Russian antivirus vendor Kaspersky has announced a free version of its antivirus software. Kaspersky Free, as the software is called, is available for users in the United States right now, European users have to wait till October.
The company has decided to finally release an official free version because of its 20 year anniversary, CEO Eugene Kaspersky writes on his company’s blog.
Previously Kaspersky Free was tested in the Russia-Ukraine-Belarus region and some north European countries.
Kaspersky Free will contain basic functionality and the company stresses that it doesn’t compete with its paid subscription with adds features like Parental Control, Online Payment Protection, and Secure Connection (VPN) for $60 a year.
Nevertheless, Kaspersky Free will block malcious scripts, scans files on the computer and also incoming mails. It also scans USB sticks that are plugged into the PC. Infected files are placed in quarantine and can also be removed.
Kaspersky has been in the news recently for filing antitrust complaints against Microsoft which ships a free antivirus product in Windows by default (Windows Defender) and appears to aggressively compete with third-party antivirus products, such as those from Kaspersky Lab.
This, and the fact that other antivirus (free) products have been in the news for containing critical vulnerabilities might also have fueled the release of Kaspersky Free as Eugene Kaspersky writes in the announcement of the software, “There are a lot of users who don’t have the ~$50 to spend on premium protection; therefore, they install traditional freebies (which have more holes than Swiss cheese for malware to slip through) or they even rely on Windows Defender (ye gods!).”
Update: Although Kaspersky states on its website that European users have to wait till October, we were able to install the software without any issues (in the Netherlands, Europe).