Security software firm Kaspersky has just launched a free antivirus for PC users, promising total protection for your files and oversight of your web traffic for malicious activity. The company says itâs happy to offer its service at no charge for those who canât afford the $50 fee for its paid product â but do you really need a third-party antivirus tool?
If, like 500 million others, youâre on Windows 10, you already have Windows Defender built in. Microsoftâs own tool does a pretty good job of keeping computers free of nasty viruses and doesnât hog system resources. The folks at AV-Test.org gave it a 5.5 / 6.0 protection score, which isnât half bad for an app that you donât even need to download.
Meanwhile, Kasperskyâs full package, which is called Internet Security and was at v17.0 as of June when it was tested, got perfect scores of 6.0/6.0 for protection, performance and usability.
So, in theory, Kasperskyâs offering should be able to cover you a bit better than Windows Defender does.
However, I canât say Iâve felt the need for a third-party antivirus app in the past few years. Since Windows Defender came along, I havenât faced any virus-related issues, even after mucking about with USB drives from sketchy sources (read: local cyber cafes I visited to print travel documents) and streaming shows that arenât available to me in India. Heck, I havenât even had to fix my parentsâ computers in a long time, and thatâs saying something.
If youâre truly concerned about keeping your PC squeaky clean, Kaspersky Free might be worth a look. Presently available in Russia, China, and a few European nations, itâs rolling out elsewhere over the next four months. You wonât get features like a firewall, VPN or private browsing, and the folks at HowToGeek recommend adding on an anti-malware app for increased protection.
Whatâs your antivirus…