Avast Academy Security Security Tips The Best Kaspersky Antivirus Alternatives to Use in 2024

The Best Kaspersky Antivirus Alternatives to Use in 2024

In the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, governments around the world warned against the potential security risk of Kaspersky software. Then, in June 2024, the US government banned the sale of Kaspersky products in the US, encouraging people to find a reliable Kaspersky alternative. Read on for a rundown of some of the best cybersecurity tools that you can use instead, or get award-winning protection right now with Avast One.

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Written by Oliver Buxton
Updated on June 28, 2024

US government bans Kaspersky software

To try to reduce risk of Russian cyberattacks, the US government has banned the sale of and updates to software developed by cybersecurity company Kaspersky Labs. In its statement, the US cited concerns that the privileged access security software uses to protect computer systems could be exploited to steal sensitive information, install malware, and more.

The best Kaspersky alternatives in 2024

If you’re looking for an alternative to Kaspersky, Avast One provides ironclad online security you can trust. Avast’s malware-detection capabilities outperformed Kaspersky in recent third-party tests, and Avast One took home PCMag’s 2023 Editors’ Choice award.

Here are safe and reliable Kaspersky alternatives you can use.

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    Avast One — much more than antivirus

    Winner of a stack of industry accolades, Avast One combines cutting-edge, real-time antivirus detection with a suite of privacy and performance features. Avast One’s always-on threat detection helps identify and block even new and emerging threats, and its extensive privacy safeguards will help keep your personal data safe.

    Unlike other security products that may be limited to combating only malicious software, Avast One goes way beyond basic anti-malware protection. The free version offers a VPN, built-in data-breach and file-safety features, tools to speed up and clean up your device, and much more. This Kaspersky alternative is one of the most comprehensive cybersecurity solutions available.

    Avast — that’s us — has been cybersecurity standard-bearers for over 3 decades, so you can be confident we’ll keep you safe against the full range of today’s digital threats.

    • Core features: Avast One is built on top of an award-winning antivirus engine and includes a firewall, email protection, and specialized ransomware defenses. And the feature set doesn’t stop there —  you’ll get password-security tools, protection against malicious emails, a built-in VPN for encrypted browsing and safer online banking, and dedicated clean-up utilities.

    • What the experts are saying: In AV-Comparatives’ March 2024 head-to-head malware test, Avast received a top score of three stars for providing advanced malware protection. PCMag gave Avast One its 2023 Editors’ Choice award, calling it “outstanding” and praising its “near-perfect” phishing score and “excellent antivirus lab scores.” Avast One also received four stars from TechRadar, who cited its “excellent all-round protection” and “range of powerful tools.”

    Avast One offers premium protection

    If you’re looking for even more powerful online security, Avast One offers premium plans that expand its essential protection. Building on Avast One’s wide range of crucial features, Avast One’s Gold plan adds powerful scam protection, anti-fingerprint technology, and advanced password safety tools for unrivaled security and privacy. Secure up to six accounts and 30 devices.

    AVG AntiVirus FREE

    Built around a powerful antivirus scanner, AVG AntiVirus FREE finds and clears out even the stealthiest forms of malware, including spyware and ransomware. If you’re looking to replace Kaspersky’s software, consider this powerful app from one of the most reliable brands in the cybersecurity industry.

    AVG AntiVirus FREE’s anti-malware protection outperformed Kaspersky Internet Security in AV-Comparatives’s 2021 Summary Report. AVG’s interface is easy to use, and it provides excellent security against phishing attacks, malicious URLs, and a variety of other online threats.

    • Core features: In addition to world-class antivirus, AVG’s threat-detection software includes a File Scanner to identify harmful files and attachments, a Web Shield to block unsecured network connections and data transfers, and anti-phishing and ransomware features to alert you to potential security breaches. And all this comes in a lightweight, user-friendly app.

    • What the experts are saying: With TechNadu lauding “its ability to catch 100% of all threats” including “the latest malware types,” it’s easy to see why AVG took home AV-Comparatives' Outstanding Product award for 2021, while receiving the highest score in its Advanced Threat Protection test.

    Avira Free Antivirus

    Avira Free Antivirus is another solid alternative to Kaspersky. With real-time malware detection and protection against harmful websites, Avira Free Antivirus is a safe and dependable antivirus app.

    Avira offers a paid version called Avira Antivirus Pro that defends against advanced ransomware threats and zero-day exploits. And if you want privacy safeguards, Avira has free and paid security apps for Windows that extend their protection to identity theft and other online scams.

    • Core features: Avira Free Antivirus includes an antivirus scanner, protection against potentially unwanted applications, an ad blocker, and anti-tracking features. You’ll need to upgrade to the Pro version for additional features such as a firewall and an email shield.

    • What the experts are saying: TechRadar claims that “Avira’s free antivirus is good, but it’s just the start.” Saying that “the lack of system-wide URL filtering is a concern,” TechRadar nevertheless concludes that “Avira Free Security still does a capable job of keeping you safe.”

    Bitdefender Antivirus Free

    If you’re looking to replace Kaspersky, Bitdefender Antivirus Free is a good alternative. Given the Outstanding Product Award for 2021 by AV-Comparatives, Bitdefender has consistently performed well in third-party antivirus tests.

    Bitdefender provides strong protection against malware and an intuitive user interface, but it offers few additional features. If you’re looking for a file shredder, a VPN, or defense against web tracking, you’ll need to upgrade to Bitdefender Antivirus Plus.

