Please be aware
That is our all-in-one roundup reviewing each F-Safe shopper safety resolution for 2020. On this web page, after our transient intro, you’ll discover
(a) a full analysis of the entry-level F-Safe Anti-Virus, together with our critiques of the extra options integrated with the remainder of the vary:
(b) F-Safe SAFE, and
(c) the top-end bundle F-Safe Whole
You’ll be able to soar to the critiques of these particular person merchandise by clicking on the hyperlinks within the bar on the prime of this web page, however keep in mind that this text is admittedly designed to be learn all through, because the options of F-Safe Anti-Virus are additionally current within the higher-level safety suites, in fact.
F-Safe Anti-Virus is a no-strings bundle which gives core antivirus safety for PCs solely. It is fundamental, does not even embrace malicious URL filtering, and there aren’t any vital extras.
We won’t argue with the worth, although, at $36 to cowl a single gadget for a 12 months, or $40 to guard three. Bitdefender and Kaspersky each cost an preliminary $30 to cowl three gadgets for a 12 months, however this leaps to $60 on renewal.
F-Safe SAFE is a extra succesful bundle which provides URL filtering, further layers of ransomware and banking safety, easy parental controls and safety for Mac, Android and iOS gadgets. That is excellent news, however it’s nonetheless lacking among the options you may anticipate from an web safety suite, akin to a firewall or a spam filter.
Pricing is honest, with a 3 gadget, one-year license costing an preliminary $35, then $70 on renewal, and extra financial savings obtainable as you add gadgets and years. It is broadly corresponding to different safety suites, though may really feel costlier as you could not have fairly as many options.
F-Safe Whole is basically F-Safe SAFE with unrestricted entry to F-Safe’s Freedome VPN, and the corporate’s KEY password supervisor thrown in. For those who’ll use the VPN, it is the true worth proposition right here, with costs beginning at simply $90 to cowl as much as three gadgets for a 12 months, or $110 to cowl 5.
Attempting out F-Safe Anti-Virus takes fractionally extra work than typical – hand over your e mail deal with, full a CAPTCHA, submit the net kind, anticipate an e mail with a ‘affirm your e mail’ hyperlink, then wait for an additional e mail with a obtain hyperlink – however none of that’s even faintly troublesome, and we had the app put in inside a few minutes.
F-Safe made common use of system assets, grabbing round 500MB of space for storing, and including six background processes to our PC.
We did not discover any uncommon affect on our system efficiency, although, and that is broadly confirmed by testing.
AV-Comparatives’ October 2019 Efficiency check positioned F-Safe in 10th place out of 16, as an example (1st place having the least efficiency affect, 16th essentially the most.) Elsewhere, PassMark’s Client Safety Merchandise Efficiency Benchmarks 2020 Version 2 makes use of extra efficiency metrics, and ranked F-Safe sixth out of 15. That is not nice, however it’s not unhealthy, both, and on stability it appears unlikely that F-Safe Anti-Virus will considerably gradual you down.
We’re not simply within the measurement of an antivirus bundle; we check how nicely it protects its set up from assault, too. Malware typically tries to disable any safety instruments it detects, so it is necessary than a product can defend itself.
F-Safe handed most of the key checks, defending its core processes, companies and drivers. We had been capable of delete sufficient necessary recordsdata to disable the applying interface, although, together with some notifications. This drawback could be very apparent to any consumer – F-Safe displayed a few error messages when our system rebooted, as an example, and we could not open its fundamental console – and our safety did not appear to be compromised, so this wasn’t a complete catastrophe.
But it surely’s nonetheless a weak point that we not often see with different apps, and it suggests at the least the opportunity of extra harmful kinds of assault (if a file might be deleted, there’s an opportunity it may be changed.) We reported our findings to F-Safe, and if there is a matter right here, we anticipate the corporate will repair it shortly.
For those who’re used to antivirus merchandise making an attempt to win you over with stacks of bonus options, F-Safe Anti-Virus can be a shock, as a result of it does not have any. There’s barely something right here 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 easy as you may ever see. The principle console has two buttons: Virus Scan and Settings. Faucet the primary and F-Safe Anti-Virus runs a really fast scan (below a minute on our check system), offers with any threats robotically and shows its verdict. Tapping the Settings button reveals a really minimal set of configuration choices.
Skilled customers is perhaps a bit pissed off by the dearth of options and management. F-Safe does not provide you with a selection of scan varieties on its fundamental console, as an example, working 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.)
