F-Secure is based in Helsinki, Finland and has been at the forefront of antivirus technology since 1988. They were among the first companies to introduce heuristics into their antivirus products, which allows programs to repel threats that are not already defined in their virus database. They were also among the first to develop an anti-rootkit tool. We recommend F-Secure to many of our clients and consistently find their products to perform well without compromising system performance.
F-Secure is one of the most effective products on the market at repelling viruses, trojans, rootkits, and spyware. Their DeepGuard cloud technology helps to protect you against attacks on the web and in email by sharing real-time information about emerging threats. This technology allows potentially unwanted programs to be terminated before they can harm your system. For us here at AVWARS, the most impressive thing about the DeepGuard feature is that F-Secure is able to proactively protect your computer against new malware dangers without also having a lot of annoying false positives on harmless programs.
F-Secure was a top performer in our Real World Testing Scenarios, which test antivirus programs by visiting websites which attempt to run malicious executables and exploits in the same way that you are most likely to become infected. This does not surprise us since F-Secure uses the popular and dynamic antivirus engine from Kaspersky Lab to power its malware detection and removal.
We find that F-Secure could do a better job installing on infected systems. Many times in the field we have found that F-Secure will not install or run properly on systems which have active malware, requiring the use of malware removal tools (which F-Secure offers for free on their website) before installation.
Once installed, virus removal in F-Secure is very thorough, and the program will reboot your computer several times if necessary to completely clean an infection.
Ease of Use
F-Secure’s current slogan is, “Protecting the irreplaceable”, and their antivirus product places the emphasis on your personal data and your Internet security without you having to think about what the program is doing.
The interface is one of the most simple and straightforward that we have seen, displaying a big green “Your Computer is Protected” check mark when everything is up to date and all systems are functioning normally. There are prominent buttons for Status, Tasks and Statistics, along with smaller buttons for tasks you will access less frequently such as System Scans, Updates, and advanced Settings which give you access to manually enable or disable features like Real-Time scanning, DeepGuard protection, scheduled scans, and controlling exactly how updates behave. Most users will not need to change any of these settings but they are easily accessible if you need them.
If there is any security problem the relevant information is displayed prominently in red with clear instructions on how to repair the issue. We find all of this simplicity refreshing, and the clean interface combined with the Kaspersky Antivirus engine is the compelling reason F-Secure ranks among our AVWARS Top 10.
Our Real World testing has consistently shown F-Secure to install and run quickly on a variety of computers. If your computer is newer you should not notice much if any system slowdown after installing the product.
Full system scans run a bit more slowly, and it can take a considerable amount of time for them to run, which is true for all antivirus programs. We recommend either setting a weekly scan to run when you are away from the computer, or to manually run a scan when you won’t be needing the system for a while.
F-Secure Antivirus 2013
$39.99 3 PC 1 Year
$66.99 3 PC 2 Year
F-Secure Internet Security 2013
$59.99 3PC 1 Year
$99.99 3 PC 1 Year
F-Secure Antivirus costs only $39.99 for 3 PCs for 1 year. These days, with the typical home having several computers in need of thorough protection, a multi-year, multi-PC antivirus solution provides the best value.
We recommend you buy for 3 PCs for 2 years at $66.99, which breaks down to just over $11 per PC per year, a great value by any measure.
In addition to this value, F-Secure provides several online tools including a free online heath check, free online scanner, and several free expert malware removal tools.
F-Secure offers a well-rounded support system in addition to the help files included with the program. Support is available through all of the following:
24/7 Phone Support
24/7 Live Chat
Online contact form
The knowledge base consists mostly of simple articles relating to issues like how to uninstall software from other vendors before installing F-Secure, and it is not as complete as some of those from other vendors. There are no official forums to ask questions of and get help from other users. On the other hand, phone support is available around-the-clock in the US, Canada and the United Kingdom, and during business hours in most of Europe. In our experience they actually answer the phone when you call, without significant hold times. F-Secure seems committed to helping average users run their antivirus with as few problems as possible.
F-Secure combines highly effective malware prevention with a simple, easy to use interface, making it a top contender in the AVWARS Top 10.
Many antivirus companies present an overabundance of settings and information in their products in an attempt to demonstrate that their product is the most complete or allows the most customization. We recommend F-Secure for the average user who may not be as tech savvy and is looking for a product that will run easily and protect thoroughly out of the box.