F-Secure Freedome is a relatively new VPN service provider that comes from a reputed security company F-Secure.
A VPN stands for Virtual Private Network and the main job of a VPN service is to protect the user from cyber threats.
VPN services protect your internet traffic as well.
This effectively keeps away all snoopers from knowing your IP address.
But F-Secure Freedome isn’t an ordinary VPN service.
It goes further.
A lot further.
By providing more features than the rest of the VPN services in the market.
F-Secure Freedome offers protection from phishing sites along with ad trackers and malware.
NO matter how you look at it, this is one powerful piece of protection software.
Of course, with all good things comes the cost.
The cost can certainly go up when you want to subscribe to all F-Secure Freedome features and want to protect multiple devices.
Moreover, even though F-Secure Freedome has a lot of features it doesn’t have some of the more advanced features which are consistently found in top of the line VPN services.
It doesn’t matter if you have the best antivirus software in the world.
Even if you protect your smartphone devices with security apps, they can’t really protect your data.
Your online information is inherently insecure because it is constantly flowing and out of your computer machine.
That isn’t a problem one hundred percent of the time, but sometimes that information can be critical.
And that’s what hackers are looking for.
Hackers love to sit around the corner and hack people who use public Wifi networks carelessly.
With a VPN service, no hacker in the world can spy on you.
Because your internet traffic is encrypted.
Government agencies and other marketing companies also can’t know your whereabouts.
A VPN service essentially creates a secure VPN tunnel between its secure server and your computer machine.
This VPN server is provided by the VPN service itself.
Hence, VPN services can spoof your original location and can unlock content that is region-locked.
With a VPN service, you can watch all streaming websites like BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and Netflix (though Netflix has started to fight back against VPN services).
But spoofing your location isn’t just about accessing locked content.
Journalists and political activists all around the world use VPN services to bypass their government’s restrictive internet laws.
F-Secure Freedome Price
Testing a VPN service is always difficult as a lot depends on the kind of internet connection you use and the machine you use it on.
But we’ll talk about those issues later.
First of all, let’s get this straight out of the way that F-Secure Freedome doesn’t really have monthly plans.
This is highly unusual for a VPN service provider.
And truth be told, this is also unfortunate.
Variety in billing schedules gives potential users more freedom on how they want to protect themselves.
Besides, a VPN protection isn’t one size fits all solution to security problems.
There are at on of situations that a user could have and for each of those, a different VPN package may be required.
With F-Secure Freedome, the only option that users have is to buy the service on a long-term basis.
As far as prices go, F-Secure Freedome definitely holds its own against some of the best VPN service providers out there in the market.
Our research for this F-Secure Freedome review tells us that it is extremely competitive in terms of prices when it comes to yearly plans.
A year’s worth of F-Secure Freedome subscription costs users $49.99.
Each plan allows the user to secure three simultaneous devices.
This number isn’t great. But it isn’t bad either.
If you want to connect, let’s say, seven devices then you will have to pay $79.99 per year.
We don’t really know why F-Secure Freedome is so stringent when it comes to licensing issues.
But the fact is that other VPN service providers are much more generous.
VPN services like TorGuard and the rest of the elite pack usually allow users to connect five and even six simultaneous devices for the same base fee.
Add to that the fact that F-Secure Freedome does not have any discount deals for users who buy the service for multiple years.
This means, you can’t have a discount no matter what you do.
Even if you commit to F-Secure Freedome for years, it will not benefit you in terms of cost.
Freedom also does not have a free version but that is the norm when it comes to good VPN service providers.
The company does provide a rather long 14-day free trial of its VPN service.
The free trial gives potential users full access to the company’s VPN service.
There is also a 30-day money back guarantee for users who subscribe to the service.
F-Secure offers several payment methods.
Some of which are,
- Money order
- Wire transfer
- Credit card
There is no Bitcoin option.
And that means users who are hypersensitive about their privacy will find no joy in F-Secure Freedome.
They can look to other VPN service providers like Private Internet Access that has a ton of payment options available including cryptocurrencies.
We are happy to report that F-Secure Freedome works with Windows 10.
Most VPN service providers in the market don’t really support Windows 10 both because they don’t have the funds and because it is new.
Apart from Windows 10, the VPN company also allows users to download clients for operating systems such as,
- Mac OS X
And yes, Windows Phone users can’t use F-Secure Freedome.
As far as this review goes, we’ll concentrate on the Windows version of F-Secure Freedome.
The most interesting F-Secure Freedome feature is the Tracker Mapper.
This feature is basically a standalone application in the sense that when you launch it, it launches as a standalone application.
Tracker Mapper then monitors a user’s internet traffic and shows the user how advertising companies track the user across the infinite space of the Web.
