F-Secure Antivirus Review: A Fascinating Client Antivirus

F-Secure Antivirus Review: A Fascinating Client Antivirus
F-Secure Antivirus Review: A Fascinating Client Antivirus

Finnish safety vendor F-Safe has a fascinating client antivirus very constructed around three major merchandise.

F-Safe Anti-Virus is a no-strings bundle that offers core antivirus safety for PCs solely. It is primary, does not even embody malicious URL filtering, and there aren’t any essential extras.

We will not argue with the value, although, at $40 to cowl three gadgets for a yr. Bitdefender and Kaspersky each cost a preliminary $30 to guard three devices for a yr with their primary Antivirus. However, this leaps to $60 on renewal.

You may join F-Safe’s Antivirus options right here.

F-Safe SAFE is a different succesful bundle that provides URL filtering, banking safety, easy parental controls, and safety for Mac, Android, and iOS gadgets. That is excellent news; nevertheless, it nonetheless lacks a few of the options you would possibly count on from a web safety suite, akin to a firewall, spam filter, or password supervisor.

Pricing is truthful, with a three gadget, one-year license costing a preliminary $35, then $70 on renewal, and extra financial savings obtainable as you add widgets and years. It is broadly similar to different safety suites, though it would possibly really feel dearer as you do not have reasonably as many options.

F-Safe Complete is F-Safe SAFE with unrestricted entry to F-Safe’s Freedome VPN, and F-Safe ID PROTECTION, the substitute for the corporate’s KEY password supervisor.

ID PROTECTION nonetheless features a password supervisor; however, you now additionally get darkish internet monitoring. F-Safe displays the online for indicators of your private data being leaked in a breach and raises an alert if something seems.

Norton 360 Deluxe does a lot the identical, however F-Safe claims to have some benefits, mainly through the use of a mix of human intelligence and Darkish Internet monitoring to recuperate breach information as much as six months quicker.’

Costs bounce to $90 to cowl as much as three gadgets for a yr, or $110 to cowl 5.

That is not dangerous. However, Norton 360 Deluxe provides Antivirus, darkish internet monitoring, 50GB of cloud backup house, and an unlimited VPN for $40 in yr one, $105 on renewal (cowl five gadgets.)

Alternatively, though Avira Prime does not have darkish internet monitoring, it will get you Antivirus, VPN, and much other upkeep and safety instruments for under $100 a yr, or $9 a month to attempt it out.

Attempting out F-Safe Antivirus is simple, with a free trial obtain on the positioning and an easy installer that arrange our system within a few minutes.

The Antivirus made everyday use of system sources for a starter product, grabbing around 500MB of space for storing and including six background processes to our PC.

We ran the highest Home windows benchmark PCMark Skilled earlier than and after putting in F-Safe Anti-Virus, hoping to detect any influence on velocity. However, the distinction was tiny; inside the margin of error, we might count on operating the take a look at a few instances.

Was this an issue with our testing process, we questioned? Possibly not. AV-Comparatives’ October 2020 Efficiency Check positioned F-Safe in first place out of 17 for its minimal system influence.

We’re not merely within the measurement of an antivirus bundle; we take a look at how effectively it protects its set up from assault, too. Malware usually tries to disable any safety instruments it detects, so it is necessary {that a} product can defend itself.

F-Safe Anti-Virus began uncertainly, as we had been in a position to shut and disable some companies, however not others. Had this broken our safety? It was arduous to inform.

Then, although, we delivered a significant blow by unloading one in every of F-Safe’s key drivers with a typical Home windows software, breaking the flexibility to detect malicious recordsdata as they’re written to disk. With the motive force operating, downloading a malicious file in Chrome resulted in a ‘Failed – Downloading error’ warning; afterward, it downloaded with no points.

This is not a simple safety gap to use. By some means, an attacker would want you to run malicious code in your system with admin rights and without being detected by F-Safe. And even when he managed that and downloaded a malicious file, F-Safe Anti-Virus ought to see it in RAM or by way of its conduct.

Nonetheless, it is a weak spot that we do not often see with different Antivirus. It also leaves us questioning if there may be others (our time was as restricted as our hacking abilities, and a critical attacker may need many different concepts.) We reported our findings to F-Safe, although, and hopefully, the corporate will shortly deal with any points.


For those who’re used to antivirus merchandise, attempting to win you over with stacks of bonus options, F-Safe Anti-Virus will disappoint; thus, it does not have any. There’s barely anything past antivirus scanning and the associated safety layers and settings.

This method pays off with F-Safe’s interface, which is nearly as easy and straightforward as you may ever see. The central console has two buttons: Virus Scan and Settings. Faucet, the primary and F-Safe Antivirus, runs a high-speed scan (beneath a minute on our take a look at system), offers with any threats robotically, and shows its verdict. Tapping the Settings button reveals a minimal set of configuration choices.

AV Scan Choices

Skilled customers may be a bit pissed off by the shortage of options and management. F-Safe does not provide you with an alternative of scan sorts on its central console, as an illustration, operating a fast scan by default. There’s a full system scan in the event you can monitor it down (it is tucked away behind the Virus Scan Choices button). However, we could not create a customized scan kind.

