F-Secure Review

Powerful antivirus engine that struggles with some forms of ransomware

Updated: March 24,2022

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There is a fine line these days between an antivirus tool and a comprehensive security suite. Some companies pack so many features – from firewalls to spam filters to VPNs, you name it – into their antivirus solutions that what you get throws the word “basic” right out of the window.

The same goes for F-Secure. Many F-Secure reviews on the internet give this service a five-star rating, but does it provide exactly what it says it does? Let’s take a look.

F-Secure
F-Secure
4
VISIT SITE
Price range:
$34.99 - 67.49/year
AVAILABLE ON:
Mac
mac logo
Android
android logo
Windows
windows logo
KEY FEATURES:
  • On-demand malware scan
  • On-access malware scan
  • Malicious URL blocking
  • Behavior-based detection
pros thumb up Pros
  • Reasonably priced
  • The interface is clear and simple
  • Detects malware, even new strains
  • Advanced network protection
  • Fast scans
  • Excellent lab test scores
pros thumb down Cons
  • Limited features
  • No anti-phishing protection
  • Lack of URL blocking
  • Failed some tests in ransomware protection

Company Overview

“Nobody knows cybersecurity like F‑Secure.” That’s a very bold statement to make in the world of cybersecurity, especially with new threats popping up every single day. However, with over three decades of experience under its belt, F-Secure might as well make that claim.

The Finnish security vendor, established in 1988, has since then gone on to set up 30 offices around the world, running lab operations in Kuala Lumpur and Helsinki. F-Secure provides a range of consumer antivirus services in three main products we’ll cover in this F-Secure review. The products are F-Secure Anti-Virus, F-Secure Safe, and F-Secure Total. Additionally, we’ll take a look at F-Secure VPN and two of its free tools.

F-Secure Anti-Virus

F-Secure Anti-Virus focuses solely on the task of providing your PC with premium defense from malware. The antivirus doesn’t even try to keep your activity away from phishing sites, although it does have an advanced network protection feature that will cut off access to any URL that hosts malware. If you seek an antivirus that focuses on doing its job and that alone, then F-Secure Anti-Virus just might be your best choice.

F-Secure Pricing

It seems like prices under $40 per year are a major pinpoint for antiviruses. Therefore, it’s no surprise F-Secure pricing goes for $39.99 per year, similar to popular brands like Webroot, Kaspersky, Bitdefender, and Norton, but where competitors offer just one license for this price, F-Secure lets you install the tool on up to three PCs. That’s a pretty good deal, all things considered.

Alternatively, you could opt for a cheaper plan. F-Secure Anti-Virus also goes for $35.99, but the difference here is that it only offers a license for one PC.

Layout

If being minimalist was ever a superpower, F-Secure would be the Superman of antiviruses. There’s a lot of white space to contend with. When there are no issues that F-Secure antivirus has to deal with, a green-lit “Your computer is protected” is displayed.

f secure review antivirus

On the other hand, if there is something wrong, the icon turns an alarming red. All you need to do here is to select the blue Virus Scan button and start a scan, or alternatively click the Settings hyperlink to lead to the Settings page. On the left side of the page is the menu, from which you can toggle between the Tools page and the main antivirus page. On the Tools page, you can access updates, recent events, and more.

Simple Scan

One of F-Secure’s features is the Simple Scan. When you click on Virus Scan, it launches a scan of your computer’s properties. If a more thorough scan is what you seek, then you simply have to click on the Tools button in the menu, select the Virus Scan options, and then Full Computer Scan.

A standard full scan should take about half an hour, with the current average standing at 64 minutes. A repeat scan after the full scan should clock in at about four to five minutes. The Virus Scan feature checks the locations of installed applications, which makes its scan time shorter. As is the recommendation for every new antivirus you get, you should run a scan after installing it. F-Secure reviews its scan time, indicating its progress in a circle, not unlike that of Avast.

f secure review scanning

After the first full scan, you shouldn’t have to worry about running manual scans for future attacks, thanks to F-Secure’s real-time protection. However, we do recommend that you schedule automatic scans, just in case. You can set up scheduled scans on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.

Free Trial

There is a free trial version of the antivirus available for download on the website for users who are not yet ready to commit. With a quick install process, you can have it running in no time. The antivirus should take about 500 MB of space and add about six processes in background operations.

