Kaspersky Total Security 2019 review: A fantastic security suite available at a better price

So here we are. The most awkward antivirus review ever. I mean how do you review a security platform that was accused of being a proxy for an unfriendly government just one year ago? Kaspersky Lab denies the allegations, but regardless of what the truth is, the accusation is out there.

Now, one of the first things many Americans think of when it comes to Kaspersky is Russian espionage. 

The reality is we have no way of ascertaining the truth so we’re going to do our best to set aside the controversy. This review is not going to weigh the spying accusations into the score. We’ll look at this suite like we would any other, and then leave it to you to weigh the other considerations—though we do have a helpful article on the Kaspersky controversy with advice from experts.

For years, Kaspersky Lab has been one of the best names in computer security. The company’s top-tier product for consumers right now is Kaspersky Total Security. Taking a look at the dashboard it’s easy to see why Total Security is so popular.

Note: This review is part of our best antivirus roundup. Go there for details about competing products and how we tested them.

kaspersky2019dashboard IDG

The initial dashboard in Kaspersky 2019.

The program is very easy to understand. There are eight basic options Scan, Database Update, Safe Money, Password Manager, Privacy Protection, Backup and Restore, Parental Control, and My Kaspersky.

The most important feature is of course Scan, which offers all the various features you’d expect. You can do quick and full scans,  a selective scan that looks at specific folders, and an external device scan for USB drives. 

Of all the dashboard features, the one that might cause some confusion is Safe Money. This is Kaspersky’s version of a dedicated, sandboxed browser, called Protected Browser, that separates your online financial activity from the rest of your system. This can include everything from logging in to your bank to purchasing something on Amazon. When it’s active, Safe Money automatically adds bank or payment system sites to its local database as you visit them. A pop-up then appears offering to open the site in Protected Browser. A new improvement in Total Security 2019 lets you open a site directly from the notification area.