F-Secure Antivirus Review 2024: Protect Your Devices, Totally

F-Secure has exceptional parental control features, but how does the rest of this antivirus program stack up?
4.1
Learn More
On F-Secure's website

F-Secure
  • Ransomware protection
  • Bonus features include VPN and password manager
  • Quick scan may not catch all threats
We may receive compensation from the products and services mentioned in this story, but the opinions are the author's own. Compensation may impact where offers appear. We have not included all available products or offers. Learn more about how we make money and our editorial policies.

F-Secure antivirus is a highly rated antivirus software that provides comprehensive protection against various types of computer viruses and malware, such as Trojans, spyware, adware, and even ransomware. 

In our review, we will focus on F-Secure Total because it provides antivirus protection along with a wide range of features, but we will also cover F-Secure Internet Security’s pricing plans and more.

In this article
F-Secure Antivirus overview
Who is F-Secure Antivirus best for?
F-Secure Antivirus features
F-Secure Antivirus test results
Our F-Secure Antivirus experience
F-Secure Antivirus compatibility
F-Secure Antivirus customer support
F-Secure Antivirus cost
F-Secure Antivirus FAQs
Bottom line: Is F-Secure Antivirus good?

F-Secure Antivirus overview

Prices $49.99–$159.99/first yr
Free plan No
# of devices protected 1-25
Malware scans Manual and scheduled scans
Firewall No
Phishing protection Yes
Parental controls Yes

Data as of 5/23/2023.

Who is F-Secure Antivirus best for?

  • Recommended for parents who are concerned about their children’s online safety, and for gamers who want to stay protected from cyberthreats without compromising their gaming performance.

F-Secure Antivirus was once a standalone antivirus solution, but it’s been discontinued. Now, F-Secure has two antivirus products on the market that include additional features: Internet Security, which is its basic product; and Total, which is its premium product.

F-Secure Internet Security provides antivirus protection and internet security, hence the name. F-Secure Total has a wide range of robust features for privacy and security. Some of these features include firewall protection, parental controls, banking protection, Wi-Fi network monitoring, a virtual private network (VPN), identity monitoring, and more.

Parents who want to ensure their children are safe online will appreciate Total’s parental controls. With F-Secure, parents can filter unwanted content, including blocking inappropriate websites and apps on compatible computer devices, mobile phones, and tablets. Even if certain websites and content are blocked, phone calls and text messages can still be made and received on mobile phones.

Also, its Family Rules feature allows parents to set specific limits on their children's screen time, which ensures they’re not spending too much time on the internet. Family Rules can be managed remotely as well, which makes it convenient for parents, especially those who work late or nontraditional hours.

Gamers will also appreciate Total’s Gaming Mode feature, which prevents interruptions and reduces its use of system resources, providing an optimized gaming experience by pausing scheduled scans from running in the background. 

Total can protect gamers from ransomware that can be hidden within gamer-oriented content such as cheat files, for example. It can also scan USB storage devices for viruses, malware, and other harmful threats.

Additionally, Total offers features beyond antivirus protection, such as identity theft monitoring, which can check if your identity information has been compromised in a data breach.

F-Secure Antivirus pros and cons

Pros
  • Security cloud is kept up to date on new and emerging threats
  • Parental control features
  • Gaming Mode
  • Ransomware protection
  • Bonus features include VPN and password manager
Cons
  • Did not protect against all phishing websites
  • Quick scan may not catch all threats
  • A bit pricey and does not offer monthly payment options
  • Does not offer 24/7 live chat or phone support

F-Secure Antivirus features

F-Secure Total is an antivirus program that offers users comprehensive protection against a wide range of computer viruses and malware threats, including ransomware. It offers both quick scans and full scans, which can be done manually or on a schedule. Total can also scan USB storage devices, such as flash drives, and check whether any threats are present. (Excellent for spotting keyloggers!)

Total’s standout features also include advanced parental controls such as its Family Rules feature, which enables parents to monitor and manage their children's online activity; and its Gaming Mode feature, which keeps gamers protected from malware threats on the web while ensuring performance isn’t compromised. 

Total also comes with other powerful features such as DeepGuard, which monitors installed applications and prevents suspicious applications from accessing the internet without your permission.

