(Last updated on January 7th, 2021)
Kaspersky or Avast, which antivirus software is a better option in 2021?
Read this ultimate Kaspersky versus Avast comparison to make a smart decision.
Malware comes in many forms: viruses, rootkits, Trojan horses, bots, bugs, worms, spyware, adware, ransomware, etc.
Similarly, the number of malware attacks is also huge and has been on the rise over the years. According to one estimate, the global malware volume stood near 10 billion in 2019.
So, due to the numerous types and a massive number of these attacks, it’s nearly impossible for an average computer user to fight malware on his/her own.
It’s true that you can limit the chances of malware infection by following best practices – for instance, by regularly updating operating system, applications and plugins, removing unnecessary software, using strong passwords, reading emails carefully to avoid phishing attacks, using secure Wi-Fi connection, etc. – but that may not give you complete malware protection and recovery options.
Therefore, the importance of a reliable, subscription-based antivirus suite cannot be stressed enough in today’s world where almost all our actions are somehow connected to the Internet.
What’s more worrying is that hackers are always coming up with new (and sophisticated) ways to invade your privacy, steal important data like bank account details, etc., which makes the use of antivirus a necessity.
A premium antivirus program is equipped with several tools that go beyond malware protection and not only give you complete protection but also peace of mind.
We stress on premium software because free antivirus programs only come with basic protection functionality and lack advanced features like a password manager, VPN, file encryption, parental controls, secure browser for banking, etc.
Best Antivirus Suite for 2020
Overall Score: 9.9/10
60-day money-back guarantee
Right now, we think that Norton is the best antivirus software your money can buy. It regularly earns perfect or near-perfect scores from independent labs and has the least impact on system performance compared to rival products. Its products combine top-notch security with an array of excellent security features and, best of all, offer exceptional value for money.
Overall, Norton 360 Deluxe (currently at 70% off) is our pick for the best antivirus suite in 2020. It is competitively priced and comes with almost everything you could possibly ask for, such as a firewall, a fully integrated VPN, dark web monitoring, cloud backup storage (50GB), a password manager, and parental controls. You can cover up to 5 PCs, Macs, smartphones or tablets with this suite.
If you want full-on identity protection and don’t mind paying more, Norton 360 with LifeLock Select (currently at 35% off) gives those in the US a full range of identity protection features, more backup space (100GB), as well as all the above.
In this comprehensive comparison post, we pit two of the top antivirus companies – Kaspersky and Avast – against each other to find out which of them offers better features, malware protection, pricing plan, etc.
In a rush? Below is a quick comparison of winners in each category.
A Quick Rundown of Winners in Each Category
Winner: Kaspersky. Both antivirus companies offer several advanced features and tools to protect your data and privacy, but Kaspersky is slightly ahead in this category.
2. Malware Protection
Winner: Both. Both antivirus products showed amazing results in protection tests conducted by independent testing labs.
3. System Performance
Winner: Kaspersky. Kaspersky performed better than Avast in independent evaluations, indicating that it puts minimal influence on computer speed in daily usage.
Winner: Tie. Both antivirus suites offer modern and intuitive interfaces.
Winner: Kaspersky. Kaspersky provides more value for money; you can protect more devices at significantly lower rates with Kaspersky than with Avast.
6. Customer Satisfaction
Winner: Avast. According to independent sources, Avast has better customer satisfaction ratings than Kaspersky.
Kaspersky offers more security-related features and extra utility tools in its security suites than Avast. Independent tests prove that both software provide excellent protection against both widespread and zero-day malware, but Kaspersky is slightly better than Avast in terms of the impact on system performance.
Best Antivirus for 2021
- Robust feature-set
- Excellent anti-malware security
- Minimal system impact
- Easy-to-use interface
- Automatic updates
- Trusted by 50 million users
- 100% virus protection promise
- 60-day money-back guarantee
#2 (Very Good)
- Exceptional malware protection
- Little impact on performance
- Trusted by millions of users
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- User-friendly interface
#3 (Very Good)
- Good malware protection
- Trusted by big corporations
- Minimal impact on performance
- Good value for money
- 30-day risk-free guarantee
Let’s dive into details.
The range of features an antivirus offers is perhaps the first thing we look to determine its overall usefulness. Below is a comparison of features provided by Kaspersky and Avast.
Let’s first have a look at Kaspersky’s feature set.
The company offers a free antivirus tool called Kaspersky Free.It does provide malware protection but lacks advanced security-related features and utilities and is only compatible with Windows.
Kaspersky Anti-Virus is the entry-level, paid offering by the company. It offers the following features:
- Protects against all kinds of digital threats.
- The Vulnerability Scanner tool checks for patches and loopholes that can be exploited.
- The Silent Mode utility enables you to enjoy games or movies without any distractions.
