mentioned above:
- To protect users from known threats to information security;
- In order to ensure the performance of a contract with users;
- To ensure the required performance of services and products to customers;
- To verify that licenses are legal;
- To update the anti-virus databases;
- To increase the effectiveness of device, network and information system protection;
- To provide a faster response to new threats;
- To improve user interaction;
- To improve user experience with Kaspersky products and services;
- To provide desired content and advertisement (marketing-related);
- To provide technical support;
- To improve the quality of products and services;
- To conduct statistical and similar other studies based on anonymous user data;
Well, that’s a lot of data to be collected, but again, it really depends on which products you’re using at a given time. However, keep in mind that not even Kaspersky Secure Connection advertises itself as being a VPN service.
Unavailability of certain services
Another curious thing is that they claim that their product can be used to access various websites and services that would otherwise be unavailable to you (“Lets you access more sites & content” and “Because your location and your IP address aren’t revealed, it’s easier for you to access websites and content in other regions – without being traced”).
As you probably know or figured out by now, Kaspersky Secure Connection operates under Russian jurisdiction. But what does that mean? For starters, Russia is not a part of the infamous 5, 9, 14 Eyes Alliances so it can’t be coerced into sharing mass surveillance data with other countries.
However, there is a bunch of things you should consider: reportedly, they only allow VPNs that have been approved by the government and attempt to censor bits that don’t comply with their regulations.
Telegram is such an example. It has been widely used by businesses and journalists for its anonymous channel mode that lets them share information freely without risking their identities being revealed.
However, the government demanded that the company hand over cipher keys so that these anonymous conversations could be accessed by them. The company refused and attempted to fight charges, but as a result, their service was blocked on the 16th of April, 2018.
Its users (mainly reporters) have been offered the alternative to switch to ICQ, which is what you’d call a government-friendly alternative.
Finding your way on the website
If you’re not yet familiar with the Kaspersky website’s layout, then you’re in for a fun ride. Since they develop and promote multiple services, actually finding the one you’re looking for (in our case Kaspersky Secure Connection) might be a bit challenging, especially when some of them are bundled, which might increase the confusion.
It’s worth mentioning that you need a “global” Kaspersky account to use any of their products, so there’s no individual account for each of their services. In order to register for an account, locate the “My Kaspersky” menu somewhere at the top-right corner of the website, click it and choose either one of the three options available there.
Once you reach the new page, you can probably notice a large button in the center of the screen that spells “Sign in” and a smaller one in the top-right corner of the screen that says “Sign up.” Click the second one if you want to register an account.
Register for an account
Assuming that you’ve followed the instructions discussed above, you should now be facing a pop-up message. If you find yourself in this situation, then:
- Type an email address in the designated field;
- Set a password in the designated field;
- Confirm the password by typing it again in its corresponding text box;
- (Optional) Allow Kaspersky to use your email to contact you about personalized offers, surveys, news, and events;
- Solve the captcha (if any);
- Hit the “Create account” button;
You’re done! Note that on certain browsers, the captcha might not be displayed correctly or not at all, which in turn will affect your ability to register for a new account. If this happens, just switch to another browser and try again.
After the “Create account” button has been triggered, you’ll be informed that you can sign in to your account to try it out and access its basic features, but in order to unlock its full potential, you must check the inbox of the email account you used earlier and verify the account.
Tweaking, agreeing, confirming
Alright, so you’ve managed to register an account, verify it and all, now what? You can sign in to it and start exploring your options. After you log in, you’ll be asked to select your country and language by using the combo menus. Note that certain services aren’t available in some areas, so keep in mind that your selection of country/language will affect the availability of Kaspersky’s services.
Logging into your account; using the dashboard
Once you’re past all of those pesky dialogues, you will be presented with your dashboard, which is the landing page for your account. While you’re here you can perform various account administration operations such as viewing a summary of your account, see the devices connected to it, manage your licenses, add an activation code, buy a license or access the “Downloads” section, all of these from the Home section.