F-Secure Total also includes some extra handy features:

  • Virtual private network (VPN)
  • Virtual location
  • Password manager
  • Tracking protection
  • Identity theft monitoring
  • Breach alerts

Although its phishing protection could be stronger, Total makes a solid choice because it doesn’t just provide antivirus protection, it helps you maintain privacy and security, too.

Malware and antivirus scan

F-Secure Total provides a variety of scanning options, including manual and scheduled scans as well as quick scans and full scans. Antivirus scans for USB storage devices are also available. We ran both a quick scan and a full scan on our test machine to detect any threats. F-Secure Total’s quick scan took only a few minutes, and it checked a total of 13,348 items. It, fortunately, found no harmful items.

F-Secure Antivirus options for manual scanning and scheduled scanning.

However, F-Secure Total’s full scan took three hours and detected seven harmful items, which were all malware consisting mainly of Trojans. 

Although the antivirus software was able to remove two of the threats, it couldn't access the remaining five files to remove them because they had already been quarantined in the past by MalwareBytes. Keep in mind, the full scan may have taken longer because there were many large files on the tested device.

Overall, we were pleased with the scanning features offered by F-Secure Total, particularly the ability to perform both quick and full scans. We highly recommend performing a full scan periodically rather than relying on quick scans alone because it may overlook hidden malware on your device.

F-Secure Antivirus performing a full antivirus scan, with seven harmful items found.

Phishing protection

During our testing, F-Secure Total did not provide reliable phishing protection from malicious websites, even after turning on the browsing protection feature that blocks suspicious and prohibited websites.

F-Secure Antivirus's Browsing Protection features, which are to protect from phishing.

When we tested its ability to protect against phishing websites after installing its Chrome browser extension, it didn’t always work. For example, it initially blocked us from accessing googlle.com, a phishing site. Then it suddenly stopped blocking the website and allowed us to access it.

F-Secure Antivirus browsing protection stopping a malicious website.

At first, it wouldn’t let us connect to googlle.com.

F-Secure Antivirus's browsing protection allowing a malicious website to go through.

Then, it let us access googlle.com without flagging it as suspicious.

Nonetheless, F-Secure’s browsing protection feature, which allows you to block prohibited websites manually, did work reliably.

Firewall

F-Secure Total does not have a proprietary firewall; instead, it works with your operating system’s built-in firewall. Total works seamlessly with Windows Defender Firewall, providing an extra layer of protection against network threats.

For example, Windows Defender Firewall monitors incoming and outgoing traffic on your device and allows you to set up and configure controls to block any unwanted IPs and ports. 

Additionally, the firewall alerts you with a pop-up notification when it detects suspicious activity so that you can take action accordingly. We didn’t encounter any issues when we tested our firewall, which was easy to configure as well.

DeepGuard

DeepGuard is a powerful feature that monitors installed applications and prevents suspicious applications from accessing the internet without your permission. DeepGuard can block new and undiscovered threats such as malware, exploits, and other harmful applications that try to make changes to your computer. I

t also prevents suspicious applications from accessing the internet, which is excellent for preventing malicious actors from remotely using your device for nefarious reasons such as fraudulent online banking transactions or as part of a botnet involved in DDoS attacks.

F-Secure Antivirus's DeepGuard feature, which blocks malware, exploits, and suspicious applications.

Real-time protection

Real-time protection is provided for web browsing, emails, and apps, thanks to its advanced malware detection and removal capabilities. 

Additionally, its proprietary security cloud stores malware and other cyberthreat data. Data analysis of these cyberthreats is refined by AI, algorithms, and machine learning. And it’s combined with the help of humans who report new threats in real time around the world. Thus, Total is consistently updated to keep up with the latest threat intelligence.

Banking protection

Total’s banking protection feature helps users stay safe while taking care of banking transactions online. 

This feature automatically launches a secured browser when a user navigates to a banking site, which isolates the banking session from the rest of the online activity, and blocks attempts by malicious actors to intercept the session or steal sensitive data. It also clears any data on the clipboard after a banking session is completed.

F-Secure Antivirus banking protection to keep your transactions safe.

Bonus features

In addition to its antivirus protection, F-Secure Total comes with bonus features for privacy and identity protection.

