We created this comprehensive head-to-head comparison based on our seasoned experts’ research and the top independent labs in the world. That way, you can make an informed decision, which is the best option for you.

We closely follow four labs that regularly release detailed reports: AV-Test Institute based in Germany, MRG-Effitas, and SE Labs in the UK and AV-Comparatives based in Austria.

AV-Test Institute discovered about 64 million new malware samples in the first half of 2020. Malicious hackers are now attacking computers and networks at a rate of one attack every 39 seconds.

One of the fastest-growing threats is ransomware. Polls show that one out of every five Americans have dealt with a ransomware attack. The average ransom payments more than doubled in the last quarter of 2019 versus the third quarter, increasing from $41,198 to $84,116. The average downtime due to a ransomware attack also increased from 12.1 days to 16.2 days in the last quarter of 2019.

You can see yourself that dealing with cyber threats is more important than ever.

In this head-to-head battle, you’ll see the security products, features, and tools both companies offer. We take a look at how they stack up against each other regarding malware protection, system performance, user interface, cost, and more.

Here are the most important factors that we’ve compared:

  • Protection
  • Performance
  • Usability
  • Features
  • Pricing

You need to be able to protect yourself against any digital threats and give yourself the best chance of never having to pay criminals for your data.

So let’s dive in.

A quick overview of the results

If you’re in a rush or just not too interested in all the statistics, we have compiled a handy summary of the results.

  • Protection

    In the last tests, both Kaspersky and Avast showed impressive results, but according to SE Labs, Kaspersky did a bit better.

  • Performance

    Kaspersky and Avast perform well when installing applications. Opening websites and applications may cause some slow-down even more with Avast.

  • Usability

    Both products offer simple and straightforward to use interfaces. There were some issues with false reporting by Avast.

  • Features

    Kaspersky and Avast offer anti-malware and VPN features, but the list is a bit longer and a lot logical for Kaspersky.

  • Pricing

    Both products offer different individual and bundle options, but Kaspersky gives you a better price for everything you need.

A short verdict

Kaspersky is simply a much better option than Avast in all aspects. Its protection and performance are superior; it is easier to use and offers better features and pricing options.

  1. One of our best-rated software
    Kaspersky Antivirus logo

    Kaspersky

    Kaspersky offers top of the line protection against viruses and other threats, with little to none effect on your computer's performance.

    Starting at $18,19 from Kaspersky
  2. Good protection for all your devices
    Avast Antivirus Logo

    Avast

    Avast offers a high level of protection against malware and hackers. Still, all the features are not included in the entry-level product, so be ready to pay extra for them.

    Starting at $55,99 from Avast

Detailed results

If you didn’t get enough information to make a decision based on our short overview or like to dive into the details, we have a lot more to offer. Let’s see all the nerdy stats that we uncovered during our research. We put Kaspersky and Avast head-to-head in all the categories using data gathered by our experts and test results of top independent testing facilities.

So let’s dig in.

Protection

There is no doubt that protection is the most crucial part of any antivirus software. It is basically the only reason you’re installing it in the first place. The last tests run by independent test facilities show that one of our competitors performed a bit better than the other.

We’d like to compare the test results of two labs, AV-Test and SE Labs so that you can see for yourself.

In the last tests, AV-Test put both software up against 402 samples of 0-day malware attacks and 20606 samples of malware during a four week period.

Both Kaspersky and Avast showed impressive results in getting a perfect 100% in both protection and detection. Quite a duel in the lab.

Industry average Kaspersky Avast
Protection against 0-day malware attacks, inclusive of web and email threats

402 samples used

Detection of widespread and prevalent malware discovered in the last 4 weeks

20 606 samples used

Source: av-test.org

SE Labs use a bit of a different testing method. It conducts tests and gives each product a protection score based on the overall level of protection, making no distinction between neutralized and blocked incidents. For each product, they add blocked and neutralized cases together to create a straightforward tally. Kaspersky once again scored a perfect 100. Avast, on the other hand, scored 98 out of 100.

Kaspersky Avast
Protection score

Source: selabs.uk

As you can see, our competitors were quite neck-to-neck, but according to SE Labs, one did a bit better. It’s a close call, but the winner is Kaspersky, with higher test scores.

Winner: Kaspersky

Performance

When both rivals have top-notch protection, you have to consider other aspects to make the right decision. The main one, in that case, may be the software’s performance. It means that the security it provides shouldn’t be overshadowed by the trouble of slowing down your computer.

