F-Secure Antivirus solutions review

Super-simple antivirus for the whole family

F-Secure Total Security dashboard on a laptop

TechRadar Verdict

F-Secure has cut back on the solutions it offers, but what remains still includes dependable malware blocking, parental controls, and options to add VPN and ID protections.


  • +

    Excellent malware blocking

  • +

    Decent VPN with no bandwidth limits

  • +

    Dark web ID monitoring

  • +

    Remote and live support are available


  • -

    Not the best for new users

  • -

    Doesn't work on Chromebook

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Please note

This is our all-in-one roundup reviewing F-Secure's two consumer security solutions for 2023. On this page, you’ll find a breakdown of

(a) F-Secure Internet Security, along with our reviews of the features included and an overview of the testing we conducted and other independent test labs, and 

(b) F-Secure Total Security is the top-end, all-in-one security suite that includes all the features of functions of Internet Security bundled with F-Secure's VPN and Identity Theft services.

Malware is no longer limited to viruses, bots, and ransomware, so the best antivirus software has changed its focus to look closer at privacy and identity theft protection. F-Secure is no exception.

F-Secure has dropped its Anti-Virus program and no longer supports or upgrades its Internet Security software if it was purchased before Feb 14, 2023. You can re-purchase F-Secure Internet Security and take advantage of its new antivirus engine, app layout, and advanced tools. You can also choose F-Secure Total Security, the all-in-one security suite that F-Secure is trying to slowly direct all its users to purchase.

These changes have created some confusion, especially among F-Secure users that have enjoyed the protection and benefits of F-Secure Anti-Virus for so long. Lucky for you we've continued our testing and evaluation of all F-Secure products and can help you learn about the tools included in each, how well it protects, and any issues we've found that you should consider before buying an F-Secure antivirus solution.

Screenshot of the F-Secure Total Security dashboard

(Image credit: F-Secure)

Plans and pricing

F-Secure Internet Security comes with several advanced protection tools that we feel are important to have in antivirus solutions. These include a firewall, banking tools, and even parental controls. You can choose to protect a single device with Internet Security, but F-Secure also has options all the way to 25 protected devices. F-Secure Internet Security starts at $49.99 for one device for one year, though its renewal is only $10 more making this antivirus solution one of the better overall values when it comes to computer protection

You can try out F-Secure Internet Security free for 30 days, It also has a 30-day money-back guarantee. It works on Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS devices.

F-Secure Total Security builds upon the Internet Security program and adds the F-Secure VPN and its identity theft protection services. If you buy F-Secure VPN on its own, it will cost you $49.99 to use on four devices while ID protection is $39.99. But if you bundle both of these with F-Secure Total Security, you can take advantage of all of these for $49.99 on one device for the first year, $59.99 for five devices, or $64.99 for 10 devices.

Compare F-Secure subscriptions

Swipe to scroll horizontally
F-Secure Internet SecurityF-Secure Total Security
Operating systemWindows, macOS, iOS, AndroidWindows, macOS, iOS, Android
Max number of devices2525
Starting price$39.99$49.99
Web protection✔️✔️
Safe banking tools✔️✔️
Network protections✔️✔️
Parental controls✔️✔️
ID monitoring✔️

F-Secure Internet Security

Screenshot of F-Secure virus scan in action captured during testing

It's unclear if F-Secure will continue supporting Internet Security in the future. For now, as long as you purchase, or repurchase the program, after Feb 2023, you'll still be able to take advantage of any updates, including to any malware database it uses for real-time protection, and 24/7 live support for any issue that might pop up.

In the past, F-Secure has offered its advanced antivirus solutions in multiple downloads. This means you would have to install some tools separately, like parental controls. F-Secure now truly bundles all these features together into one program making it much easier for users to get started and use from a single dashboard.

The F-Secure app has a lot of white space, so it doesn't feel overwhelming, and just enough color to make you feel comfortable while also taking F-Secure seriously. There are sections of text, including some text links, scattered around the dashboard which doesn't help with overall navigation. This can get frustrating for a new user that isn't familiar with how antivirus programs work.


We tested the overall security of F-Secure using our own test files. Some of these contained known malware while others, like our ransomware file, only simulated true threats without being a true threat. This is important because antivirus companies routinely create test files of their own that their antivirus software easily blocks. Using files that antivirus software has never seen before gives us a better look at its true ability to stop malware.

During the testing of F-Secure, our test executables used all kinds of very suspect tricks - launch one Windows tool, which launches PowerShell, scripting it to use another Windows tool to download a malicious file - and F-Secure jumped on most of these, raising an alert and killing the process so it couldn't cause any more damage.