Privacy features:

  • Personal VPN: Can be used to browse the web securely and anonymously
  • Virtual location: Ability to change your virtual location for added privacy
  • Kill switch: Passes data through VPN when enabled
  • Tracking prevention: Prevents ad trackers from building a profile of you
  • Trusted Wi-Fi networks: Allows connections to other devices when the kill switch is on

Identity protection features:

  • Online identity monitoring: Scans the dark web for your driver’s license, Social Security number, email, and more
  • Breach alerts: Provides real-time alerts and guidance on how to respond if your personal information has been compromised in a data breach
  • Password manager: Creates strong and unique passwords to sync across devices

F-Secure Antivirus test results

AV-TEST is a third-party test site that evaluates the performance of antivirus software. F-Secure Total has been tested by AV-TEST on Windows 11 Pro, macOS Monterey 12.4, and Android 11. The criteria tested were protection, performance, and usability. 

F-Secure Total earned good scores on its Windows 10 Pro test, and only lost points for slightly slowing device performance.[1] Its macOS scores left a little to be desired, though it still scored a decent 97.4% detection rate.[2] And surprisingly, F-Secure earned perfect scores on the latest Android 11 tests.[3]

Additionally, AV-TEST did not report any false positives during its testing. With that said, F-Secure Total has shown itself to be a strong performer in protecting devices from malware while maintaining performance and usability — a win-win in our book.

F-Secure Antivirus AV-TEST results

Test type Windows 10 Pro score macOS Monterey 12.6 score Android 11 score
Protection 6/6 4.5/6 6/6
Performance 5.5/6 5.5/6 6/6
Usability 6/6 6/6 6/6

Windows 10 Pro test results in January–February 2023.
macOS Monterey test results in December 2022.
Android 11 test results in March 2023.

Our F-Secure Antivirus experience

We manually tested F-Secure Total’s antivirus capabilities with a quick scan and a full scan on our test device: a 2020 Acer Predator Helios 300 PH 315-53 gaming laptop with an Intel i7-10750 CPU, 2.6 GHz, 16 GB of RAM, and NVIDIA graphics, running on a 64-bit Windows 11 Home.

The quick scan only took a few minutes to complete, whereas a full scan took us three hours to scan a significant number of files. With the quick scan, F-Secure Total did not detect any malware on our device. 

However, when we ran a full scan, the software detected seven harmful files on our device, all of which were malware (mainly Trojans). 

After cleaning up the detected harmful files with F-Secure Antivirus, we didn’t notice any dramatic improvements thereafter, but we were happy it was capable of detecting malware when we initialized a full scan, and that it quickly removed malware that had not been quarantined in the past.

The harmful items found by F-Secure Antivirus's full scan.

Seven harmful threats were found, mostly Trojans.

No features of the software were difficult to set up or use, and there were no additional downloads or subscriptions required for any of the features. 

F-Secure Total has an intuitive and user-friendly interface as well, which makes it a great choice for anyone who needs easy-to-use antivirus software with all the bells and whistles. 

We do caution that a full scan can take hours (a total of three hours for us), so we recommend doing full scans at nighttime or while running errands.

F-Secure Antivirus compatibility

When it comes to compatibility, F-Secure Total has got you covered. This antivirus is designed to work on a variety of devices and platforms, so you can keep your data and devices protected no matter what you're using. Here are the platforms and devices that F-Secure Total works on:

  • Windows 7 SP1 (support ends August 2023), 8.1, 10, 11
  • macOS X 10.11 (El Capitan) or later
  • iOS 14 or later (iPhones and iPads)
  • Android 8.0 or later (Android phones and tablets)

PCs, laptops, smartphones, and tablets that use any of the operating systems listed above are supported. However, keep in mind that ARM-based tablets are not supported. So whether you're using a Windows desktop, a Mac, an iPhone, or an Android phone, you can enjoy the peace of mind that comes with F-Secure Total's powerful protection.

F-Secure Antivirus customer support

F-Secure offers a few options for customer support: a live agent by phone, chat, support articles, and its community forum. Chat support is available for customers in the U.S. and Canada in English, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST. It’s also available in other countries in Asia, Europe, and the U.K. with their own hours and phone numbers.