Other sections of the dashboard let you access additional features or present you other products. The “Passwords” section lets you know more about a password manager solution developed by Kaspersky and start using it, the “Kids” category enables you to monitor your children in various ways and finally, the “Secure connection” tab takes you to a brief presentation of Kaspersky’s VPN service if you didn’t buy a subscription plan and started using it yet and some usage information in case you did. The “Store” tab is pretty much self-explanatory.
Buying a subscription; downloading Kaspersky Secure Connection
If you’ve logged into your account and accessed the “Secure connection” section in your dashboard, you can purchase a new subscription plan by clicking the red, suggestive “Buy now“ button, which will redirect you to a store page where all the plans are listed.
As you can see, there’s also a free, yet limited version of this VPN alongside the paid subscription plans. Choose the one that suits you best by clicking the “Buy now” button assigned to the plan you want, hit the “Add to cart” button on the newly opened page, then instantly pay for it with PayPal or click the “Checkout” button, which will require billing and payment information on your side.
Downloading the application is the easy part of this operation since you’re not forced to buy a subscription before actually retrieving the app on your device. However, if you did purchase a plan, just navigate to the “Downloads” section of your dashboard, select the device of your choice from Windows, Mac, Android and iOS and hit the “Download” button or the “Send to myself” one, which will deliver you the download link via email.
Downloading without a subscription
If you didn’t purchase a subscription, you can look for Kaspersky Secure Connection in the “Downloads” section of the website, just that you’ll have to browse through their other products as well.
Please note that installing and using this VPN service is subjected to some geographical limitations. Therefore, you can’t install it in Belarus, Oman, Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, China, and Hong Kong due to legal limitations on the use of Virtual Private Network (VPN).
Checking for malware
As ironic as it might sound, not even Kaspersky can get a free pass when it comes to malware check-ups. Did you even come to consider that antivirus solutions (or generally security solutions) might be the perfect target for cyber attacks? Well, let’s just say that most people won’t suspect that their go-to security solution is carrying a big load of malware.
So for our peace of mind, we’re going to head over to VirusTotal, upload the Kaspersky Secure Connection installer executable and wait for the confirmation that the file is, indeed, clean. Well, our trustworthy malware detection service picked absolutely no trace of malware, as you can see in our results page and screenshot below.
Installing requires an Internet connection
As we’ve done it before in other reviews, we’re not going to get into elaborate details on how to install this VPN application on other devices than your Windows computer. The reason why is that we believe Windows computers are the most commonly owned devices in a household. Another reason is that deploying the app on other devices can be usually done by pressing a button (i.e. Android devices or iOS ones).
First thing’s first, you need to be careful to choose the correct region from the dropdown menu when downloading the package. It’s worth mentioning that you need an active Internet connection to install Kaspersky Secure Connection since the installer retrieves some data packages from Kaspersky’s servers. Note that if you change your mind and close the installer window after launching it, you’ll be left with a shortcut icon on your desktop and a downloaded installer on your computer.
Deploying the app on your computer
After downloading the app and ensuring that your Internet connection is online, double-click the installer executable then push the “Install” button. Unlike other VPN applications, this one takes a little longer. Ok, not just a little.
The reason why is that Kaspersky doesn’t ship a ready-to-go installer, but relies on a downloader. More so, you need to read and confirm that you agree with more than just one agreement. There’s the End User License Agreement (EULA), a statement regarding data processing for marketing purposes and the Kaspersky Security Network Statement.
Finally, when the installation’s done, you can choose to start the app after closing the installer or not. Click the “Done” button and you should be set. The version we’ve installed on our computer is 184.108.40.2065 (c).
Running the app for the first time
So, you’ve managed to go through with the installation and launched the app. If you’re planning to use the free version, you’ll see a bandwidth usage counter at the bottom of the main screen and a “Get more” button. On the other hand, if you’re logged into your account, this counter won’t bug you.
The first time you’ll run the app, you’ll be able to see an additional window where a brief introduction to the VPN is displayed. You can go ahead and inform yourself if you want by clicking “Learn More” or “Skip” if you’d rather prefer not to.
