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F-Secure Freedome Review

Rebecca Duff
By Rebecca DuffUpdated
Our Score6.7
User Rating
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User-friendly VPN with simple apps. Inconsistent server performance. Works with iPlayer.

What we like
  • Local download speeds of up to 56Mbps
  • Currently works with BBC iPlayer
  • Simple custom apps for popular platforms
  • Connect securely to 23 countries
  • Built-in protection against ad trackers

F-Secure Freedome is a user-friendly VPN that’s best suited to those who are looking to use public WiFi securely. Performance is good enough on nearby servers for buffer-free streaming, but F-Secure doesn’t work reliably with Netflix.

F-Secure Freedome users benefit from strong encryption, but an intrusive logging policy means that detailed connection logs are collected and stored for up to 90 days. There are also very few advanced features, so we don’t recommend it for those with stringent privacy needs.

Pricing & Deals

F-Secure Freedome offers subscriptions that vary in the different number of devices you can use the VPN on at one time. The more devices you choose to protect, the cheaper it works out per device.

The biggest savings can be found on the 7-device subscription, which will set you back $6.67 each month on the 12-month plan but works out at a considerably cheaper $0.95 per device.

If you commit to the two-year plan, you can save another 30%, bringing the monthly price down to $4.13.

F-Secure Freedome Coupon

F-Secure Freedome Pricing & Deals

Best Value Deal
2 Years
US$4.13/mo
Save 30%
7 devices - Billed $99.19 every 2 years
12 Months
US$6.67/mo
7 devices - Billed $79.99 every 12 months
12 Months
US$5.00/mo
5 devices - Billed $59.99 every 12 months
12 Months
US$4.17/mo
3 devices - Billed $49.99 every 12 months
Get F-Secure Freedome30-day money-back guarantee

F-Secure offers a five-day free trial – you don’t have to provide any personal details or payment information, so there’s no risk of auto-renewal. The free trial allows you to test out the full-featured software with no data or speed restrictions.

F-Secure also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, which is completely no-questions-asked. This means you don’t need a specific reason to request a refund – just contact the support team for your money back even if you just change your mind.

Payment Options

F-Secure offers a very limited range of payment options in comparison to the majority of other VPN providers. You can pay using most major credit or debit cards, PayPal or via wire transfer, but that’s it.

There’s no way of paying using cryptocurrency and no international methods for those living abroad either.

Speed & Reliability

We were a little underwhelmed by F-Secure’s overall performance in our speed tests – it was pretty inconsistent from one test to the next.

Local speeds were decent enough but nothing to get too excited about, peaking at 56Mbps down and 37Mbps up in the UK and hovering around 50Mbps down across the rest of Europe, which is more than quick enough for HD streaming on a couple of devices simultaneously. Torrenting is highly restricted, even if uploads are fast enough.

Connecting out to the US from Europe you can expect up to a zippy 40Mbps, which is pretty impressive considering we test from London.

Our biggest gripe with F-Secure was the sheer inconsistency. Connecting to one server might produce results of 10Mbps on one test and 30Mbps+ on another, making it really difficult to establish the true level of performance. On a positive note, we didn’t experience any connection drops, but we’d really appreciate an increase in reliability in the near future.

To find out more about our speed testing methodologies, please read How We Review VPNs.

Features

Server Locations

Globe with a blue flag23Countries
Image of a city landscape29Cities
Image of a pink marker29+IP Addresses

F-Secure Freedome operates a very small server network with only 23 countries to choose from across the world. The majority of F-Secure’s VPN servers are located in Europe and North America, so users outside of these continents may struggle to find a suitable location close by.

You can drill down to city level in Canada only with three cities on offer. The US is split into five regional servers labeled ‘East Coast’, ‘West Coast’, ‘South’, etc., which goes some way to help with performance.

If you don’t think F-Secure’s VPN server network will meet your needs, providers such as HideMyAss! offer up to 190 countries.

Platforms & Devices

Apps

Windows LogoWindows
Mac LogoMac
iOS LogoiOS
Android LogoAndroid

F-Secure offers custom VPN apps for just the four main platforms – Microsoft Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android. You can use the VPN on up to seven devices at the same time.

Unfortunately, there’s no way of manually configuring the software to work with any other devices, such as Linux, so if you’re looking to use a VPN with anything like this you’ll need to look into a provider with a wider range of solutions, such as Windscribe.

You can’t install F-Secure at router level, either, so if you want to protect games consoles and streaming devices like the Amazon Fire Stick opt for a VPN with a native app for Android TV and router compatibility, such as CyberGhost.