    • Core features: On top of real-time and manual malware-scanning options, Bitdefender also monitors for suspicious apps, detects exploits, and warns against visiting unsafe websites.

    • What the experts are saying: While accepting that some features may be “too basic for some users,” Safety Detectives say that Bitdefender “has all of the cybersecurity protections most users need.”

    Microsoft Defender

    Formerly known as Windows Defender, Microsoft Defender is Microsoft’s out-of-the-box antivirus tool, providing a strong layer of protection against malware. Defender blocks known viruses, helps prevent tracking, and is the detection engine underlying Windows Security, Microsoft’s broader suite of safety tools.

    But while it provides a good first line of defense, Microsoft Defender may not be enough — according to PCMag, “the best competitors, including free ones, do even better.” In a March 2021 AV-Comparatives test, Defender detected only just over half of all malware samples while offline. By comparison, Avast detected over 93% of offline samples. And you’ll have to look elsewhere to secure your Mac.

    Microsoft Defender is short on features and can't quite match the market leaders for protection, says TechRadar.
    • Core features: Microsoft Defender is built into Windows and provides capable anti-malware protection. If you have no other antivirus installed, Defender is always on. It also offers basic ransomware and phishing protection — and as part of the larger Windows Security suite, you’ll get a firewall, parental controls, and other helpful features.

    • What the experts are saying: “Microsoft Defender is short on features and can't quite match the market leaders for protection,” says TechRadar, “but it's easy to use, and does a decent mid-range job of keeping you safe.”

    Norton 360 with LifeLock

    If you’re looking to help protect against identity theft, Norton 360 with LifeLock may be the Kaspersky alternative for you. Along with the strong antivirus protection you’d expect from a leading security company, plans include up to $1 million to cover the legal and expert assistance you may need to help recover from identity theft. 

    Norton 360 with LifeLock offers three different plans to help you tailor your protection according to your needs. Norton 360 with LifeLock Select provides essential protection, Norton 360 with LifeLock Advantage adds additional identity and financial protection features, while Norton 360 with LifeLock Ultimate Plus is the most comprehensive all-in-one plan Norton offers.

    • Core features: Norton 360 with LifeLock focuses on identity protection and privacy safeguards. Depending on the plan you choose, you’ll get different layers of password management help, data breach protection, parental controls, dark web monitoring, investment and financial account protection, and more.

    • What the experts are saying: According to Tom’s Guide, “Norton 360 with LifeLock include[s] the most complete antivirus-software and identity-protection-service combinations you’ll find today.”

    Why you should choose an alternative to Kaspersky

    In June 2024, the US government banned Kaspersky from selling software to US customers and prohibited it from providing updates to existing US customers. As part of its statement, the US government is encouraging current Kaspersky customers to find alternative cybersecurity protection because, without software updates, Kaspersky products won’t adequately defend against new and emerging threats. 

    To minimize disruptions, restrictions on Kaspersky will be phased in, with new agreements prohibited starting July 20, 2024, and software updates banned from September 29, 2024.

    As government warnings against Kaspersky increase in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, interest in alternative cybersecurity solutions is growing. While experts have consistently recognized Kaspersky’s threat-detection capabilities — and there’s no concrete evidence that the security of the Moscow-based company’s products has been compromised — concern is mounting about just how safe Kaspersky really is.

    The Lithuanian government has banned Kaspersky from being used on “computers that control critical infrastructure,” while Germany’s Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) recently recommended switching from Kaspersky to an alternative cybersecurity solution. Authorities are worried that international sanctions may limit Kaspersky’s ability to update its infrastructure, and there are fears the Kremlin could try to exploit its network.

    Kaspersky has denied the allegations against it — claiming they’re speculations lacking substantive basis or technical merit. Kaspersky has said it is open to addressing any concerns, and the company's products remain available to consumers worldwide. As always, we recommend using software from brands you can trust.

    How to select the best alternative to Kaspersky

    Cybersecurity involves protecting your most sensitive information, so you can’t afford to take risks when choosing the right software. If a company’s network is compromised, your personal data may be at risk. When searching for the best antivirus software, look for a trustworthy solution recommended by independent experts.

    You’ll get all that and more with Avast One, winner of PCMag’s 2023 Editors’ Choice award. Citing its “excellent all-round protection,” TechRadar says that “Avast One is clearly one of the leaders. It's not simply that there are so many useful protection tools in place, but also that these tools are powerful and do exactly what they need to do.”

    Stay protected with reliable cybersecurity software

    As our digital and physical worlds become increasingly connected, online security is critical. When choosing a cybersecurity provider, you shouldn’t have to worry about the risks posed by authoritarian governments.

    Founded in the wake of the political changes roiling Europe in the 1980s, Avast has a deep understanding of the risks posed by anti-democratic regimes. Our commitment to digital freedom and online security is ironclad.

    Avast is trusted by more than 435 million users around the world, and that wide-reaching network helps us identify the latest malware strains and strengthens our threat-detection capabilities.

    As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine spread, Avast identified a wave of new cyber threats seeking to exploit the situation. Avast’s response to the conflict was swift, including in-depth analysis of phishing attacks exploiting the conflict. We also released a free ransomware decryptor tool to combat a new strain of ransomware circulating in Ukraine.

    Avast One is our flagship cybersecurity solution, providing you with the comprehensive protection you need in today’s digital world. More than just an antivirus, Avast One includes powerful privacy tools, like data breach monitoring and a VPN, along with a dedicated optimization suite. Get Avast One today.

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    Security Tips
    Oliver Buxton