Heading for the Settings panel did not assist. Whereas opponents like Avast and Avira have a mass of handbook scan tweaks and configuration choices, F-Safe has merely two easy checkboxes: ‘Scan solely identified file sorts’ and ‘Scan inside compressed recordsdata.’

You may run focused scans by properly clicking a file, folder, or drive and selecting Scan For Viruses. These are speedy, even initially, and get quicker in subsequent runs. The app checked 50GB of executables in round 19 minutes at first, as an illustration, faster than most, dropping to 14 minutes after checking once more.

F-Safe helps parallel scans, too, an enchancment since our final overview. If a scan is operating within the background, you now do not have to attend earlier than working one other, perhaps checking a USB key. Excellent-click the vital thing in Explorer, select the Scan choice, and the app opens one other scan in its window. Most customers will not do that usually, nevertheless it’s a welcome usability plus.

AV Scheduled Scan

Help for scheduled scanning permits the bundle to robotically test the system; however, once more, there’s little or no management. You may ask F-Safe Anti-Virus to test particular recordsdata or folders, as an illustration – it should be a typical scan – and the one interval choices are day by day, weekly, or every four weeks.

However, there is a small, worthwhile additional in F-Safe’s ransomware safety function, which prevents untrusted processes from accessing recordsdata in no matter folders you’d prefer to preserve secure. This is not a brand new or uncommon thought – Home windows 10’s ‘managed folder entry’ function does a lot the identical factor – nevertheless, it’s nonetheless a useful additional layer of ransomware-blocking safety.

F-Safe Antivirus is brief on scanning choices; then, it’s also speedy, correct, and easy-to-use.

The dearth of URL blocking is a drawback. However, you are still protected by F-Safe’s different layers. After we accessed a web page containing a crypto-miner script, F-Safe allowed the HTML web page to obtain; however, we then detected the risk inside the file earlier than it was in a position to launch. Even without URL blocking, you are still very effectively defended.


AV-Comparatives Actual-World Safety Check pits 17 high antivirus engines in opposition to a few of the very newest malware, then explains intimately who’s come out on high.

The July-October 2020 abstract report positioned F-Safe in second place. One in every of solely three distributors to dam 100% takes a look at threats (Panda and Development Micro had been the joint winners.)

(This is not legally as spectacular because it appears, as a result of F-Safe had an excessive 44 false positives. Kaspersky got here fourth with a safety charge of 99.7%. Nevertheless, it did this with solely two false positives. F-Safe’s safety charge is greater; however, that is, as a result of it is elevating extra alarms, lots of them wrong, which could translate into significant hassles in real-world use.)

AV-Check’s October 2020 Residence Consumer report also confirmed F-Safe blocking 100% of taking a look at threats. That is no fluke; it did the identical in 5 out of six assessments within the earlier yr.

SE-Labs’ Residence Anti-Malware Safety report for October-December 2020 wasn’t almost as impressive, although, inserting F-Safe in ninth place out of 13 for defense. In all probability, we would put extra weight on the mixed and additional constructive verdicts of AV-Comparatives and AV-Check; however, may be operating our assessments would inform us extra.


We had no points with F-Safe Antivirus in our file and conduct monitoring checks. Our take a look at executables use all types of very suspect tips – launch one Home windows software, which launches PowerShell, scripting it to make use of one other Home windows software to obtain a malicious file – and F-Safe jumped on most of those, elevating an alert and killing the method so it could not trigger any extra harm.

To finish the overview, we launched our personal customized ransomware simulator on the F-Safe Anti-Virus system. Because the simulator has been publicly launched by no means, F-Safe could not have seen it earlier than, in principle, making the risk far harder to detect.

F-Safe has blocked our simulator from its file signature up to now, however, missed it this time. We look at risk launched efficiently and encrypted 1000’s of person paperwork without F-Safe Anti-Virus’ conduct monitoring elevating any crimson flags.

F-Safe’s Protected Folders system permits defining particular folders which the app says are then ‘shielded from encryption blackmail (like ransomware.)’ That will undoubtedly defend our take a look at information, proper? Nope: our simulator encrypted all of them.

These outcomes should be interpreted with care. We all know from lab testing that F-Safe blocks most ransomware without issue, even probably the most refined of zero-day threats, so it appears odd that our tiny simulator bought via. Because it is not actual malware, maybe F-Safe Antivirus believed it was a legit utility, perhaps a simple encryption software, which allowed it to run unrestricted.

Nonetheless, whereas we will not make sure what occurred or why these outcomes make us a bit nervous when antivirus is confronted with an executable file, it is by no means seen earlier than participating in very ransomware-like conduct and encrypting recordsdata inside a protected folder, we’d count on it to not less than elevate an alert, asking the person if this was okay. The truth that did not occur must be a priority.

Remaining verdict

F-Safe Anti-Virus is pretty priced, compact, straightforward to make use of. With mostly constructive outcomes from the testing labs, however sudden overview points together with its ineffective Protected Folders system go away with some considerations.

Williams Brandon
Brandon Williams is a 57-year-old semi-professional sports person who enjoys stealing candy from babies, chess, and watching YouTube videos. You can reach Brandon at [email protected]