Security for everyone - Reviewing Kaspersky Secure Connection VPN
When you install an internet security suite on your computer, you might think that you are done with securing it. Unfortunately, that is not always true, as there are other types of security risks that most security suites don't protect you from. VPN services add a layer of security and anonymity since they protect your internet connection by letting you connect through their secure VPN servers, using encrypted connections that cannot be easily intercepted by others. Kaspersky is one of the most well-known antivirus providers in the world, and now they have a VPN service too. Let's take a look at their VPN solution, named Kaspersky Secure Connection. Read this review and see what it has to offer:
What Kaspersky Secure Connection has to offer
Kaspersky Secure Connection is made by Kaspersky Lab, a Russian multinational cybersecurity and antivirus provider headquartered in Moscow, Russia and operated by a holding company in the United Kingdom. It is one of the most renowned cybersecurity companies in the world and it has been in business since 1997. In the last few years there were some reports about the company allegedly having ties with the Russian government or the military, and currently, they are not authorized to do business with the U.S. government. Still, being a Russian company, this makes Kaspersky Secure Connection one of the few VPN providers that have servers in Russia.
Where To Buy
Kaspersky Secure Connection is available in three different plans, one of them, Basic Protection, being free. This plan has its limitations, as there is a daily data limit of 200 MB and it is impossible to select a server to connect to, it is chosen automatically for you.
The Premium Protection plan removes all these limitations and can be purchased in a monthly ($4.99 per month) or yearly ($29.99 per year) subscription. Both variants offer protection for up to five devices simultaneously.
Kaspersky Secure Connection is available on both desktop and mobile devices. The range of supported operating systems includes Windows XP, Windows Vista, up to Windows 10, Mac OS X 10.11 or higher and Android 4.1 or higher. The application is not available for iOS-based Apple mobile devices like iPhones or iPads, which is a significant downside. Also, there is no Linux version or one that could be installed on a router to protect your whole home WiFi network.
The VPN service offered by Kaspersky is available worldwide, with some exceptions, since Kaspersky Secure Connection cannot be installed in Belarus, China, Iran, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates.
Regardless whether you buy a monthly or a yearly subscription, you will have unlimited traffic, don't need an account for the purchase and the application won't log your traffic. If you would like to try its features before buying, you can use Kaspersky Secure Connection freely with a daily data limit of 200MB. Also, Kaspersky Lab offers a 30-day money back guarantee, if you decide to purchase their VPN service.
Regarding global VPN coverage, Kaspersky Secure Connection offers servers in Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Republic of Ireland, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, the United States of America, Ukraine and the United Kingdom. This is one of the lowest number of available servers for the VPN clients we have reviewed so far. However, the most popular locations are present, as is Russia, which is rare in other VPN solutions.
VPN being a privacy-related service, it would be great to be able to pay for the subscription with Bitcoins or other cryptocurrencies, thus remaining truly anonymous. But one can only use a credit card, PayPal or wire transfer to buy a subscription from Kaspersky.
Download and installation
Downloading and installing Kaspersky Secure Connection on Windows is an easy process. First, you need to download the 2.25 MB setup file, called ksec188.8.131.525aen_12213.exe. The filename will change with subsequent versions.
The installation of the application is as simple as launching the executable you have downloaded, pressing the Install button and waiting for the installation to finish. To install the app, you need administrative privileges and an active internet connection.
Also, for it to function properly, Kaspersky Secure Connection might ask you to allow the installation of virtual network drivers (Kaspersky Security Data Escort Adapter). If asked, choose Yes to allow the installation; otherwise, the application will not be able to work.
Note that if you have other VPN software installed, the virtual network adapters might conflict, thus making one or both VPN applications unusable. It is recommended to have only a single VPN client installed on your Windows computer at any given time.
Our first impression of Kaspersky Secure Connection is mixed: there is a low number of VPN servers to connect to, but the most popular locations are there, including Russia, which is rare to find in other VPN products. Downloading and installing the application is a simple procedure, but you cannot buy a subscription with Bitcoins or other cryptocurrencies. It's a good thing that there is a free version available and you also have the 30-day money back guarantee. However, there is no iOS version, which might be a deal breaker for some users.
Using Kaspersky Secure Connection on Windows
When you launch the application, you won't immediately see its main window, only an icon in the notification tray. You can click it to connect to a VPN server, or to open the application window.
The main window has a simple layout: if you want to connect to a VPN server quickly, you just have to click the big slider button in the middle.
The application will now show that the VPN connection is in progress.
As soon as the connection has been established, the slider turns green and you are told that your connection is secured, meaning that you are connected to a VPN server. If you want to disconnect, just click the slider again.
By default, Kaspersky Secure Connection connects to the fastest VPN server available, depending on your location. This might be a good choice if you don't need to be connected to a server from a particular country, and only need protection. The location of the automatically selected server is visible right below the connection button after you are connected.
If you want to connect to a server in a particular country, you can click the name of the pre-selected server (or the Select automatically label if you're not yet connected) and the Choose location window will open, listing all the available servers. Click the one you need and then click the connect button. If you're already connected to a virtual server, you will instantly connect to the new one, as soon as you select it.
Kaspersky Secure Connection has a minimalistic and elegant interface, that is easy to use. Connecting to a VPN server takes only one click, and selecting another is also a quick process.
Go to the second page of this review to learn about the additional features offered by Kaspersky Secure Connection and the results it obtained in our performance benchmarks. You will also see our final verdict for this VPN product.