The main window of Kaspersky Secure Connection is simplistic, but not necessarily in a bad way. You only have a dropdown menu that enables you to select the server of your choice, an on/off switch button that toggles between being connected and disconnected to and from their service, and a hamburger button which you can use to access additional features.
At the bottom of the main screen, you can notice the “Powered by Hotspot Shield” fine print. The additional categories you can access are “Settings,” “My Kaspersky,” “Subscription,” “Statistics,” “Learn more” “Help,” “Support” and “About.” Please note that some of them are actually shortcuts to web-based services. URL shortcuts, to be more precise.
So the first impressions we had about this app is that it’s simple enough to be used even by the most inexperienced of us. A bunch of webpage shortcuts here, a few extra features to be downloaded there, all in all, it’s quite intuitive.
Using Kaspersky Secure Connection
Like many other VPN apps, all you have to do to secure your connection is select a server from the combo menu (or leave it on auto), then toggle the switch. It’s as easy as it gets.
However, if you’re more tech-savvy than the regular user, you can go ahead and fire up that “Settings” menu and tamper with the parameters you can find there. It’s not much, but you can at least get the sense that you’re in control of things.
Altering the settings
As mentioned above, the “Settings” window/section is far from being an extensive one. Although it packs more configurable options than some other VPN apps, they’re not exactly game-changers. In the main “Settings” window you’ll be able to set Kaspersky Secure Connection to run at startup, make it launch as already enabled and apply general rules on connection to Wi-Fi networks. So far so good.
The lower section of the same window lets you change your mind on providing them with data to improve protection and data used for marketing purposes by ticking or un-ticking the checkboxes. There’s been a lot of confirming and agreeing so far.
Wi-fi related settings
Clicking the “Settings” button under the Wi-Fi mention lets you adjust some wi-fi related options such as enabling notifications if a secure connection to Wi-Fi network can’t be established, prompt to enable secure connections whenever an insecure Wi-fi connection is attempted or not, choose a server to connect to automatically when “secure connection” is enabled and receive a notification when the secure connection has been enabled.
As you can see, not a single parameter is related to ciphers, handshakes, encryption modes, protocols, and the sort. That’s not necessarily a bad thing for novices that might not fully understand these terms or how to handle them, but advanced users might want a little more control over their connections.
Getting more features
Of course, we had to check what happens when you click the “Get more features” button in the “Settings” window. A bunch of features was advertised to us, such as “Secure connection to different websites” and “Webcam Protection.” We thought “why didn’t you include these features here in the first place? Surely the average VPN user would like webcam protection and connecting safely to various websites.” And then it hit us.
In the same window, you can notice a “Free download” button. If you click it, a file called “startup.exe” will be downloaded to your computer. Double-clicking it will attempt to install Kaspersky Internet Security, as advertised in the first window. I don’t know about you, but after paying for a subscription, we expect to not see advertisements in the service we paid for, even though they’re supported by the same developer.
Actually getting extra features
If you’re positively sure that you need extra features, go ahead and install either Kaspersky Internet Security, Kaspersky Total Security or Kaspersky Security Cloud on your computer and run whichever one you’ve installed.
The “Get more features” button changes to “Configure rules for websites,” which lets you configure advanced options for your secure connection. Some of them include settings for enabling a secure connection when visiting banking pages, payment systems, online stores, and social networks, automatically changing the country when visiting specific websites and automatically enabling secure connection when visiting certain pages.
However, given that these features will most likely be used by users who purchased a subscription plan, they should be available without forcing another Kaspersky product on their computers.
Curious data logging in the dashboard
We connected to a random server and started using the service. It had decent speed and we had no issues with connecting or disconnecting from their servers. However, we spotted a “Statistics” button in the hamburger menu earlier and decided to investigate.
As it turns out, clicking it takes you to the “Secure connection” section in your account’s dashboard. We were surprised to discover that this section holds data regarding our traffic usage for up to 30 days with detailed graphics that include timestamps.
Scrolling down we discovered that not only the traffic and timestamps are recorded, but also the location of the server you connected to, along with timestamps for when the connection was established and when you disconnected. If you navigate to this page while you’re connected to the VPN, the “End of use” timestamp will be displayed as “Active.”