Streaming & Torrenting

F-Secure Freedome isn’t a reliable choice for streaming. It works with BBC iPlayer, but not with US Netflix. The lack of dedicated servers means that it could get blocked when popular streaming services crack down on VPNs – which happens quite often.

If you’re mainly going to be watching Netflix and the likes while connected to the VPN then check out our top VPN picks for streaming here.

F-Secure Freedome prohibits P2P/torrenting on the vast majority of its VPN servers, including those in the US, UK and most of Europe. If you attempt to torrent in any of these locations, you’ll be temporarily blocked from connecting to that server for a few hours – so be careful.

Encryption & Security

F-Secure Freedome will be secure enough for most everyday users, but it’s let down by the lack of advanced privacy features.

The Windows, MacOS, and Android clients run exclusively on the OpenVPN protocol, which offers the best balance between performance and privacy.

The iOS app operates on IKEv2, which is second-best to OpenVPN but still very safe. Encryption is via AES-256, a top cipher that’s considered to be ‘unhackable’.

F-Secure Freedom offers the essential VPN kill switch feature, which cuts off all web traffic in case of a VPN connection drops.

F-Secure also operates its own DNS servers, further protecting your personal information, and we didn’t find it to be leaking our DNS requests either.

Protocol
  • IKEv2/IPSec
  • OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)
Encryption
  • AES-256
Security
  • DNS Leak Blocking
  • First-party DNS
  • IPV6 Leak Blocking
  • VPN Kill Switch
Advanced features
  • Ad Blocker

Bypassing Censorship

F-Secure Freedome isn’t a good choice for China – or other high-censorship countries like Iran – due to a lack of additional obfuscation protocols which mask VPN traffic to beat the censors and access restricted content.

You can find out our top picks for China here.

Privacy

Logging Policy

F-Secure Freedome’s logging policy isn’t privacy-friendly. It collects fairly detailed connection logs, which include:

  • Your originating country and IP address
  • Duration of your VPN session
  • Total amount of data transferred
  • Device ID and your public IP address

Even worse, all of this information is stored for 90 days before being permanently deleted.

Your IP address could potentially be used to identify you if it came down to it. It states that this information is necessary for troubleshooting purposes, as well as to monitor the service for misuse, but many other VPNs manage to maintain a quality service without intrusive data logging.

Jurisdiction

F-Secure is based in Helsinki, Finland, meaning it’s exempt from intrusive data-retention laws and intelligence-sharing agreements with other countries such as the US.

This would be a major positive, if it weren’t for the fact that in its privacy policy it states that it will share user data if necessary to comply “with a court order or a warrant issued by the authorities in the relevant jurisdiction”.

It also states that “disclosing your personal data may also be justified to protect ourselves against liability or to prevent fraudulent activity”, which again isn’t something you want to hear from your VPN provider.

Ease of Use

F-Secure Freedome is great for inexperienced VPN users or those looking to ‘click and forget’, but the more tech-savvy might be disappointed with the lack of manual configuration on offer.

The home screen is incredibly simple, and there’s a ‘How Does This Work?’ prompt in the top-right corner that explains how virtual locations work and where you should connect for the best possible performance, which is a nice little touch for VPN newbies.

Getting Started

Getting started with F-Secure takes just a couple of minutes from purchase to connection. Simply follow the prompts given to you by the installation wizard, which are pretty self-explanatory, and then the VPN software will launch automatically.

Use the activation code sent in your confirmation email to log in and you’re ready to go.

  • Installing software
  • How to use the app

Customer Support

F-Secure’s customer support is excellent, if a little difficult to navigate. Because the company offers so many different products, and even different VPN packages, you have to do a bit of digging to avoid getting lost in irrelevant content.

As well as some useful online resources, there’s also a live chat feature that’s available during normal working hours (9am-6pm for the UK) with friendly, helpful agents that were willing to answer all of our questions in detail.

It’s refreshing to see that F-Secure also includes contact telephone numbers for those that would rather speak to a human being – this isn’t very common with VPN providers, but we think it’s a really valuable feature that will be appreciated by a lot of people.

The Bottom Line

What we like
  • Local download speeds of up to 56Mbps
  • Currently working with BBC iPlayer
  • User-friendly apps for popular devices
  • Connect securely to 23 countries
  • Built in browsing and tracking protection
What we like less
  • Very inconsistent server performance
  • Doesn't work with US Netflix
  • Only compatible with four main platforms
  • Very small server network

F-Secure is an ideal VPN if you’re looking for simple, user-friendly for general browsing. It’s not a good choice for streaming or torrenting, though.

F-Secure Freedome is secure enough to protect you on public WiFi connections but we wouldn’t recommend it for much more than that due to an intrusive logging policy and a lack of advanced privacy features.


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