Kaspersky Secure Connection Review

Kaspersky Secure Connection offers fast speeds and low prices – so what's the catch? This time around, the BBC and Netflix were wise to our VPN game, so if that's a dealbreaker, you should look elsewhere.
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Pros

  • Generous free tier
  • Blisteringly fast performance in transfer speed tests
  • Inexpensive

Cons

  • Limited device support, configuration and privacy options
  • Failed to stream US Netflix or BBC iPlayer

Key Features

  • Review Price: £19.99
  • 200MB per day free account available (300MB with registration)
  • Connect up to 5 paid unlimited devices
  • Supports OpenVPN
  • Clients for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS
  • 200MB per day free account available (300MB with registration)
  • £3.99 per month
  • £19.99 per year

What is Kaspersky Secure Connection?

Kaspersky Secure Connection is the famed anti-malware firm’s virtual private network service, with endpoints in 18 countries, including Canada, France and the 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.

In our latest round of testing, Kaspersky Secure Connection earned a 9 out of 10, which sees it also earning a Trusted Reviews’ Recommended accolade.

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Kaspersky Secure Connection – Features and usability

The VPN’s default installation settings opt you into 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.

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, you’ll find that Kaspersky’s VPN service is actually provided by US-based AnchorFree, which has a no-logging policy.

The client opens above the notification area and is easy to use, by default connecting to the fastest available endpoint, but with the option of selecting from one of the VPN’s list of 18 endpoint countries. Although Kaspersky says more endpoints are available to paying users, the same range of countries was available in both free and registered modes during our tests.

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.

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.

Screenshot of the Kaspersky VPN portal on Windows 10

Kaspersky Secure Connection – Performance

Secure Connection has turned around its performance to become one of the fastest VPN services we’ve ever reviewed. In most of our tests, it beat our ultra high-speed internet connection’s non-VPN’d reference scores for both FTP and HTTP downloads.

From its UK endpoint, that peaked at 12.13MB/s (97.04Mbit/s) via FTP and 10.27 via HTTP. In the Netherlands, we got 10.5MB/s and 9.39MB/s respectively for FTP and HTTP. And its US VPN connection was so fast that we repeatedly re-tested it in case of errors or anomalies, more than tripling our non-VPN’d connection speed with 9.57MB/s downloads over both FTP and HTTP.

For downloads and web browsing, Secure Connection couldn’t be better, and users with fast internet connections will particularly benefit. The only downside is that both BBC iPlayer and US Netflix detected that we weren’t really in their respective countries.

Related: What is a VPN?

Why 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, unlike free rival Windscribe, you can’t use it all in a single block if you need to.

The paid-for extended version gives you unlimited data and extra endpoints on five simultaneous connections for a very reasonable £19.99 per year which works out at £1.67 per month. That makes this the joint cheapest paid VPN service we’ve ever reviewed, as well as the fastest.

Our only reservation here is that’s not clear whether the price goes up steeply on renewal, so we recommend that you don’t allow the service to renew your subscription automatically.

If you’d rather pay month-to-month, that’s also competitively priced at £3.99 per month.

Verdict

For everyday VPN users, Kaspersky Secure Connection is the perfect budget choice. Both annual and monthly subscriptions are cost effective and it’s ridiculously fast.

There are some caveats though: Kaspersky failed our streaming tests this time around, which means that media fans should try Windscribe instead.

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 connection goes down.

If you’re an advanced or privacy-conscious user and want your VPN service’s no-logging status to have been proven in court, Private Internet Access is still your best bet.

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