F-Secure Safe

Many F-Secure Safe reviews praise the features included in F-Secure Safe, such as banking protection, parental controls, URL filtering, and all-around protection for all devices – Android, iOS, and Mac. In our opinion, however, it still falls short, as it doesn’t come with a spam filter, firewall, or password manager. To be fair, we have to mention some incentives, such as the ad blocker and stalkerware protection on iOS.

The security package is a steal, though and with current 50% discounts it costs $34.99 for one year on three devices, $44.99 for five devices, and $54.99 a year on seven devices.

An upgrade from the basic product, F-Secure Antivirus Safe offers smarter protection while browsing, and the banking protection for Windows no longer blocks trusted applications. The parental controls, too, have been improved, now supporting daily time limits. You can also set bedtimes across all your macOS devices and accounts.

Still, it can feel a little underwhelming. Moving up in a package like this should come with standard features like URL filtering, as we can see with providers like Bitdefender, which comes with a firewall, webcam protection, spam filter, and even a password manager and file shredder, among other privacy features.

F-Secure Total

While testing the product for our F-Secure review, we’ve come to the conclusion that F-Secure Total is a combination of three products – a hybrid of F-Secure Safe, unlimited access to the F-Secure Freedome VPN, and, of course, the F-Secure ID Protection package, which is more or less a replacement for the password manager.

The identity theft protection package comes with a password manager and a dark web monitoring tool. It monitors the web for signs of personal information leaked in a breach and will alert you if it finds anything. You can pretty much get the same with Norton 360 Deluxe, but F-Secure looks to have an edge, claiming to “combine dark web monitoring and human intelligence to recover breach data up to six months faster.”

F-Secure price for Total stands at $89.99, covering three devices for a year. For five devices, it costs $109.99 per year, while seven will set you back $129.99 annually. Again, these prices are reasonable, but when you compare with Norton 360 Deluxe, which offers dark web monitoring, 50 GB of cloud backup storage, antivirus, and unrestricted VPN service for just $40 in the first year, and $105 subsequently for five devices, you might be tempted to think twice. However, none of the other providers is as straightforward as F-Secure is.

F-Secure VPN

F-Secure Freedome VPN is a tool dedicated to keeping your personal info safe from intruders. F-Secure Freedome VPN reviews your internet activity, protecting your browsing and keeping grubby third-party hands off your personal info when you use the internet. Freedome VPN promises to provide extra security by blocking hacking attempts and harmful websites and high-level encryption by hiding your IP address and online traffic. It offers protection statistics by showing you who is trying to track your activity online. It also protects you when you use a public Wi-Fi and lets you access geo-restricted content.

The beauty of this VPN is that it’s not a cutdown version but the real deal. It is, after all, a key feature of the Total package. We’ve tested the product, and from our observations, F-Secure Freedome reviews most of its processes in the same manner that its parent tools do. It’s very easy to use, and it worked seamlessly with Netflix US, Disney+, and Amazon Prime Video in our test run.

What about pricing? FREEDOME VPN costs $34.99 per year on three devices, $69.99 for seven devices, and $89.90 for two years of protection on seven devices. There is a five-day trial period and a 30-day money-back guarantee. F-Secure VPN has servers across 23 countries, tracker blocking, a kill switch, and no data limits.

Free Tools

One great thing about F-Secure is the abundance of free tools that it offers to the general public. Here, we’ll review two of them – the Online Scanner and the Router Checker.

Online Scan

The Online Scanner is designed to scan applications and files on your computer, detecting the presence of malware, and removing it where necessary, all for free. To get the Online Scanner, search under the Free Tools drop-down menu on the F-Secure website and follow the prompts. Clicking on Run Now leads you to the download page, so you can save the application and then install it.

The next step is to run the .exe file, scan for viruses, and wait for the scanner to detect and remove any issues found.

Router Checker

Another free tool from the F-Secure roster that we took a little peek at was the Router Checker. The  F-Secure router is a tool that protects you from DNS hijacking, which happens when a third party modifies the settings on your computer’s device without your approval. DNS hijacking lets an intruder control and monitor as well as redirect your traffic on the internet. This can cause significant harm as it allows criminals to redirect you to a fake site that can collect your personal information, for example, your login credentials.