The more you surf the internet, the more populated the map becomes.
Tracker Mapper continues to add more trackers and more sites until it gives you a clear idea of how advertising companies work.
The most interesting part of this feature is that it allow the user to see how the same trackers on different websites communicate with each other to give advertisers unprecedented access to user habits and movements in the online world.
Moreover, the tracker mapper feature also shows users malicious websites it has blocked.
Does It Work With Netflix?
Does It Allow P2P?
By that we mean it allows P2P and BitTorrent activity on some of its servers. Check the official website out for more information.
F-Secure Freedome sets itself apart from ordinary VPN services by offering more than just web traffic protection.
As mentioned before it also protects users against malware and phishing websites.
How does it do that?
It does that via its F-Secure Freedome VPN app.
The VPN app is smart and wastes little time to advise users to validate the VPN app’s malware protection level by visiting the Anti-Malware Testing Standards Organization official website.
As you can probably imagine, we took that advice and tested F-Secure Freedome for its malware detection features.
They work well if that makes sense.
More importantly though, we think that F-Secure Freedome deserves a round of applause for taking the initiative to support malware standards.
Out research for this F-Secure Freedome review told us that F-secure performed brilliantly in detecting gentle AMSTO test payloads.
These tests aren’t real in the sense that they only exist so that malware detection can be confirmed.
F-Secure Freedome impressed us with its ability to detect test payloads inside compressed files.
The VPN service did not perform that well when it came to protection against drive-by downloads though.
They are the bane of the modern web’s existence.
But did you know that hackers can use displayed ads to spread malware?
That is indeed true.
The phenomenon is called malvertising.
This technique uses legitimate advertisement services to catch careless victims via distributed attacks.
As far as F-Secure Freedome is concerned, it is effective against most of these ads.
But just like Spotflux VPN service, F-Secure Freedome did not detect a few of these malware-containing ads.
What Is Enough?
We know that in the modern world of talented hackers, changing your IP address is only the first line of defense.
In other words, it is not enough.
Because it only stops network tracking.
Networks, just like everything else, have become smarter as well.
Not networks use a host of other factors to pin you down with multiple IP addresses.
Networks can then track your online activity with ease.
You can use free browser extensions like Ghostery to know how websites use trackers to monitor you.
From our experience, F-Secure Freedome managed to block over fifty percent of all online trackers that came its way.
That success rate is pretty decent.
But of course, if you want more protection you are better of installing a dedicated ad blocking software.
That’s the only way to have a clear view of the website you are visiting at any given time.
VPN service providers aren’t quite known for blocking phishing attempts but F-Secure Freedome doesn’t care.
It provides users with additional protection and blocks malicious sites.
These type of sites are known as phishing pages.
Basically, you have these fake/scam web pages that act like legitimate websites.
Common examples of these websites include fake IRS websites.
These websites try to trick users into handing over their sensitive and personal information.
Phishtank.com is a website that keeps a regularly-updated list of phishing websites.
Using the service we found that F-Secure Freedome blocked about ninety percent of the phishing sites it came across.
That percentage is without doubt excellent.
As mentioned before, Spotflux also offers phishing protection and malware.
But it doesn’t use phishtank.com lists.
It has one of its own proprietary blacklist of phishing sites.
Hence we can’t really compare Spotflux with F-Secure Freedome on their anti-phishing capacity.
F-Secure Installation And User Interface
F-Secure Freedome is a simple and straightforward VPN service.
TO install the service all you have to do is accept the company’s terms and conditions and then begin the installation after you have signed up for the service via the official website.
The installer is very user-friendly.
It presents the user with a huge white circle and it has the word “Install” written at its center.
Users who want to use the service must click the install circle button.
The software installer handles the rest.
There is no easier way to install a VPN service than what F-Secure Freedome offers.
The Desktop VPN application retains its previous theme.
That is total blue.
More like sky blue.
The design is minimalistic compared to some of the other VPN service providers.
And the same holds true for the above-mentioned software installer as well.
The Desktop app displays a central connect button which can connect and disconnect your VPN connection.
On the flanks, we have statistics which should how much of the user’s internet traffic is protected via the F-Secure Freedome app.
The statistics also show numbers related to the number of malicious sites the software has blocked.
There is also a number for the number of attempts websites have made to track a user’s online activity and how many the software thwarted.
The overall presentation is slick.
In fact, we think it rivals the great VPN applications of Elite VPN service providers such as Hotspot Shield and Spotflux Premium.
If you look at below the connect button, there is a logo of the VPN server that you have connected to.
If you click the button it will show you other VPN servers to which you can connect to.
The VPN server selection screen shows users national flags of where VPN servers are located.
