Kaspersky Secure Connection Review

Kaspersky Secure Connection is a VPN service that used to be one of the cheapest, best value VPN providers going. That's no longer the case, so how does it stand up now?
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Verdict

Kaspersky Secure Connection offers a super-fast and slick service – but it's less than ideal for streaming purposes, it doesn't offer a kill switch, and price rises mean it's no longer the best value VPN going.

Pros

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

Cons

  • No kill switch
  • Privacy groups have disputed no-logging policy
  • Limited device support, configuration and privacy options
  • Failed to stream US Netflix or BBC iPlayer

Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £49.99
  • £9.99 per month
  • 200MB per day free account available (300MB with registration)
  • £49.99 per year
  • Connect up to 5 paid, unlimited free devices
  • Supports OpenVPN
  • Clients for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS

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 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.

It was previously among the cheapest VPN services around, but price rises have now brought its cost in line with its competitors’ subscription fees. However, it includes a very helpful free tier, which you can use without registering for Kaspersky account.

Related: Best VPN

Kaspersky Secure Connection – Features and usability

The VPN’s default installation settings opt you into Kaspersky Secure Network, an anti-malware service that 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, 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

Kaspersky Secure Connection remains one of the fastest VPN services we’ve ever reviewed, and is particularly quick on US endpoints.

From its UK endpoint that peaked at 9.32MB/sec (74.56Mbps) via HTTP and 9.77MB/sec (78.16Mbps) via FTP. In the Netherlands, we got 9.5MB/sec (76Mbps) and 9.37MB/sec (74.96Mbps) respectively for HTTP and FTP. And its US VPN connection noticeably improved our non-VPN’d connection speed with 9.8MB/sec (78.4Mbit/sec) downloads over HTTP and 9.57MB/sec (76.56Mbps) over FTP.

For downloading files and rich web browsing, Secure Connection couldn’t be better, and in particular, users with fast internet connections will benefit. The only downside is that BBC iPlayer, All 4 and US Netflix all detected that we weren’t really in their respective countries. Only lenient Shudder and Crunchyroll’s US services allowed us access.

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 up your allowance to 300MB per day. This adds up to around 9GB of data per month. However, 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 it remains unclear 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 then this, too, is competitively priced at £3.99 per month.

  • Read our view on the free version of Kaspersky in our Best free VPN roundup

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. However, privacy groups have accused AnchorFree of logging user activity in order to serve targeted advertising.

Verdict

For everyday VPN users, Kaspersky Secure Connection is conspicuously fast and easy to use. However, it isn’t good for streaming video region-shifting, and its recent price increase means that it’s no longer the cheapest deal around. 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 your VPN service’s no-logging status to have been proven in court, Private Internet Access is still your best bet. Those who want a high-speed VPN with a few more features should check out KeepSolid VPN Unlimited. Video fans should check out BullGuard VPN or NordVPN.

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