F-Secure Anti-Virus comes to us from a Finnish security company with over two decades of experience in computer protection software, so while you might not have heard of it, rest assured that F-secure knows what it’s doing when it comes to the best antivirus software (opens in new tab). As with most internet security companies, F-Secure offers a range of products and services, starting with the basic package, F-Secure Anti-Virus, and moving all the way up to complete internet security software (opens in new tab) like F-Secure Total.
We’re just covering the basic offering here though. So, what does F-Secure have to offer and should you consider it over one of the more prominent antivirus programs like Norton 360 Antivirus (opens in new tab) or Bitdefender Antivirus Plus (opens in new tab)?
Well that all depends on what you're looking for. If you just want an excellent antivirus program and don't care about anything else, then F-Secure Anti-Virus is definitely worth considering. But if you came here looking for added extras and supplementary features then you'll be sorely disappointed.
F-Secure Antivirus review: Features
- No added extras.
Oh boy, this is going to be a short section. F-Secure Antivirus comes with an antivirus software and that’s about it. Seriously, there are no added extras, no other features, no nothing. While other companies like Norton throw in a password protector or some limited VPN access, F-Secure Anti-Virus is just an antivirus program. In theory there’s nothing wrong with that, provided that it costs less than the competition or performs markedly better than them at its core task - keeping your computer safe from viruses and other malware. So, does it?
Before we move on to performance, we should talk about how many devices you can cover and which ones F-Secure Anti-Virus will work on. F-Secure Antivirus only works with Windows PC and laptops, so if you need coverage for a Mac or for your smartphone, you’ll have to upgrade to F-Secure SAFE. You can either buy F-Secure Anti-Virus for either a single device or for three devices.
How good is F-Secure Antivirus?
- Perfect scores in antivirus tests.
- Low impact on system performance.
To evaluate how good F-Secure Anti-Virus is at actually keeping your computer safe, we turn to industry experts over at AV Test and AV Comparatives. These are specialist websites which run regular tests on antivirus programs, bombarding them with both established malware and the latest viruses to see how they hold up.
AV Test’s (opens in new tab) latest volley was unleashed in April 2020, where F-Secure Anti-Virus performed exceptionally well. The software was able to block all 304 zero day malware attacks that were set against it (zero day means within 24 hours of the virus becoming known to the testers). It also blocked 100% of the older malware samples that it was tested with. This means that F-Secure Anti-Virus is a robust and effective antivirus program, whether it's dealing with innovative threats or cybersecurity monsters from the past.
Interestingly, F-Secure Anti-Virus also performed well above expectations when it comes to its effect on computer hardware, causing just a 7% slowdown on computer speed - well below the industry average of 15%.
F-Secure performed similarly in the tests done by AV Comparatives (opens in new tab) during its February/March Real World Protection tests, where F-Secure Anti-Virus was able to block 100% of the malware that was set against it. It’s important to note that no antivirus is bulletproof and just because it scores 100% in a test, that doesn’t mean it can’t fail. With that said, these are some seriously impressive scores - 100% success rate and low system impact.
F-Secure Antivirus review: Price
- $35.99 per year for one device.
- $39.99 per year for three devices.
F-Secure Anti-Virus starts at $35.99 to cover a single device for one year, but you can also choose to cover three devices for $39.99. This makes the latter option the much better value proposition in isolation, though it really depends on how many devices you need to cover - if you only have a home computer then you shouldn’t get suckered in by the value of the three device option.
Where F-Secure Anti-Virus falls down is when it’s compared to the competition. Norton 360 Antivirus (opens in new tab) starts at just $19.99 to cover a single device, and it comes with a password manager and 2GB of cloud data storage on top of that. Likewise, you can pick up Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2021 (opens in new tab) for $19.99 to cover a single device and get a password manager and VPN access.
It’s the same story with multi-device coverage too. Other brands offer more for the same cost or even cheaper. So it really comes down to what you value, the extra bells and whistles or having the absolute best core antivirus program there is?
F-Secure review: F-Secure SAFE
- $34.99 for three devices, $44.99 for five, $54.99 for seven
- Secure online banking and parental controls included
- iOS, Android and Mac support
The F-Secure FREE package is a suite that builds on the Anti-Virus by offering more tools to ensure a more robust protection system. Online banking is a big focus here, with protection specifically tooled up for online shopping, banking and beyond with this browsing protection.
Parental controls is another useful addition with allows parents to block potentially harmful content. It also gives the option to control screen time limits so children don't overuse a device when not supervised.
Finder is a useful tool for lost or stolen Android or iOS devices. This allows the owner to manage them remotely through their private F-Secure account – cutting off potentially harmful access to anyone that may have the device.
In fact iOS, Android and Mac use are features reserved for the SAFE level package only.
F-Secure review: F-Secure TOTAL
- $89.99 for three devices, $109.99 for five, $129.99 for seven
- Free VPN included
Jump up to the TOTAL option and you will find a whole host of features revealed for you to use. A big one here is the inclusion of the F-Secure FREEDOME VPN, sold separately for $7.50 per month. On top of that you also get WiFi protection and tracking cover so you're good on the move or at home. There is also a password manager which allows you to login with one click, knowing you've got the most secure password that's being remembered for you.
Constant online monitoring of the dark web keeps you secure in the knowledge that should your identity be taken and crop up online, it will be detected immediately. Breach alerts are also included on iOS and Android, sending you a notification if a popular service has been hacked and may affect you.
Should I use F-Secure Antivirus?
Whether you should choose F-Secure Anti-Virus or another option on the market really comes down to what you expect out of an antivirus program. If you just want it to do the job it’s named for - protecting your computer from viruses - then F-Secure Anti-Virus is one of the best there is thanks to its low system impact and flawless performance in industry tests. But if you value the extras like VPN access, password managers, and cloud backups then you should look elsewhere.