There is also a neat looking moving globe.
This is truly unique as far as VPN service providers are concerned because VPN service providers normally don’t put this much effort in their app design.
The VPN app also has tabs on the side.
These tabs allow quick access to more F-Secure Freedome features.
These features include browsing along with tracker protection.
By default, both of these features are turned on and hence you don’t need to go in there and mess with these options.
The other great thing about the F-Secure Freedome VPN app is that the company has realized that it does not have to coerce users into buying its premium services.
Before, F-Secure Freedome pushed users a bit too hard to buy their products.
It showed users countless “opportunities” to make their friends buy Freedome as well.
F-Secure seems to have realized that was not the best approach.
And hence we have a less distracting VPN app.
F-Secure Freedome Servers
The company offers a total of 27 global VPN servers.
Eight of these VPN servers are located in North America.
Around three are located in Asia while Europe has thirteen of these VPN servers.
Regions such as Australia and Mexico City each have one VPN server.
F-Secure Freedome does not offer specialized VPN servers.
Other elite VPN services like NordVPN do and hence have an edge over F-Secure Freedome.
That also means that F-Secure Freedome doesn’t have VPN server features such as double encryption or BitTorrent compatible VPN servers.
But if you signed up for F-Secure Freedome because you wanted a different persona while traveling to European countries then you’re golden with F-Secure Freedome.
With that said, don’t forget that European data collection laws are more strict than in the US.
Regardless, F-Secure Freedome gives you a lot of options when it comes to European VPN servers.
F-Secure Freedome Speed
As we have commented before countless times, VPN services, by their nature, slow down your internet connection speed.
That’s just how they work.
You cannot bypass this reality.
Though it is true that some VPN services affect speed more than others.
But they all do it.
In our F-Secure Freedome review, as always, we judge speed via speed tests software applications such as Security Gladiators Speed Test Tool and speedof.me
To get an accurate picture of how fast a VPN service truly is, one should always test it with multiple servers.
Preferably, users should select VPN servers in a random fashion.
For example, you could just select a server in Australia and then average out the speed with another VPN server test for a European country.
Then you should compare these results with the results when you don’t have a VPN connection.
That’s the best way to gauge how fast a VPN service truly is.
Generally speaking though, VPN servers that are located in the US are faster than the ones located in other less-favored regions of the world.
Our research for this F-Secure Freedome review showed us that Freedome increases a user internet connection’s latency rate by a whopping 300 percent.
It performs better when it comes to downloading speeds reducing them by a mere seven percent.
F-Secure Freedome reduced upload speeds by approximately 30 percent.
These results may look like average or even bad depending on your exposure to VPN servers, but we’re going to tell you that these are some of the best numbers we have seen for a while.
The only other VPN service that performs this well on Ooka tests is HideIPVPN.
Speedof.me, as expected, showed a different set of results.
There, F-Secure Freedome increases latency rates by 1500 percent while it decreased download speed by ten percent and upload speeds by 25 percent.
Needless to say, the increase in latency rate is way higher than the industry average as far as the speedof.me results are concerned.
If it comes as a consolation to any potential F-Secure Freedome customers, know that other VPN services like Spotflux Premium aren’t that far behind.
With that said, keep in mind that latency numbers are always measured in milliseconds.
Hence, the numbers you think are shocking, aren’t really perceptible.
If you want to sign up for F-Secure Freedome because you want to surf the web in a secure way then you should have no problems.
Modern VPN services are complex and smart.
Nowadays there is hardly a difference in real-world experiences when it comes to internet connections with and without VPN connections.
But F-Secure Freedome, for all its great user interface and VPN app, is slightly slower than average VPN services when it comes to the actual web experience.
We found that it struggled a bit against media heavy web pages.
Expect your YouTube videos to load more slowly with F-Secure Freedome.
What About 4K videos?
4K videos are the bread and butter of speed testing. If you want to know how a VPN service will perform under huge loads and large files, then 4k videos are the way to go.
Needless to say, F-Secure Freedome did not score well in this category just as it did not score well in the Youtube HD videos category.
In short, you can’t watch 4K videos with F-Secure Freedome turned on.
Other VPN services like TorGuard do perform better than F-Secure Freedome in this department.
By default, F-Secure uses the OpenVPN protocol for its Android, Mac and Windows VPN clients.
You’ll have to search quite a bit before you find this information on your own.
As we’ll discuss further down the review, the knowledge base section isn’t well organized.
Regardless, F-Secure uses an AES-128 bit encryption for its data and combines that with SHA-1 for data authentication and a 2048-bit RSA for handshaking.
This encryption arrangement is stronger than what we find on OpenVPN default settings.
