Pros / F-Secure’s internet security products include a device finder for your cellphones and tablets.
Cons / It lacks online backup to help you restore your system in the event of an attack.
Verdict / F-Secure SAFE is a high-performance internet security suite, and F-Secure TOTAL is a premium solution. Both earned high scores for protection, but they use more computer resources than other PC security products.
F-Secure is among our top 10 internet security suites because of its great performance in recent testing by independent software labs. It consistently earns a perfect score for detecting and blocking malware, both known threats and new viruses that emerge during the testing period. F-Secure SAFE lets you protect up to three devices, including mobile devices, and comes with parental controls, safe browsing tools and a device finder if installed on a cellphone or tablet. F-Secure TOTAL is the premium security version that also includes a VPN and lets you protect five or more devices at once.
F-Secure SAFE and TOTAL both are built on the great protection of the basic antivirus program, F-Secure Anti-Virus. However, we did notice that our test computers ran a bit slower when loading webpages, attaching files to email messages and playing online games. Our results are similar to those observed by third-party testers. We also noticed that there were a few legitimate files and programs installed on our machines that F-Secure tagged as possible threats, causing F-Secure to receive a lower score for its false-positives rate compared to the best internet security software we reviewed.
Scanning & Detection
Both F-Secure SAFE and TOTAL protect your computer from ransomware and phishing attacks, and scan incoming email messages for any threats. They have tools specifically designed to monitor social media pages for any malicious links, and the vulnerability scan looks for outdated software.
The only feature lacking in both F-Secure SAFE and TOTAL is online backup capabilities, which would be helpful if your computer were attacked and you needed to reset your files and programs. Despite F-Secure’s excellent ability to protect against malware, no program can protect you from every threat, so it’s smart to have a backup plan just in case something sneaks through.
Privacy & Protection
F-Secure SAFE has a firewall that monitors what passes through to your computer via your internet connection, guarding against hackers and spyware. It can also cut down on the ways that sites monitor what you are doing online, by blocking cookies. F-Secure TOTAL comes with a Wi-Fi monitor that checks whether someone is trying to piggyback on your internet connection. When connected to public internet, TOTAL blocks snoops trying to sneak into your computer to get personal information.
F-Secure has a safe browser that you can open at any time, but is most useful when you need to enter, view or exchange personal information through a website. The browser hides your login and other private information from capture by keyloggers. It makes online banking and shopping more secure by cloaking financial information, Social Security numbers, full names and addresses. F-Secure TOTAL includes a VPN that assigns you a random IP address so your internet browsing activity can’t be traced back to you, your computer or your location, making you anonymous while online.
You get parental controls with F-Secure internet security programs that let you determine when you child can access the internet. It also lets you block harmful websites and content so that you children can’t view them. This is easily done by selecting one of several filter categories listed within the F-Secure internet security suite program. F-Secure also automatically scans email and USB drives for threats, and includes a gamer mode for when you are playing in full-screen mode.
If you install F-Secure on a smartphone or tablet, you can use the device finder feature to locate it if it ever goes missing. This feature can be activated through the online user portal. Note that if you use F-Secure on an iPhone or iPad that the password manager tools are not available, but they do work on Android devices.
F-Secure doesn’t offer as many support options as most other programs we reviewed. It has phone support, but only during weekdays. It does have live chat support, though this too is limited to weekday hours. It has a useful knowledgebase to identify common malware threats and learn how to avoid them, as well as how to install and set up F-Secure SAFE or TOTAL to computers and mobile devices.
F-Secure is a good product because it is so effective at detecting and stopping malware, both on your home computers and on mobile devices. It works against both known and unknown viruses and includes security tools like parent controls and safe browsing. A VPN is included with the premium security program, TOTAL. It doesn’t provide online backup, however, and running F-Secure does cause some slowdown to your system.