- Advanced, multi-layered ransomware protection is also incorporated into the suite.
- Runs on Windows PCs only.
Kaspersky Internet Security is the next level of protection from the company. The package includes all the features mentioned above, plus:
- A two-way firewall.
- A hardened browser that secures your financial details when you engage in shopping or banking activities.
- An email filter that keeps junk/spam away from your inbox.
- Protection against webcam spying.
- A limited-use VPN that unblocks content that may not be available in your region.
- Compatible with PCs, Macs and smartphones.
The next tier of coverage is the full-blown Kaspersky Total Security suite. It has all the features mentioned above, in addition to:
- A full-blown password manager that manages and stores all your passwords.
- A file shredder that erases sensitive files in a way that no one can recover them.
- A file encryption utility that helps secure your essential data so no one can access them.
- Parental-control features that let you monitor the activity of your kids and prevent them from seeing age-sensitive content, providing them with a safe web surfing experience.
The final product offered by the company is Kaspersky Security Cloud, which includes all the features of the Total Security suite, plus:
- It comes in both Personal and Family packages.
- Adaptive technology gives each user personalized experience by applying necessary settings and options based on a user’s Internet habits and computer use.
Interested in Kaspersky’s business products? Click here for more information.
Let’s see what Avast offers in comparison.
Avast Free Antivirus is the most basic-level protection offered by the company. It doesn’t cost you a penny, but it also lacks all the advanced features and utilities needed to thwart sophisticated malware attacks and to give you complete peace of mind.
Avast Internet Security is where things start to get interesting. It comes with a host of useful features, including:
- Two-way firewall for 24/7 protection from malware.
- Email filter that stops spam and malicious emails from making their way to your inbox.
- A handy feature called Sandbox Mode that allows you to open suspicious files and apps securely.
- The Real Site feature to prevent fake DNS routing. The feature ensures that you go to the website you want to visit.
Next up is Avast Premier, which includes all the features mentioned above, plus:
- Anti-spying tool that prevents the bad guys from hijacking your webcam.
- A tool that helps you shred sensitive files irrecoverably.
- Automatic software update utility.
Then there is the company’s full-fledged Avast Ultimate suite. It boasts all the features included in the previous packages, and:
- A VPN that allows you to anonymously browse the Internet and access content not available to you because of your geographic location.
- Avast Cleanup tool that rids your computer of junk files and improves its performance.
The company offers Avast Security for Mac. The package comes in both free and paid versions. The freeware thwarts most malware attacks but, as expected, is lacking in many useful features and tools and is nothing in comparison to the premium package.
The paid version offers:
- Advanced protection against ransomware attacks.
- Vulnerability Scanner.
- Wi-Fi intruder alert tool.
If you are interested in Avast’s business products, click here for more information.
Winner: Kaspersky. Both Kaspersky and Avast offer an impressive feature-set as part of their premium products, but Kaspersky has an edge in this category.
2. Malware Protection
An antivirus program is expected to protect you against all kinds of new and old malware attacks. If a significant number of malware threats pass through your antivirus suite, then such a program can only give you a false sense of security.
In order to know which among Kaspersky and Avast has stronger malware defense, we will look at evaluations regularly conducted by reputable, independent antivirus testing organizations like the AV-Test Institute and AV-Comparatives.
The AV-Test lab conducted its latest evaluations in April 2020. In its Protection test, both Avast and Kaspersky received a near-perfect 5.5 score out of 6, providing a 99% success rate in protection against zero-day malware attacks and a 100% success rate against widespread and prevalent malware.
In the AV-Comparatives June 2020 Real-World Protection test, once again both Avast and Kaspersky were neck and neck, clinching the highest-possible ADVANCED+ award (3 stars).
Winner: Both. Both antivirus products were outstanding in the malware protection category, receiving excellent scores from AV-Test and AV-Comparatives.
3. System Performance
A good antivirus program not only protects your computer from online threats, but it also uses little system resources so that your PC doesn’t slow to a crawl.
Let’s refer to the same testing labs once again and see which among Kaspersky and Avast is more lightweight.
In the June 2020 Performance evaluation test by AV-Test, Kaspersky bagged the maximum 6 score, showing exceptional system performance capability.
Avast was not far behind with a score of 5.5 out of 6, but it was certainly not perfect.
Kaspersky continued its outstanding streak in the AV-Comparatives April 2020 Performance test as well and achieved the 3-star ADVANCED+ award.
Avast lost the race once again with the 2-star ADVANCED award.
Winner: Kaspersky. It’s evident from the two assessments that Kaspersky is much ahead of Avast in this category and puts a minimal impact on system performance.
An excellent antivirus doesn’t only possess exceptional malware protection and system performance capabilities; it also offers a simple and intuitive user interface.