The list of servers
Nowhere on their website do they have a full list of servers that you can connect to. However, the list is narrow enough that we could copy it here straight from the app. The servers are only available as locations, which makes us wonder if there’s a single server for each location.
Republic of Ireland
As you can see, their servers network is very narrow, summing up 18 locations that you can connect to, let aside the fact that some pretty important areas have been somewhat left out (Oceania, Africa). Another curious thing that hit us is that you can’t install Kaspersky Secure Connection in Hong Kong (according to the VPN law regulations mentioned on the download page), but somehow there’s a server there that you can connect to and use its VPN capabilities.
Services it unlocks
As you know, VPNs don’t work just as security enhancers; since some of them can entirely spoof your location and virtually place you anywhere else in the world, they can also unlock certain services that have been subjected to geographical censorship.
Take Netflix for example. Originally a US-only service, it has recently become available to a wider selection of locations. However, although non-US customers pay the same price for their subscription plans as US residents, they receive only a part of the contents. VPNs can be used to bypass this limitation and access the whole range of contents.
However, Kaspersky Secure Connection isn’t able to unlock the US version of Netflix for you. However, there’s a mention on the website that if the service isn’t available for you to begin with, you won’t be able to unlock it with Kaspersky Secure Connection.
Tor(renting) with Kaspersky Secure Connection
Although there’s no mention of torrenting in the plethora of agreements and restriction documentation, there are several statements that claim that ISPs and local laws override the torrenting restrictions and also warnings against violating the law. So even though they don’t actively deny your right to torrent, it’s a severely frowned-upon activity.
As for TOR, there’s no support for this, either. Not even routers, gaming consoles, smart TVs and other miscellaneous devices are supported, let alone TOR.
Security results incoming
After determining what works and what doesn’t, it’s time to get our hands dirty and do various security checkups, especially since the difference between their logging policy and the way things really are became a little obvious.
For those of you who can’t take the suspense, just scroll a bit lower and you’ll find the results there, sitting in a table. As usual, we encourage you to take the tests yourself and compare your results to ours, maybe even discuss them.
Speed test results
After deciding that Kaspersky Secure Connection doesn’t leak your data during usage, it’s time to check whether its servers are fast or not. In our opinion, security is far more important than speed since the main purpose of a VPN service is to secure your connection against prying eyes.
While testing for speed, we use multiple servers from several locations, since we aim to have a wide server spread.
The results are as follows:
|Location||Internet Speed||Latency||Upload Speed||Downloaded||Uploaded|
|U.S.A.||34 Mbps||185 ms||820 ms||17 Mbps||70 MB||30 MB|
|Germany||46 Mbps||42 ms||604 ms||24 Mbps||140 MB||180 MB|
|Mexico||80 Mbps||152 ms||473 ms||100 Mbps||110 MB||210 MB|
|Hong Kong||50 Mbps||198 ms||934 ms||26 Mbps||160 MB||140 MB|
As you can see, the speed isn’t exactly breathtaking, but at least it’s somewhat constant. You don’t see light-speed values in one region and dramatic drops in another, so the connection is quite stable.
Our experience with customer support
Kaspersky has a comprehensive customer support system that comprises live chat, a ticket system and an extensive knowledge base that you can rely on in an attempt to solve your problems by yourself.
In order to use the live chat, all you need to do is click the chat bubble button in the bottom-right corner of their website, type your email in the designated field and include a description of your request. And wait. We’ve received a response in more than just a bunch of hours.
Slow customer support
As for the ticket system, you can access it by clicking the “Support” hyperlink located somewhere in the top-right part of the screen, then click the “Request Tech Support” button in the newly-opened page. Creating a new ticket asks a lot of information from you, as follows: you have to choose the application from a dropdown menu, select the app’s version as well as your operating system version, mention what request type and subtype it is and finally get to type your problem description.
It’s also possible to attach smaller documents (up to 10 MB each and no more than 50 MB combined) or upload large files via WebDAV (no more than 1200 MB in total). After creating the request, you’re notified that someone will get back to you.