For our next review, we launched our custom ransomware simulator. As the simulator has never been publicly released, F-Secure couldn't have seen it before, in theory making the threat far more difficult to detect.

Alert from URL blocking of a harmful website

F-Secure has blocked our simulator from its file signature in the past but missed it this time. Our test threat launched successfully and encrypted thousands of user documents without F-Secure's behavior monitoring raising any red flags.

F-Secure's Protected Folders system enables defining specific folders which the app says are then "protected from encryption blackmail (like ransomware.)" That would surely protect our test data, right? Nope: our simulator encrypted them all.

These results must be interpreted with care. We know from lab testing that F-Secure blocks most ransomware without difficulty, even the most sophisticated of zero-day threats, so it seems odd that our tiny simulator got through. As it isn't real malware, perhaps F-Secure believed it was a legitimate application, maybe a genuine encryption tool, and so allowed it to run unrestricted.

AV-Comparative's June 2023 malware protection test results for F-Secure

Still, while we can't be sure what happened or why, these results make us a little nervous. When an antivirus is faced with an executable file it's never seen before, engaging in very ransomware-like behavior, and encrypting files within a protected folder, we would expect it to at least raise an alert, asking the user if this was okay. The fact that didn't happen has to be a concern.

Independent test labs, like AV-Comparatives and AV-Test, had more success than we did with F-Secure in their evaluations. Both gave perfect, or near-perfect overall scores. Neither showed that F-Secure struggled to identify or block existing, new, or unknown threats. Combining all these findings together, we feel F-Secure overall is a very, solidly secure antivirus program.


When you first install the program, F-Secure automatically begins scanning your entire device while also offering a quick walk-through of the program. On top of malware, F-Secure will check your entire system and look for any vulnerabilities on your computer where threats like worms, ransomware, and hackers can sneak through. You'll be given a list of recommended fixes, and F-Secure will offer to fix them for you if you'd like.

F-Secure has a few scanning options that are also speedy, accurate, and easy to use. Even the first scan will take less than 10 minutes to run whereas other programs, like Bitdefender, take up to 45 minutes, or sometimes an hour. It supports scheduled scanning that allows the package to automatically check the system

You can run targeted scans by right-clicking a file, folder, or drive and choosing Scan For Viruses. These, too, are speedy, even initially, and get faster in subsequent runs. The app checked 50GB of executables in around 19 minutes at first, for instance, faster than most, dropping to 14 minutes when we checked again.

Screenshot of F-Secure completed scan captured during testing

Extra features

F-Secure Internet Security has safe banking tools. These help shield your personal and financial information while banking online. 

When you visit a known banking website, F-Secure disconnects all untrusted applications from the internet and prevents them from going back online while you're there. It also blocks untrusted websites until your transactions are complete. 

These are drastic steps, but an alert warns you what's happening, and F-Secure highlights your screen with a green border as a reminder. Banking protection ends automatically when you leave the site, or you can shut it down manually with a couple of clicks if it's interfered with any legitimate apps.

You also get parental controls with two important parts. The first is web filtering. You can click the various content presets to quickly block webpages about abuse, drug and alcohol use, pornography, or gaming websites.

Screenshot of F-Secure parental controls quick web filtering feature

There are both white and black lists that you can use to further customize content access. We've found that some websites slip through the filters, so we simply add the URL to the blacklist to ensure kids can't view them. On the other side, there are some gaming websites that we are okay with our kids playing, so we add these to the whitelist while keeping the majority of the gaming sites securely blocked.

The other controls in this feature let you set time limits for when and how long your children can use the internet. While your child is online, they will receive warnings about when their time is about up to help with the transition.

F-Secure Internet Secure is missing some tools that we would like to see included at this level. These include a password manager and Wi-Fi protection. These are reserved, however, for Total Security users.

Final verdict

F-Secure Internet Security is fairly priced, compact, easy to use, and with mostly positive results from the testing labs, but unexpected review issues including its ineffective Protected Folders system leave us with some concerns. We do like the few extra features it includes, mainly the safe banking tools and parental control, though we would like to see just a couple more. 

F-Secure Total Security

F-Secure Total Security all tools view of dashboard captures during testing

The jump between Internet Security and Total Security is impressive. Where other antivirus solutions tend to only add a few extra tools, or increase the number of devices you can protect, F-Secure hands you two important feature packages, Privacy and Identity Protection.