F-Secure Router Checker reviews your router status and DNS settings to check if cybercriminals have hijacked your router.

F-Secure Customer Support

In addition to complex security features and affordable pricing plans, a good antivirus solution should also have knowledgeable customer support ready to help users out. F-Secure has multiple support channels, including phone and live chat. There are phone lines for different languages, and most of them operate Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. As these two support channels aren’t available 24/7, F-Secure suggests that users also check their comprehensive knowledge base, community forums, and the FAQ section on the site.

From what we could see, while writing this F-Secure antivirus review, the lack of round-the-clock support isn’t such a big deal as there are other mechanisms you can utilize to solve almost any issue you might encounter.

How Has F-Secure Changed Over Time?

As we face new security challenges each day, it is crucial to stay one step ahead of malicious content and possible malware attacks. During our review of F-Secure antivirus, we got a chance to see how it continuously evolves in order to provide the best possible experience to its users. Just recently, F-Secure announced a new project funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 program. The project will work on increasing the reliability and security of AI in cyber security applications.

As a reward for its constant efforts to build cybersecurity awareness, F-Secure became the Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2021 Champion in October. The Champions Program brings together all of the industry’s leaders to promote the importance of online safety and privacy.

How Does F-Secure Compare to Other Antivirus Solutions?
F-Secure Review Logo
F-Secure
$34.99 - 67.49/year
Free version:
Yes
Aplication:
mac icon android icon windows icon
BullGuard Antivirus Review Logo
BullGuard
$29.99-$99.99/year
Free Version:
No
Aplication:
mac icon android icon windows icon
G DATA Review Logo
G DATA
$29.95 - $49.95/year
Free Version:
No
Aplication:
ios icon mac icon android icon windows icon

F-Secure is a comprehensive antivirus tool filled with advanced features but let’s see if those features have what it takes to beat the competition. In the following paragraphs, we will make a comparison between F-Secure, McAfee, and Norton. As we go through their most notable strengths and weaknesses, you can decide if F-Secure is your cup of tea or if you should find an alternative.

F-Secure vs McAfee

Both F-Secure and McAfee have great security-enhancing features. However, those aren’t included in all of the plans these two solutions offer. While a native password manager is part of all McAfee’s pricing tiers, F-Secure does not include it in its Safe plan. You would need to opt-in for the F-Secure Total plan to have that option. Both McAfee and F-Secure offer a dark web monitoring tool, but McAfee’s ID Protection service also includes credit monitoring. In terms of pricing, McAfee often offers bulk discount deals, making it a cheaper option for protecting 5+ devices.

F-Secure vs Norton

Norton is a renowned name in the industry and a solution that provides users with many advanced features, including silent updates, smart firewall, and cloud backup. F-Secure falls short here as it does not offer any of these tools. Both of these solutions come with real-time threat protection features, but Norton 360 with LifeLock plan also includes a million-dollar protection package. In terms of pricing, Norton has some really good first-year deals but can be a little pricey when it comes to renewals.

Final Thoughts

F-Secure might fall short when it comes to some features, but its simple design and focus on advanced network protection make it a solid anti-malware solution. Various reviews of F-Secure, including our own, have shown that this software offers strong protection tools and top-quality support systems that can help you secure all your devices from a wide range of threats. Although some of its competitors offer more features, F-Secure is still is a good option if you’re looking for a simple way of safeguarding your PC or mobile device.

FAQ
Is F-Secure better than McAfee?

McAfee definitely costs more than F-Secure: $59.99 per year compared to F-Secure’s $39.99 for three devices. The primary advantage is that McAfee doesn’t limit the number of devices its antivirus can be installed on.

Is F-Secure any good?

From our F-Secure reviews, we can conclusively state that the provider delivers on many of its internet security promises. It offers many free and paid tools, and its antivirus software provides excellent virus protection for PCs and devices. While it may not offer many features, its simplicity and focus are its redeeming qualities.

Who owns F-Secure?

F-Secure is owned by F-Secure Corporation, a Finnish-based global cybersecurity and privacy company that started operations in 1988 as Data Fellows. The headquarters are in Helsinki, Finland.