If chat support isn’t available or you prefer self-help, F-Secure’s website has a collection of support articles available in multiple languages (mainly European and some Asian) here. Also, F-Secure has a community forum where you can ask questions and get help from other users. A blog is also available for curious readers.

F-Secure Antivirus cost

F-Secure Internet Security and F-Secure Total both offer annual and biennial subscription plans that provide support for up to 25 devices, whether it’s a desktop, laptop, or tablet. Support for mobile devices such as Android and iPhone smartphones is also available. 

We thought the starting cost of F-Secure Total was a little high compared with other antivirus software on the market, but with the additional features it offers, such as a VPN, ransomware protection, a password manager, identity theft monitoring, and more, it may be worth shelling out a little extra dough for some users. 

Otherwise, basic antivirus protection and internet security will do the trick if you want to opt for Internet Security and its cheaper price.

F-Secure Antivirus plans and prices

F-Secure Internet Security
F-Secure Total
Price for first year $49.99–$159.99/first yr $69.99–$99.99/first yr
# of devices supported 1-25 1-25
Compatible with Windows, macOS, Android, iOS Windows, macOS, Android, iOS
Manual and auto scan
Phishing protection
Firewall
Real-time protection
Ransomware protection
Parental controls
VPN
Tracking protection
Password manager
Online identity monitoring
Breach alerts
Gaming Mode
Multi-language support
Details Learn More Learn More

Prices as of 5/23/2023.

F-Secure Total offers a 30-day free trial with no credit card required for all plans.

F-Secure Antivirus FAQs


+

Is F-Secure safe?

Yes, you can trust F-Secure Total to keep your devices and data safe from harm's way. F-Secure Total is a reliable and robust antivirus software solution on the market that has a long list of additional features that protect you and your devices. 

F-Secure’s privacy policy is also transparent and designed to safeguard your personal information and data privacy.


+

How does F-Secure protect against ransomware?

F-Secure Total provides ransomware protection by acting like a bouncer at a VIP club, only allowing safe applications to access protected folders. For example, if a malicious app tries to access a protected folder, F-Secure Total will notify you and let you decide whether you want to trust and allow the application to access the folder. 

It also lets the DeepGuard feature use its list of protected folders to provide an extra layer of protection, so you can choose which folders you want to protect and keep safe from ransomware threats.


+

Does F-Secure slow down computers?

No, F-Secure Total provides antivirus protection without compromising the performance of your device, as it has proven with its Gaming Mode feature, which can help optimize the performance of your device by reducing the use of its resources.


+

What country is F-Secure from?

F-Secure is a Nordic cybersecurity company headquartered in Helsinki, Finland.

Bottom line: Is F-Secure Antivirus good?

We thought F-Secure Total is an above-average antivirus. We liked that it offers great benefits with features such as ransomware and banking protection, ad blocking, a VPN, a password manager, identity theft monitoring, and so much more. 

Plus, it's great for parents who want to keep their children safe online with its parental control features and for users who want to game safely without slow performance with its Gaming Mode feature.

But F-Secure Total missed the mark with its inability to protect against phishing websites. Its browsing protection feature, which should have blocked suspicious websites, did not perform well in terms of blocking phishing websites when we tested them. 

We also felt it may not be the most budget-friendly option out there either. Overall, we recommend F-Secure Total to anyone looking for robust antivirus protection with additional features that keep their devices and online activity secure, but we think there are better options for less elsewhere.

Explore your antivirus software options and read our review of the best antivirus software.

4.1
Learn More
On F-Secure's website

F-Secure
  • Ransomware protection
  • Bonus features include VPN and password manager
  • Quick scan may not catch all threats
Author Details
Mars is a cybersecurity professional and writer based in California. Currently pursuing a B.S. in Cybersecurity, he serves as an Advisory Board Member for WEBGAP, specializing in browser isolation. With an interest in OSINT, ethical hacking, and threat intelligence, Mars enjoys writing security content and has experience as a Security Researcher, Cybersecurity Analyst (WEBGAP), and Editor-in-chief (Secjuice).

Citations

[1] Test F-Secure SAFE 18 for Windows 10

[2] Test F-Secure SAFE 18.4 for MacOS Monterey

[3] Test F-Secure Total Security & VPN 20.0 for Android