Freedome VPN

Freedome VPN

(Image credit: F-Secure)

A virtual private network (VPN) is a security tool designed to shield your online identity and movements by routing your information through a secured server. As your data is passed through, it is encrypted to prevent anyone from being able to read it. Your device's IP address is also changed so online activity can never be tracked or traced back to you or your device.

Freedome VPN has been tested and reviewed by our VPN test team and while it is limited in many areas compared to the best VPN clients, F-Secure has included tools and features we do like to see in a VPN.

To begin with, Freedome uses the OpenVPN protocol to encrypt data but it doesn't offer the highest level available. Militaries and banks use AES 256-bit encryption to secure their sensitive information and is the level we like to see offered by VPNs. Even though this level isn't used by Freedome, it still encrypts data well enough to make it hard to read if it's ever intercepted.

Our overall security tests showed Freedome kept a tight connection and didn't allow DNS leaks. When we forced the connection to drop, the kill switch was quick to turn on and kept our information shielded until the connection was re-established. This is exactly what we want to see.

Server list inside the Freedome VPN Windows app

One feature we were impressed to see with Freedome is that it doesn't disconnect a server connection when we choose to connect to a second server. Other services drop the first connection, but F-Secrue keeps you solidly secured until the next server connection is made.

The server network is smaller compared to other VPN services. F-Secure doesn't list the exact number of servers it has, but we do know it's limited to only 20 countries. Surfshark has 3,200 servers in 100 countries while Private Internet Access has over 20,000 servers worldwide. There isn't anything wrong with a smaller network, but it can affect when and where you connect and your overall connection speeds.

This VPN also doesn't put any caps on bandwidth meaning you can use it any time and for as long as you'd like without hitting a usage cap or experiencing slower speeds once the limit is reached.

Tracker Mapper

(Image credit: F-Secure)

Another perk of using Freedome VPN is its ability to bypass geo-restrictions. We tested out its ability by attempting to access our online tv streaming accounts. These typically are the hardest to work around. Freedome VPN gave us access to US Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney Plus. It didn't allow us access to other Netflix regions or to BBC iPlayer. But what it does do is impressive.

Speeds are fast enough to support streaming, but they do fall below the industry average, especially since it doesn't offer the newer Wireguard protocol. We don't recommend using Freedome VPN while gaming online or for torrenting.

ID protections

F-Secure ID Protections breach alerts on a laptop and phone

F-Secure ID Protection starts with a password manager. This gives you a safe place to store your login credentials. This helps in two ways. First, you don't have to worry about remembering long, complicated passwords. F-Secure will keep these for you to make it easier to log into online accounts. The second benefit is shielding passwords from keyloggers, online snoops, and hackers looking for passwords stored locally on your device. In a big way, keeping passwords away from cybercriminals is an important way to protect personal information from identity thieves.

The ID protections of F-Secure include dark web monitoring. This looks for any personal information that may have been swiped due to a data breach and alert you when it is found. We didn't test F-Secure's dark web monitoring, but it is limited and basic compared to other antivirus programs that offer ID protections.

ID Protection

(Image credit: F-Secure)

For example, Norton looks for more of your personal information in more places. It looks at criminal records to see if your identity is being used as an alias. Norton also looks at medical records in case someone is using your identity to get medical care and leaves you with the bill.

Another difference between Noton and even McAfee's identity protections and F-Secure is the inclusion of deep ID recovery services. F-Secure has some help in this area, but it doesn't match the depth and years of expertise Norton has.

You're welcome to try out F-Secure ID Protection free for a few days to get a feel of what it offers and if it is a benefit worth including with your F-Secure antivirus solution. 

Final verdict

Buying F-Secure Total makes a lot of sense for F-Secure fans. Freedome isn't the best VPN, but it covers the basics, and the ID protections are handy to further protect your overall identity. The best part is for new users you get a steal of a deal at $49.99 for the first year. While the price does bump up quite a bit when you renew, it's still an overall great value for the VPN, ID protections, and antivirus tools to get with the program.

You can try F-Secure Total Security free for 30 days and it will come with both its VPN and ID Protection to try along with it.

Mike Williams
Lead security reviewer

Mike is a lead security reviewer at Future, where he stress-tests VPNs, antivirus and more to find out which services are sure to keep you safe, and which are best avoided. Mike began his career as a lead software developer in the engineering world, where his creations were used by big-name companies from Rolls Royce to British Nuclear Fuels and British Aerospace. The early PC viruses caught Mike's attention, and he developed an interest in analyzing malware, and learning the low-level technical details of how Windows and network security work under the hood.

With contributions from