There is not any detachable drive scan right here, no choice to create a customized scan sort of your individual. And whereas opponents like Avast and Avira have a mass of handbook scan tweaks and configuration choices, F-Safe has simply two easy checkboxes: ‘Scan solely recognized file varieties’, and ‘Scan inside compressed recordsdata.’
You’ll be able to run focused scans by right-clicking a file, folder or drive and selecting Scan For Viruses. These are speedy, even initially, and get sooner in subsequent runs. The app checked 50GB of executables in round 16 minutes at first, as an example, dropping to 141 seconds after we checked once more.
F-Safe is not very good at dealing with parallel scans. If a scan is working, and also you right-click a detachable drive to verify it, the app simply switches to the lively scan window. It does not scan the detachable drive, or inform you it might probably’t do this, so that you’re left to your self to determine what is going on on.
You in all probability will not wish to run simultaneous scans fairly often, however in the event you do, that is going to be a problem, and a few distributors deal with the scenario very otherwise. For instance, Kaspersky lets you run right-click and fundamental scans on the identical time, and makes use of separate scan home windows to show their progress, making them simple to observe.
There’s one small however worthwhile further in F-Safe’s ransomware safety function, which prevents untrusted functions from accessing recordsdata in no matter folders you’d prefer to preserve protected. This is not a very new or uncommon thought – Home windows 10’s new ‘managed folder entry’ function does a lot the identical factor – however it’s nonetheless a helpful further layer of ransomware-blocking safety.
Total, F-Safe handles its core antivirus operate very nicely, being speedy, correct and user-friendly.
The dearth of URL blocking is a draw back, however understand that you are still protected by different layers. After we clicked a hyperlink to a malicious file, for instance, F-Safe detected it similar to it might any native file. Equally, after we tried to entry a web page containing a crypto miner script, F-Safe allowed the HTML web page to obtain, however then detected the menace inside the file earlier than it was capable of launch. Even with out URL blocking, you are still very nicely defended.
AV-Comparatives Actual-World Safety Check pits 16 prime antivirus engines towards among the very newest malware, then explains intimately who’s come out on prime.
The July-October 2019 abstract report wasn’t excellent news for F-Safe, with the corporate scrambling to a disappointing 13th place, simply forward of Kaspersky.
This was an actual shock, as F-Safe usually does very nicely in these checks (it was within the prime 5 for the sooner 2019 report, and for each 2018 experiences.) With Kaspersky additionally seeing a significant downgrade this time – first place within the final report, 14th right here – we will deal with these outcomes cautiously, and see in the event that they’re confirmed by the following report.
AV-Check gave extra constructive ends in August 2019, when it rated the F-Safe SAFE 6/6 for cover and authorized it as a Prime Product.
SE-Labs Residence Anti-Malware Safety report for October-December 2019 wasn’t fairly as impressed, however nonetheless positioned F-Safe within the higher mid-range for its Whole Accuracy Score, forward of names like Avira, Comodo and McAfee.
We had no points with F-Safe Anti-Virus in our personal testing. It detected our native malware samples with out issue, noticed others inside archives and recognized and stopped harmful downloads – every thing we may ask.
To finish the overview, we tried to run our personal customized ransomware simulator on the F-Safe Anti-Virus system. Because the simulator has by no means been publicly launched, F-Safe could not have seen it earlier than, in idea making the menace far harder to detect.
The excellent news is that F-Safe Anti-Virus detected and blocked our simulator from its file signature alone. The code hasn’t been launched, however presumably it acknowledged some malware-like indicators.
The unhealthy information is that this detection wasn’t notably good, and a tiny change to the executable allowed it to launch efficiently. Our simulator was then capable of encrypt hundreds of consumer paperwork with out F-Safe Anti-Virus’ conduct monitoring elevating any purple flags.
F-Safe Anti-Virus’ Protected Folders system permits defining particular folders which the app says are then ‘shielded from encryption blackmail (like ransomware.)’ That might certainly defend our check information, proper? Nope: our simulator encrypted all of them.
These outcomes have to be interpreted with care. We all know from lab testing that F-Safe blocks most ransomware with out issue, even essentially the most subtle of zero-day threats, so it appears odd that our tiny simulator received by way of. Because it is not actual malware, maybe F-Safe Anti-Virus believed it was a professional software, possibly a real encryption device, and so allowed it to run unrestricted.
Nonetheless, whereas we won’t ensure what occurred or why, these outcomes make us a bit nervous. When an 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 might anticipate it to at the least increase an alert, asking the consumer if this was okay. The truth that did not occur must be a priority.