It can be quite a problem in some cases. So we put the competitors head-to-head. Let’s see what the results were so you could avoid any issues.

AV-Test lab research shows that with Kaspersky, you can easily install frequently-used applications faster than the industry average. There were some more than average slow-down during website and app launching – still a good result.

The performance of Avast was quite good as well. Still, a little more slow-down can be detected when launching websites and applications.

Industry average Kaspersky Avast
Slowing-down when launcing popular websites

50 websites visited

Slower download of frequently-used applications

20 downloaded files

Slower launch of standard software

12 test cases applied

Slower installation of frequently-used applications

19 installed applications

Slower copying of files (locally and in a network)

7388 files copied

Source: av-test.org

Numbers show that the result is quite clear. The winner in this category is Kaspersky.

Winner: Kaspersky

Usability

The usability of antivirus software consists of two sides. The first is its interface and how easy it is to use. The second is the software’s false reporting. Error notifications that start popping up each time you open a perfectly virus-free photo or video prevent you from doing anything on a computer.

First, let’s compare the interfaces.

Kaspersky has a clean and modern interface that is really intuitive to use. Light colors and simple icons make it one of the best in the industry.

All your main options are right there on the home screen. You can find the following options – Scan, Database Update, Safe Money, Privacy Protection, Parental Control, and Protection for all devices.

Most importantly, you can see if your computer is protected or infected right at the top. If you want to dig in, you can see the details, such as the last performed scan, etc. If there are any problems with your computer the green checkmark turns into a big red X, so you can’t miss it.

On the right bottom corner, you can see your license info. That way, you know if you need a subscription renewal.

Kaspersky User Interface

Avast has a modern and simple design, a bit darker than the other contender, though. The interface is intuitive and lets you find the most important functions with ease.

The default layout is configured to suit most users. However, you can manually set your preferences in the Settings.

The most critical information is always there and lets you know if your computer is protected or not. There is a big circle with a tick to indicate that. You can also start a smart scan with just one click.

In addition to the status, you’ll find the information about protection, privacy and performance, on the left bar of the window.

Notifications and preferences can be found on the top right corner.

Avast User Interface

Now let’s dive into false reporting.

AV-Test labs also gather information on false reporting. The tests conducted show that Kaspersky once again got the perfect score, and no false reports showed up. Avast had some issues, though. But to be honest, for an everyday user, such a small number of incorrect notifications doesn’t impact the usability at all.

Industry average Kaspersky Avast
False warnings or blockages when visiting websites

500 samples used

False detections of legimate software as malware during a system scan

964 585 samples used

False warnings concerning certain actions carried out whilst installing and using legitimate software

87 samples used

False blockages of certain actions carried out whilst installing and using legitimate software

87 samples used

Source: av-test.org

As you can see, both contenders have a simple to use interface. Still, tests regarding false reporting showed that one software performed a bit better. That is the reason why we have to give this one to Kaspersky as well.

Winner: Kaspersky

Features

Kaspersky and Avast both offer a wide variety of security features to protect your digital life. The main difference between the two companies is how these features are bundled. With Kaspersky, you can get a lot more with just one purchase. Avast requires you to pay extra with a lot of advanced options.

Let’s see what Kaspersky has to offer first.

Kaspersky’s product line consists of four main products for the home user. Its entry-level software is called Kaspersky Anti-Virus. It is available as only a 2 PC option and blocks the latest viruses, ransomware, spyware, and crypto lockers. It basically covers the essential needs of a user that doesn’t use the computer that much.

The next in line is Kaspersky Internet Security, and it’s a big step forward. It adds a multi-device capability and is also the entry-level option if you use a Mac. The software has privacy features that stop webcam hijacks and hide your browsing.

It also recognizes phishing sites – websites that are made to appear like safe ones (e.g. PayPal), so hackers can get your login or other information and steal your money or data. It also has a smart VPN with 200 MB of usage per device, per day.

Kaspersky Total security is the company’s Premium product and adds yet another layer of features. It offers protection for children through “bad content” blocker, and also uses GPS tracker. You can safely manage and store your passwords and back up your precious photos, music, and files with it. On your PC, Mac, or mobile device.

The newest addition to Kaspersky’s lineup is Kaspersky Security Cloud that includes a revolutionary data leak checker. It looks for leaks in your accounts and advises what to do if problems are found. If you use an Android device, it can also check permissions used by your apps. You also get an extra 300 MB of VPN usage per device per day, totaling 500 MB.

Unfortunately, Security Cloud isn’t yet available all around the world. So check before you make a purchase.

