Security for everyone - Reviewing Kaspersky Antivirus & Security for Android

4 out of 5 stars

Kaspersky Antivirus & Security is the mobile antivirus product for Android smartphones and tablets, developed by Kaspersky Lab. It's a security app that promises to offer top-tier security, a series of anti-theft tools that will help if you lose your Android device(s) and a range of additional features that should protect your data and your privacy. After using and testing it for more than week, today we are ready to share with you our opinion about Kaspersky Antivirus & Security. Read on and see if this is the Android security solution you've been waiting for.

What can Kaspersky Antivirus & Security do for you?

Just as its name suggests, Kaspersky Antivirus & Security is not just an antivirus, but a complete security suite that is designed to protect your Android smartphones and devices. You can get the free version of this software from Google Play , but you'll have to buy a license from Kaspersky in order to be able to use all the security modules and features that are included.

Where To Buy

If you buy a license for Kaspersky Antivirus & Security , you will be able to use the following protection modules and features:

  • Anti-Virus - the security module that protects your device against malware. It offers an on-demand scanner and a real-time antivirus engine.
  • Privacy Protection - lets you temporarily hide contacts and the call and text messages history you have with them.
  • Anti-Theft - uses your Kaspersky and the My Kaspersky portal in order to remotely locate and lock your Android device, turn on an alarm on it, wipe data from it, or take a mugshot of the person who stole it.
  • Call & Text Filter - can be used to block unwanted contacts from calling you or sending you text messages.
  • Web Protection - scans websites before you visit them and blocks those identified as delivering malicious code or trying to steal data from you.
  • Text Anti-Phishing - scans the SMS text messages you receive and blocks those that contain links to dangerous websites.

Setting up Kaspersky Antivirus & Security for Android

In order to test Kaspersky Antivirus & Security , we used our test Android smartphone, a Motorola Nexus 6 running on Android 7 Nougat. After downloading the security suite from Google Play and installing it on your smartphone, the first thing you'll have to do is give the app access to your smartphone and storage, so that it can scan it for threats.

Then, you'll have to choose the country you live in, accept the End User License Agreement and the Kaspersky Security Network Statement , and create or use an existing My Kaspersky account in order to activate your subscription or trial license of Kaspersky Antivirus & Security. If you just want the free version, you can skip this step, but many features from the security suite will be disabled as a result.

Once Kaspersky Antivirus & Security is activated and ready to use, you will be asked to update the app's database and perform a first scan for malware on your Android device.

If anything suspicious is found on your Android device, Kaspersky Antivirus & Security will let you know. Also, even if everything is OK, the app will still tell you that there's an issue with your device. It will tell you that "For protection from online threats, turn on Web Protection". That's just a way of making sure that you will enable the Web Protection security module which is responsible for keeping you safe while browsing the web. That's a good approach on Kaspersky's part, so tap on this issue and follow the indications you get from Kaspersky Antivirus & Security.

It's preferable, although not mandatory, for you to resolve the other two recommendations you get: "Configure Anti-Theft to remotely lock and locate the device" and "Configure Privacy Protection".

In our opinion, Kaspersky Antivirus & Security for Android is easy to setup, although it does require you to create a My Kaspersky account in order to be able to use all its features. After all, how could you remotely locate or wipe your mobile device if you don't have an online account with access to appropriate management tools. Plus, a good thing is that you can create your account straight from the app - you don't have to use a web browser in order to do it. Finally, we like the proactive approach Kaspersky has in asking you to enable and configure the various protection modules it includes.

Using the Anti-Virus

Kaspersky Antivirus & Security offers three different antivirus scanning modes, plus a real-time protection feature.

In order to run a manual scan, all you have to do is launch Kaspersky Antivirus & Security and then tap on the Scan button. The app will then let you choose the type of antivirus scan you want to perform: Quick scan (Scan of installed apps) , Full scan (Scan off entire device) and Folder scan (Scan of a selected folder).

It took Kaspersky Antivirus & Security just 8 seconds to do a full scan of our Nexus 6 test device. That's very fast but don't forget that our smartphone had only the default Android apps installed on it. Depending on how many apps and files you have on your own Android device, a complete antivirus scan could take a lot longer for you.

The Real-time Protection works in the background and continually monitors the file activity and the apps running on your Android device. If an infected file or app is identified, Kaspersky Antivirus & Security automatically tries to clean it. Although you can disable the Real-time Protection module, we highly recommend you don't do that, because it's your first line of defense against malicious apps.

Running antivirus scans with Kaspersky Antivirus & Security is an easy task, although you will probably not have to do it very often because you also get a Real-time Protection feature in this security suite. But, if you do need to manually run antivirus scans, it's good to know - and we really appreciate this option - that you can also run custom antivirus scans of the folders you choose.

Using the Privacy Protection

The Privacy Protection module is designed to let you hide contact information like calls or SMS text messages for the people or phone numbers that you choose as private. Unfortunately, if you intend to use Kaspersky Antivirus & Security on a device running with Android 4.4 or later, the app will let you know right from the start that "Because of Android technical limitations, the Privacy Protection feature of sending and receiving messages may not work as intended".

The bad news is that the above limitation was accurate in our case. The Motorola Nexus 6 that we use as our test device runs on Android 7 Nougat and, although we were able to set the Privacy Protection feature, we couldn't enable it. Each time we tried, Kaspersky Antivirus & Security refused to work and kept on closing.

If you're using older versions of Android, the Privacy Protection feature could be useful for you. However, if you're using a device with a newer Android, it's likely that this feature will not run correctly for you.

Read the second page of this review to learn how effective are Kaspersky's anti-theft, web protection and anti-phishing modules as well as its call and text filters. You will also see our verdict about this product.