Kaspersky has been working on it for at least a couple of years and after releasing the free version of the antivirus only in Russia, recently Kaspersky Free has become freely installable in all other countries in the world, including Italy.
At the moment Kaspersky Free is not Italian but its interface will be translated into our language by early October, as explained on this page.
Kaspersky’s anti-malware scanning engine doesn’t need any introduction: it’s always at the top of threat detection and doesn’t suffer from the “false positives” problem that plagues many other competing products.
How Kaspersky Free Works
Let’s say right away that Kaspersky Free, despite being a completely free product, works really well.
The only “nuisance” can be the registration on the website of Kaspersky that is not strictly necessary but doing so will avoid the appearance of a notification window at the start of the PC and the message referring to “license issues” in the main screen of the antivirus.
Despite being free, Kaspersky Free is a rather complete product because it includes:
- Real-time and on-demand scanning
- Heuristic analysis of files
- Advanced scanning modes (“smart”) for improved performance
- Web protection (scanning of Internet pages while browsing online for potentially harmful elements)
- Protecting Instant Messaging Software
- Scanning of e-mail (POP3, IMAP and SMTP servers) with analysis of all incoming and outgoing messages
- Cloud-based protection
- VPN protection with the ability to transfer up to 300 MB of data free of charge every day: Kaspersky Secure Connection: Protect your data while using other people’s WiFi. We have some reservations about this service because it is provided by Hotspot Shield, which recently ended up in the “eye of the storm”: VPN security, Hotspot Shield accused of monitoring user traffic.
If you don’t need to use Kaspersky’s VPN (Kaspersky Secure Connection service) and prefer to use the excellent ProtonVPN (ProtonVPN: how to surf anonymously), for example, you can install this module using the Windows Programs and Features window.
Like all modern and effective antivirus software, Kaspersky Free – although free of charge – also includes a module for scanning data in the cloud.
Thanks to it, you can prevent infections and block in the bud those that just appeared on the Net. The approach based exclusively on viral signatures, in fact, fails when dealing with new threats, recently appeared on the network and still unknown to technicians of antivirus laboratories.
To also benefit from cloud protection with Kaspersky Free, you’ll need to tick the I want to participate in Kaspersky Security Network (KSN) box when starting the installation.
This will give you permission to share some anonymous data, but in return you will automatically receive and activate cloud protection.
The first step to take once Kaspersky Free is installed is of course to download and apply the latest updates for viral signatures (Database update button).
The main window of Kaspersky Free doesn’t offer much: a large part of the space is occupied by references to advanced features that are offered in paid versions of the antivirus.
The most interesting part of Kaspersky Free is therefore, without a doubt, the Settings section, accessible by clicking on the small gear icon at the bottom left.
By default, Kaspersky’s free antivirus optimizes its operation by choosing a configuration that represents the right balance between performance and effectiveness of the protection.
After installation, therefore, Kaspersky Free is usually usable already as it is, guaranteeing real-time data protection at the highest level and web protection very effective in blocking websites that carry harmful content. Defenses that are not usually found in free products.
One of the scan modes that should be performed regularly is Quick scan: it only scans the most critical areas of the operating system, within which malware components “nest”.
This is an intelligent scanning mode that allows you to minimize scanning times.
By accessing Kaspersky Free’s settings, then clicking on Scan in the left column and finally on Advanced settings, Quick scan settings, Additional settings, you can adjust some items that will make the system scan even faster.
In this window we suggest to choose File scanned by extension, Scan only new and changed files and Do not unpack compound files larger than 100 MB.
In this way, the scan will work effectively on files by extension, will scan only new items or those added after the last scan and will refrain from decompressing large archives.
The same changes can also be made to the Full scan and Selective scan configuration without lowering the overall level of protection provided by Kaspersky Free.
By default, Kaspersky Free concentrates scanning tasks when the system is not in use (in idle). You can change this behaviour by clicking on Performance and then on the Perform Idle Scan box.
Antivirus free: Install and configure your new free Kaspersky
After the first scan, we also suggest disabling the periodic scan of rootkits (which can be activated on request, later) by using the Search for software box that is intended to conceal traces of a malicious program in the system (rootkits). The antirootkit scan is in fact quite heavy in terms of system resources occupied because it adds to the “load” of traditional analysis routines.
This analysis procedure, therefore, can be activated only when needed in case of doubts.