Kaspersky also has some free tools like a Kaspersky QR Scanner to check if the codes you scan are safe. Kaspersky Battery Life is an app for your Android that can extend the battery life.

View all Kaspersky products

Now let’s take a look at what Avast has to offer.

Avast product line consists of three different categories – Security, Privacy, and Performance. From the security part, you can find two options.

Avast Free Security is the most basic antivirus bundle you can get.

It offers you Anti-Malware Security that blocks viruses, spyware, Trojans, and other malware, and scans your computer for already-hidden threats.

Web & Email Shields alert you of unsafe websites, blocks insecure downloads, stops dangerous email attachments, and prevent intrusive web tracking.

Wi-Fi Security Scan checks your entire network and all connected devices for vulnerabilities to help you stop hackers from stealing your personal data.

But for the everyday user, ongoing protection is much needed. For that, you have to opt for the Avast Premium Security option.

With the premium product, real-time Wi-Fi security alerts feature is added so you can instantly be alerted to network weaknesses and intruders.

Also, one of the essential features today is ransomware detection, as this is the fastest-growing segment in malware. Ransomware attacks in the US alone cost an estimated $7.5 billion in 2019. Avast Premium Security offers a Ransomware Shield to protect your files.

The premium product comes with two purchase options. The first lets you use only one PC, and the other is for up to 10 devices, but you can use it on Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS platforms.

Avast also offers Avast SecureLine VPN for some extra. This product lets you keep everything you do online totally private thanks to the bank-grade encryption. You can browse, bank, message, and shop without having to worry about hackers or anyone else seeing what you do online or stealing your data.

Another extra is its Avast AntiTrack that helps you online. It lets you know when you’re being tracked, keeps your true identity private, stops targeted advertising, and erases your browsing history automatically. For some more money, you can find a Secure Browser in Avast lineup as well. Password protection is another add-on the company offers.

On the Performance segment, Avast offers three products. Avast Cleanup Premium lets you boost your computer’s speed and performance. The last two options are available for windows only. Avast Driver Updater keeps your drivers up to date with a single click, and Avast Battery Saver maximizes your laptop’s battery life.

For the best all-round protection you must opt for Avast Ultimate. This is Avast’s all-inclusive bundle where you get everything we have mentioned before.

View all Avast products

As both companies offer a long list of features, Kaspersky’s lineup is a lot more logical. You don’t have to download every feature separately and pay for each option. That is the reason why the win goes to Kaspersky.

Winner: Kaspersky

Pricing

Price plays an important role when deciding which option to go with. You have to take all the details into account to make the best decision that is best for you.

When investing in antivirus software, you are not purchasing an application but rather an ease-of-mind that your digital life is in safe hands.

So let’s compare the price points that offer you that peacefulness. Here are the prices of both Kaspersky and Avast products.

Kaspersky has bundled all the features into four different products that offer different levels of security. Here are the first two.

  1. Kaspersky Antivirus logo

    Kaspersky Anti-Virus

    Essential antivirus for Windows – blocks viruses & cryptocurrency-mining malware.

    Starting at $18,19
  2. Kaspersky Antivirus logo

    Kaspersky Internet Security

    Adds multi-device availability, online security features, and a VPN agent.

    Starting at $35,87

For the best all-round protection, you should consider the following options.

  1. Kaspersky Antivirus logo

    Kaspersky Total security

    Add yet another layer of security with a password manager, file protection, and kids' safety options.

    Starting at $46,27
  2. Kaspersky Antivirus logo

    Kaspersky Security Cloud

    The best Kaspersky has to offer – ultimate security with antivirus, anti-ransomware, privacy tools, data leak detection, and more.

    Check for price

In our opinion, the options to consider from Avast are its Premium Security and Ultimate bundle.

  1. Avast Antivirus Logo

    Avast Premium Security

    A complete online protection for all of your computers, phones, and tablets.

    Starting at $55,99
  2. Avast Antivirus Logo

    Avast Ultimate

    Everything you need to keep all your computers, phones, and tablets secure, private, and running at their best.

    Starting at $79,99

As Kaspersky offers a bit more for a better price, the winner is evident in this category.

Winner: Kaspersky

Final Thoughts

Seeing the test results, there is no doubt which of the contenders we should announce as the winner. With superior results, it is undoubtedly Kaspersky. Avast still has some great features and may be the right choice for someone who is looking for an entry-level product.

Keep in mind that we give our best to get you all the facts so you can make an informed decision for what is the best option for you. After all, you are the one that is going to use the software. We hope this review has been helpful to you.