Kaspersky Secure Connection VPN is a weak tool with minimal utility in everyday situations.

Kaspersky Secure Connection VPN lives and dies by its name – over the years, Kaspersky has made its name as a solid cybersecurity company. However, as seems to be the case with many anti-virus companies turned VPN vendors, Kaspersky doesn’t make an honest attempt of it. Plus, it’s based in Russia, so say goodbye to privacy.

Is this tool worth a damn? That’s what we try to ascertain in this Kaspersky VPN review.

Security features

Kaspersky Labs is known for offering a wide range of online security products for personal and small, medium and enterprise businesses. It’s got a reputation to uphold. It starts well – here are the security features:

  • Solid encryption (AES-256)
  • A good selection of tunneling protocols: OpenVPN, SSTP, L2TP/IPsec, PPTP

Sadly, that’s where the bells and whistles end. There’s no kill switch, which is an essential feature protecting your identity in case of connection drops. And needless to say, there are no advanced features like multi-hop to chain connections, or stealth mode to stay hidden where VPN use is restricted.

Does Kaspersky VPN keep logs?

Short answer: yes.

This is a Russia-based VPN service provider, which functions in compliance with written and unwritten Russian laws. Recently, Russian authorities sent out notices to many VPN service providers, forcing them to connect their services to the state content filtering system. Kaspersky VPN has decided to comply. This means logging and a whole lot more.

Speed and performance

The speed of the VPN varies from the basic plan to the paid one. When we tested the free version, we found that the app won’t let us choose the server.  The speed, while using this plan, was reasonable – we noticed a drop-off of 20-30%. This got a bit better with the paid application, and we were also able to choose which server to use.

Unfortunately, speed drops significantly with remote servers, such as those in the US.

Server coverage

It’s not entirely clear how many servers the Kaspersky VPN network has, but the number of countries is 18. This isn’t much, although it’s certainly nothing to write home about either.

There seem to be no Kaspersky servers in South America, Africa, or Australia, which means users in these regions are likely to experience significantly worse speeds.

Ease of use and multiplatform support

Kaspersky VPN is available on:

  • Windows
  • iOS
  • Android

Unfortunately (or, perhaps, fortunately), there is no Kaspersky app for macOS, Linux, routers, or Smart TVs.

On the iOS platform, the app comes free. You get 9 GB of free data in a month. This means that you are entitled to 300 MB free data per day. The size of the app is 136 MB and is compatible with iOS 10.0 and above.

The Google Play Store app allows ads to run on the app, so this may affect user engagement. Compared to the iOS version, the Play Store app is lighter – it is just 22 MB.

One good thing about this product is that you can activate your secure connection even when you are in power saver mode. Updated regularly (the last update was on 30th October 2018), this product can run on any Android 4.1+ device.

Unblocking Netflix and other streaming platforms

Kaspersky VPN users cannot access Netflix US content and there is very little that this company can do in this regard, unless it invests in the resources to stay ahead of Netflix censorship. However, you can watch BBC iPlayer while using Kaspersky VPN servers in the UK.

Many users also like to watch Hulu, Amazon Prime, and other US platforms. Kaspersky VPN does not support Hulu and likely doesn’t do too well with the others either.

In short, this is not the best choice for streaming.

P2P and torrenting

Kaspersky VPN is not suited for P2P – torrenting is simply not allowed. Even if that weren’t the case, the lack of a kill-switch or any torrenting-friendly bonus features would disqualify it from the running for best torrenting VPN.

Online censorship in China and elsewhere

We would also advise against using a Russian-owned VPN service in this country, particularly one that has no kill switch.

Similarly to Russia, China blocks VPN providers that don’t follow the government’s rules. Many big companies that use VPNs are required to submit their users’ details to the Chinese government, websites of good VPNs are blocked – it’s not easy for VPNs in China.

While it’s unclear how well the service works in China, all the advanced features required for reliability in this country as missing from Kaspersky VPN. For example, there’s no stealth mode/stealth protocol to fool Deep Packet Inspection.

We would also advise against using a Russian-owned VPN service in this country, particularly one that has no kill switch.

Customer support

When you visit the website, you will find it very user-friendly. The app is easy to navigate and there shouldn’t be any issues in using it, and the support options are decent. Here’s what you’ll have to rely on:

  • Live chat (during business hours)
  • Hotline (during business hours)
  • Support tickets
  • Community forums
  • Knowledge base

The knowledge base addresses many general queries. And although the live chat and hotline are not available 24/7, that’s still quite good, as expected of a big company like Kaspersky.

Pricing

Here are the pricing options:

  • Limited free plan
  • 1-year plan: $29.99 ($2.49/month)

That’s not particularly flexible, but at least the price is very low indeed. You can pay using PayPal, Visa, MasterCard or Discover Cards. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are not accepted, which is a further issue for privacy.

Bottom line

At the end of this Kaspersky VPN review we’re left underwhelmed. The product is seriously lacking in the security and privacy departments, there aren’t many features, no macOS app, no Netflix support and no P2P. This severely limits what the service can be used for.

Sure, it’s available for free, but then again, there are more generous free versions out there.