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Kaspersky VPN review

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I. Introduction

Kaspersky VPN is the virtual private network offering by cybersecurity firm Kaspersky. Launched in 2018, it promises online privacy protection plus ability to bypass geo-blocks on popular streaming sites and social platforms.

This review will deeply analyze the VPN’s features, speeds, privacy policy and value-for-money against competitors to determine if Kaspersky VPN deserves consideration for your online security needs.

II. Features

Kaspersky VPN comes equipped with standard features expected from commercial VPN providers:

Appearance and usability The custom Windows and mobile apps provide clean modern interfaces with useful connected server insights. Quick connect features enable one-click secure browsing. Settings however offer limited tweakability for advanced users.

Security provisions 256-bit AES traffic encryption is implemented supporting OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec and IKEv2 VPN protocols. An internet kill switch also blocks internet access if VPN connections drop unexpectedly.

Media streaming abilities While mostly capable for unlocking sites like BBC iPlayer and US Netflix, inconsistent unblocking success is reported across server network likely due to blacklisting.

Customer support Support channels like live chat, email and web tickets are available in English, German and Russian. Experiences vary with some praising knowledgeable assistance while others faced slower issue resolution.

III. Speed Performance

Independent speed tests reveal a mixed picture regarding Kaspersky VPN’s connection performance:

Peak speed capacity
When connected to nearby or lightly loaded servers, download speeds over OpenVPN can reach impressively fast rates around 200Mbps+ suitable for 4K streaming and rapid file downloads.

However…

Speed fluctuations and congestion Performance suffers drastically during peak traffic times across different locations. Ookla speed tests recorded sharp drops averaging just 10-30Mbps indicating potential infrastructure bottlenecks. Slow speeds disrupt media streaming and web conferencing usability.

IV. Privacy Policy

While boasting a no-logs policy, Kaspersky VPN’s Russian ownership and local jurisdiction introduces some user privacy concerns:

Russian ties
As a Russian corporation bound by local laws, some speculate whether Kaspersky can fully resist government demands for user data access or backdoor infiltration attempts given tightened state surveillance policies in recent years.

No-logs policy Officially, Kaspersky does not record user activity logs nor connection logs beyond aggregate bandwidth usage. It may retain anonymized diagnostic data for troubleshooting. Payment details are stored for billing as usual. External audits are planned to publicly verify infrastructure.

Question marks linger Despite claimed no-logging, Kaspersky admits connection timestamps may get logged which marks a deviation from strict standards. Jurisdiction risks also stand out versus rival VPNs operated from truly privacy-friendly territories like Panama or the British Virgin Islands.

V. Pricing & Plans

Kaspersky VPN costs a budget-friendly $29.99 for 12-months making it one of the cheapest premium VPN options:

1 month – $9.99
1 year – $2.50 per month ($29.99 billed annually)

Apps support unlimited data usage across 5 connected devices concurrently.

While pricing seems attractive, accepted payment options are currently limited to credit cards only. Cryptocurrencies or anonymous payments are not supported. Pricing displayed also differs based on user location detecting via IP address.

VI. Comparison With Other VPNs

Stacking up Kaspersky VPN versus popular rivals better highlights where it trails behind:

ExpressVPN has superior speeds that don’t waiver plus watertight audit-verified no-logging assurances operating from the British Virgin Islands. It does cost $12.95 monthly but justifies premium pricing through best-in-class reliability and trust.

Private Internet Access based in the US delivers consistent 80-100 Mbps OpenVPN speeds suitable for heavy usage needs. Plans start cheaper at $2.19 monthly alongside payment flexibility including anonymous options.

Newcomer SurfShark also impresses outpacing on unblocking abilities like accessing Disney Plus internationally. Network infrastructure feels less overloaded and customer support is praised as very responsive.

VII. Pros and Cons

Key advantages and limitations clearly surface evaluating Kaspersky VPN in totality:

Pros

  • Inexpensive 12-month subscription plan
  • Suite of security tools being a cybersecurity vendor
  • No Binding contracts

Cons

  • Speed performance dips drastically during peak times
  • Unreliable access to some streaming sites
  • Privacy uncertainty tied to Russian jurisdiction

VIII. Conclusion

In closing, while very wallet-friendly and equipped with standard VPN security, Kaspersky still feels more like a work-in-progress rather than finished product compared to mature VPN offerings. Server speeds test inconsistently for media streaming needs and Russian legal jurisdiction introduces long-term privacy uncertainties.

Kaspersky’s affordable pricing may attract new VPN users on a tight budget not needing blazing speeds. But at only marginally higher monthly rates, rivals like PIA and SurfShark outflank on trust, transparency and performance markers that matter most.

Until infrastructure capacity improves demonstrably and audits help validate marketing promises, it’s hard recommending Kaspersky VPN over established editor favorites for guarding sensitive user data. Buying decision reservations stem less from Russian wolf caricatures, but more the inescapable jurisdiction risks that come with the territory.

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