The company does not keep any logs that might identify a particular user and does not come under EU Data Retention laws.
The iOS App
The F-Secure iOS App uses IPSec AES-128 bit to encrypt its data and uses an AES-256 bit for its key exchange. It also uses SHA-1 for the purpose of data authentication.
While that is great, we always recommend that users should opt for OpenVPN whenever that is possible.
F-Secure Customer Support
The official website has a decent knowledge section along with a community forum.
Users who want help can get plenty from these two sources.
There is no live chat and email support option for users who are not paying customers.
That is, of course, a huge letdown.
But F-Secure tries to make up for it with a comprehensive forum.
The communication between the users and the company is refreshing and there is considerable activity on the forums.
Though the replies do come slowly and there isn’t much content.
The knowledge base section has a reasonable number of articles and some of them are even helpful.
But don’t expect those questions to answer your specific question down to a tee.
The section isn’t that intuitive to navigate and sometimes you will waste time just surfing the website trying to find what you’re looking for.
The search facility is also not that robust.
One has to use accurate filter and tab options before the search function throws something that is comprehensible and relevant to the user query.
The company’s social media accounts don’t seem to provide much support but the official website does have links to those pages at the bottom of the homepage.
Should You Buy F-Secure Freedome
F-Secure Freedome is remarkable for a variety of reasons.
The number one reason is that this is a VPN service that is offered by an antivirus company.
We can’t recall too many antivirus companies who have moved into the VPN industry.
But that seems to be changing now.
More and more security companies that make antivirus products are now trying to move into other security markets.
Generally though, all of them want to protect customers from not only malware but also from all other forms of cyber attacks.
It isn’t a far-fetched idea that a VPN service will one day become as common a consumer product as an antivirus software application.
All of this will mean that hackers along with government surveillance departments and advertising companies will have to work harder to track down users.
F-Secure Freedome can lead this new wave of VPN cum antivirus products.
It has all the ingredients to become a solid VPN service providers.
It supports a wide range of devices and offers VPN servers in a lot of important locations around the world.
Of course, F-Secure Freedome doesn’t come close to the likes of IPVanish and NordVPN when it comes to VPN-only features such as double VPN, a Kill Switch or specialized servers but F-Secure Freedome, at the moment, is not competing with them.
As far as customer protection is concerned, F-Secure Freedome is a reasonable VPN service provider.
It is not a pure VPN service in the sense that if offers features that are more associated with antivirus products rather than VPN services.
The other thing that heavily goes in favor of F-Secure Freedome is the fact that it comes from a recognized name in the security industry.
That is F-Secure.
Anyone who cares about online security will know that F-Secure is a very important name when it comes to protecting users.
Having that reputation allows F-Secure to build trust among users who are looking for a VPN service.
But F-Secure must do more to lure customers away from dedicated VPN services such as IPVanish and ExpressVPN along with many others.
For all its extra features, F-Secure faults are many and obvious.
It doesn’t have flexible billing options.
The number of simultaneously connected devices is also low.
F-Secure Freedome is relatively a slow VPN service and impacts the internet connection more than other elite VPN service providers.
Moreover, it doesn’t have any advanced features that are associated with VPN service providers.
Users who are looking for a one-stop solution to all their online security problems might find F-Secure Freedome useful.
Of course, they will still have to deal with the fact that F-Secure Freedome does not offer many simultaneous devices.
But for the rest of us, F-Secure Freedome simply does not offer enough to be an effective VPN solution.
For users looking for a terrific pure VPN solution to their privacy problems, we highly recommend IPVanish.
It is the highest ranked VPN service on our site and has an approachable user interface along with unmatched feature set and more practical subscription packages.
You can read more about IPVanish here.
F-Secure Freedome Pros
- Quick and easy-to-follow installation setup
- User interface is excellent
- VPN servers located in international locations
- Antivirus features such as phishing protection and malware detection
- Tracker Blocker
- Ad blocker
- Tracker Mapper
F-Secure Freedome Cons
- Doesn’t score well in downloading tests
- Browsing experience suffers more than the average
- Small number of simultaneous devices supported
- No monthly packages
- No specialty servers
- Lack of advanced features
- Number of VPN servers offered is also not great
F-Secure Freedome Bottom Line
F-Secure Freedome is a VPN service from an antivirus company. The service itself is simple and offers an excellent range of security features.
It also protects users from phishing, malware and advertising companies.
But all of that counts for little because it is slow and hence degrades web experience a bit too much.
The number of simultaneous devices allowed is also nothing to boast about.
These downsides hold F-Secure Freedome back from becoming an excellent VPN service provider like IPVanish and NordVPN.[rwp-review id=”0″]