First, let’s have a look at Kaspersky’s interface.
Kaspersky’s open-frame interface uses light colors, and most of the essential features – such as Scan and Parental Controls – are prominently displayed on the dashboard.
All options are within your easy reach, as you can access almost all functions with just a few clicks.
A big green checkmark on the banner shows that your computer is safe. In case of any issue, the checkmark turns to a red X.
Your subscription status is shown at the bottom of the screen, and you will be alerted when you are close to the date of renewal.
Kaspersky offers a room of personalization and customization as well.
Let’s see what Avast offers.
You’ll appreciate the user-friendly interface of Avast, as it is effortless to use, even for those who only have basic computer skills. The buttons are large and easy to see and well organized.
All the options can be accessed with just a few clicks using Avast’s intuitive and simple control panel. On the left hand is a side rail that houses all the operations into an extensive menu if you want to perform specific tasks.
The downside is that if you happen to use Avast’s freeware (which we don’t recommend), you have to brace yourself for a lot of intrusive and annoying ads.
Winner: Tie. Both antivirus companies offer simple and intuitive interfaces and use large and well-organized buttons, making access to all the features quick and easy.
Affordability is an important determinant for most people when it comes to making a final decision about the purchase. Therefore, an excellent antivirus program offers excellent value at lower rates.
Let’s see how Kaspersky and Avast price their different products.
Kaspersky AntiVirus, the company’s first premium coverage, comes with three PC-only licenses at an annual cost of $29.99.
Kaspersky Internet Security also comes with three licenses, but they can be run on any device including PCs, Macs and smartphones. You can get these licenses for $39.99 per year. Kaspersky Total Security also covers three devices, but at a higher cost of $49.99 per year.
Kaspersky Security Cloud has two versions: Personal and Family. The Personal package costs $49.99 per year. The Family pack carries a price tag of $149.99 per year and comes with 20 universal licenses.
|Kaspersky Products||Regular Price||Discounted Price|
|Kaspersky Anti-Virus||$59.99/year||Check here|
|Kaspersky Internet Security||$79.99/year||Check here|
|Kaspersky Total Security||$99.99/year||Check here|
|Kaspersky Security Cloud (Personal)||$89.99/year||Check here|
|Kaspersky Security Cloud (Family)||$149.99/year||Check here|
|Kaspersky Small Office Security||$149.99/year||Check here|
|Kaspersky End Point Security Cloud||$300.00/year||Check here|
Avast’s first paid antivirus suite, Internet Security, costs $59.99 per year for 1 PC. Avast Premier, the second tier of coverage from the company, costs $69.99 per year for 1 PC. Avast Ultimate, the company’s full-blown security package, is priced at $119.95 per year for 1 PC.
Avast Security for Mac, the company’s only product for Mac users, carries an annual price tag of $59.99 for a single device.
Winner: Kaspersky. In comparison to Avast, Kaspersky provides more value for money. Even its first layer of protection covers three devices for just $29.99.
6. Customer Satisfaction
Finally, customer satisfaction is another critical factor that plays a vital role in increasing the product’s value. Happy customers indicate the company keeps on improving its services and resolves complaints on time.
Consumeraffairs.org is a well-known customer feedback website that gives 1- to 5-star rating based on customer reviews. On the website, Kaspersky has a rating of 2.5 stars compared to a 3-star rating of Avast.
According to another review-collecting website Better Business Bureau (BBB), Avast has a fantastic A+ rating while Kaspersky in on the other end of the divide with a poor F rating.
Winner: Avast. Avast flattens Kaspersky in this category, as ratings from both review sites show customers are more satisfied with Avast than Kaspersky.
Avast is competitive, but Kaspersky emerged as the overall winner thanks to its excellent feature spread, superior malware defense, and better pricing plans.
Our recommendations: If you want to get the highest level of security and performance, there's no better choice than Norton, which protects over 50 million users worldwide.
After reviewing dozens of antivirus products from some of the biggest names in the cybersecurity realm, we believe that Norton 360 Deluxe is the best antivirus suite available on the market. It provides flawless anti-malware protection without slowing you down. Plus, you get almost all the advanced features you could ever want.
If you're willing to pay more for advanced identity protection features, we recommend Norton 360 with LifeLock select (only available in the US). It's a bit pricey but worth the price.
Anas Baig is a consumer privacy advocate and cybersecurity journalist by profession. Has has more than 7 years of professional experience under his belt. Anas has been featured on numerous media publications including The Guardian, Lifehacker, The Next Web, Infosecurity Magazine, Security Boulevard, Hacker Noon, CMS Wire, IAPP, SC Magazine, and many others. His interest includes Digital Privacy Rights, Information Security, Networking, Privacy, and Data Protection.