In our case, we’ve received a proper response in more than just a few hours. It actually took three days to receive a fragment of an answer, while the full answer came in a day after. No names have been mentioned either, we had no idea who we were talking to, the only mentions that got close to names in this situation were that our request has been forward to an expert team in Moscow.
So aside from the fact that completing the several fields they require when submitting a ticket should make their work easier, their reply came in late and wasn’t even a complete answer in the first place.
Free trial version
We’ve hinted above that Kaspersky Secure Connection comes with a free version that you can use to try its features before deciding to purchase a subscription plan (if you even plan on doing that).
However, this version is subjected to a 200 Mbs/day limitation, which, believe us or not, is an extremely low threshold. However, it should be enough to make you take a decision regarding buying a subscription plan.
A couple of subscription plans
Alright, let’s talk about money. Aside from the free 200 Mbs/day free trial, Kaspersky Secure Connection also comes with two subscription plans that you can choose from depending on your financial status or current needs.
The plans are as follows:
- A 1-month plan billed at 4.99$ per month / 5 devices;
- A 1-year plan billed at 29.99$ per month / 5 devices;
As you can see, the discount for the yearly plan is highly generous and even the monthly plan isn’t significantly expensive. It’s actually one of the least expensive monthly plans for a VPN service we’ve encountered yet.
To wrap this up, Kaspersky Secure Connection is yet another product in Kaspersky’s product portfolio, one that attempts to secure the connections of its users, while also letting them unlock various services that are otherwise unavailable to them.
It’s based in Russia, which, despite it being out of the infamous 5, 9, 14 Eyes Alliances, has its own way of dealing with things through service un-anonymization and censorship.
Although text fragments on their website claim that they’re against logging and monitoring, carefully reading their privacy policies, terms of usage and usage restriction documents reveals that in case they consider that you’ve violated their terms, your identity will be revealed to authorities with their help. That, in our opinion, not only involves logging that helps linking activities to your real identity but also monitoring so that they know when you’re breaking the law.
During your account registration, signing into your account, installing the app and even browsing through its “Settings” window, you’ll have to accept countless user agreements or opt-out of them (as you prefer), which might raise suspicion in some users, especially after learning that some of the claims in the policies don’t match the info used to advertise their product at all.
Its application is easy to use and comes with no complicated settings, which might be off-putting for advanced users but it’s really a good thing for novices. If you want extra in-app features, you are forced to install another product in their suite, Kaspersky Internet Security, which is not a desirable thing, especially if you’ve just purchased a subscription plan and are not just using their free version.
They do offer a free version, which is limited to 200 Mbs per day. Their subscription plans are not expensive at all and the yearly discount is greatly generous, despite it (the price) being a low one, to begin with (without the discount).
Security-wise, we weren’t able to detect any issue with their service. All the data we exchanged with the server remained private, no DNS or IP leaks have been recorded. Speed-wise, the values weren’t breathtaking, but at least there isn’t a great variation in numbers.
The network of servers they provide you with is a really narrow one, consisting of 18 countries you can choose from. You can’t actually pick a server from the list, but only a location and the app does the rest.
It can’t unblock Netflix, torrenting is severely frowned-upon (even though they don’t actively forbid you from doing that) and TOR doesn’t exactly work with Kaspersky Secure Connection.
Our conclusion is that, if you’re paranoid about your data being monitored or logged, you should start looking for another VPN. However, if you just want to escape online trackers and put a veil (a secure one) on your connection while processing payments, buying stuff or spending time on social networks, then Kaspersky Secure Connection is what you’re looking for. It’s cheap, offers you decent, constant speeds and security is pretty much airtight.
+ Great security; (5)
+ Cheap subscription plans; (4)
– Logging is involved; (0)
– Russian jurisdiction; (2)
– Can’t unlock Netflix; (2)
– No Torrenting or TOR; (1)
– Slow, but constant speeds; (2.5)
– Narrow server network; (1)
– Slow customer support; (0.5)
– Policy claims don’t match product advertisement; (1)
– Extra features if you install other Kaspersky products; (1)
We give Kaspersky Secure Connection a 1.81/5 rating.