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Kaspersky’s popular antivirus finally goes free around the world

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Image of global spread of Kaspersky's free software usage

Internet security firm, Kaspersky has finally released its free antivirus software after a year-and-a-half of testing it in select regions. While the software was only available in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, China and in Nordic countries during its trial run, Kaspersky has now decided to make it available for free worldwide.

The free antivirus doesn’t have VPN, Parental Controls and Online Payment Protection capacity which its paid counterpart offers, but it has all the essential features you need to protect your PC. It can scan files and emails, protect your PC while you use the web and quarantine malware that infects your system.

The company says the software isn’t riddled with advertisements like other free antivirus offerings. Instead of trying to make ad money off your patronage, Kaspersky will use the data you contribute to improve machine learning across its products. The free antivirus will be available in the US, Canada and most Asia-Pacific countries over the next couple of days, if it isn’t yet. After this initial release, the company will roll it out in other regions from September to November.

Kaspersky has struggled to do business in the US, with allegations that it’s in cahoot with Russian interlligence.

The security firm’s founder Eugene Kaspersky offered to provide a source code he said will prove that his company isn’t in cahoots with the Russian government. However, the US government removed Kaspersky out of the lists of approved vendors covering IT services and digital photographic equipment.

The company has been working on Kaspersky Free for 18 months, a development phase that included pilot versions in several markets including Russia, Ukraine, China and Scandinavian countries.

Founded in 1997, Kaspersky Lab grew rapidly through the 2000s to become one of the world’s leading anti-virus software companies.