F-Safe Anti-Virus is pretty priced, compact and straightforward to make use of, however a definite scarcity of options, some sudden overview points and a latest set of poor check outcomes make it troublesome to advocate proper now.
F-Safe SAFE extends the corporate’s antivirus bundle with URL filtering, banking safety, parental controls and extra apps to guard Mac, Android and iOS gadgets.
These are all helpful options, however they nonetheless go away us feeling a bit underwhelmed. URL filtering comes as normal with most baseline antivirus packages, as an example – it does not usually require a paid improve. And transferring up from antivirus often will get you a lot extra options than you may see right here. Bitdefender Web Safety features a firewall, spam filter, webcam safety, a microphone monitor, and a bunch of smaller privateness extras (password supervisor, file shredder, easy encryption device, wi-fi community scanner, extra.)
Choosing F-Safe could not prevent a lot money, both. Bitdefender Web Safety 2020’s three gadget, one-year license is priced at $40 in 12 months one, $80 on renewal; the equal F-Safe figures are solely marginally cheaper at $35 and $70.
Nonetheless, in the event you solely want the safety fundamentals, F-Safe’s less complicated and extra light-weight method could also be a bonus, and it is definitely value having a look on the suite’s further options.
Malicious URL filtering
F-Safe’s Safe Looking function makes use of a mix of browser extension and network-level applied sciences to guard you from internet threats.
This begins by displaying a ‘repute score’ icon subsequent to each hyperlink in your Google, Bing and Yahoo! search outcomes. Limit your clicks to URLs with a inexperienced tick for ‘protected’ and you may instantly keep away from some dangers.
A second layer of safety can block recognized dangerous websites, in addition to ‘suspicious’ web sites or something with ‘prohibited content material’ (relying on doable parental management settings.)
The function within reason configurable, helpful in the event you discover it blocks professional websites. If a hyperlink is falsely flagged, you are ready so as to add it to an Exceptions record in a click on or two. And in the event you nonetheless run into a number of hassles, you’ll be able to scale back detection sensitivity by maintaining blocking for dangerous websites, however turning off ‘suspicious’ web site blocking.
Measuring the accuracy of any URL filtering layer is difficult, however AV-Comparatives’ 2019 Anti-Phishing Certification Check may give us a helpful clue. It discovered F-Safe SAFE blocked a creditable 85% of threats, however it nonetheless lagged the 5 different contenders: Avira (88%), Avast (94%), Kaspersky (94%), Kaspersky (97%) and Bitdefender (98%).
Banking safety is a standard safety suite function, and often includes utilizing a customized hardened browser to hold out your most necessary on-line transactions. However F-Safe’s Home windows banking safety function does issues very otherwise.
If you go to a recognized banking web site, F-Safe SAFE disconnects all untrusted functions from the web and prevents them going again on-line when you’re on the website. It additionally blocks untrusted web sites till your transactions are full.
We’re uncertain how helpful this actually is. If malware is working in your system, amassing keystrokes, possibly taking screenshots, you are already in massive hassle. Blocking it from connecting to the web when you’re on the banking website is sweet, however will not assist if it tries once more after you’ve got left (which, certainly, it’s totally more likely to do.)
We have issued over performance, too. Banking Safety did not hearth up after we logged in to PayPal, as an example. When it activated accurately on one other banking website, we discovered SAFE blocked some professional internet pages. And though the banking safety function is out there on Android, it solely works in the event you’re utilizing the SAFE browser.
Put all of it collectively and we’re unsure F-Safe’s banking safety is well worth the problem. Strive it in the event you like, however on stability we desire safety suites which use a separate remoted browser (Kaspersky, Bitdefender and others.)
F-Safe’s Household Guidelines expertise is a fundamental parental controls system which permits setting display screen cut-off dates, blocking entry to web sites by content material sort, and (on Android and iOS) finding misplaced or stolen gadgets.
System utilization might be restricted to a complete period of time per day. This could vary from 15 minutes to eight hours, however you are pressured to select from a small variety of preset instances. For instance, if a Three-hour restriction is not fairly sufficient, your subsequent choices are Three hours 30 minutes, four hours, then 5, 6, 7 and eight. Would it not actually be so troublesome to permit a consumer to enter a selected variety of minutes?
All these settings are utilized to a selected gadget, too (or a consumer account on a tool, for PCs.) In case your baby has two or extra gadgets, you may have to set them up individually, and consider carefully about how any utilization time needs to be cut up.
