Kaspersky Secure Connection Review

Verdict

For everyday VPN use, Kaspersky Secure Connection is cheap, fast and easy to use, but it’s not much good for streaming video. However, the free edition is still worth having if your VPN needs are modest. Kaspersky’s offering only works on the four most common mobile and desktop operating systems, and there’s no kill switch, which means your privacy could be compromised if your VPN disconnects unexpectedly.

Pros

  • Generous free tier
  • Fast transfer speeds
  • Low annual subscription fee

Cons

  • Privacy groups have disputed no-logging policy
  • Limited device support, configuration and privacy options
  • Mediocre video streaming
  • No kill switch

Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £29.99
  • £9.99/month
  • Supports OpenVPN
  • Clients for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS
  • Connect up to five paid, unlimited free devices
  • 200MB per day free account available (300MB with registration); £9.99/mth; £49.99/yr

What is Kaspersky Secure Connection?

Kaspersky Secure Connection is the famed anti-malware firm’s virtual private network (VPN) service, with endpoints in 18 countries, including Canada, France and Ukraine. Rather than being run directly by Kaspersky, Secure Connection uses VPN infrastructure supplied and run by AnchorFree, the company behind the Hotspot Shield VPN.

As well as an extremely low annual subscription price, it also provides a very helpful free tier, which you can use without registering for a Kaspersky account.

Related: Kaspersky Internet Security 

Screenshot of the Kaspersky VPN portal on Windows 10

Kaspersky Secure Connection – Features and usability

The VPN’s default installation settings opt you into the Kaspersky Secure Network, an anti-malware service which provides “instant response to new threats” and “real-time website reputation information”. If you’d rather not have this, you can untick the relevant box before hitting install.

The client opens above the notification area and is easy to use, connecting by default to the fastest available endpoint but with the option of selecting one of the VPN’s 18 endpoint countries. Free users don’t get to select their endpoint and are automatically assigned one, usually in Denmark or Ukraine.

Advanced settings allow you to configure whether the client opens at boot time, whether it connects as soon as it opens and how it behaves when you connect to an insecure Wi-Fi network. You can also select a specific country to connect to by default.

However, the privacy-conscious should note that there’s no kill switch to automatically disconnect you if your VPN connection goes down, which can expose your online activity to your ISP or someone on your local network.

Secure Connection uses the OpenVPN protocol but only allows you to connect using Windows, macOS, Android and iOS devices. No clients or connection instructions are provided for any other platforms.

Kaspersky

VPN Secure Connection

Spend just £29.99 per year with Kaspersky VPN and connect to the internet safely on up to five devices.

Related: What is a VPN?

Kaspersky Secure Connection – Performance

Endpoints/VPN UK Netherlands United States
Kaspersky Secure Network HTTP 106.8Mbps 97.76Mbps 105.76Mbps
Kaspersky Secure Network FTP 115.22Mbps 119.20Mbps 115.77Mbps

Secure Connection started out as one of the fastest VPN services we’d ever reviewed and it’s very quick on US endpoints, but its European throughput has gradually dropped to around average among its rivals, particularly this month.

From its UK endpoint, Secure Connection’s performance peaked at 106.8Mbps (13.35MB/s) HTTP and 14.4MB/s via FTP. In the Netherlands, it got 97.76Mbps (12.22MB/s) and 14.9MB/s respectively for HTTP and FTP. And its US VPN connection was well above average, and very much back on form after last month, with 105.76Mbps (13.22MB/s) over HTTP and 14.5MB/s over FTP.

The only downside is its appalling video streaming region-shifting credentials. BBC iPlayer, All 4 and U.S. Netflix all detected that I wasn’t really in their respective countries, which knocks out the most popular video services you might want to watch, although niche horror service Shudder let me watch its U.S. movies.

Should I buy Kaspersky Secure Connection?

Kaspersky Secure Connection is available in a free version, which gives you 200MB of data every day and doesn’t require you to create an account to use it, although linking it to a Kaspersky account will bump your allowance up to 300MB per day. This adds up to around 9GB of data per month, although Kaspersky won’t allow you to use it all in a single block if you need to, unlike free rival Windscribe.

The paid-for extended version gives you unlimited data and extra endpoints on five simultaneous connections. Kaspersky was selling its services to UK users for a rather pricey £9.99 per month or £49.99 per year. Now that annual fee is back down to £29.99, which is almost as cheap as its US price, although monthly subscriptions are still less expensive for US users.

Kaspersky recently moved its operations from Russia to Switzerland, but Secure Connection’s terms and conditions still list the company and service as falling under the laws of the Russian Federation, which has a reputation for being hostile to VPN providers. However, if you examine the fine print, Kaspersky’s VPN service is actually provided by US-based AnchorFree, which has a no-logging policy. Unfortunately, privacy groups have accused AnchorFree of logging user activity in order to serve targeted advertising, and Kaspersky’s own terms and conditions indicate that the Android app, at least, may carry out extensive logging.

Verdict

For everyday VPN use, Kaspersky Secure Connection is cheap, fast and easy to use, but it’s not much good for streaming video. However, the free edition is still worth having if your VPN needs are modest. Kaspersky’s offering only works on the four most common mobile and desktop operating systems, and there’s no kill switch, which means your privacy could be compromised if your VPN disconnects unexpectedly.

If you’re an advanced or privacy-conscious user and want a proven no-logging VPN service, Private Internet Access and ExpressVPN are your best bet, while those who want speed and video streaming should take a look at NordVPN’s fast, audited service. Private Internet Access isn’t very good for video streaming, but if you want speed and security it’s a much more privacy-focused option for little more cost, at £32.99.

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