Though you are not capable of outline when through the day your baby ought to use his time allowance, a Bedtime function limits gadget use throughout nighttime. You are capable of set when the gadget is turned off and turns into obtainable within the morning, though once more, SAFE limits the time you select. (If the default 7am is fractionally too early, as an example, you’ll be able to’t set it to 7:15 or 7:45; your subsequent decisions are 7:30 or 8pm.)
A easy content material filtering system permits blocking entry to web sites by their sort. This solely has 14 classes (Grownup, Medicine, Playing, Violence, Social Networking and so forth) so is fast and straightforward to make use of, though does not provide you with a lot alternative for fine-tuning.
F-Safe’s Finder is a straightforward anti-theft service which permits discovering your misplaced Android and iOS gadgets.
SAFE for Android additionally helps distant gadget wiping and locking, helpful in the event you suspect your gadget is not coming again any time quickly.
Household Guidelines is straightforward to make use of, however very quick on options. For those who’re pleased with the parental controls fundamentals, it’d nearly be sufficient, however everybody else can be higher off elsewhere.
The key advantage of F-Safe SAFE might be its safety for Android, Mac and iOS, in addition to Home windows gadgets.
Each the Mac and Android apps have a lot the identical function set because the PC version: antivirus, shopping safety, banking safety and parental controls.
The Android app will get extra mobile-specific options, together with anti-theft instruments and an Software Privateness device which identifies apps that may entry your private info.
F-Safe SAFE for iOS is extra restricted, as typical with safety apps, however nonetheless covers some helpful capabilities: shopping safety (when utilizing SAFE’s personal browser), parental controls, restricted banking safety (an indicator highlights protected websites) and fundamental anti-theft.
None of this helps with SAFE’s fundamental points. Sure, you’ll be able to run it on every thing, however there nonetheless aren’t that many options, and what you get is not at all times nice.
For those who’re an F-Safe fan who likes the corporate’s less complicated method to safety, although, paying just a bit further to cowl all of your gadgets could possibly be transfer.
F-Safe Whole is a bundle of three prime F-Safe merchandise.
The F-Safe SAFE suite will get you antivirus, shopping safety, banking safety and extra for desktop and cellular gadgets. Discover out extra about its options within the F-Safe Anti-Virus and SAFE critiques above.
F-Safe KEY, the corporate’s password supervisor, shops logins, bank card particulars and different private information and synchronizes it throughout all of your gadgets.
KEY will get the core password supervisor duties carried out, however it does not have the options, the form-filling energy or configurability to match the specialist competitors.
For those who’re , although, it is simple to search out out extra – a free model lets you check out KEY on Home windows, Android, iOS and Mac. Your passwords will not sync throughout gadgets, however in any other case you are capable of discover KEY’s numerous options.
The important thing function with F-Safe Whole, although, is F-Safe’s Freedome VPN. This is not the cut-down demo service you may get with some safety suites, the place you are restricted to possibly 200-500MB information switch a day. It is the total product, with servers throughout 23 international locations, tracker blocking, a kill swap to guard you if the VPN drops, and completely no information limits in any respect.
Our personal Freedome overview discovered it was a lot the identical as most different F-Safe merchandise: quick on energy and never many options, however simple to make use of and an honest performer general.
Freedome is a significant plus for F-Safe Whole, however it additionally bumps up the worth, and it may take some maths to determine if it is a worthwhile deal for you. Let’s work by way of one instance.
A 3 gadget, one-year license for F-Safe SAFE prices $35 in 12 months one, then $70 on renewal.
A separate three gadget, one-year Freedome license is priced at an preliminary $35, rising to $55 on renewal. Add it to SAFE and that is a complete of $70 within the first 12 months, $125 afterwards.
Choosing F-Safe Whole as a substitute will get you SAFE, Freedome and the KEY password supervisor, and prices $90 for a similar three gadget, one-year time period. (There is not any introductory low cost, so you must pay $90 on renewal, too, until F-Safe will increase its costs.)
If we ignore KEY, which means you are getting Freedome VPN for $40 in 12 months one, and an incredible $20 after that (an efficient $1.67 a month.)
Freedome is not one of the best VPN, however it covers the fundamentals, and that is less expensive than many of the competitors. Even a price range VPN supplier like Ivacy asks $42 for 12 months one, $60 on renewal.
However in the event you’re not dedicated to F-Safe, there are related offers round from some safety suites. Avira Prime has a succesful set of options, together with an infinite VPN, and though it begins at a touch costlier $100, that covers as much as 5 gadgets for a 12 months.
Shopping for F-Safe Whole makes loads of sense for F-Safe followers, then, however in the event you’ve not already determined you want F-Safe SAFE, the image is not as clear. Store round, and ensure to attempt before you purchase.